When you become a parent, life gets much more challenging. Opinions you’ve had your whole life start to change, your worldview gets turned upside down, and your mind starts to question every thought you’ve ever had. Being a mother is one of the most stressful, frustrating, and absolutely wonderful things you can ever do for yourself. It’s the most rewarding challenge you’ll ever face. That being said, there are a lot of things that happen when you give life to another human being, so the question remains.. what is the hardest part of being a parent?
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These are all hard, but what’s the hardest part of being a parent?
1. Criticism becomes constant
First, you have to deal with criticism from other mothers. In today’s world, no matter what parenting approach you take, you’re wrong in somebody’s eyes. Whether you co-sleep or crib sleep, whether you breastfeed or formula feed, whether you go to work or stay home… you will always be wrong.
There will always be a statistic of some sort telling you that you are a bad mother, and there will always be one stating that you’re doing everything right. Every baby requires different treatment, so who is anyone to say they know what’s best for a baby…more so than it’s own mother?!
So if a mom is doing everything in her power to keep her baby happy and healthy, she’s doing right by her child, and that’s all that should matter.
2. Your schedule changes
You also have to adapt to a new schedule, one that includes less sleep, and more solitude. Eventually, you learn to function on a few hours of sleep each night. You might have bags under your eyes, and knots in your hair, but you’re awake and giving your sweet baby all the love that they deserve.
Even though you wouldn’t trade your time with your baby for the world, it does get lonely without any adult interaction, especially for stay at home moms. You go a little stir crazy when you don’t get enough conversation in your day. This can make it harder on your spouse, because you’re so dependent on that short time you get with them when they are home.
3. Relationships will need a lot more work
Which leads me to my next point, you will have to work harder at ALL of your relationships if you want to maintain them. There will be a strain on your marriage, not only because of the lack of intimacy and sleep, but also because of the increase of stress and irritability. Both of you will feel as if you never get a break.
Also, you will have to work harder in your relationships with your friends as well. For the friends that don’t have children, it’s going to be hard to spend time with them. A lot of the activities they enjoy will most likely not be kid-friendly.
For the friends who do have children, you will see them sometimes. But it’s hard to find a time to meet up with people. You have to plan it around nap time, feeding schedules, appointments, etc. So to maintain these relationships you’re going to have to remember to prioritize them. Hopefully your friends and family are understanding as to how hard it is to go out and do certain things.
Be sure to check out our article on How to Be A Better Wife – 12 Tips You’ve NEVER Heard Of!
4. Anxiety. So much anxiety.
Another thing that comes along with becoming a mother is anxiety. I’m not talking about the kind of anxiety where you suffer from a panic attack, and you can’t breathe. Although that does happen to some mothers. I’m talking about the kind that you endure every second of every day, hoping that nothing bad will come to your baby.
It can be mild, and it can be severe. The mild is more along the lines of getting really nervous leaving your baby with a sitter. Or when your baby is crying and there’s nothing you can do to soothe them.
The severe anxiety kicks in when your baby is hurt and you need to take them to the hospital…Or when your doctor tells you something is wrong and your baby will need surgery. You will have this anxiety until the day you die. Becoming a mother means constantly worrying about someone else’s well being more than your own, no matter their age.
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… The HARDEST part?
The struggle I find most challenging about being a mother, the absolute hardest part of being a parent, is the roller coaster of emotions that comes along with it. You’re stressed beyond belief, worried about everything, more irritable than ever before, and way overly emotional. But despite all of this… you’re the happiest you’ve ever been.
All it takes is a split second of looking into your sweet baby’s eyes, for all of your stress to just slip away. Every new skill your baby learns almost brings a tear to your eye because you’re happy that they’re learning so much, and you’re sad that it’s happening so fast. When they laugh, your heart melts. And when they see you after you’ve been out of their site for five minutes, and they run up to you with a huge smile on their face, drool down their shirt, yelling “MOMMY!” like they haven’t seen you in years, you become so overwhelmed with joy.
You will then realize that all of the hardest parts of becoming a mother, aren’t even a factor anymore. You would do it all over a million times, every day, for the rest of your life… just for one slobbery, open mouth kiss. That is the absolute reality of becoming a mother.
If you or someone you know struggles with postpartum depression/anxiety, click here!
Check out these related motherhood articles:
7 Postpartum Secrets I Was NOT Prepared For!
15 Tips For Discipling Children – Even The Most Stubborn Ones
Well, what do you think is the hardest part of being a parent?
There’s a lot to choose from. But, there isn’t a mother in the world that I know who doesn’t think it’s all completely worth it!
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Kayla is the content creator over at motviationformom.com. She is a wife and mother who loves to share all of the tips, tricks, and life lessons that she has learned over the years with all of her readers. Her primary focus is on children’s education, motherhood, and healthy family relationships!
94 Replies to “The Absolute Hardest Part of Being a Parent”
I very much agree. I have been a stay at home parent for the last 8 years. Yes, there are many times and reasons I have felt I am going insane, but there are also times I realise how lucky I am.
I couldn’t agree more! Keeping your sanity is a challenge for sure!
Great points! I’m not a mother yet but this is definitely food for thought!
Thank you! (:
This post was such a great read and really well written. My first baby is due in about two week and it gave me a good idea about what to expect. Thank you so much!
I’m so glad you found it helpful! 2 weeks?! How exciting! I wish you the best of luck, it’s such an amazing experience!
I loved reading this. My sister has 2 young children and she read it with me and agreed on every point you made. I have yet to have children of my own but it is something I often think about and I love that you have kept this very real rather than beat around the bush. It make me feel a little more prepared for when my time come. Thank you! <3
I’m so glad she agrees. Motherhood is definitely hard, but so worth it! Thank you so much for your kind words!(:
I agree with every word! It is a lot of work to maintain your relationships when there is a little person relying on you for everything. My anxiety was TERRIBLE too and I eventually had to start taking something for it. I feel like it gets (a little) easier as they get older though, since babies are SO DEMANDING! 🙂
Definitely! My daughter is almost one and a half and it’s already a lot better!
I’m not a mother, so on a personal level I can’t relate. But I will say that this is very touching. I shared with a friend and she told me that it was all very true and that it even made her tear up a few times.
That makes me so happy to hear that! I was a little teary-eyed myself when I was writing it!
These are so true! There are tough times all around but I wouldnt change it for anything. My 3 kids are my everything!
I completely agree, even the hardest parts of parenting are nothing compared to the joy you get from watching your babies learn and grow!
I totally agree with everything you said. I especially relate to you first point about always being wrong in someones eyes. I remember being a new mother and constantly being given conflicting advice. It was so frustrating. Great read for new moms!
It’s so hard! You try to do what you feel is best but there are so many people telling you you’re wrong. I finally came to a point where I would respect everyone’s opinion, but I knew what was best for MY baby.
I don’t have children (mine have paws) but this was a really eye opening read. I give mothers so much credit. Just remember to do you, always. It doesn’t matter what other people think.
Hey the ones with paws count! Haha We have a few fur babies too. But motherhood is hard for sure! It took me a while to get to the point where I trusted my instinct, and know that I know what’s best, even of people are telling me I don’t.
While I am not a mother yet, it was a great read. My mom was a stay at home mom for a long time an then worked after her and my dad split. I know she has always said motherhood is hard but she wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for sharing this.
It’s so eye opening to grow up and see just what our parents did for us! I wish I could go back and be more grateful each and everyday. Your mom sounds like a great example of what motherhood is all about.
Becoming a parent is full of added emotions and joys.
Definitely! But totally worth it!
As a father, these issues go both ways. As well as feeling all the new responsibilities, we have to support the mother too.
I have no doubt that it’s just as hard, if not harder for a father, because they have to deal with their emotions AND the mother’s emotions about all of it! I’m glad my husband understands that I get a little crazy sometimes! (;
Great post! Becoming a mother changes just about every aspect of your life. Which can make it scary, overwhelming and frustrating. yes, we have to work harder (at everything- even to feel normal) but it’s all totally worth each time. Love the post xx
Thank you! It really is mind altering!
Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there (besides being a teacher too, lol). I just had my second son after a long pregnancy journey. I try to focus on all the blessings in life but do get caught up in the little things. Having a positive support group of family and friends helps too.
It really does! My husband and sister have saved the day many times! It’s so hard to not get caught up in the little things! Our minds tend to run a little ragged.
I totally agree more. Especially every child needing something different and being a good parent is trying to find out what to do that works best with your kid.
So true! I also work in a daycare, and trying to find different ways of helping each child is such a challenge!
This post is great, I am a first-time mum to a one-year-old and the emotional struggle is real. Most days I’m perfectly fine however, there are days where you just flip at every situation and become irritable. However, it really is such an amazing experience 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
I’m right there with you! My daughter is one as well! I’m just starting to de-stress a little. The emotional roller coaster is so hard to live your life around!
I suffer with post natal depression and anxiety and it kills me each and every day. After having 3 children I never thought I’d get it but I did. Becoming a mum is so hard but so incredibly rewarding.
It’s so hard! And it’s so difficult to explain to people how you are feeling. Stay strong! The suffering is only temporary, but the happiness they bring you is forever!
So true! I can’t believe how much parents judge each other- boo hiss! My theory is that we are all perfectly designed for thekids we get.
I totally agree. It sucks that there has to be so much judgement, and so little support for one another. But if we all keep helping to motivate each other we might just change things! (;
So true! It doesn’t get less stressful as they get older. Being a mom is so much harder than I thought it would be, but it is my favorite job ever.
Exactly! It’s hard for someone who is not a parent to understand that the hardest job you can ever have makes you the happiest you’ll ever be.
So agree with this. Especially relationships with friends, you have to make so much more effort to stay in touch!
Yes! Especially if your friends don’t have kids.
This post is completely spot on! Seriously, couldn’t agree more!
Thank you! I’m so glad that everyone feels the same way I do! LOL
I’m expecting and this post really makes me feel good! atleast I know I’m not the only one will go through this emotions! 🙂 I cant wait to become a mother so soon 🙂
Congratulations! Motherhood is seriously the most amazing thing you’ll ever go through!
I applaud all parents who take care of their children. I couldn’t imagine having to adapt to a new sleep schedule, much less a whole new life by having kids. Cheers to you!
Thank you! It’s definitely a lot of work, but it’s well worth it!
This captures exactly how I feel. I can’t help feeling irritable at all times. I pick fights with my husband almost every chance I get. I know it’s wrong, but I just can’t seem to help myself. I’m also always holding my phone cause I need to talk to my friends. I need to talk to people before I become a cave person and forget to communicate. lol
I’m right there with you! I struggle with it everyday, and there’s so many other moms out there that deal with it too. We all just have to be there for each other so we can get through it! (:
This post was a great and honest. Thank you for being so transparent and this post will help others.
Thank you! I tried to be as accurate as possible. (;
YES! I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 6 years and all of these things are soooo true!! I find that the best thing to do is find a group of moms to be a part of. I’m lucky to have found my local MOPS group of supportive moms who are sooooo much like me!
That’s awesome! I need to join a group of moms for sure!
What a lovely post about the wonder, trials, and tribulations of motherhood. I wish you luck and strength as you go through this journey 🙂 X
Thank you! (:
interesting post! my best friend is a mom but it’s always nice to hear about what other people are going thru in their motherhood life 🙂 i am far from that stage in my life yet but it’s always fun to learn more about others! thanks for sharing your experience
Yes it’s different for everyone, its definitely interesting to hear different people’s takes on how their journey through it was like!
So very true! Thank you for this post. I’ve been a stay at home mother for 3 years. My son is 3 and he’s currently sick and this has been one of the most trying times ever. There have been many days where I just wanted to get out but I am making it.
It’s such a struggle, 3 is a hard age!
I’m a new(ish) mom and I can totally relate! There are a lot of tough things to deal with and it’s so easy to get caught up in focusing on the wrong things but it’s a wonderful experience and I feel like I’m being refined through it and those special moments make all the hard stuff disappear ?
I totally agree! Now matter how hard the struggle, it’s all worth it in the end.
Totally Agree! I constantly worry but know I need to just enjoy all these moments!
Definitely! They go by so fast!
Such a delightful post. I hope to experience all the beauty of motherhood one day.
It’s lots of work, and LOTS of fun! (;
You made some great points here about the emotional struggles some moms face. I definitely had a rough time after the birth of both of my kiddos. I think awareness is half the battle so posts like these are great to show it’s ok to feel different emotions than you may be used to before motherhood. Thanks for sharing!
Yes! It’s always nice to know that there’s other people going through the same struggles.
Being a mom is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, but it is a daily struggle especially being a SAHM. Great reminders that all the emotions are normal and it is ok to ask for help.
Definitely! Being a SAHM is so much harder than anyone thinks!
Totally agree and well written! Very inspirational and real!! Look forward reading more of your posts 🙂
Thank you! I wanted to be as accurate as possible. I’m so glad you liked it!
I agree so much, especially with anxiety! One of the reasons I have a lack of sleep. But somehow we managed to push through! – Richelle
Anxiety is such a hard thing to deal with. But we always find a way to make it through, cause we’re moms, and we do the impossible!
You have such a great perspective. Love this.
Thank you! I tried to be as honest and raw as I could be! (:
Not about you or your husband anymore it is about seeing to the needs of that baby. Which I wouldn’t change for the world.
Agreed! Marriage becomes much more stressful once you have children, it takes that much more work to make the family function as a whole.
Yes to all of this. What a great post and a true testament to how awesome moms are.
We are the best! But it’s definitely not an easy job. Thanks for reading!
It’s crazy being a mother and these definitely hit some good points, but I know we can agree we wouldn’t change it for the world!
Definitely! It’s the most rewarding job anyone could ask for.
Yes, yes, yes! The only thing I have found harder than being a mom is a stepmom! But getting used to having a baby vs a semi self sufficient 10 year old was such a huge challenge!
Oh, I can’t imagine! Being a stepmom would be so difficult, but so rewarding at the same time. And that is a big change!
This totally hits home for me. It doesn’t matter what kind of crazy my day has been, as soon as my little boy comes in for a cuddle or gives me his big goofy smile, it’s all forgotten. The love we have for our kids is an amazing thing 🙂 I shouldn’t have read this after I put him to bed, now I just want to snuggle him!
That’s the worst! You know you should let them sleep but you just want to pick them up and love on them! But yes, the love we have for them is unlike nay other.
Yes, the rollercoaster of emotions was definitely difficult to deal with, but motherhood just can’t be beat!!
It really can’t! It’s the most rewarding job in the world!
I’m so with you on this “roller coaster of emotions”. I experience it often.
It’s so hard to cope with, but the cure is also the cause, your family!
I loved this!! How true these are! Thank you for being so real with us!!
Thank you so much! I tried to make it as accurate as possible, but it’s simply impossible to put into words how it feels to be a mother.
This is so spot on. I feel the anxiety a lot and have to find ways to deal with it.
Anxiety is such a struggle. Not only has the world stopped taking people seriously about it, making it impossible to come forward about it, but there’s not much you can do about it. Medications often times either don’t work, or they give such harsh side effects that it’s not even worth it. Honestly, I think having a strong family, and cutting out the toxic people in your life, along with anyone on social media, can help a lot with your anxiety. The less you see the less you worry.
Yes to the criticism and silent judgements! The worst.