What People Don’t Tell You About Motherhood

By Dakota Burgess

My whole life all I wanted to do was grow up, find a good paying job, marry my soulmate and become a mama. The catch? There’s a lot of things they don’t teach you about in high school, and at the forefront is what motherhood is really like.

Motherhood is lonely. I’ve lost contact with most, if not all, of my friends. The friends that don’t have children just don’t understand why a mom does what she does, and the friends that do have children understand my absence and don’t reach out. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m  desperately looking for some adult interaction, yet I don’t take the time to message my best mom friend and vent about the crap my kids got into that day.

Then, there are the Mommy Wars: Breastfeeding. Bottle feeding. Baby led weaning. Potty training. Cloth diapers. Circumcision. I’m always questioning if I’m doing something the ‘right way’ and constantly criticizing myself for a decision I made. And when I’m finally at peace with a decision, someone comes along and makes me feel like I risked my kid’s well being. It was just a hotdog for goodness sake. No, it wasn’t organic. Yes, they’ll probably eat it again tomorrow. Back off.

The house is trashed. Whether I stay at home, work outside my home, or work from home, it’s impossible to keep up with the everyday demands — not to mention the extras. The dishes stack up, the floors are sticky, the washer is starting to get a funk from forgetting to swap the laundry around, and the dryer is on it’s 5th air dry cycle because maybe the dryer will beat the odds and fold the laundry for me. (A mother can dream, right?)

And let’s not forget postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety — they are real, and they are struggles. Motherhood is hard enough trying to navigate when I’m feeling good about myself. Add in hormones, the aforementioned Mommy Wars, and everyday life stress and you can forget it. Life feels like an endless tunnel with no light or hope waiting for me at the end. Those days are just so, so dark.

Trying to maintain some sort of intimate relationship with my husband is almost comical. “Has it really been a week since we did the deed? Are you sure? Ask me again tomorrow night.” And on the off chance there is an opportunity, I just can’t shut my brain off because we’re either hiding in a closet while the kids eat chicken nuggets and watch cartoons, or I’m listening for crying and tiny feet to hit the floor from the nearby bedroom.

Ultimately, however, this is a season of life that I so desperately yearned for and am so blessed to have the privilege to experience. It’s late nights, little sleep, and early mornings. It’s exhaustion. It’s begging the clock to speed up so bedtime will arrive. It’s crying myself to sleep. It’s driving myself crazy with the what-if’s. It’s chasing around tiny tyrants. It’s yelling and then apologizing to these tiny souls that just don’t understand. It’s getting to experience life through my children’s eyes. It’s being vulnerable. It’s completely losing myself to raise strong, independent, intelligent, incredible little people.

It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. It’s stressful. It’s depressing. It’s wild. It’s fulfilling.

This is motherhood.

Dakota is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a contributing writer, please click here.

Featured image via Unsplash

37 thoughts on “What People Don’t Tell You About Motherhood

  1. Jess Christine says:

    Love this post! You nailed it girl! I myself didn’t have a dream of being a mama, but fate had its ways and I now have an 18 month old beautiful baby girl! Going into this whole motherhood thing I knew it would be a challenge and I knew I would lose friends, but holy cow! My social circle now consists of my mother, all my friends bailed and the ones who are moms and get it are living in a different area busy with their own lives. The mommy wars are the worst… if I want to breastfeed and co-sleep then damnit I will lol For a moment I thought I was standing in my own apartment as you shared about the sticky floors and the dishes you’re waiting on to wash themselves, its a lost cause trying to keep a clean home with little monsters. I’m a single mom so I didn’t lose the intimacy with a spouse, but there is no room for love in my life! When am I supposed to find time to date between working 8-5, chasing around toddler feet and trying to enjoy my role as a mom. I can relate to you on so many levels. Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chaitaliweb says:

    The post covers all the aspects of motherhood..and yes we mother’s go through a lot while raising our tiny munchinks..and yes it’s the best feeling ever when there tiny hands wrap around our growing fatty waist and they hug and kiss us..it’s like meeting God ..very peaceful n satisfying.. I have written a similar blog too..I can totally relate to u my dear..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. marymtf says:

    What’s worse than people that don’t tell you what to expect, is those who do tell you. 🙃 I see , though, hat you’ve worked it out for yourself as we all have to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol // Aussie Mum Blogger says:

    This is such an amazing post. I agree with every single word. My posts are so similar to this but you have nailed it. I sadly, have lost quite alot of friends because they just don’t get it. Sometimes, it’s me though, I don’t want to be social because I haven’t had any sleep, I’m tired and cranky. Can I reblog this on my blog? Absolutely amazing! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thismomblogs says:

    This is one of the best posts I have ever read! I’m a first time mom recently diagnosed with post partum depression and anxiety and constantly battling all of the above turmoil. I love knowing I am not alone and we all have to wade through the crap to get to the rainbow. I definitely feel like I could have written this myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. amommaintraining says:

    LOVED this. Thank you so much for your honesty. My first babe is about to turn one and I’m experiencing about half of what you’re describing haha but I’m totally where you are when it comes to keeping the house together! It makes me feel so much better knowing that it’s not just me. I’m so glad I found your blog! 🙂


  7. Annika Spalding says:

    I love this post, mostly for its honesty. There is so much about motherhood that I never knew existed, and this isn’t taught at all in any classes or in any books. But I think there are things we learn by experience only, and so here we are. You articulated it beautifully in this post. Motherhood is challenging. It makes you cry. It makes you eat. It robs you off sleep. And for some of it we are totally on autopilot just to get through the day. But, eight years in and now with two children who constantly argue, I don’t think I’d change it. Okay, okay, I’d add more sleep and maybe a maid to help me tidy up, but that’s it. Thank you for sharing.


  8. adventuresinmomlifeblog says:

    I love this post. I’m a first time mom and I work. It’s been a challenge balancing work, house work, and time with my daughter and then trying to fit time in for my husband. I’m learning that it’s ok if laundry doesn’t get done or if a few dishes get left in the sink overnight.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. margaritasandmotherhood says:

    I love this so much. I am so grateful to be able to stay at home with my children, but it is so lonely at times. And then “mommy guilt” spawns off of that and so on, and so on. I really needed this today!


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