Tuesday’s Top 10 – Myths of Motherhood
Motherhood is full of myths. From the crazy advice you get from others to the preconceived notions of what you think motherhood will be like – moms are set up from the beginning to feel letdown and frustrated at some point. Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing quite as amazing as being a mom, but the truth is that it isn’t ALWAYS what its cracked up to be.
This Tuesday, I am presenting you with the Top 10 Myths of Motherhood. When I first started out, I believed every single one of them. But now, knee deep in children, I am starting to see that they are so not true!
1. You will always like your children. While it is true that you will always LOVE your children (because you remember them when they were babies) – you won’t always like them. In fact, you will find that many days you don’t like them at all, and will sit scratching your head wondering what in the hell you were thinking by procreating. You will also go through spurts where just “the idea” of spending time with them stresses you out.
2. Bonding happens immediately. Sorry girls, but it doesn’t always happen like this. Please read this article if the baby / mother bond didn’t happen right away for you.
3. You don’t have to have money to raise children. Okay, so all you really have to do to be a parent is have sex. But you are sadly mistaken if you think that you can raise a family if you cannot hold down a job. Kids…and everything that kids entail – costs money. Lots of it. If you believe you can raise your children without money, you probably also believe in unicorns. And once you have them, you will never have enough money…ever again.
4. Having kids will make your marriage better. I hear of people all the time having children because they think it will help the marriage. While it does cause you to be endlessly tied to your spouse (FOREVER), it won’t fix a marriage that is struggling. Truth is that kids test, try, and change a marriage forever. Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. Trust me, that handsome hunk of man you love so much now becomes much less attractive when he refuses to change diapers.
5. Your mother-in-law will finally respect you as a mother (and like you better). Nope…not true. And setting boundaries with the MIL after having children can be very difficult on this relationship, albeit rewarding in the end.
6. Your kids will be "your everything." In the beginning, YES…they will. And if you are a good mom, they will always be critical to your happiness and help you set your priorities. But I promise you will reach a point when you have completely forgotten who YOU are, and the kids are growing away – that you will need something else besides your status as mom to make you happy. If not, there is something flawed in your thinking.
7. Pregnancy only changes your body for the short term. Nope! Pregnancy changes your body forever. Sure, you might fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes, but I guarantee you that very very few women get through pregnancy unscathed. I say, so what…bring on the changes…embrace them!
8. Your kids will always like you. OMG, really? Do you remember how embarrassed you were of your parents? Believe me, they won't remember anything that you have done for them, and they won't always like you (at least if you're doing your job right!). One day, that rounded, smiling face will look into your eyes and shout, “I hate you!” But they won't mean it, and you will forgive them.
9. Good moms spend all their time with their kids. Ummm, not true. I have heard from young moms who feel compelled to get into block playing, tummy time marathons, who are constantly hovering over their children, and who never take a break for themselves. Why? Because they want to FEEL like they are spending ALL of their time with their kids. Yes, spend time with your kids. But for God’s sake – take a shower by yourself as well. When you begin talking baby talk, its time for a break… Plus, your job is to foster independence as well as build a family foundation, so by all means – give your kid a break from your face.
10. Women are born to be mothers. Too many moms feel like they are missing the mark because they aren’t maternal enough, because they need help from the "village," or because they feel frustrated with motherhood. Motherhood takes time. Women are innately designed to nurture, but this doesn’t mean that the moment the baby is born you know everything. You don’t. And you wont. And you need to make sure that you have a support system in place to help you along the way.