Motherhood: This Isn't What I Expected... - Baby Chick
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Motherhood: This Isn’t What I Expected…

The expectations for motherhood (or lack of them) can be surprising. And hard. One mother shares, "This isn't what I expected!"

Updated April 9, 2024 Opinion
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Motherhood is not what I expected.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that motherhood is hard. Here’s the thing: no handbook is given to us when the baby is born. You’re expected to know what to do with another human’s life. You’re expected to know how to feed this tiny human, hold them, change them, understand their cues, and keep them alive. That’s a big responsibility! It should come with a tutorial or an experienced adult to bring home from the hospital. But it doesn’t work that way. Here’s your new baby; thanks for stopping by. Now, go home and figure it out. BYE!

So, we do. I mean, we don’t have another option. Before having my baby, I pictured life going a different way. I imagined us sitting around her, cuddling her, taking cute Instagram pictures, and eating nice dinners around the table while she slept in her swing. You know, “motherhood.” But none of this happened. Well, sometimes it does. But we are lucky if more than one of those things happens in a day.

Motherhood Is Unpredictable

Most days, naps are short, we don’t understand her cues, we don’t know how to entertain her for her two-hour awake window, and trying to pump and feed her on a schedule has proven to be a daily mathematical dilemma. And this is just newborn life. Guess what? They grow up, and every month, every year is so different from the next, and it’s all unpredictable—all of it!

Motherhood looks different for everyone because every child is different. They all have different needs, different personalities, and different developmental stages. This is also not fair! Shouldn’t having one child make the next one a little easier? Nope! It seems to start all over again, and now you have two completely different personalities, mouths to feed, and roommates to figure out. It’s hard.

Motherhood Is Not What I Expected

I thought I would figure it out quickly. I didn’t know it would be this exhausting, or that I would lose myself and my personal time to this extreme. I didn’t expect to want a break from all my kids. I didn’t expect to have to parent so much because that’s what moms do. I didn’t expect to be beyond exhausted, nor did I expect to feel sad and angry at times, too. I have everything I ever wanted, but some days, I want to hide in my closet and come out the next day. This isn’t what I expected. Where are my Pinterest moments, my pretty lunches and dinners? Where are all the smiles and the cuddles?

As much as I didn’t expect how hard it would be each time, I also didn’t expect to have this much space in my heart. I didn’t expect to love another human this way or worry about them constantly. I didn’t expect that putting myself last was going to fulfill me. I didn’t expect that caring for these little humans would allow me to sleep better at night (metaphorically). I didn’t expect a hug, smile, or brand-new laugh or coo to make me cry so many tears of joy. I didn’t expect that I would still feel put together, complete, and needed even without a shower, a fresh set of clothes, or a real meal in days. I didn’t expect motherhood to fill my cup.

It’s Hard, but It’s Worth It

So yeah, it’s hard. There are days that I need eight people to help me. There are days that, by 7:00 pm, I literally can’t look at my kids. But then another unexpected thing happens. I miss them. By 7:15 pm, I start looking at their pictures. I go into their rooms and hug them. I kiss them, and I apologize for raising my voice that day. I’m exhausted, but the most unexpected thing is that I can’t wait to do it again the next day. That’s motherhood.

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Erin is a proud mom of twin 9-year-old girls who were conceived via IUI, and a newborn who took 3 years of IVF to conceive. She is currently focused on… Read more

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