Motherhood Sucks


Here’s a dirty little secret on the eve of Mother’s Day: Motherhood sucks.

I always wanted children, mind you. I just never pictured myself stuck at home, covered in body fluids, sleep deprived, beaming while simultaneously partaking in arts and crafts at the kitchen table, as Rome burns around me. Because that’s what motherhood feels like to me. I’m playing the fiddle badly and Rome is fucking burning. All the time.

I could say that overall, it’s rewarding. But that would be bullshit. It’s not rewarding. There are no accolades for motherhood. There’s only survival.

At this point, you might be one of two things: horrified and ready to pen a scathing retort whereby you school me on the frigging miracle of motherhood, or nodding so hard that you’ll need a collar for your whiplash.

Motherhood is like launching a start-up company before you know what you’re going to sell. You’re building the products as you go, beta testing new parenting techniques every twenty minutes, bootstrapping your way through toddler town, all whilst navigating critics who are writing reviews about you based on the two seconds they saw you at your worst one afternoon in a Target. And like a start-up, there’s a super high likelihood that you’re going to fail. At failing, I am a giant success. #Winning!

Saying that motherhood sucks for me doesn’t mean that I don’t love my children. Or that I wouldn’t die for my children. Or that I wouldn’t kill you for my children. Because I absolutely do and I positively would. My children, by the way, know all this. My maternal suckfest does not go unnoticed. There’s a wicked lovefest in there too, reserved for the rare, quiet moments when no one is whining, fighting, or running late. It’s between me and my kids and is frankly none of your goddamned business.

I find joy in external rewards: praise, promotions and recognition for a job well done. The trappings of work life — I thrive on them. Annual reviews? Bring them on. Comments on my latest blog? Now you’re talking. Debates that don’t involve the word “why” repeated incessantly, doors slamming, feet stomping or crying. Adult conversations. I am validated by others and not ashamed to admit it. I don’t need you to LIKE me, but I will demand that you NOTICE me.

Kids have similar needs in the being noticed department. It’s a mini battle between us as to who gets the spotlight: my smart, funny, super athletic son; my entertaining, quick-witted, empathetic daughter; my adorable, anxiety-prone, needy dog; or me. (The hubs doesn’t even get to compete.)

Me, me, me. Acknowledged for more than packing chocolate milk in the lunch bags. Thanked for more than remembering the homework, library books, and important projects. Appreciated for more than being a glorified driver. I didn’t sign up for this crap.

I always wanted children. Children with whom I could travel the world, molding little minds, imparting wisdom, creating future leaders. Answering thoughtful questions, debating and disagreeing, collaborating and compromising. While I have many fond childhood memories, I have also thoroughly enjoyed the friendship I have with my parents as an adult.

The best part of all my start-up experiences was the fun corporate culture. Maybe it’s the “corporate” culture that sucks around here. Or my staff just isn’t old enough for a good 360 review. It appears that the path to my quintessential version of motherhood is paved with many more sleepless nights, mountains dirty laundry, dreaded puberty, and mostly, ungrateful children. There are no accolades for motherhood. Only survival.

May the odds be ever in my favor.

Related post: Motherhood, The Big, Fat Fuck You

About the writer

Kirsten is the mom of three - two human, one canine.  She loves everything about summer and looks way better with a tan.  Though she's held a variety of day jobs, her one constant is her occasional writing. She's even shared her work on stage, appearing in Providence's inaugural Listen to Your Mother show. With an opinion on any given topic, you can find her waxing poetic at The Queen of the Earth.  


NarT 8 months ago

Couldn’t agree more – (apart from the having rewarding relationships with my parents as an adult. Oh I wish that were true for me). Still, I agree – where is the rewarding? There is just survival and yes, the love. MM (below) – can we be friends?

Jules 1 year ago

I fucking love you right now.

MM 2 years ago

At least once in my day, if not twice or more…I find myself saying in my head ” What the F@#% did I get myself into!” Was so happy SINGLE. Why didn’t anybody warn me about this f@#% in’ bullshit I got myself into. A dog would have totally completed my life. Had too go ahead and get married, have twins and oh wait… and another one to top it all up. Feeling royally F@#% ed!!!

abbeu 2 years ago

Oh this is an amazing mean to tell me there are others who thinks like me and has just summed up my entire thinking in last few years. Thank god. Brilliant blog!!

Anjelica Rachela Estrella 2 years ago

Heather Childress you are so right! It is called venting! So thankful for mommy outlets like this especially on a full moon. LOL

Teri B 2 years ago

I have two sets of kids, my “big kids”-the teens, and my “little kids”-toddler & elementary schoolers. My little kids are textbook highs and lows, crazy tantrums (toddler), whining & complaining (elem. schoolers); but then they make me laugh everyday with the funny little things they say or do and they are sweetness overflowing with the, “Mama, I love you. You’re the best mama in the world”, out of the blue. I adore them. My teens (girls) are the devil in carnate, he is obviously in multiple forms at once. There are no highs and lows, there is only hell on earth. I know why some animals eat their young. I just want to keep them away from the little ones before they corrupt them. If only I could afford two houses, or even just military school. But that’s being a mom, the good, bad, and so ugly.

Erin 2 years ago

I would kill to be acknowledged, thanked and appreciated for those very things you mention! Ha.

Karen Brummond 2 years ago

Try having 5 kids and a job. 2 would be a breeze! I get ya, though! Kids are another job added to life.

HFB 2 years ago

*sigh* I wish there was a scary mommy neighborhood I could move to where we could let the kids play in the street while we drank margaritas or wine and have these sorts of chats. My 7yo DD woke up at the asscrack of dawn to excitedly give me the things she had made for me (and kept telling me about all week…) which was a lovely moment even without the benefit of coffee and then we went outside to plant flower seeds in the window boxes but then….we went into town and it was a constant stream of whining about “I’m hungry”, “where are we going?” (about 1000 times, every time the answer the same), “I’m thirsty”, “I need to pee”, “When are we getting ice cream”, ad nauseam, ad infinitum. Nearly drove me insane. I had wanted a day to myself originally, but she whined how I never come with her and her father (who caves to her whining just to make it stop) into town, so I relented and was reminded why I let them go on excursions into town without me; so I can sit and read on the sofa or walk the dog without the constant stream of NEED and WHINE.

At least at a startup, there’s booze and ping pong and fewer whiny short people who expect the world even when they’re being complete arseholes (MOM I TOLD YOU NO CHEESE ON MY EGGS!). I keep hoping my resistance to being treated like a doormat finally sinks in.

Thankfully, Mother’s Day is nearly over and I just poured a glass of wine. Tomorrow is a new day and I survived this one. :) Thanks for the reassuring words. Cheers!

Patricia 2 years ago

Absolutely loved this!! You’re an awesome mom :)

LDon Allen 2 years ago

I hope my kid can read so she has a good idea of what being a parent is like. 16 and Pregnant is not gonna happen in this house.

LDon Allen 2 years ago

I have one 2 3/4 year old and staying at home with her is harder than anything I have ever done. Project management for a gov. entity – bring it on. My toothbrush in the toilet…not prepared for that one.

Jill Burns Baran 2 years ago


Keesha Magee 2 years ago

I fucking love this!

Amanda Taylor Clark 2 years ago

I don’t have an easy child by far. She’s hell on wheels and on the move constantly into something. She’s a huge tantrum thrower. But I would never change her. I love her attitude, it proves to me she can handle this crazy world. And it’s not all happy moments but I have never felt that being a mother sucks. I relish these moments we have since they go by so quickly.


Karen S 2 years ago

Only had one child so as to avoid feeling this way. So far so good. Could not handle more than one.

Eva 2 years ago

Amen. Thank you.

To all of those oh-so-happy moms who enjoy overly minute of parenting: Get off the damn Internet and tend to yor wonderful children and leave the rest of us alone!

Kristen Catuara 2 years ago

You know what sucks most about motherhood? Having to deal with all of you unsupportive, smug, self-righteous, affected, dim-witted, judgy biotches out there.

Syed Arhaan 2 years ago

Happy mothers day cuties add me

amy 2 years ago

I love it!

Kelly Tallett 2 years ago

Were you just in my head?! Tired, grumpy mum today. It’s only just turned noon and I’m all for having the rest of the day off. I’ll be available for cuddles and kisses but go see your dad about anything else! 😉

Carla Keller 2 years ago

Well said. I actually hate motherhood most days. I thought it would be a walk in the park.. ha. Wrong. I do love my kids. I have three young ones with one on the way. I’m not sure how I thought it could ever be a good idea but here we are and I love the little life suckers. Most days. Or at least some days? With autism part of everyday life…blah. That walk in the park I thought it would be? The boy can’t sleep at night if we even talk about the park. Too little ups and so many downs.
Well, off to get three kids ready for a flippin Mother’s Day service. :)

Amthal Karim 2 years ago

Haha “May the odds be ever in our favour Mums!!

Shawna Byrd 2 years ago

If you don’t like what she has to say or like most of her blogs lately then unlike the page, unfollow her. Quit whining about it and “trying to convince the rest of fb world” that you don’t have bad days or need to have “your time”. She never said she hates being a parent or doesn’t love her kids or that she doesn’t want to raise them. No one wants your neg. opinion here.

Rosemary Trujillo 2 years ago

Wait, are we talking about toddlers. . Lol. . Teenagers! That’s where the real shit hits the fan!

Kristina Hudson 2 years ago

I love my child and would give my life for her. O would never give up motherhood but there are times that i would just as soon crawl in a closet and hide. I think thats what shes saying here. Shes not saying she doesnt want to care for them shes saying she has moments when she doesnt love the job. Theres nothing wrong with that.

Jenna Penticost 2 years ago

Love the way that people see fit to judge this lady for being honest….would people rather her become unwell as a result of keeping those feelings and thoughts locked away?? My little boy is my world, but I have been very open about the way I feel about being a mum. I wouldn’t have the bottle to put it in a blog though, as I wouldn’t want people I don’t know judging me, so good on her!

Beth 2 years ago

I can’t for the world understand why women want to work with overgrown babies who are so friggin needy. I guess for the pay cheque. I was glad to try to raise successful mature functioning members of society. It was bad enough (& still is) having to deal with people who you wonder ‘how in the world did they get hired?’ never mind having to work for or with them. I loved being at home with my kids…I got to make the rules and un the show. Stuff at work sucks too but the good can balance it out.

Laura 2 years ago

You are my spirit animal!

Thank you for saying what I couldn’t find the right words to express. I am really f-ing grateful for that right now.

Adamilka Wood 2 years ago

I agree with a lot of this and luckily have found that, for me, it has gotten waaaaay easier and more enjoyable the older my kids have gotten. Still working on being appreciated for most of what I do…the problem is that they either don’t know how much I do or are in their own world to even notice…

Laura McAdams Osborn 2 years ago

Yes,yes,yes! It is a thankless job! I so enjoyed this! Thank you for the laugh!

Jennifer Clark Jones 2 years ago

Thank you Sabrina, you echoed my sentiments ( and my life) exactly! :)

Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

I go back and forth between feeling it’s the most wonderful thing in the world to be a mom, to thinking I might pack a bag and run away…. I so hear you. <3

Heather Holter 2 years ago

As much as it does suck, marriage sucks worse!

Bev Weber-Ashcraft 2 years ago

Couldn’t agree more. I love reading your news letters. I am not alone. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE!

Sabrina Shea 2 years ago

Not everyone can have the “easy” kid, not everyone gets help, not everyone has even a single reliable unselfish family member to rely on, not everyone plans their pregnancy, so how about if u want to cast judgement, u UNSUBSCRIBE!

Sandy 2 years ago

Be careful what you say and do if you ever want grandchildren. My mother was a great mother, but she used to tell us stories about the career she gave up when she married and often complained about various aspects of motherhood. She raised four children, but her only grandchildren were born after her death, and she never knew them. Sadly, she really wanted grandchildren.

Anissa Duwaik 2 years ago

I was having this very same conversation with my good friend just a couple of days ago. What I’ve realized for myself, is that I love being a mother, but I had being a stay-at-home mom. I hate the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, and the countless hours on-end of chronic debilitating, mindless work. The redundancy is like my own personal hell. I adore my kids, I love their hugs and kisses, I enjoy volunteering in their school (when I can find the stamina to be around them more than the few hours of quiet time I have rarely had in the last decade), love art projects, when i’m not too tired to engage, on and on. I do love motherhood, but I hate being a maid, cook, driver, referee and all the other mindless crap that usually encompasses my day. As for mother’s day, I’m a firm believer that this is my one day off. Motherhood is every day, 24 hrs/day, 365 days/week. Mother’s day is my day to take it easy, go out with friends, go hiking, whatever! It’s the one day that I don’t have to hear “Mom”, “Mother”, Mum”, Mummy”, or any other word that starts with M fifty thousand times! I’ll take breakfast in bed and a few “I love you’s” before I head out for the day!

Liz McAllister 2 years ago

Everyone thinks that once your a mom, that should be the ONLY relevant thing about you. We cease I be complex, dynamic individuals. We are reduced to a one dimensional name. Fathers don’t seem to fall victim to that. I love being a mom. I love my son and my dogs. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But there’s so much more to me. And like you, I need validation and successes outside mommydom

Christine Cappuccia 2 years ago

I’m gonna have to disagree with saying that motherhood “sucks.” It is tough, and certain moments suck, but motherhood as a whole totally rocks!

Kimberly 2 years ago

The reality of this just about made me cry, as I find that amongst all of the commotion, I seem to have become an emotional wreck as well .. Or maybe it’s just the wine .. hmmm .. Thank you for taking the time to write what at least I can totally identify with without making me feel like a total shit

Sarah B 2 years ago

Hmmm… I think some folks are missing the humor.

Bridget Dougherty Smith 2 years ago

Too true! :)

Juliann Brockman 2 years ago

LOL my dear children, I love you with all my heart and soul and would gladly lay down my life for you, but yes, motherhood can suck at times, but the end result if beautiful!

Stacy Cox Livermore 2 years ago

100% agree with you!

Dawn Bohenski Conry 2 years ago

Thank you for saying what most are afraid to. It’s funny and pure genius!

Tammy Baker 2 years ago

Every woman thinks that when she has children she is going to be an AMAZING mommy! We are going to do crafts and eat all natural foods and baby wear and breast feed until you are 30. Well guess what ladies….? It doesn’t alwayd happen the way we THINK it will. Motherhood is tuff stuff for EVERY woman! Stop judging this women for writing an article in which she was completely honest. I, for one, enjoy reading things like this. It makes me feel lile I’m not alone. Sometimes I feel like the evil mommy set to get my revenge on all the super moms out there.

Wendy Lawson 2 years ago

Motherhood is not all glamour shots and pose worthy kisses you can hang on the wall. Thanks for putting in print what many of us won’t admit to feeling 23 out of 24 hours. I wish SM was around when I was a young mom. Maybe my PPD/rage wouldn’t have been so bad.

Diane Hope 2 years ago

The message I take from this blog post is that we are not warned about what actually happens when you become a mom. The media doesn’t even come close to portraying reality. Plus, I don’t know about anyone else but among my peers there seems to be a lot of competition to be a perfect mom which of course doesn’t exist.
Scary mommy, I hear you and echo your sentiments. Thank you for your honesty- shit gets real when you live in the trenches.

Joan Shutts 2 years ago

I just want to say I’m glad to see u talk bout the other side of parenting! U say what some of us moms feel but won’t admit! Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one. …happy mother’s day!!!

Krystin Labarge 2 years ago

I’ve worked 80 hour weeks with a newborn, I’ve done stay at home with my other son when he was born, and I’ve worked part time. Above all THE most challenging job was the most rewarding- and it was and still is parenthood. I have my pull out my hair days but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Heather Childress 2 years ago

Ok people write these articles when the mood strikes,these are her feelings at the moment and yes i love my children but there are days I just want to hide in a closet because this is just NOT what I thought it would be. This woman need to vent and she wrote an article tons of people can relate to. Stop trying to dissect and put your ultimate knowledge of motherhood out there!

Dizzy Spades 2 years ago


Sarah Sousa Stevens 2 years ago

Wish I could stay home with my 3 or work even part time. Instead the hubs and I trade shifts so someone is always here. Yet even in that, I feel so blessed. I love being a mom. Yes, I get annoyed on the daily but the joy that a LO brings is unmatched.

Pascale DesLauriers 2 years ago

Yeah, we all have our moments and motherhood is the toughest job, but it’s also the most rewarding. I’ll take my kids over a nagging, arrogant boss any day. We all need balance in our lives and I think part-time work is the best of both worlds, IF it’s work we enjoy. I don’t have pets either bc they’re demanding and expensive too. I’ll have more than enough time for pets when I’m an empty nester. Right now, my kids are top priority.

Joy Hurley-Deluna 2 years ago

I feel like she took the words right out of my mind. This was written perfectly. I completely get it.

Amaya Hasleftthebuilding Koss 2 years ago

Wait until they go off, and then graduate college…oh the sigh of relief you can let out then. LOL

Jane Bigham 2 years ago

I’ll be the lone dissenting voice here…I’m not judging anyone whose experience is different from my own, but for me, motherhood has been the highlight of my life. I’d have more if I were able.

    eegeee 2 years ago

    :) my mom is in the same boat. if she coulda had more, she would have. my work hours and lifestyle are demanding. without support from my mom, hubby, sister in law and family, i would have fallen apart long ago.

    i guess my experience as a mom has been buffered by all the support and love i’ve been blessed with, and i can honestly say, that despite some long, rough days and nights, i’m still fairly positive about the experience.

    for me mothers day is about all the people around me who have raised my daughter with me/for me. like the adage: it takes a whole village to raise a child. grateful would be an understatement.

    sammie 2 years ago

    I don’t think you’re the dissenting voice at all. I think that we can have motherhood be the highlight of our lives AND still complain/vent/express sarcasm about our crazy journey.

Kayla Fitzpatrick 2 years ago

nodded so hard that I might need a collar for my whiplash.

Bobbi Rasmussen 2 years ago

that’s why tonight when I put the kids to bed, I said “be good and go to sleep, make me want to celebrate Mother’s Day tomorrow”…….I’ve been thinking about forgetting about the whole day because of their behavior recently…

Lydia Quinones 2 years ago

And add a husband who is at times clueless as to how to put away toys and get the kids settled down for bed …. 😉 love them all but this sucks at times and is not what I thought it would be.

Sara 2 years ago

It really does suck, ALOT. Its a thankless job but to me it is rewarding at the end of the day. Every smile, laugh, and little kiss that melts my heart is reward enough, at least I think it is. Not to mention the pride you feel at surviving and keeping the kids alive for another day, its something. Lol

    Raina 2 years ago

    “Not to mention the pride you feel at surviving and keeping the kids alive for another day…” Lol!! So true! :)

Brittany Ann 2 years ago

Why cant i share this from my obsolete phone?! God! I hate poverty…

Amy Kristensen 2 years ago

This was a gooder! Made my day.

Lisa Kostick 2 years ago

Survival…..that’s a good one….and it doesn’t stop when they’re grown.

Netty 2 years ago

Thank you! I have been feeling this way since giving birth (maybe even since conception) but have been ashamed to say it – since I am surrounded by those “oh motherhood is the hardest job but the most rewarding” types of women. You know – “enjoy it while they’re this little – time goes by so fast.” (puke)

Amber Knisley 2 years ago

Love my kids dearly but, it definitely isn’t how I pictured it. I love these pieces that remind you that you’re not the only one having these thoughts and struggles.

Janine 2 years ago

Holy Mary mother of God can I get an AMEN!! Thanks for saying the shit I only say to my best friend…over the phone…while being puked on…when I just need 2 fucking seconds to pee…and simultaneously stabbing a Capri sun with a straw that went in the wrong way ruining the whole damn juice receptical

Sarah B 2 years ago

Motherhood can suck, but fortunately my kid is a tiny, slightly more ridiculous version of myself, and I think I’m settling right in to my role as “Martyr”

Love this post!!

Heidi Dixon Nevarez 2 years ago

This is me!!! People want to hear how fun and rewarding it is and the truth is its bull shit. Lol…love this…and my children

Jill M 2 years ago

This sounds like what I was just saying earlier: I love being a parent, but I HATE parenting. The fights, the tantrums, the mess, the poopy diapers. My husband asked me a little while ago what I wanted for Mother’s Day, and I answered, “To be relieved of most of my Mommy duties for the day.” I’ll do hugs, snuggles, kisses, and all the good stuff, but I’d like to skip the crap for just one day.

Samantha Kilgore 2 years ago

This line, right here: “At failing, I am a giant success.”

Beth 2 years ago

I personally think it’s great. I was on a horrible life road before having my kid. The alternative to all the stress and crazy fun would be more than likely my death. It’s a beautiful mess and every day I’m thankful. I’m also a single parent who works and I think it would be amazing to have days with my kid at home

cristel 2 years ago

I love you! It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my happy/miserable life!

Jen 2 years ago

The best, worst job ever. :)

Chelley @ A is For Adelaide 2 years ago

As usual, DiChiappari nails it. …and she’s a kickass mom while doing it.


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