Secrets of Motherhood
Updated: Feb 22
By Dr. Tiffany E Wicks, Ed.D., MS, NCC
Our society sucks at supporting mothers. You want a baby? Great, but we won’t help you raise it. Want to work outside the home? But why? Aren’t you satisfied being a mom? Or that’s fine but you’re abandoning your child and now daycare is a million dollars. Want to do this? Or that? Bad mom. Frustrated or tired or need a break? Bad mom. Bad mom. Bad mom.
Why do we have this narrative laid out for us? First, you were an individual before you became a mother. But the not-so-secret is that mothering is hard and it often sucks. I’m only 5 years in and I’m tired for life. If I’m not getting spit up on I’m trying not to argue with a very opinionated 5 year old. I constantly need a nap and that’s just parenting. On top of that I work and breastfeed and I’m in school and I’m trying to build a brand. But out of all those things, the loneliest part is being a mom. Some understand, but so many judge. I’ve minimized how hard parenting is too many times to count. I’ve lied about how many times I wanted to jump on a plane out of country and come back when my kids are raised. I’ve often denied how many times I’ve sat in the living with my two kids doing nothing but sobbing because I have no idea what I’m doing wrong or what’s going to keep them happy. And then the ultimate is how much sleep I’ve lost trying to convince myself I haven’t totally screwed up my kids and that they won’t spend all their time in therapy healing from me.
THIS is reality. But there are few people who are honest enough to say it out loud. It’s heartbreaking to be the only one to validate that for clients or just saying it to a new mom or friend. We should be able to say that we want to quit without worrying someone is going to call CPS. You are allowed to hate sometimes and not force yourself to remember you’ll love it tomorrow. Stay with the feeling. Be honest. Validate it and find someone else to say it to. Why? Because someone else is feeling this way. The best validation I ever got as a mom was from my friend Brittany. “Tiffany , toddlers are assholes. It’s not you, it’s them”. That freed me on so many levels and I never have forgotten that her honesty opened me up to say the things I felt deep down.
Your feelings about motherhood, good or bad, shouldn’t have to be a secret. We aren’t the Instagram version of us. It sucks and it’s beautiful all at the same time. We do the best we can and we keep going hoping they aren’t damaged forever. That’s what makes us a good mom. And you are.