9 Things Every Mom Shouldn't Be Afraid To Get Real About

Ad failed to load

Society is pretty tough on moms, I'm not going to lie. I mean, sure, we have that one day a year when motherhood is "celebrated," and that's nice. However, the unrealistic standards that culture places on moms are as impossible to meet as they are detrimental and unfair. As a result, there are things every mom is afraid to get real about; Things that highlight the realistic, not-so-pretty, exhausting and downright ugly side of motherhood; Things that mothers are, sadly, judged for admitting or feeling or thinking. I say, enough.

I have learned more as a mother, a woman and a human being, when I have made the conscious decision to open up and talk about motherhood in a real, honest way. Sharing my fears, my failures and my anxieties has allowed me to connect with other mothers, learn from my mistakes and evolve as my child learns and grows and needs new things from me. Sure, I have also opened myself up to criticism and judgment, and I can't pretend that the moments when I was judged for being "real" about motherhood were easy to get through, but even in the middle of all that shame I learned something that made me a better parent. Even if that "lesson" was simply how to not care about what anyone else thinks or says or assumes.

Honestly, motherhood is difficult enough without trying to consistently perpetuate some fictitious standard that's impossible to uphold. I am too tired, too scared, too anxious, too overwhelmed, too kind to myself and too in love to pretend that motherhood isn't anything other than a crazy mess of good and bad. So, with that in mind, here are a few things no mother should be afraid to get real about:

Ad failed to load

How Hard Motherhood Is


Motherhood is usually packaged and represented as something "easy" and "intuitive" and "natural." I mean, sometimes it can feel that way, sure, but motherhood is also very hard and confusing and requires so much time and energy. It's not easy to make the decisions motherhood requires you to make. It's not easy to know "everything." It's not easy to have someone need you constantly. It's OK to be real about how difficult it can be, and create a realistic list of expectations, instead of one that you (or anyone else, for that matter) will never, ever live up to.

How Scary Motherhood Can Be


Motherhood is terrifying. Literally, terrifying. When you become a mother, you're choosing to rip your heart from your chest and watch it grow and learn and run off into the world. When your baby hurts, you hurt. When your kid is upset, you're upset. It's so scary, to know that you're responsible for another life yet, simultaneously, be acutely aware that there's so much you can't control. You're afraid of making mistakes. You're afraid of not being the mother your baby needs you to be. You're afraid of accidents happening. You're just, well, afraid, and motherhood is basically just learning to live in a constant state of fear that is somewhat manageable.

The Times They Need Help

Every mother is going to need help multiple times, if not all the time. It doesn't matter if the mother has an active parenting partner or is a single mother, we all need help. Hell, every adult needs help. Being honest about what you can and cannot handle is essential, and one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and your family. Never, ever, be afraid to ask for help. You're not a bad mom for needing it. You're not a lesser mom for having asked for it. You're a human being with needs, just like anyone and everyone else.

Ad failed to load

The Moments When They Want To Quit

Most (if not all) mothers will think it eventually and probably more than once, but rarely does a mother feel comfortable admitting that, sometimes, she doesn't want to mom anymore. We all hit a "breaking point," so-to-speak, and that point usually involves looking longingly at the front door and silently planning a potential escape. Will you run away from your family forever? Of course not. Do you regret being a mother? No way. However, motherhood is taxing and exhausting and difficult and, sometimes, you just don't want to do it anymore. It's normal. It's understandable. It's OK.

The Self-Doubt Motherhood Creates

I try to stray from making sweeping statements, but there isn't a mother in the world who feels confident all the freakin' time. Even if you've done all the research and all the reading and asked all the questions, you're going to wonder if what you're doing is what you should be doing. There's so much unsolicited advice and passionate points of view and endless parenting techniques that, well, it can be difficult to know what will work for you and your family, and what won't.

I'll never forget the moment my son was placed in my arms, and the astounding amount of self-doubt I felt. I wasn't sure that I could handle motherhood. I wasn't sure if I was capable of taking care of someone so perfect. I wasn't sure if I was going to make the best decisions for him. It was scary to realize those feelings existed and it was even scarier voicing them, but I've learned that they're normal. They're normal, they're frequent and, honestly, they make me a better mother.

The Moments When Motherhood Isn't Enough

Because society has arbitrarily decided that motherhood is somehow the ultimate definition of "womanhood," so many mothers are afraid to admit that motherhood simply isn't enough. You need more. You need more than your child, because you are more than a mother. You need friendships and relationships outside of your children. You need validation and accomplishments outside of your children. This doesn't mean you don't value your children or care about your children and it definitely doesn't mean that your children aren't an important part of your life. They are, they're just not the only part of your life.

Ad failed to load

The Mistakes Moms Inevitably Make

Every mother will make multiple mistakes, but rarely do mothers feel confident admitting to those mistakes. Sadly, mothers are judged so harshly and with such frequency, that any mistake they make is considered a direct and consistent representation of their parenting capabilities, in general. I made a huge mistake when my son was six months old that, sadly, landed him in the hospital. I was devastated and so very afraid to admit it even happened, but that mistake taught me so much and made me a better mother and a stronger woman. Mistakes will happen. You will screw up. It's OK.

How Exhausting Motherhood Can Be

When the collective "we" talk about motherhood and how exhausting it can be, it's usually packaged as somewhat of a lovable and quirky joke. Like, "Ha, oh man, I need all the coffee today and I'm never sleeping again and look at these bags under my eyes aren't I just adorable when I'm super exhausted?" Well, yes, you are, but motherhood isn't just physically exhausting. It's emotionally and mentally exhausting, and that exhaustion can take its toll. We need to talk about the exhaustion in a real, tangible way that encourages mothers to take care of themselves. We shouldn't be tiring ourselves to the point that we can't function. Take care of yourself.

How Happy Motherhood Can Make You

So many mothers are also afraid of being honest about how wonderful motherhood can be. In an attempt to avoid "bragging" or perpetuating unrealistic representations of motherhood, many mothers feel like they have to stay silent about the wonderful days they have and how happy motherhood makes them. Don't. Be proud of the life choice you've made. Be proud of your children and the awesome, amazing things they do. Be proud of what you have accomplished as a parent. I mean, it's pretty freakin' incredible and you freakin' deserve it.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik