I overheard (over read?) an argument on Facebook a few months ago.
I don’t remember the exact context, but the gist of the argument was whether or not the role of “mom” is hard.
One young mom had commented about the days being hard, and an older mom challenged her choice of words, explaining that there are a lot of hard things in life — death, disease, divorce — but motherhood is not one of them.
In essence, this older mom contended that many women dream of being a mom but can’t be. Furthermore, in life:
husbands harbor hate.
vows are violated.
Life is hard — but not motherhood.
Challenging? Some days.
Exhausting? Can be.
Hard? Not at all.
I read the thread and my heart just felt sad. Really, it was all just semantics — and two women walking through difficult days — difficult in polar opposite ways, but difficult nonetheless.
My heart went out to both women, but I read that conversation on a particularly demanding day with the children — a time when being a mom did in fact feel. very. hard!
I didn’t comment. I rarely engage an argument, especially on Facebook. But the dialogue continues to run through my mind, and the question lingers: Is it hard to be a mom?
How would you have responded? How do you feel?
Do you think motherhood is hard?
I think it’s all very subjective to your family dynamics, personality/temperament, and parenting style.
To me, it’s much harder to be a wife and homemaker. The stress of keeping my house clean, getting meals on the table, and helping my husband (in our home business) makes me want to pull my hair out often. Your kids are all still very young; yes, there are many hard days in that season. I have found that it gets easier though!
I think you’re right on Marisa. A lot of times we say that being a mom is hard, but it’s not necessarily the “mom” part that’s hard. It’s ALL of the different roles we play and responsibilities we have combined together. There are so many factors — all of the ones you mentioned plus so many more. It’s another reminder to me that if I’m having more “hard” days than normal days, I need to take a look at the WHOLE picture – not just the motherhood piece. Maybe something ELSE needs to change.
Thanks for your thoughts. So appreciate your insight!
Motherhood is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done. I have done the other hards…death, miscarriage, etc. They are all hard too but motherhood trumps them all. Why? Because it is a daily dying to yourself. That. Is. Hard.
Jennifer @purplebuoy says
I agree with you Molly!
Oh Molly! My whole “maybe I’ll post my response on this” post? Yep, that’s what it’s all about — dying to ourselves. I think that is EXACTLY what makes motherhood so. very. hard!
Love you, friend!
Our Family for His Glory says
Erika- I really appreciate your words, as they’ve really made me think. I too have overheard “arguments” of the same nature on Facebook, and I get both sides. But, motherhood (along with all the other roles of being a wife, homemaker, teacher, etc.) is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. This daily striving to surrender myself to God and laying down myself for these little ones is just plain hard some days. Are there things that are harder? Certainly. Are there things that make being a mother harder during different seasons? Definitely.
This verse came to mind… “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Cor. 15:58 We are working for the Lord as we raise our children and we can know that our labor (our hard, often weary work) in the Lord is not in vain.
“Are there things that make being a mother harder during different seasons? Definitely.” Yes! We WILL walk through different seasons, circumstances, and life events that definitely impact our role as mother.
1 Cor. 15:58 is SUCH a good reminder. We CAN “give ourselves FULLY b/c THIS is the work of the Lord — He has called us to it and He will equip and strengthen us as we lean on Him.
Always so appreciate your wisdom and encouragement, Jessica!
I think admitting that motherhood is hard at times, or in seasons is honest and genuine. You can’t compare your life to someone else, it is not right or fair. Yes there are many many people with more difficult lives and harsh and sometimes very tragic circumstances. But I think those things are helpful to look at for the sake of perspective, not to induce guilt. Each person’s life and struggles are relative, and whether exhaustion or death make motherhood hard, both are valid, and both need to be looked at. Motherhood can be hard because it constantly asks us to give of ourselves, to make choices that are not soley based on our own needs and desires. Motherhood is hard because when we accept the change that comes with parenting, it can be painful. Change stretches us, it makes us move and work, and see things that we did not see before. We look at so many things we did not need to see prior to parenthood. Our past experiences with our own parents, our fears, insecurities, our needs are right there in front of us, asking us to look at them and face them. We remember life “before” kids and it looks and feels like a totally distant and different life!
When our children our young, they need us so much for the simplest things, and that can be hard when you are going on 3 hours of sleep, have a raging head ache (or hormones?), or are feeling lonely or sad. Our needs often come up against a greater need, and so we must ask God for strength and trust that somehow there is a blessing in a the midst of it all. I know this sounds dire. I love motherhood. I love most days of it. But there are those days or seasons that make me weary, where I crave escape or relief. It is ok to admit it is hard, because IT IS. The best thing I have learned is to be grateful for the small and simple things. We keep a family gratitude journal (inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts). It reminds me to stop each day, several times a day and say “thank you.” The sweet and simple things do not go unnoticed then, and I am able to see how God’s hand is graciously at work, and how his goodness is truly woven into my life, even on hard days. :)