the reality of parenting

So I saw this on FB this morning:

Something I wrote offended someone I don’t know SO deeply, that they actively sought out my email address, mailed me about it last night and told me I was “doing a disservice to new mothers by talking about the difficult parts of parenting” and that I’ll “scare people away from having babies” because I “make it sound hard”.

That said – maybe it’s just my genetics, but every time I get told I’ve offended someone, or someone bitches at me for being honest or having an unpopular opinion, I can hear my Mom and Dad applauding me in my head.

By the way, the thing that offended them? Was me saying this, a while ago… It does not come naturally

So I decided I needed to add my two cents in as well because, well, I just needed to.
Parenting is in no way easy and I think it’s bullshit that so many try make it seem that way.

Maybe it’s easy to you but I sure as eff agree 120% with Cath. It doesn’t come naturally. Fysh is 4 years old now and I still have days where I look at him and I think to myself “shit, I’m someones mother” and yet it doesn’t feel like it at all. I have a need to protect him but because I know it’s what I’m supposed to do, the same way you’re supposed to stand up for your friends. He’s my responsibility but a bond? A feeling that I’d die if he did? I’ve never had that with anyone not even with my parents. In my head people come and go. That’s life.

Just because society has underlined that I need to have this bond with him doesn’t mean I do. If I tell you that you have to be sad about something it doesn’t mean you’re going to be.

Parenting is a daily struggle, it’s not easy though yeah maybe it is to some. But the reality is this: pregnancy is uncomfortable, breastfeeding is painful, there is a chance you won’t bond with your kid immediately, that pnd is highly likely, that help isn’t always there even when offered and that you’ll most likely end up locking yourself in the bathroom or closet sobbing while your kid is in the other room screaming. That’s life, that’s fucking reality lady. I’m sorry that some people feel that parenting should be wrapped up in a pretty polkadot bow and sold off as cake.

No parenting isn’t easy, not in the least. There’s more uphill than view. And I’m sure I’m going to spend the rest of my life feeling like this, I’m going to spend the rest of my life doubting every choice I make and wondering if I’m doing it right. You don’t wake up one day and get handed the answers. Parenting is simply kids bluffing there way through adulthood while trying to raise more kids. But hey, just as with anything in life… the rainbows make the storms worth the while and the views make the climb worth the effort.

So you know what? Whether or not you bond with your kid, or you’re up at midnight doing washing because your kid has just shat himself and projectile vomited all over your bedding, it doesn’t matter that they’ve cut up your favorite blouse or drew pictures all over your car with keys. That stuff, that hard stuff that makes you wonder why the hell you’re doing it all? That stuff fades away the first time that kid smiles up at you or tells you he loves you. It fades when they show you the pretty pictures they drew just for you. Every time they hug you just because or try make you breakfast.

It’s not easy, but even I am willing to admit it’s worth it.


13 thoughts on “the reality of parenting

  1. Excellent post. I feel bonded with my daughter now, but only from when she was about 2 months old. Motherhood does not come naturally to me; it’s almost foreign for want of a better explanation. I feel that I am permanently working at it, which has its positives and negatives.

  2. Reblogged this on wannabepoet and commented:
    A very true and thought provoking post; motherhood is not always ‘natural’ for all women. I sure as hell battled in my first few months, and even now some days are a battle. I don’t see it as a weakness; it’s something that I live with and deal with everyday. Each and every woman and mother is different, and thank goodness for that :)

  3. Brilliant post Cupcake! I felt like an absolute failure after the birth of Jae because when I held her the first time I knew that I loved her, but I felt that it wasn’t enough. I didn’t cry, I didn’t stare at her in awe. And I felt like I didnt love her enough. A few weeks after her birth it, and lots of bonding and getting to know each we just clicked. I feel that moms sometimes over exaggerate feelings and moments and they shouldn’t. It puts unrealistic pressure on us others moms.

  4. Hear! Hear! Exactly. I’m not the maternal bondy type either. Added to that having twins and the whole parentind spiel is the hardest and most unrewarding thing I have done in my whole life. I had PND (still do to a certain extent), those moments of warm fuzzy love were few and far between.

    As the boys get older… I find myself respecting them at how quickly they learn, and having a burst of joy when they do something clever. I felt love when the first started calling me mommy. I love spontaneous hugs and kisses. I love the way the hold each other’s hands. All that said… I also still have a lot of days where I just want out.

    Parenting isn’t easy, and there are plenty of women out there who feel like us.

    I might have been grateful if someone had “scared me out of having babies”. I still think it is ridiculous that I have been entrusted with the care and growth of two living beings.

  5. Thanks for responding and posting about this column. I’m so weirded out that someone would find me talking about the realities of parenting, framed in a positive way, offensive. Perhaps they had more to cover up than they care to admit? I don’t know.

    Fact is – parenting IS HARD. but so worth it X

  6. I agree 100%! But I also think it’s not just that it varies from mother to mother but also from each mothers experience of her children. With Ava I had that instant bond, I remember exactly when it happened…. Almost 24hrs after she was born, I looked at her and knew I’d stand in front of a speeding train for her, I knew that I’d die if something bad were to happen to her but that did not make mothering her any easier. Then along came Hannah and honestly, 6 months on and I still don’t feel as bonded to her as I do to Ava.
    I am the first to admit I am NOT a natural mother, it is a daily struggle for me and honestly, if more women were honest about how tough it can be perhaps those of us struggling would feel less guilty about how much we struggle!

  7. I so totally agree with both you and Cath. Honestly people that were offended are brainwashed into the ides that it must be easy/great whatever. It’s not – the sooner wannabe moms realize that the better.

  8. How much harder will it be for a new mom when things don’t go as planned(and they never do) if they are only told the good things? So many moms struggle to bond and end up feeling like failures because they are led to believe that motherhood is a bed of roses. My sons are 15 and 4 and I am still always doubting my mommy skills.

  9. Wow… everything must be rainbows and sunshine at her house…. I believe the exact opposite is true… I think people need to stop sugarcoating “negative emotions” and start sharing how HARD parenting is because a lot of people have absolutely no clue when they become parents… and it’s harder to readjust preconceived notions of “baby bonding” and start off with the facts that as you said, sometimes you don’t bond.. I absolutely do no like newborns… I don’t even really remember my kids as newborns and I’m willing to put money down that I hated that phase enough to just wipe it from my memory.. even pics of my newborn kids creep me out.. <~ So I must be an awful mother who deserves some hate mail too ;)

  10. Great Post, and don’t ever be ashamed for speaking your mind! Parenting is not an easy job at all, and why do we have to “sugar coat” things when they are not at all rainbows and sunshine! At the end of the day, Haters are going to hate!!!

  11. Pingback: #nofilterday – are you brave enough? | cupcakes and sailors

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