The ups and downs of motherhood

Painting by Firmin Baes
Kasey Edwards writes: The truth about raising kids is there are moments of absolute delight and wonder. The highlights of my life have come from my kids. But there are also long stretches of domestic drudgery with peaks of acute frustration and despair. This doesn't mean that we don't love or value our kids. It's just the reality of parenting. (source: Do we really have to love every moment of parenting?)

We need to be real and not pretend that every moment of being a mother and wife is super exciting and rewarding. As Kasey Edwards writes, there will be “moments of absolute delight and wonder and long stretches of domestic drudgery with peaks of acute frustration and despair” but like all aspects of life, there will also be times when you want to throw the towel in, walk away and not come back. Motherhood is not a bed of roses, there are times when it is plain horrible—I particularly found this to be the case when my sons reached the teenage years, it was painful and at times very unpleasant and frustrating but on the flip side, we had lots of fun and laughter. 

It isn't surprising that young mothers struggleNew mothers go from spending a weekly average of 2 hours caring for others to a whopping 51 hours when baby arrives* — and she has to adjust quickly and often without much help, no wonder many find it very difficult. Current data show that when women become mothers they also increase the time they spend on housework – like cooking, cleaning and washing – from a weekly average of 16 hours to 25 hours*. So not only is new mum looking after a baby, her workload at home increases considerably. Not surprisingly, many mothers report feeling tired – 40% of women with preschoolers agree they often feel tired, worn out or exhausted from meeting the needs of their children*.

Parenting is a lifetime commitment — we need to take the good with the bad, the exciting with the dull, the emotional highs with the lows. We need to enjoy the precious moments with our children, because it is these memories that get us through the tough times, the sleepless nights and remind us why we do this job and why we never want to give up, even when it’s as tough as climbing Mount Everest.

“What it's like to be a parent: It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” (Nicholas Sparks)

Painting by Firmin Baes
I love being a mother and won’t swap it for the world, but to new mothers we need to be honest about motherhood and not present a rose-colour view of it, we must not gloss over the unpleasant so they are surprised when things don't go as smoothly as they expect—we need to give them a balanced view of motherhood. I think this is one of the reasons why Titus 2: 4 tells older women to teach younger women to love their children because at times, love can be difficult.

And it is important for women to understand that not all women enjoy motherhood and some have little interest in it. Women are not all the same and we need to respect and understand this. Women need to be sensitive to this and not be pushy about children when they meet a woman who has either no children or only a few. They may not be able to have children, don't want any or perhaps very happy and blessed with the one or two they have. Not every woman is cut out to have a large family. 

Motherhood is made easier when we have other women to lean on, to talk to and gain advice and wisdom from. This is why older women are so important to younger women and why Paul (in Titus) talks about the need for older women to teach the younger women about motherhood, about being a wife and how to care for their homes — older women have lived life and know all about the ups and downs that younger women face and can provide a wealth of knowledge and support.


*Statistics from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) Study (a 14 year longitudinal survey)


Comments

  1. Great post!
    I could of used a Godly woman in my early years as a mother! Or at least someone to tell me it will be ok.
    You are helping young mothers with wise words.

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    Replies
    1. So could I - I lived a long way from family and had no older women (Christian women) near by to help and it was before the internet and computers in the home.

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  2. Brilliant post! Soooooo many truths!

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou :) You are doing a great job as a mother - keep up the great work.

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  3. Yes, encouraging and appreciate your honesty. Yes it can be a hard road, which doesn't always come easy to everyone, but is easier when we can talk to and uplift each other.

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    1. It can be - I have had some tough years but the good always out-ways the bad :) and we always make it through to the other end.

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  4. This is a good reminder to encourage other women and to remember ourselves that while the tough times are really tough, we eventually reap benefits - both ourselves and in our children - if we deal with the difficulties patiently and with discretion and wisdom.

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    Replies
    1. Once your children reach young adult hood, many of the problems you had when they were young feel like a distance memory and generally by the time they are in their 20's its much more plain sailing and they become like friends which is lovely. There is a light at the end of every tunnel!

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