14
Apr 2016

Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

Since becoming a Mom I’ve been surrounding myself with other moms who are willing to really go there.  I wasn’t interested in having friendships that centered around comparison, perfection or pretending everything is great, because when it comes to motherhood, it’s usually not! And that’s ok.

One of my closest friends, Amy Ahlers and I frequently get into the torture of sleep training or the confusion around how to raise daughters with good body image.  Just a few days ago I texted her,

What do you do when your nanny cancels, you have 3 blog posts to write and the baby won’t stop crying?

I find that day drinking is really helpful”, she replied.  Thank god for Amy.  This is even more hilarious because she’s a super spiritual, very successful life coach who probably could have spout out any canned response.

During almost every conversation about how hard it is to be a mom and the ridiculous things that happened to us the past week, one of us screams, “WHY ISN’T ANYONE TALKING ABOUT THIS!?”

It really is a vicious cycle – very few people talk about the truth of the struggle of motherhood and therefore when any of us feel overwhelmed, confused, pissed or exhausted, we think we are the only ones feeling this way, so we don’t say anything, and the cycle continues.  Cue high rates of postpartum depression, isolation, eating disorders and divorce.  

Luckily, Amy has set out to change that with her new podcast, Mama Truth: Embrace the Messiness and Magic of Motherhood.   Every time I listen to one of Amy’s podcasts I just feel less crazy, like I’m not alone and like I am doing the best job I can instead of thinking I’m the worst mom in the world.

A few weeks ago Amy and I sat down to get real about being in a post-baby body, how to learn to love her, take care of her and find our womanhood again.  We also got into the very hard topic of ending the body wars for our sons and daughters.

You can listen to our podcast here.

And while you’re there, make sure to check out a few more of her podcasts.  “Screw being perfect” is one of my favorites:). You can also join the Mama Truth Circle for free to meet your people.

And being a mom is never easy, and we need each other to move through some of these difficult topics.  If you know someone who is struggling with this or who may find this helpful, I hope you’ll send them this.  Why stay on the surface when we can get deep and real with each other?

Make sure to come back to the blog and let me know what you think.

Love,

Sarah

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  • Hannah

    AMEN! I’ve been kicked out of facebook groups just because I want to talk about the real stuff. I want to talk about the why, the struggle.. nope, too controversial, could cause too much of an uproar. Well, I’m all for it Sarah!! bring on the real.. you always have an audience with me when you are keeping it real and willing to go there. xoxo

    • I cannot believe that Hannah. When you want to talk about that stuff, post here. I’m always willing to go there.

  • Sarah, I think you have it all wrong. Being a Mom isn’t hard, it’s TORTURE. Diapering, nursing, burping them, picking them up, putting them down… these aren’t difficult things. But if you think of how prisoners of war are tortured, they are urinated on, they have loud screeching noises blasted at them for days at a time. I’m not sure if their nipples are bitten, but I know that would get me to turn over my mother to ISIS. Being a Mom is physical, emotional and mental torture. Or it was for me.
    So obviously, I actually agree 🙂 Why isn’t anyone talking about this? (Maybe they’re taking a nap from the sleep deprivation.)
    I’m loving the podcast. Thanks!

    • Ellen, thank you for sharing. I hear you. And yes to the naps. So glad you’re enjoying Amy’s podcast. She’s done such a great job with it.

  • Christine

    I find it really comforting to come here and read your posts because you are actually HONEST about how hard it is to have children. I feel like people think you are a bad person or bad mother to even say its hard? Instagram is full of people talking about how its the most amazing thing ever and working out is fun & easy (push-ups with the kids on your back hurrah!) and all these ‘post-partum body’ pics, is it just me or is the culture around having children these days just madness?!
    I always wanted kids but the truth is I had no idea what it would actually be like or mean for my life (or lack of one now) IT IS HARD & sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. I completely agree this lack of honesty is leading to soaring rates in post-natal depression & divorce.

    You only have to google ‘I regret having kids’ to see there are thousands of websites & forums dedicated to this point but unfortunately, they’re mainly anonymous. You are the queen of honesty Sarah! Sharing with other moms is a sure-fire way to realise you are not alone.

    • Thank you Christine. This means so much to me and I’m deeply committed to sharing about my experiences in hopes that it reaches the women it’s meant to. Thank you for following along and being supportive.

  • Francesca

    Here, here. The reason women juggle work and raising kids is because we have so many more avenues for support – such as nannies. One or two generations ago, it was much worse for women because if you weren’t passionate about housework and you weren’t wealthy enough for a car, you were trapped in the house with a growing number of children and no outlet for your true talents. It annoys me when people complain how hard it is now to juggle so many more resources and opportunities.
    Your nanny didn’t show up, Sara? Hold the baby, cuddle and play for a while until Baby stops crying. Once the baby is asleep, write your blog post. Or set up a little play area for the kids first and work where they can see you. And as a general rule, instead of throwing up your hands about how hard it is, work out some solutions. You are a mother now, and you need to set a strong, problem-solving example to your children. Otherwise they will learn from you that when something is too hard, they just stop and complain… and kids can complain about not being able to find their shoes, not wanting to go to school or not wanting to leave the beach. Set a good example now, and help your kids learn to be resilient and sensible by example.

  • Cara

    I am always so surprised when I hear people say no one ever told them how hard parenting is/was. I don’t know why my experience has been so different but before I had kids I was constantly warned about how hard it is. When I get together with moms the difficulty of the job is always laced into our conversations as well as our love for our children. I actually think when you constantly talk about or think about how hard something is it gets a heck of a lot harder. When you focus on the positive you see it. It’s there! And focusing on the positive would certainly help the divorce rate as well. Postpartum Depression on the other hand is a serious issue that cannot be fixed by other people complaining) I LOVE being a mom and I resent the fact that some people think I’m not being “real” when I say that. I would be lying if I said anything else. Is it difficult at times? Yes, obviously. Everything is. But I am VERY blessed to have my children, many women do not have that blessing. Many women do not have a job they can do from home and a nanny to help them. We all have struggles but marinading and complaining about them more probably isn’t the magic fix. If you’re comparing yourself to “perfect happy moms” all the time it’s the comparing that’s the problem not the people you’re comparing yourself to.

    • Hi Cara,

      I think all of us mothers can agree that we are all very blessed to have our children and it’s one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives, witnessing our children grow. And, I don’t feel that you aren’t being “real” when you say that you LOVE being a mom, I think that’s one of the most beautiful things in this world. This post was meant to open the conversation for women to be ok with sharing publicly what’s not so great about motherhood too.

      My interview with Amy goes much deeper in terms of raising our children without body issues and that’s the heart of the conversation that I really want to bring to light and make more mainstream.

  • Jess

    I wonder whether there’s a difference between the US and the UK? Because in the UK almost every parenting blog is about how tough it is. Also there’s Mumsnet.com – a whole giant forum for people to seek support. People are most certainly talking about it… to the extent that someone recently posted in a forum about how they didn’t feel able to admit that they felt motherhood was going fine, because the dominant narrative is about how hard it is to be a mother.

    (That said, often people are struggling because they have NO support ever, or have children with disabilities that make life difficult and isolating. Maybe amongst the minority of people who have access to nannies etc, there is less stress and less need to vent.)

    • Hi Jess,

      Thank you for sharing. I think a lot of the mom blogs do a great job showing both sides of motherhood. I feel the conversation is lacking here in the entrepreneurial community more-so and I want the conversation to reach as many mothers as possible.

  • What do you mean, “Why isn’t anyone talking about this?” 90% of mommy blogs are talking about this. That’s ALL they seem to talk about. Like it wasn’t their choice to be a parent. This isn’t new information. It hasn’t been for many, many years.

    • As I’ve shared with Jess above, I think a lot of the mom blogs do a great job showing both sides of motherhood, but in my experience I haven’t seen a lot of conversation about how to raise our children with better body image so I want to bring that conversation to the forefront so we stop seeing our sons and daughters growing up and struggling with emotional eating, with eating disorders and consumed by the diet mentality.

  • I feel like we must run in entirely different circles of people. While I don’t surround myself with heaps of complainers, I also don’t feel like the other mothers I am around are treating life like it’s nothing but rainbow-sunshine-unicorn farts all the live long day either. I feel like most people around me are pretty “real” when it comes to struggling with motherhood and that sometimes it downright sucks. We learn to make due as we can with what we have, and lean on one another occasionally for things, but not sitting around and complaining that help didn’t show up for the day.

  • We take pride in our positive community here, so please be respectful.

    Let’s keep the conversation open and I look forward to discussing this topic more. I just ask that you keep your comments judgement free so we can have an open conversation without attacking anyone’s character.

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