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What No One Tells You About Motherhood

Motherhood is a role that comes with innumerable intricacies. While many women feel it’s their divine purpose to nourish and give life, others abstain from having children altogether. There is no wrong choice, and only one certainty: motherhood looks different to all of us. While there’s an overabundance of shared sentiments on the ways in which having a child will enrich a woman’s life, not so much light is given to the more challenging parts of motherhood, the part mothers themselves often feel reluctant to speak about. Oftentimes, descriptions of motherhood are not unlike an Instagram feed where users only share their picture-perfect moments but rarely discuss the difficult parts.

We asked several women from all walks of life to discuss their own particular perspectives on motherhood, what they wish they would have known and how the choice to bear children, or not, has influenced their lives. Here’s what they had to say.

Motherhood is not just rainbows and butterflies… 

“I think if women would be more honest about their experience instead of making it seem like it’s all rainbows and butterflies, it would help the rest of us feel less like failures. Having children is the most magical experience you can ever have in your lifetime, but it’s also one of the hardest. Nothing can prepare you to function without sleep, to not be able to take a shower in peace ever again, or to not be able to leave your house on a whim.” — Janet Jones, Founder of Vixen Workout 

Some women choose a different road… 

“When I turned 40, I felt I had to make a decision of whether I was going to have children.  Long story short:  It occurred to me that, up to that point, I had made happen all the things I wanted to happen in my life, and if I had really wanted to have children, I would have done it by that time. Growing up, I had a desire to create my own family in order to heal the wounds of being raised in a dysfunctional family.  But once I healed all those issues, that particular motivation to have children vanished.  In addition, I realized I would not find parenting very reinforcing, and that there were other things I was doing to contribute to child development that I did find reinforcing.” — Ashley Maynard, Cultural and Developmental Psychologist

You’re never fully prepared… 

“I definitely wasn’t prepared financially… You could read every book, attend dozens of classes, and nothing can prepare you for the immediate and dramatic change that happens when you have a child.  I was 28 when I had my daughter. I remember feeling like such an adult when I got pregnant, then the moment I brought her home and experienced first-hand how all-consuming being 100% responsible for another human being was, I freaked out a little bit.  I felt like a baby who had a baby… only I was a 28-year-old baby.” — Janet Jones, Founder of Vixen Workout

Divorce happens…

“Honestly the only thing I regretted was never even considering that I could become a single mom. I had been with his dad since I was 19, and our divorce blindsided us both. When two people decide to have a baby together, there are many circumstances that could lead to one of those people having primary responsibility for that child. I know it sounds gloomy, but I think from a practical standpoint, it’s important to at least give that a moment of consideration.” — Gabriela Guzman, Founder and Director at The Jupiter Circle

“…I teach my children about family through actions. Children watch what we do more than they listen to what we say. I dedicate time to them, offer them support, listen to them, shower them with loving gestures, surround them with other family members and let them know that regardless of the situation we are in, they have a family who loves them unconditionally. They also learn about family by witnessing how everyone around us pitches in to help one another. We face challenges every day but I strive to teach them that families come in all different shapes and sizes and that with love and support, anything is possible.” — Ylette Marichal, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

Romantic partnerships also need to be nourished… 

“I think it’s so easy for couples to completely abandon the romantic aspect of their relationships and fall into just being mom and dad.  Couples tend to feel guilty taking time away from their kids to go on a date with each other and I feel that dating your spouse is vital for the relationship. Children will base their concept of what a marriage is from what they see at home, so make sure you keep your relationship with your spouse a priority.” — Janet Jones, Founder of Vixen Workout

There are no regrets…  

“Everyday it feels completely worth it.” — Gabriela Guzman, Founder and Director at The Jupiter Circle

“Anything can happen but once you become a mom, you do whatever it takes to make sure your children are taken care of.” — Ylette Marichal, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

“At this wonderful moment in history and in the developed world, we are all free to choose how we actualize care.  I encourage people to find their own paths, whether they include parenting or not… I hope people growing up today will feel free to make their decisions sooner than I did. There are so many ways to love the world.” — Ashley Maynard, Cultural and Developmental Psychologist

 

Compiled by Suanny Garcia