Becoming a new mom was a big transition. It also opened me up to a whole new world both online and offline- where moms get together and discuss how hard being a mom is. Like all the time. In fact, it was to the point where I
was am irritated by the fact that all moms can talk about is how hard being a mom is. There’s never any pride in accomplishments (because you might make a mom whose kid isn’t doing that feel bad), no gushing over the laughs or the fun times…
None of the good. Just how hard it is. Every social media post, every discussion. And I’m sorry but for me…
Caregiving was harder.
There I finally said it!!!! I’ve been carrying that around with me forever, making sure my lips are pursed and the words don’t come tumbling out online or worse, to one of my friends who have become new moms. Being a mom is hard. Don’t get me wrong, it is challenging in so many ways. But what did you expect of being in charge of a little human, who can’t talk and who literally needs you 24/7?
I think being a caregiver prepared me for motherhood. I literally got a preview of all the skills I’d be utilizing as a mom, except for an adult (which is also embarrassing, physically demanding, and isolating- because NO ONE wants to talk about how hard that is.).
- diaper changes √ (and changing an adult is incredibly hard on the back)
- feeding √
- late night wakings √ (you think a crying baby is hard, try picking up a 140lb man off the floor at 2am by yourself, or having to lift him on and off a toilet half asleep)
- constant worry √
- social isolation/lack of social life √
- wondering what the hell they want √
- needing to plan outings √
- being needed 24/7 √
- pushing them on walks √ (the stroller is much lighter than the wheelchair)
- needing tons of equipment √
I’m not trying to make moms feel like crap or anything, but I just feel frustrated for caregivers everywhere who have to experience all these things in isolation. I mean moms get to bitch all the time (and do). But caregivers, no one wants to hear about them experiencing the same thing. You know how many times I was asked about it by friends, family, etc.? Zero. No one wants to hear it. And that builds you know?
So yeah, being a mom is really hard. But whether it’s because I’ve already done these things with an adult, or because I’m just extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a mom (considering my husband almost didn’t make it), I just don’t really think about how hard it is all the time (or even half of the time). In fact, I enjoy it much more than I don’t. At least I chose to care for this little human, whereas caregiving was thrust upon me. And the point of this post is just to highlight that caregivers go through all these things too and don’t get to talk about it (because non-caregivers really don’t care). So as a mom, I’d just like you to think about that for a second. If you were going through all this, and had no one to talk to about it, because no one wanted to hear about it, how hard would that be?
PS. I would like to clarify that this is fully an opinion piece, from a mom and caregiver.