Motherhood these days is all about having it all. We should be able to have it all by raising our children, keeping the houses in order and having the career that will move us to the top. The issues that comes with all of this is when you feel that you “have it all” you aren’t giving everything your 100%. You are basically short changing something. Have a successful career and kids, well, both will end up suffering. The stress that society places on the modern mom is overwhelming.
So why in the US do mothers feel overwhelmed and underjoyed?
It is instilled in us at a young age that we have to go to college. We have to have a degree so that we can have a career. No one asked if I wanted to be a mother when I grew up. People only asked what I wanted to be, as in my career. I knew I always wanted children, I just didn’t realize how much more I wanted children then to have a career that everyone was pushing.
Our culture in the US does not value postpartum care. If we did we would have paid maternity leave across the board. While there are some states that offer short term disability, like NJ, others do not. If it wasn’t for my company to offer short term disability, when I lived in Colorado, I would have went without any money while I recovered from a c-section and would have been forced back to work immediately. How can children be raised right when parents are being driven immediately back to work?
Why is it called disability? Having a child is not a disability. How can other great countries offer anywhere from 12- 18 weeks of paid maternity leave and job security for longer, yet we offer nothing? Even the small companies that only employ 10 people still make it and survive.
Now maternity leave shouldn’t be just for mothers and they should offer something for fathers to bond with their newborns and help their wives recover. Other developed countries do. When I had my last son, he was born on a Friday and my husband was right back to work on Monday. The company didn’t even congratulate him from having a son. It was, “Oh your taking Friday off? See you Monday.”
Now while juggling life in general social media is always the worst thing to go to. Remember the times when you didn’t see all the Pinterest worthy parties? All the personalized gifts that were handmade? All the picture perfect families and spotless houses? Now we take about 15 pictures to get that perfect picture to post online. Push all the crap out of the way just to make sure your little one can stand and play in the picture but it looks like your house is spotless. Don’t worry we are all guilty of it, me included. We need to stop. Life isn’t perfect and what we see on social media isn’t real.
We have to make sure we have educational activities for the kids whether they are home or we go out. Look some days I literally just want to sit and watch tv and you know what so will my kids. After working 40 hours, cleaning the house, pumping milk for my infant and cooking dinner if I need an hour to sit down and relax in front of the mindless screen it will happen. My kids are exposed to educational stuff all day long, the hour is not going to hurt.
The modern mom is expected to keep the house spotless. I feel like the majority of my days are running after the kids (especially since now Jacob is crawling) picking up after them. After running around picking up after them all day long, I really do not have neither the time or energy to continue to clean and vacuum the house. Our house is neat and we try to put things away but sometimes just don’t open the closet.
We are expected to have the perfect body. Hey, I was down to a size 2 at my smallest and up to a size 8 at my largest. I may not go to the gym but running after kids and at my job all day I am exhausted. How do these social media moms have the time to fit in the exercise?
We are expected to have a hobby. First, when? Second, when the kids are sleeping I don’t want to be doing anything let alone have to make time for something else. I do continue to scrapbook, which I have always done. I get to do it for about 20 minutes a week. I am a year and a half behind but our children will have the most amazing memories.
On top of all of this we are expected to go on date nights and maintain a positive relationship with our spouse. It is extremely difficult to find the time to even have a normal dinner with my husband without Tyler talking over us or Jacob crying. People see a beautiful couple with gorgeous children and see parents that must spend alone time together. Little do people know by the time the day is over Steven and I have about 10 minutes before we are both passed out.
After everything we are expected not to complain one bit.
Yes, years ago mothers then had it tough also, but they didn’t have social media to have to live up to. Is this what is causing us to have the amount of burnt out mothers? Have we not yet figured a way to really have it all? Is having it all just a fantasy?