If I had known…


If I had known what sleep deprivation really felt like before I had kids…

If I had known the full measure of bodily fluids I’d have to clean up throughout my children’s childhoods…

If I had known how much the sound of “Mama? Mama? Mama?” could grate on my last nerve after hearing it for more than a decade…

If I had known that sometimes I’d take an extra long time on the toilet, just to have a few minutes to myself…

If I had known that those few stolen toilet moments would almost always be interrupted by tiny fists knocking on the door anyway…

If I had known how often I would have to repeat the same directions and corrections over and over and over and over…

If I had known that every “expert” remedy for whining, crying, moping, disobedience, disrespect, and laziness would be completely ineffectual half the time…

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If I had known that loving your children doesn’t mean liking them all the time…

If I had known that I would sometimes cry in the shower because there was no other place to vent alone…

If I had known that I’d be so “touched out” by the end of some days that the thought of getting busy with my husband would repulse me…

If I had known that I would never be able to truly, fully concentrate on anything ever again…

If I had known that it doesn’t get easier as they get older, just hard in different ways…

If I had known I would feel terrified almost every day that I am failing at motherhood in some way…

If I had known how truly unrelenting parenting was going to be…

I would have had my children anyway.

Because if I hadn’t…

I wouldn’t know how miraculous it feels to have a human being grow from a tiny speck to an entire person inside your own body.

I wouldn’t know that the smell of a newborn’s head is the best evidence that there’s a heaven.

I wouldn’t know the magic of having a baby fall asleep in your arms and never wanting to put them down.

I wouldn’t know the unmatchable thrill of watching your child walk, use the potty, ride a bike, or read a whole book for the first time.

I wouldn’t know how the sound of your child’s laughter can lighten even the heaviest of days.

I wouldn’t know how an innocent, wide-eyed stare can melt you right through the floor.

I wouldn’t know how awesome it is to witness the daily, gradual unfolding of a person you helped bring into the world.

I wouldn’t know the pride of seeing your children navigate difficult situations using the tools and qualities you’ve helped instill in them.

I wouldn’t know how much pure, unbridled joy there could be in seeing your children triumph.

I wouldn’t know how much unexpected, humbling grace there could be in the constant struggle of trying to be a better parent.

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I wouldn’t know how the act of parenting your own kids can help heal your own childhood hurts.

I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.

I wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved.

I wouldn’t know the raw, fierce power of loving as only a mother can love.

And I wouldn’t know that the pain and pitfalls of the path are ultimately outweighed by beauty, joy, and wonder of the journey.

If I had known what motherhood really was like, I’d have done it all over again.

(I’d just have slept more when I had the chance.)

Related post: Motherhood Is…

About the writer

Annie Reneau writes about motherhood and other hilariously beautiful things on her blog, Motherhood and More. Last year, she convinced her husband and three kids to live as nomads around the U.S., which was every bit as crazy and amazing as it sounds. She uses her Facebook page as therapy and has finally joined the cool kids on Twitter

From Around the Web


Jill 3 months ago

If I had known how many tears I would shed for my adult child…

Dani Elyce 3 months ago

Thank you … Sometimes I overlook the latter

Susan Wisniewski Zurek 6 months ago

The truth, every word of it!

Brigitt Dilisio 6 months ago

Beautifully written ❤️

Evonnah 6 months ago

So beautiful , thank you

Liz Milne 6 months ago

Really nice to see an article that balances the trials of motherhood with the absolute joy.

Elisa Carnevale 6 months ago


Ana Drilea 6 months ago


Liz Scheer 6 months ago

Ditto Dawn! Thank you Sarah <3

April Bain 6 months ago

Beautiful. And so true!

Jessica Mendoza 6 months ago

Pretty much explains my fears and joys from day to day. Love it!

Hope Kelly 6 months ago

I just thought it was sweet & you’d like to know you’re not alone!

Kathleen Papadopoulos Hatcher 6 months ago

Yes my friend it is ALL WORTH IT! May God bless me to know when…I am blessed

Kristina Henderson 6 months ago

Yes! I feel completely lost in motherhood right now. It’s relentless.

Dawn Mathis 6 months ago

Made me cry. Of course.

Kathryn Eckert 6 months ago

I love this…

Heather Gardner Chambers 6 months ago

Couldn’t have said it better!

Jennie Stolzenberg 6 months ago

Perfectly said

Ana Rebelo Daley 6 months ago

❤️❤️❤️ this!

Diane Jones Bono 6 months ago

Ps mother of teenagers! I do love them!! Lol

Diane Jones Bono 6 months ago

Better that we dont know
We would have to be crazy to sign on for this!!

Bonnie Mallard Pearson 6 months ago


Molly K Armbruster 6 months ago

I am crying because I just laid my 4 month old to sleep and was feeding him and smelling his head, feeling his soft spot which will soon dissappear. This is so true. Every sentence.

Ellie Humphris 6 months ago

Beautiful article! Perfectly said!

Shannon Lee 6 months ago


Jennifer Friedman 6 months ago

Yep. This is perfect.

Diana Anzola 6 months ago


Sage Ryan 6 months ago


Stephanie Stach 6 months ago

This is awesome!

Jeanne Brooks 6 months ago


Nicole Borowsky 6 months ago

How true!

Amber N. Gatts 6 months ago

All of them. Love!

Tiffany Donaldson 6 months ago

Yes. Just. Yes.

Tammi Cosmos-Mendes 6 months ago

Amy Lehmann Sklare 6 months ago

Completely agree

Amber Lynn Blosfield 6 months ago

I Love this♡♡♡

Anum Hicks 6 months ago

Love this! ❤️ beautiful article!

gemma 6 months ago

Nailed it, thank you xx

Jeannette 6 months ago

This is the best definition for “mother”! Thanks for the beautiful words you may me felt that I’m not the only one.

XO 7 months ago

That wasn’t scary, that was lovely! ♡

Andrea 7 months ago

I needed this!! Thank you!

savannah 7 months ago

If I had known I would lose my daughter before she reached 5 months I would do it again. The love we had is worth the pain.

Amy 8 months ago

I love this. Beautifully said. I love being a mom…even on days when I dislike the overwhelming responsibilities of parenting.

Alysia 9 months ago

I am so glad you said all of this.. I’m only 16, but I think a lot more than most people. And I hurt sometimes thinking about my parents wondering how it would be if my brothers and I weren’t around.. I know we drive my mom nuts, and I wish it weren’t that way. But I’m trying.. Hearing a mother of so many say this makes me feel so warm inside.. I love this so much more than words can express.
Thank you, JustMe!! <3

Lisa Bridger 9 months ago


Vance E. Howell 9 months ago

Could finish reading it… Made me cry… E

Estelle Daw 9 months ago

So very very true!!! Mumma warren, amazing. You rock. X

Aya Kimura 9 months ago


Tania Carfa Tarshishi 9 months ago

Beautiful. I needed this. Had a good day but challenging week so far

Julia Sullivan 9 months ago

Great article. I really needed to read these words today. And totally agree; i would have slept more when I had the chance! Lol

Matthew Dudek 9 months ago

Loved this, I think it’s finally a post with no nasty comments!! That is DEFINITELY something to be thankful for, as well! Our children are worth any and every not-so-perfect moment! Happy Thanksgiving, you guys!!

Erica Bedacht Snyder 9 months ago

Freakin AWESOME!!

Marlene Ponce 9 months ago

Summed up perfectly on this thankful day! :’)

Life With Teens & Other Wild Things 9 months ago

Yep. If I’d known… I would still do it all over again.


Kendra Rodriguez 9 months ago


Rebekah Mitchell 9 months ago

Beautiful! Made me tear up

Connie Lilley 9 months ago

Just beautiful. I still miss the sound of little ones running through the house. Dirty as they were, I always enjoyed it. You have lots to look forward to Lacy DeBruyn.

Elizabeth White Bauer 9 months ago

Crying! So true! Thankful everyday for our little guy!!

Holly Fisher Register 9 months ago

This is absolutely perfect!!!!

Jodi Janae Blagg 9 months ago

Gorgeous! I’d do it all a million times over for my beautiful boy!

Kellie Hoffmeister 9 months ago


Kathleen Linz 9 months ago

Scary Mommy never lets me down!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Laura King 9 months ago

happy thanksgiviing!

Monica Sanchez 9 months ago
Carrie Ann Perez 9 months ago

Don’t forget the way your babies look at you with pure love. You are there everything. True love in its purest form. ♡

Kristyn Zak 9 months ago

I love this! (& made me cry :) (new mommy of a 3 month old, I really get the sleep deprivation right now lol)

Staci Batdorff- Miller 9 months ago

Really like this one!

Katrina A Timothee 9 months ago

So so beautiful

Theresa Goheens 9 months ago


Adrianne Ward Burney 9 months ago

Get those damned onions out of here!

Sarah Hogan 9 months ago

It’s true! And don’t forget allthekisses!!!!

Sara Dubeau 9 months ago

Love this :)

Cecily 9 months ago

Yes yes yes!!!

Jori White Ruff 9 months ago

So true

Krystal Ramos Barnes 9 months ago

Beautiful !!…

Traci Blair 9 months ago

Love this one!!

Nwanne Casey 9 months ago

Perfectly written ❤

te 9 months ago

Love this!!!

Christine Segovia 9 months ago


MomOf3 9 months ago

I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time, Amanda! I felt the same way for the first few years of my oldest child’s life. (And still do, quite often). Hang in there, I hope things get better for you! It shows how much you care about your child/ren that you worry so much about failing.

JustMe, you’re awesome! Your nieces are very blessed to have you and your family.

Slender, what a despicable thing to say. Shame on your parents for not teaching you any manners.

Shelby Hart 9 months ago

Right, 8 am and I should be enjoying that I actually feel awake while my child is still asleep, and instead I’m crying my hormonal eyes out.

Megan Dalecky 9 months ago

Love love this!!

Alison Gallagher 9 months ago

sniffing. .

Ashley Roberts 9 months ago

Absolutely love it! <3

Scarlett Dunham Lewis 9 months ago


Dot Whited McCumsey 9 months ago

Damn onions.

Heather 9 months ago

You nail it on the head, every time! Thank you!!!

Michelle 11 months ago


sj 1 year ago

I needed this today. My toddler is always on the go and today’s been rough as I’m unwell. He’s a pain in the button but god love him he’s my little blessing, thanks for reminding me x

Kristi Larson 1 year ago

This one touched my heart!

Bobbie Anna McHaney Hasty 1 year ago

This is just beautiful…..blessed to be a part of my children, grands and great grands lives….

Deb Yates 1 year ago

Love, love, love this article. I am so happy to be a mother and a grandmother.

Kari Mitchener 1 year ago

Every phase of raising a child is amazing…..when you see them with their own child….that is a reward that is priceless!

Lynn Hicks 1 year ago

All true

Amanda Moffett 1 year ago

This made me tear up…

Connie Schnicke 1 year ago

You’d still be a mom!! :-) Enjoy, they grow up fast!

Sheryl 1 year ago

Your blog just totally made me cry! I love this post! 27 weeks pregnant right now and although i dont know all of the other things, you brought up growing a human inside you and most days i just sit there crying because it is just so amazing to me that my little man is right there. growing and staying safe inside me. And even though this pregnancy has totally sucked I know it will all be worth it because i am already so in love with him!

Cyndi Bishop-Seymour 1 year ago


Dan Minick 1 year ago

How true it is Nat. Glad you could experience the blessings God gives.

Kristin Seery Mooring 1 year ago

Love this!!!

Debra Washburn-Gabrielson 1 year ago

Thanks for making me cry!

Ellie 1 year ago

They only thing is do differently is starting sooner. Beautiful post <3

Rachel Mansell 1 year ago

I miss my sleep….but so the truth! :)

Nicole Challans Pettis 1 year ago


Tanya Louise Pond 1 year ago

And its f…ing dirty!!

Maria Wren 1 year ago

I wouldn’t of know the joy of seeing her swim for this first time …so true.

Maria K Castro 1 year ago

Ha Ha so worth it! Mamma Bears have a big job of keeping both Pappa Bear and the Babies happy. No matter what age they are!!!

Sarah Wuerfel 1 year ago

This is absolutely perfect.

Jennifer Stanley Booth 1 year ago

True, toughest job we’ll ever love.

Valerie Block 1 year ago

So totally true!

Andrea Medina 1 year ago

Just beautiful

Sandy 1 year ago

About those extra-long bathroom visits — if you’re a fast reader you can easily go through entire books by reading a few pages or a chapter at a time. It may take longer, but if you love to read this is one way to still enjoy a daily escape.

Nancy O’Brien 1 year ago

Omg I couldn’t even finish reading this

Tracy Smith 1 year ago


Melissa Jackson 1 year ago

I think we all have different ideas & expectations as to what motherhood would be like. You look happy & that little child in your arms, adoring you with a smile on his face is pretty worth it, don’t ya think? ♡

Beta Patterson 1 year ago

We had such a rough week! Feels so good to dont be the only one having this rollercoaster of feelings and emotions!

Barbara 1 year ago

I couldn’t have said it better, brighter or more beautiful(er) myself.
Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Melissa Jackson 1 year ago

Judging by those smiles in your profile picture, id say you were meant to be a mom & doing a great job. I haven’t read the article to be honest. Guess I need to. I have a feeling ill share your same opinion lol. But because we think differently, we MUST have something wrong with us & need help. 😉

Jacie Trudeau 1 year ago

Would you consider contacting someone about your feelings? Sounds like you may need some help. There are community services that could help take the stress off of you.

Jessica Wren Mitchell 1 year ago

Yep I was near tears by the end! Love!

Jenn Galbraith 1 year ago

Beautiful and true

Rachel Fiorio Jamison 1 year ago

Beautiful, honest and real. Only mothers can truly appreciate the toll motherhood takes on every aspect of your life. But yes it is all worth it to see that smile or hear that laugh. Because those smiles and those laughs are like no other you have heard before. They bring a striking sense of joy, amazement and sometimes pride. Love on mommies. Love on.

Annie Niedzwiecki 1 year ago


Rebecca Lange Pacheco 1 year ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE This….<3 <3 <3

Rhea Del 1 year ago

So true ❤️

Kat Cross 1 year ago

After reading through the comments i guess I AM the only one who thinks none of those things make motherhood worth it…or maybe I’m just the only one willing to say it.

Kat Cross 1 year ago

Maybe I’m the only one anywhere who thinks this, but I’m sorry, none of those “upsides” make up for the constant stream of shit and stress. Like come on, a little smile doesn’t make any of that go away.
I know, I’m not meant to be a mom. Tell me something I don’t know…

Kathy Kaupu Medley 1 year ago

Absolutely beautiful and true.

Katherine Lindquist Roy 1 year ago


Susana Arias 1 year ago

Lo ame!!! Es demasiado!! Llore y llore!!!

Judith Hargis 1 year ago

Got lost in my tears

Katie Thomas 1 year ago

Love it ty

Julie Donley-Peno 1 year ago

Love this.

Why, Mommy? 1 year ago

<3 Beautiful <3

Stacy 1 year ago

Thank you for the reminder…

JD Katsonis 1 year ago

This is me.

Kristin 1 year ago

Goodness gracious. I don’t know you but I love you. Thank you.

Grissell Churchill 1 year ago

Reading this while feeding my 6 week old at 2:46am… <3 I’m just enyoing the smell of his head now… Heaven does exist <3

Wendy Taylor Gonzales 1 year ago


Marcy 1 year ago

Simply beautiful, thank-you.

Cori Leese 1 year ago

I needed to read this today! Love it.

Beth Bullock 1 year ago

“I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.

I wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved.

I wouldn’t know the raw, fierce power of loving as only a mother can love.

And I wouldn’t know that the pain and pitfalls of the path are ultimately outweighed by beauty, joy, and wonder of the journey. ”

All of this. Thank you. Thank you.

Leah Valentini Latour 1 year ago

Love this.

Catrina Nesser 1 year ago


Joyan Talbot 1 year ago

Lol!!! So true!!

Gina Paponetti 1 year ago

Very true! Mommy hood is a blessing!

Jasmine James 1 year ago

Yes yes yes yes

Crystal Bryant Harrell 1 year ago

Love this!!

Holly Robbins-Gorton 1 year ago

“I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.” I love this line -thank you

Amy Pullifrone 1 year ago

Love this

Heather Bowden 1 year ago

I read this while The hubs was getting gas during a date night nearly started crying in the car in the gas station parking lot

Julie Ann Dick 1 year ago

Well said ♡

Kimberly Carron Hayes 1 year ago

beautifully said

Jennifer Bandy 1 year ago

Beautiful- I enjoyed this :)

Elizabeth Garza 1 year ago

Well said.

Cole T. 1 year ago


Betsy Argentieri 1 year ago

That was so sweet, and now I know my love of newborn “funk” isn’t that weird lol

Dolores Bonnett 1 year ago

This is spectacular

Sherry Lloyd Willsey 1 year ago

Yes and Amen….

Stacey Endsley Thompson 1 year ago

Love love love this!

Erica Pearson 1 year ago


Celeste Eneriz Neira 1 year ago

Just what I needed to read right now. Thanks!

Shannon Butler Shattuck 1 year ago

Still trying to catch up 20 years later! LOL

Megan Tisone 1 year ago

Beautifully written 😉

Liz Olivier 1 year ago

I needed to read this today. Thank you.

Heatherjean Horgan 1 year ago


Amanda Donald 1 year ago


Sara Carter Lively 1 year ago

So true!!

Haley MacDonald 1 year ago

Love it!

Melissa 1 year ago


Melissa 1 year ago

Thank you for such an honest glimpse of your life, JustMe! You are amazing.

Elizabeth Pfaff-Gordon 1 year ago

And I wouldn’t have known how much more I could love my partner in this whole, insane journey! I am a lucky woman.

Margie Miller Feldman 1 year ago

The most wonderful feelings in the world can come from the love you share with your child

Sandi Marbach 1 year ago


Katarzyna Leszczyńska-Waligórska 1 year ago

i wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved …..

Roxy 1 year ago

in the long run, will hopefully live to see all our hard-work and sacrifice allbe worth it when they become successful adults. My dad I know is proud of me, amd so is my stepmom, and for some reason, I hope my mom is too, wherever she may be. I’ve taken on a major role by becoming a mom. I did things backwards in that I still have yet to get married and am slowly starting to make things happen in my career. But I am happy. I have a family and there is absolutely no place I would rather be than in my chaotic, but loving, home.

Roxy 1 year ago

I remember when I was in high school I said I wanted 5 kids – all boys. Only because as a teenager (and the only girl in the family), I was a headache for my dad. All the gray hairs he has are because of me, no doubt. I also knew that I didn’t want kids until I had my career going. But in reality, I knew I wanted kids for the sole reason that I wanted to give someone else the one thing I always wanted – a mother.

My dad was a single parent for the better part of my childhood. When my stepmom came in the picture, I was 12yo and pretty much set in my ways. Inwas a stubborn little girl who felt I was owed the world since the one person who is supposed to hold everything together (my mom) abondoned her family. To this day, it’s a wonder how my stepmom put up with me. Anyway, to say I always wanted to be a mother, would be a lie. I wanted kids but never thought too much about it. I didn’t even want to get married!

When I got pregnant for the first time, I was a nervous wreck. I was lucky that I had the unconditional support from my family, but I still felt alone. When my daughter was born, I was overcome with such an emotion I never felt before I even started to cry! I didn’t know I what I was getting myself into! I have to admit, that first year was easy. Either that or motherhood came real natural to me. But ever since she turned one year old, it’s been difficult. She’s four years old but acts much older.

I now have four kids all under the age of five. It’s overwhelming and sometimes it seems impossible to get anything done. I stay up late at night going over my to do lists for the next day only for that to go out the window because something else comes up the next morning. I like to take control of tninhs. I like things planned and set. With kids, none of that is possible. I’ve lost a lot of friends because I can’t just hang out anymore.

I lobe my babies more than anything in the world. My walls are scribbled on, I have no social life, my hair is never done, my face is never made-up, my drawers are empty due to neber buying myself any clothes and there’s always crying in my house. But I love it. My four year old already has a mouth on her and is not afraid to tell me how she feels. It hurts me when she says she would rather live with her dad, it makes me me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I was never the patient kind, but I have been tested far too many times now and I’ve kept my cool. My sanity is long gone but I conceal it with my calmness 😉

Raising kids is undoubtedly the most exhausting job in the world. Notning could be so overwhelming, confusing and emotional. But because of that, nothing can make you feel as joyous as seeing the beautiful smiles on your kids face. I’m one happy and lucky woman. My biggest concern coming into motherhood was making the mistake my mother made. I’m not judging her, Lord knows she was fighting some demons, and I am just getting started, but to know that I am raising these kids on my own (well, with their dad of course), I don’t drop them off at my parents’ so I can hang out with friends, I – we –

Amber Needham 1 year ago


Leanne Chow Kranenburg 1 year ago


Lydia Quinones 1 year ago

Amen. So true.

Leah Pallenik 1 year ago

Double….no triple like!!!

Lauren Fish-Brown 1 year ago

Love love love!

Kelley Swiler Schellstede 1 year ago

So true.

Evangelia Nicolodimos 1 year ago

Love this <3

Mahnaz Anwar 1 year ago

My favorite blog

Amanda Johnson 1 year ago

Little tear jerker this one, a lovely read :)

Amy Hollis Kantz 1 year ago

So true! So great!

Shelly Edwards 1 year ago

“I wouldn’t know how the sound of your child’s laughter can lighten even the heaviest of days.”

Patti Steele 1 year ago

One of my favorites, too.

Jackie Miller 1 year ago

So well written and true

Steph Lane 1 year ago

This is so true. If I had known how shitty pregnancy was going to be, how excruciating labor was going to be, that it would have taken doctors 5 weeks to figure out that the reason my son was crying nonstop was because he was lactose intolerant, how broke I would be, and how truly frustrated I would be on a daily basis for one thing or another, I would definitely still do it again. I don’t know if I will ACTUALLY do it again but seeing my son smile at me with his big olé gummy grin reminds me where the sun rises and sets now.

Susan Black 1 year ago

Lisa Tyler- welcome to Motherhood!

Diana Rojas de Ibáñez 1 year ago

de los mejores que he leido… and yes, i would do it all over again 😀

Cindy Lambrecht 1 year ago

This pretty much tells it all. It is really hard to appreciate it when you are in the midst of it, but as you grow older and your kids become amazing adults, you know that it all meant more than you could have ever imagined. It is a huge part of how I measure the value of my life. Thanks, kids!

Susie 1 year ago

You rule, JustMe!

Lynn DePalma 1 year ago

Following an excpetionally tough morning as a mom, this post couldn’t be more timely….or true!

Alison Melton 1 year ago

Spot on

Jennifer Dienes 1 year ago

This is sweet ♡

Jessica Sato 1 year ago

Always a favorite of mine too

Michelle Whitaker Pearson 1 year ago


Emoree Ullery 1 year ago

Perfect! Even put “dad” in there. Right Jerome?

Jacque Moffitt 1 year ago


Shana Martin 1 year ago

Beautiful. I feel the same way.

Lindsay Faulkner 1 year ago

Right now, if I could change one thing, it’d be the power to make babies magically be born with a full set of teeth. I related to EVERY BIT of this

Becky De La Fuente 1 year ago

You took the words right out of my mouth!

Vera Morgan Chitwood 1 year ago


Clare Slatford 1 year ago

So lovely :-)

Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense 1 year ago

Yep. This has always been one of my favorites, too. <3

Kelly Nicole Schumacher 1 year ago

I love this. Thank you.

Ingrid Walerius 1 year ago

Oh my gosh; love this! So true, wouldn’t change one thing

JoAnne Dietrich 1 year ago

It gets easier as the get older.

Kmouhot09 1 year ago

I am 99% with that entire article. Except the part about how ‘miraculous’ having a tiny person grows in you feels. Is it miraculous? Absolutely, your body is using it’s own resources and even producing new ones to germinate a human being, that shit is super human. But it is fact, not feeling. Just speaking for myself, between the back aches, the morning sickness, the dizziness, the all new aches in places that aren’t decent to mention, the feeling of not having enough skin to stretch over my body, and of course the lovely mood swings…being pregnant sucked and was totally worth it when I held my daughter for the first time.

Jamie Bartley 2 years ago

this awesome so true and heartwarming. Typing this while holding a sleeping three year old.

Melanie 2 years ago

Oh my heart needed this today… Thank you so much for writing it :)

Alyssa 2 years ago


Equality for the Ladies 2 years ago

And when people know all of those things are going to happen and they choose NOT to have children, it’s okay too. Happiness for Mommies and happiness for the childfree!

Carol Lynn Edwards 2 years ago


ligtenup 2 years ago

I’m an expecting father, so I haven’t gone through any of this yet (especially the little tiny human growing inside of me) but dammit if it isn’t good to get real insight like this. I literally woke up this morning and thought to myself, “I think I’m tired now… shpshh…”

Thanks for sharing Annie, and stop by and check out my writings if you have a chance at http://www.thescareddad.com

BBakeca 2 years ago

Beautiful! I love it!

Kanisha Coulibaly 2 years ago

I love this… because every single point is 100% true!

Eric@thatdarneddad.com 2 years ago

This was a great post. Although I missed a lot when I was working, I can relate now that I am home full time.

Susie Morgan 2 years ago

Just like every mum then

Melinda Hogan Potosky 2 years ago

The best part is when your baby gives birth. There is nothing sweeter than your first grandchild. And, the ones that come after are the blessings bestowed upon you for being a parent and surviving. lol

Laura Smith Borrman 2 years ago

So sweet and so right on, Annie. Thanks for the lovely piece.

Maureen Bendle 2 years ago

I read this minutes,after receiving a picture from my daughter who has just had a scan of my first grandchild. 26years down the line ladies, enjoy those moments.. Our children keep on giving us sleepless nights but i wouldnt sawp them for any riches.

Vonda Sue Bailey 2 years ago

The only really hard part is having to let them go on to be with the Lord before you and having to wait to hold them again!

Sharon Todd Copperthite 2 years ago

This is so beautiful and so true. I would have never believed in my younger child bearing years I would have become a mom to my 3rd child at 50!
My family is now complete and undeniably blessed by adoption.
Thank you to our Lord Jesus Christ to have trusted and loved us so much to place our beautiful daughter in our lives forever.

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

We are women! Yes! And we all have to make ourselves put on our big girls panties sometimes. So much truth here. :)

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

Lizzi, thank you for this comment. I remember feeling as I wrote out the first part of this post that moms who had lost children or couldn’t have them might be put off by those sentiments. I decided it didn’t make them any less true, but it’s nice to hear positive feedback from someone in that boat. (Hug)

JustMe 2 years ago

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Lynn!

JustMe 2 years ago

I have five sons. I purposely had them 6, 5, 7, and then 2 years apart because I wanted adequate time with each and every one of them before starting school (the one who is 2 years apart was because I was getting older and wanted to try “one more time” for that girl. lol) At any rate, I suddenly found myself with two little girls, a 10-year-old and a 5-day-old. They are my nieces who were removed from their parents’ care, and we will now be adopting them.

My sons are now 22, 17, 11, 3, and 1 – the one little girl who was 10 just turned 11, and then of course there is the newborn who is now 5 months old. Both kids have issues. The older girl has behavioral and social issues that are attributed to some type of high functioning autism, and the infant has jerking motions which may be seizures (she’s being evaluated still), and she is behind on her milestones a bit. The older niece causes a great deal of stress in our home, and a great deal of tension between my husband and I…a GREAT DEAL! It’s okay, though, because my husband is awesome…well mostly. lol He has loved me relentlessly for 24 years, and we will get through this.

With that being said, I have experienced every bit of what was written, both the negative and the positive. By the end of the day, I just want to crawl in my bed and sleep, but I can’t. I have to clean up the day’s mess, I have to prepare the kids’ clothing for the next day, I have to change diapers and then get babies back to sleep, etc. I just told my husband I needed a “%#$%#! break, a real break, not just a few hours. I need one full night of sleep without a baby crying or any other interruptions…just one good break! I want one day where I’m not making one child happy, only to hear another screaming for something two minutes later…and this goes on and on, day in and day out! I am exhausted beyond belief. I do nothing for myself – my hair is shit, my nails are shit, my clothes are shit, and I’m lucky if they give me the time to take a shit! My showers are quick…hold on, baby screaming…brb!

Anyway, I struggle to remember everything…appointments, paying bills on time, adding lunch money to my kids’ accounts, picking up stuff they keep reminding me they need, taking out something from the fridge for dinner, etc. When friends call me, it’s always a short call because they hear all the kids in the background screaming and don’t want to hear it. I actually have no friends face to face – just friends who call from time to time or say hello to me on Facebook. I have maybe 20 minutes of adult interaction with my husband each night. That’s the extent of my social life.

I struggle with work and getting it done on time, or just getting it done period (I work from home as a medical transcriptionist). I struggle with everything! Nothing is easy…NOTHING! I can’t do anything at all without being interrupted…ever! ha! My 3-year-old is messing with me right now. He’s purposely turning the lights on and off in the dining room to get my attention…I swear this kid never sleeps!!! Good grief kid, “just go the fuck to sleep!!!” Love that book…

Sometimes I cry in the shower because I feel like I am failing both of my nieces because I cannot “fix them” completely no matter how hard I try. I feel I am failing my own children because I am spending so much time with my nieces. I am so tired some days that I truly think to myself, “I cannot do this anymore.” I think of the story where the man went out for a loaf of bread and just never came back! I then put my big girl pants on and get to it! I get frustrated when things do not go right or as planned, I get anxiety when my house gets too messy, and I get overwhelmed when all of them are barking at my knees at once. I stress over little things, really flip out over big things, and most days I think I suck at being a parent.

However, I then look at my 22-year-old who is a pharmacy student and doing great. I see my 17-year-old take initiative and do things on his own without me having to hound him, I see my 11-year-old come up to me and say, “is there something I can help with, mom…I know you are stressing and need some help.” I see my 3-year-old put together his blocks, colors, and ABCs puzzles with pride, I see my 1-year-old saying words and beginning to understand more, and I see my two beautiful nieces improving due to all of my hard work with them, I see them all smiling and playing, I hear their laughter that lifts my spirits, I feel them hugging me (all at once sometimes lol) and it washes away all the exhaustion and “fed-up’ness!” I see how much they need me to be strong for them, I see their beautiful eyes looking at me with love, and their sweet smiles reacting to me letting me know they are happy, and after reading this I think, HELL YES, I would do this over again in a heartbeat. I can assure you that the day will come too soon where I am weeping because all of my children are grown and gone…and I do not look forward to that day at all! It’s probably going to kill me, literally!

I don’t know your personal situation, but if I can do what I do, surely you can, too. We are women. We were built to be tough, loving, nourishing, and all the other great attributes only a good mother can have. God intended it that way…we aren’t perfect, nooooo, not at all; but we are pretty bad ass and manage to get ‘er done. Good luck to you. I’m sure you didn’t really mean it…you’re a mom, and we all have really bad days that make us say things we don’t mean 😉

Lizzi Rogers 2 years ago

And if you'd ever known the awful, profound agony of double miscarriage followed (soon) by medically induced infertility…you'd be as glad as I am right now, that you ended this article so perfectly. Thank you.

Lisa Dickson Simmons 2 years ago

You might like my book "I would Have Said Yes" or my "mom songs" at reverbnation.com/greasingtheskids Especially "Daddy's Home" and "Part of Their World".

Betty Vaughan 2 years ago

you are a fantastic mom–xxxx

Ginger Burns Plaisance 2 years ago

I'm a first time mom at 37. This is so, so beautiful. Thanks for the tear-fest that perfectly expresses everything about why I wanted to be a mommy. It is hard, really hard sometimes, but it is the most amazing thing I have ever known. Thank you.

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

Thanks, Sharon. I think you’re fab, too. :)

Sherry 2 years ago

You are spot on in every way. Our daughters are now grown, and are parents of their own precious babies. Our efforts were worth it, as we behold how our own are raising their own. They are pointing them to Christ, and guiding them with Biblical teachings. And I had the privilege of leading the first granddaughter to Christ, as she asked me to pray with her!! Bless you for being transparent and open, and may it inspire parents to ROCK those babies, and remember, that, unfortunately, “this, too, shall pass.”

Lucinda Broadard 2 years ago

I know exactly what you mean and I felt right there in your precious moment. My Granddaughter absolutely is a blessing that overwhelms my love, pride and contentment. My Father recently passed away but you brought me back to his obvious joy when he held his Great Granddaughter. We are truly Blessed. Merry Christmas Sir.

S C Brown 2 years ago

Love this post. As a 62 yr old mother of two and grandmother of three, I say Amen! The joys of motherhood far outweigh the frustrations. You can sleep when the kids go off to college. When the nest is empty you will have plenty of time for yourself.

Trilla Martin 2 years ago

we all feel this way.hang in girls.

Cynthia Brown Paul 2 years ago

And your child now knowing bring a renewed and deeper love for her as my child and me as her forever Mother

Aileen Stephenson 2 years ago

I watched a show where they interviewed moms and their kids separately. First the moms answered questions about the rating score they would give themselves. Many of the moms broke down, tears streaming down their cheeks. Words like '"failure, terrible, too busy, letting my kids down"'. They then asked the kids to rate their moms. Words like "loving, pretty, helper, reads stories, loves me, takes great
care of me, she is my friend, a good cook, funny, silly and I love her" So keep your chin up! You may want to ask your kids what they think of you! You cared enough to write here and you care about how you are doing. Logically you do care for your kids well. Keep trying and go easy on yourself!

Rachael Van De Straat 2 years ago

So beautiful ♥

Rachael Van De Straat 2 years ago

Oh Wow! this is do beautiful ♥

Judith from Secrets of the Sandpit 2 years ago

So well put! I was going to say I’d do it all again, but if you asked me to have another baby I’d run away screaming. Maybe I should say: I don’t regret a second of it and they are totally worth it.

Sara Smith 2 years ago


Michele Lynn 2 years ago

I give moms so much credit !!! I could never do it and would never want to! I love my independence too much. I love enjoying other people's kids and then leaving :)

Charles Williams 2 years ago

Just yesterday I got. To hold my precious little great grand baby in my arms while she slept and I sat with tears running down my face just thinking of all,the beautiful memories of each and everyone I that I had and thinking each one was a blessing

Bobbie Halstead 2 years ago

Nothing has ever made me more afraid and yet more brave more humble and yet more proud than being a mom bobbie

Linda Macleod 2 years ago

Brilliant observation,and spot on.wouldnt be without them.

Marilyn Miller Mason 2 years ago

This is beautiful & if you are or are thinking about becoming a Mother these are true facts, I am now a Mother of 2 lovely women & Grandmother to 5 fabulous grandchildren. I am 68 & help part time with my grandchildren's childcare there are still occasional days I long to be on a deserted beach :). Being a Mother is not for wimps, it is the hardest job you will ever do, you will make many mistakes, you are human but I've found it's a good thing to put a pretend scale in your head & say OK I screwed this up but what did I do right today. The good will always win because your heart is filled with love for that little bundle of joy throwing chocolate milk into the fan, "just to see what it would do"(my youngest daughter) . Everyone talks about the terrible teen years, teens are wonderful if they have your love & attention, just remember to ask your child everyday "what interesting things happened in your day?" & listen to their answers. Know where they are & what they are doing, they expect you to care enough to know. Budget for a sitter, an evening out refreshes you & the hubby. I can't imagine not knowing the feeling/rewards of being a Mother from their 1st smile to forever, & the grandchildren, they are the reward we receive for all that hard work :) You really do get to have all the fun then send them home :) Hang in there ladies I promise you it will get better & the time you & your husband will have after you shuffle them off to college/marriage can be the best time of "YOUR" life. That time is for you, you have earned it. PS I need to add this because it is important. NEVER hit your children/grandchildren we feel, as does the American Association of Pediatrics, all that teaches is fear of you, it does not teach a lesson they can apply to behave better. "don't hit your sister or I will hit you" does not teach a child to not hit. Children copy what they see & they trust you to show them what's right, hitting them is not right. As long as we are legally permitted to hit our children in the US there will ALWAYS be someone who hits too hard, too often in the name of discipline. We are now on the very short list of countries who still permit anyone to hit children & the teens of the US have the worse recorded behavior in the world. There are better ways to teach, ask your pediatrician or look it up on the internet.

Shauntal Coryatt 2 years ago

Awww!! :-)

Michael Olivotto 2 years ago

You have successfully defined the entire status of being MOM.
I loved reading every word as it brought back memories of learning to be a parent. This includes learning to appreciate the world through the eyes of a child. Yes it is a lot of work but worth every minute. Minutes that you will never experience again as the minutes fly by.
Good job MOM.

rebecca at thisfineday 2 years ago

Truth. :-)

Judy Gregory 2 years ago

Yep, you said it. I am the parent and Annie is the child.

Sandra Ash 2 years ago

And you will find out that someday your relationship with your child is absolutely priceless and a gift from God! Living it right now:)

Pat Harrelson 2 years ago

*liked Stupid phone!!

Pat Harrelson 2 years ago

Iced this too!!

Joe Zarrillo 2 years ago

I know when people say to you these are the best years of your life. It's hard to believe till you get older.

Liz S. 2 years ago

Beautifully written ….you took the words right out of my mouth 😉

Lynn 2 years ago

It’s better that we don’t know before we become parents! There are plenty of words to describe the horror, but not words enough to describe the joy.

kristen Brakeman 2 years ago

Very sweet – I feel the same way.

Kat 2 years ago

So very beautiful and so very true :)

Nichole 2 years ago

Thank you…I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed this today. I love my son more than anything and don’t regret a thing. I just all of a sudden feel like I don’t know who I am anymore and am trying to be a wife, mom, nurse and many more things..all while trying not to screw up my kid! I know sometimes I will do things wrong, and other times I will do things right. I’m hoping I do more right than wrong. Thanks again for this, it is beautiful!

Coni Soliday 2 years ago

Love this!

Samantha Theriaque 2 years ago

Absolutely :) <3 this!

Sharon Jacksack 2 years ago

Spot on Annie. Of course you are fab! And I totally get the more sleep part.

Wait Til the kids are driving – that’s a whole new level of worry.

The day that your SECOND daughter gets a boy to ask for her number – it seems normal and expected when it’s the first, but the second came out of the blue like a thunderbolt.

There are so many awesome moments coming in the teen years. Something for you to look forward to!

Michelle Padgett 2 years ago

Thanks for this. Sometimes I question myself. I take the extra time on the toilet and bawl in the shower ALL the time. My patience is thin some days and wonder if I am making the right decisions. It’s so hard but I wanted more than anything to be a mom and never thought it was going to happen for me. My daughter’s father didn’t feel the same and so I have gone through pregnancy and her entire 5 years as a single mom. It’s amazing to watch her grow and do new things every day! But I am scared I will ruin her cause I only get one shot to get this whole thing right! and there is only ME! WOW love this post. I think I’ll be printing it out and posting it to the fridge and by the bathroom mirror! THANKS!!

Sharon A. Roth 2 years ago

And, you wouldn't know the unspeakable joy of watching your child become a parent…

Mary Schneider 2 years ago

How old are your kiddos? Because… It does get easier. I promise. Yep, even in the teen years, it's tough. Mine are 17 and 13 and it's still hard… but as she said, it's hard in different ways. Each stage has its own challenges.

If you CARE if you're failing… you're not failing. You'll make mistakes. We ALL make mistakes. Trust and believe me when I say, I have probably effed my kids up. Seriously. They're both seeing counselors. (I have PTSD. It HAS affected my kids. How could it not?) But they know that they are loved beyond all reason, and I do see glimmers of hope, that even as screwed up as things get, they are good kids and they will grow up and raise their own kids differently… And they'll make their own mistakes. Because that's what we all do.

Take care of you, Mom. Do your best, and hold on to that. (hugs) you'll make it. Believe me, if my parents survived raising me… if I survive raising mine… you can do this.

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

Oh, Amanda. ((Hug)) I’m sorry you’re in a dark mommy place right now. Seriously, I think most of us feel like we’re failing at least a good portion of the time. Does it help to know that you’re not alone in this?

Francine Gallon 2 years ago

Wow…that was beautiful and true!

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

Oh, Amanda. I’m so sorry you’re in a dark mothering place. Does it help to know that most of us feel like we’re failing, at least a good portion of the time?

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

I hear you. I wrote this on a day I needed to hear the ups, too. I honestly started asking myself the “If I had known” questions, and then decided to answer them to find the ups. It was quite cathartic. :)

Annie Reneau 2 years ago

Aw, hugs to you, veteran Mama. :)

HappinessSavouredHot 2 years ago

Pure truth! Well written.

Sleep deprivation must be the worst.

Although the complications of breastfeading…

When you look at them in a quiet moment, it’s all worth it. :-)

Amanda Martin 2 years ago

Ah, you see I read this and stop at the middle bit and think, I probably wouldn't have done it, if I'd known. Nothing has made me hate myself more than being a parent and feeling like I'm failing, every minute of every day. Sigh. Beautifuly written, though.

Melinda Sock 2 years ago

thank you <3

Jen 2 years ago

I loved this so much.

Pam 2 years ago


Barbara Balas 2 years ago

That was amazing, thank you!

cw 2 years ago

This was a day that I needed to hear the ups. Thank you

Joyce Garabrant Trayner 2 years ago

you are all very lucky <3.. Biggest blessing in the whole whole. Much Love~

Gigi 2 years ago

And with that…you made this veteran mom cry.