What mums REALLY mean when they say parenting is hard, but “SO worth it!”

Posted in Family.

The other day I was venting to a friend about mum life. She’s a good friend of mine, so it felt natural to be candid with her, but she doesn’t have kids (although she is on the fence about trying for a baby). 

Swings and roundabouts

“I’m so tired,” I told her. “The tiredness is bone-deep. I feel stretched sometimes to the point of breaking, everyone needs me, like All. The. Time. I miss my freedom. I miss my SLEEP. I miss being able to just think clearly and have a second to myself.”

“I miss spending time with you! I wish I could just have a short break from being a mum, but without missing my bubbas or them missing me. Ha, like that’s gonna happen,” I laughed.

Then I said the standard about-face disclaimer that we all do after complaining about motherhood: “Oh, but it’s so worth it!” I gushed.

And then I took a sip of my coffee.

My friend just looked at me though.

“You all do that, you know,” she said. “Say, ‘it’s so worth it’ and then don’t explain that bit. You need to explain that bit, because people like me have no idea what you mean.”

She’s right. And now I feel I owe her the whole story. So my dear friend, this is what we really mean when we say, “It’s the hardest but best job in the world. It’s so worth it.”

Read more about special motherhood moments:

The love overwhelms you 

There are times when my heart feels like it’s going to explode. When I cuddle my soggy toddler in a towel after a bath, for instance, it honestly feels like my chest might just crack open.

I wonder if it can contain all the love I feel as he snuggles his little body into mine to get warm. Swoon. 

The feeling is bubbling happiness and honestly, sometimes I squeal a little because I need to release it.

There are chunks of time within the day that are overwhelming, that’s true, but these moments trump all of that. They replenish me and remind me why I love being a mum so much.  

Baby in towel

They are ridiculously cute

Some days I think I could die from all the cute. I am surrounded by cute and it’s like living in a zoo of baby meerkats, pandas and chimps. Only it’s even cuter than that.

It isn’t just what they do (laundry hamper peek-a-boo!) but also what they say – “I’d like an abocado sambich please”.

And maybe it’s only cute to me because they’re mine, but that in itself makes them all the more adorable and precious to me. 

It’s a love I don’t understand

The love I feel for them is unlike any I have ever known. It is so powerful, so deep and it is completely beyond my understanding. It’s selfless too, which probably explains why I give them every part of myself, and feel drained as a result. 

They are a part of me and I am a part of them. I feel their energy and it’s a strange, yet beautiful connection.  

Motherhood is magical 

There is so much that is crappy about being a mum, but no one can deny it is also a wondrous experience. A baby is a gift that keeps on giving and seeing that baby, your baby, discover his world, grow and BECOME his own little person with thoughts and feelings is just magical

Smiling newborn baby

And it’s meaningful

Changing a nappy for the fifth time that morning doesn’t feel meaningful in the moment, but when I step back and think about what I’m doing I realise it really is.

I’m caring for and raising a little person, a human who will love and make his mark on the world. I am raising the next generation and this knowledge makes me feel very important, but also responsible. I need to do a good job and that makes me take pride in my work.

Raising good people is my greatest contribution to the world.       

Being a mum is a privilege and a joy

I know not everyone gets to experience this. And I know lots of women crave what I have. So, I don’t take being a mum for granted. 

As hard as it is, I feel lucky. I feel so grateful that my little ones were given to me to mother and love. I smile (and cry, yell and sigh) every day because of them. They are my greatest source of happiness.  

So, being a mum is a thankless, hard slog of a job that takes everything out of you, yes, but it’s also so, so, SO worth it.

Good friend of mine, I hope these words help you to understand why every mother says the same thing as me. (Also, I think you would be a beautiful mama if you decide to go down that path.)


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