motherhood,  Stay At Home Mom,  Sweet, Serious, & Sincere Parenting Reflections

Everyone’s Entitled to a Hard Day –Except Moms, Who Should “Shut up and be Grateful.”

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I had a hard day with my boys a few weeks ago.

Truthfully, we had a series of hard weeks. I wrote about it, because, well, that’s what writers do.

The article went crazy. It was shared thousands of times across various forms of social media and I received countless messages from other parents who felt like I had really expressed their struggles.

Then there were the others.

Out of the woodwork emerged people who were outraged I would dare write such things.

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have had children!”

“I would love to be at home more. Count your blessings.”

“Be quiet! Mothers have done this for years!”

I had to go back and re-read my article, to make sure someone hadn’t accidentally added to the piece, unbeknownst to me, “I hate my children, I hate being a mom, and my life is so much harder than yours.” Turns out, nope, that definitely wasn’t in there.

So why all the vitriol?

Why was an article about my hard day, my hard experience, touching such a nerve for so many?

Why is it that moms are the only people who aren’t allowed to complain? The second a mom expresses any struggle, the world is quick to remind her that children are a blessing and she signed up for this.

Newsflash: moms know their children are a blessing. Moms know what they’ve signed up for (well, as much as anyone can really “know” what parenting is like until they’ve actually done it). That doesn’t mean raising children isn’t sometimes difficult. Sharing a struggle doesn’t make a mom ungrateful.

Motherhood - overhwelmed AND grateful - inspirational motherhood memes and quotes

My favorite “style” of comment was this one: “Haha, try working and raising your kids, you have no clue.”

That one really made me chuckle because I’ve been a full-time working mom (and part-time, and work-from-home, and stay-at-home –I’ve tried it all!). When I had a tough day working, I wouldn’t hesitate to share it.

The responses I got then? Full of empathy.

Everyone acknowledged that work could be stressful, that the job could sometimes be difficult. It was understood.

Not once did anyone ever respond to my difficult day (or week, or month) at work with, “You chose this, be grateful!” or “Let me tell you why I have it so much worse.”

Never did someone retort with, “Whiner!”

I’ve written plenty of pieces about raising children, some funny and some serious, some upbeat and some openly discussing my struggles. I write because I find it helpful to express myself and because other parents have told me they enjoy reading what I have to say.

I write about stay-at-home motherhood because that’s what I’m doing these days. That’s my current story. I don’t compare my situation to others’ and I don’t dare question who has it harder, because here’s the thing: It’s all hard.

When I was rushing around like crazy, trying to get my kids to and from the sitter and make sure I wasn’t late for work? It was hard.

When I’m rushing around now, trying to serve lunches with a toddler hanging on my feet and another kid hollering, “I need a wiiiiiiiipe!” from the bathroom? It’s hard.

When I had to keep it together and do my job at work, even though I’d barely slept an hour? It was hard.

When I have to lovingly teach and correct all day at home, even though I’ve barely slept an hour? It’s hard.

Everyone claims to understand that parenting is hard, but it’s the type of hard you’re supposed to quietly mumble about to your spouse or your best friend. The second you say it more clearly, or Heaven forbid, write about it, out come the pitchforks.

“She has plenty of time to write articles.”

“Ugh, I don’t even have kids and I hate this.”

“Stop. Having. Babies.”

One commenter noted, “I’m so tired of seeing articles complaining about how hard parenting is.”

Well, if the comment sections of these articles are any indication, we still need articles like this. We need to keep telling our truth. We need to be honest about our struggles.

Until everyone feels heard.

Until everyone feels seen.

Until people who disagree can simply scroll past without using the opportunity to shame someone whose experience differs from theirs.

Maybe then, as one commenter requested, I will “Stop. Just stop.”

*****

 

Motherhood is hard - whether you're a working mom or a stay at home mom. Mom shaming does no one any good. Moms can complain and still be grateful. We should be encouraging parents, not comparing ourselves to one another. #momlife #wahm #workingmom #sahm #motherhood #parenting #thewildwest3
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8 Comments

  • SOMGOLIBE

    Awwwn…the post title brought me here. I’m not yet a parent (I just recently left teenagehood as a fact) and so I wouldnt have first hand knowledge but from the little Ive seen in my surrounding and from the experiences my parents go through but from I and my other siblings I feel parenthood is really tough but this however doesn’t change the beauty of parenthood and all the family memories. When I think of all the sacrifices my mom has to go through for me in silence, I sometimes let her understand that its okay to vent, its okay to feel tired, its okay to need a day to rest and catching on your life, its okay and if anyone still feels otherwise it’s still okay.

    I appreciate your honesty in this post, I mean, the hurtful comments might have eaten deep and for that I want you to hear that its okay to want to rant, to want to scream out your lungs sometimes, taking care of yourself is a big chore talk more of carrying baggages for both yourself, your husband and children. So never feel bad about talking about your feelings. Its also very Important to take rest when you feel overwhelmed by it all so you could come back up as a sane and healthier person. I’m genuinely happy I read this today.

    Take good care of yourself, your health is also very important to the growth of your children. Jisie ike!

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Thank you so much — you are so sweet to leave this comment. One thing I’ve learned since entering the writing world is that people respond to you as they are, not as you are. If someone leaves a negative or nasty comment about something I’ve written, I just assume that they are in a bad place or took something the wrong way because of their own personal struggle. I do think it can be tough for moms who are not as “thick-skinned,” which is why I wrote this follow-up post.

      Again, thank you so much for your kind and supportive comment!

      Charissa

  • Linsey

    I’m sorry you’ve had to defend yourself- everyone has hard days, regardless of what they’re doing, just as you said. We’re all human- doesn’t make you any less of a mom, just a better one, because you’re being honest. We all need a place to share, with honesty. Thank you!

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Hi Linsey,

      Thanks so much for reading and for the support. I’ve learned not to engage with people who didn’t read the article or are willfully misinterpreting it. Still, I did stew a little bit over it and decided this post was the best way to “say my piece” about it without it turning into a back-and-forth with anyone.

      Thank YOU!
      Charissa

      • Ashley C

        Mom of 8 here and let me personally thank you for defending us. Is it hard! But it’s also funny, sad, happy, sweet, and a huge blessing to parent one child or 30, whether they are yours or not. I’ve myself gotten some hurtful comments from complete strangers and family about biting off more than I can chew and maybe if I only had one or two kids it would be “easier”. I was far more stressed out with one toddler than I am with 8 kids (newborn to age 10) because it was new and TERRIFYING! lol Moms don’t get breaks, even alone at 6am at the grocery store I’m wondering who is waking up, or who may have had a bad dream, or be hungry or need a diaper change before my husband gets to it. Our momma minds DON’T TURN OFF

        • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

          Hi Ashley,

          I’m so glad you could relate to this! I know exactly what you mean — some parts are hard (and even crappy) but other parts are amazing (and sometimes, the two extremes follow one another by only a few minutes haha).

          As far as having eight kids, I say: more power to you! If your kids are loved and cared for, then I believe how many kids is right for your family is between the mom and the dad (and no one else–though everyone else seems more than happy to share their opinions haha). Our fourth is on-deck, scheduled to arrive next month, and we are officially tapping out, but if we wanted to have more, that certainly wouldn’t be anyone else’s business. Plus, I think parenthood (whether you’re raising one or many) is more than anyone can chew gracefully all the time, so there’s that.

          Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!
          Charissa

  • Lynée

    People can be terrible. I’m sorry there are so many nay-sayers out there. Parenthood and parenting is ALWAYS hard. It’s a 24/7/365 job that, let’s be honest, is pretty thankless at times. There are awesome, fantastic, days. And then there are those ones that make you want to crawl under the bed. I get it, I understand. Don’t let the “others” get you down.

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Hi Lynée

      Yes, sometimes people really can be the worst — very… people-y haha. You’re right, hard is hard and it’s not a competition. Every mom has their good and bad days. I’m taking any negative comments with a grain of salt (if I even read them at all). I know that I love my kids and am grateful for them, even if Carol-the-random-woman on the Today page does not haha.

      Thanks for the support!
      Charissa

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