Mom’s viral post reminds us it’s okay to talk about the hard parts of parenting
The first year of a baby’s life is a magical time filled with exciting milestones and tons of memories, but it’s also one of the most challenging phases a parent will ever go through. That’s why one Australian mom recently took to Facebook to share an honest look at her baby’s first nine months of life, and let other parents know they aren’t alone if they’re struggling through those long nights and days.
Mel Watts, who blogs at The Modern Mumma, recently shared a selfie with her youngest child and wrote about the trials and tribulations she’s faced in the months since her birth. “Nine months out of the womb,” she wrote. “In the last nine months I have never slept so little in my life. In the last nine months I have suffered my worst anxiety I have ever experienced.”
The most exhausting part of having a baby, Watts noted, is that “life just doesn’t stop,” no matter what’s going on. “The bills still need to be paid, groceries still need to be purchased and the pressure you put on yourself is overwhelming,” she said. “We expect ourselves to know what we’re doing all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or if it’s your third, you’re still learning daily.”
Most posts we see about moms and babies are filled with sunshine and rainbows. Everyone is eager to show off their parenting highlight reel, so to speak, and it’s good to see people enjoying the happy aspects of being a mom. But, in reality, having a baby can also be really difficult. Behind every giggle and smile, there’s also a lot of uncertainty, guilt, fear, and more than a little exhaustion. And it’s good for parents to be honest about both sides of the equation so we don’t feel like we’re the only ones having a hard time.
Wrote Watts, “The amount of pressure we put ourselves isn’t fair. We aren’t invincible. We’re humans and we’re mothers. It’s okay to have days that you don’t feel good enough… I didn’t have the motivation to even get dressed for the first 9 months let alone get my pre baby body back. And that’s ok. If you do have the motivation good on you! Do everything in your own time, don’t rush because you think that’s what society expects of you.”
When you’re flicking through Instagram or scrolling through your newsfeed, it’s easy to feel like you should be doing more. Other people seem like they have it all together, or, at the very least, like they’re not treading water as much as you are. But, that’s why Watts shared her post — because it’s important for other moms and dads to know that everyone occasionally feels like they’re “failing,” and we shouldn’t hold back in giving ourselves a little credit for getting through the month, week, or even just the day sometimes.
“You’ve got this,” wrote Watt. “Life challenges us daily. We are given new obstacles every single day. But there’s always tomorrow! So cheers to first 9 months of poop, spew and crappy sleep. We (I) survived and we smashed it.”