A recent survey done of all mothers 82 million moms in the U.S., reflects that nearly half of us are unhappy. Furthermore, nearly ¼ of all women are clinically depressed.  41% of new mothers were unmarried in 2008, women over 35 accounted for more pregnancies than teens (first time since the early 1990’s) and we’re educated too….Mothers in the 35 and over range had at least some college education (71% or more).  So, what’s with all the numbers?  We can thank The National Center for Health Statistics and Census Bureau for the data, but, the real question remains…Why is it that our society expects ALL WOMEN TO BE EXCELLENT AT MOTHERING?  Does everyone expect all men to be great engineers, mathematicians, philosophers, astronomers, mechanics, husbands, FATHER’S?  NO!!!!  Have we worked so hard at making it look effortless that everyone assumes we’re all good at this?

How many times have you felt that somewhere in between tidying up the house, preparing nutritious, well-balanced meals, balancing the checkbook, your social calendar and your child’s ever changing wants/needs that you just want to SCREAM!!!!!  Not out of anger (we’re honest right ladies – we did choose life after all), but, frustration borne out of not attending to things we still want to do.  Yes, your children must come first, but that doesn’t mean you died when they were born?  When’s the last time you felt entitled to pick up your guitar, your pen, your microphone, dance the night away and let loose.  Where did you go momma, how did this happen to you?  Furthermore, not every woman was chomping at the bit to have children.  If you happen to have been content with or without them, then the invariably challenging moments of motherhood can really crank up the heat.  What woman once impassioned with the thoughts of her goals and dreams – now chiding her toddler for the umpteenth time about not jumping on the sofa isn’t a little miffed that she has had to become Head Disciplinarian, life coach, personal stylist, hairdresser, secretary and all around Girl Friday?  Mother Teresa perhaps would not have had issue with this assignment, but the rest of us aren’t so sure some days.

I can tell you the Industrial Revolution changed the face of the nuclear family forever.  No longer bound by geography, people started fanning out and ditching their family of origin for new locales and “greener grass” (aha – alas, it is not always greener).  Without the built in support system of grandma, sisters, brother, aunts/uncles and in-laws, the job became exponentially more taxing (P.S., we’re not supposed to complain either).

So, how do we make it work, find Zen and enlightenment in the post-modern era of women’s liberation (liberated from what, last time I checked we’re still killing ourselves out there)?  We are “supposed” to look as put together as we did pre-baby, as sexy (be “in the mood” as frequently, despite exhaustion), and be as wrapped on Mr.’s every word as before????  Sounds like a bit of a tall order.  As a friend of mine so wisely said recently, the days are long, but the years are short and the hours between 4pm and 8 pm seem like thirty hours not four.

Perfection…unattainable, control of a situation (toddler involved or not)…an illusion….  Perhaps the best we can do until the circumstances dictate change is use the things that inspired us to possibly inspire our own children?  Play the music to them, dance with them, do your sport with your own little sport in tow and regardless of whether or not they adopt our interests as their own, when we look back maybe we’ll be glad for sharing our passions, happy that we didn’t really miss out and have made some lasting and with any luck, wonderful memories in the process.


  1. Jodi says

    I can’t tell you how many times I have thought to myself if this(being a mother) was a legitimate job would I be fired?? Why does society dictate what a great mother is…isn’t it sort of in the eye of the beholder?? Great article!! So well thought out and it seems as though you have taken the words right out of my mouth!! xoxo

  2. Terra says

    Okay, so I love my kids…I mean I LOVE my kids…but you are so right, there are days when I think (forget about getting away)…I would just like to get through 30 minutes with no whining. It doesn’t mean that I would trade what I have for anything, it just means that, yes, I am human and humans do like to have quiet time all to ourself once in a while…and then go back to my blissfully crazy modern day mama life :)

  3. Carlos says

    I can tell you that nothing in this world prepares you for having children. Nothing!!!! ;-) It is by far the most difficult job in the world and also the most rewarding. Like my wife Lori says everyday I also go to school. We tend to help each other out as much as possible. But sometimes you just want to throw in the towel. Then reality sets in. Forget how difficult it is for mothers that have a husband to lean on and vice versa. What about the single mothers out there. How do they do it?

  4. Shannon Tinney says

    Hey, Tiffany.
    I love your topics. I have definitely experienced the SCREAM, and the inevitable guilt afterwards. I ask myself, “where did that come from!” We Moms truly have our finger on the pulse of families and are just so sensitive to any imbalances. We suppress our need to take care of ourselves because we observe ourselves running around with a mop, broom, and fire extinguisher doing damage control. Are intentions are to upkeep our precious lives we have chosen into existence. Fellow Moms, we DO do the best we can at every moment; we are always doing what is most important. And please remind yourselves to “PUT YOUR MASK ON FIRST” as they say at the beginning of every airplane flight. Rock on Mommies!!!!!

  5. Marcia says

    Although I am not included in the statistics quoted ( I am in fact childless) your words do resonate with me. I married in 1968 when opting out of motherhood was not really an option, not socially condoned. The would-be grandparents were especially confused and it was assumed there was “a problem”.. The more ballsy types would inquire outright “when?” and as time elapsed”why not?”. After their initial surprise/shock I would be regalled with their parenting woes and musings on what life might have been a deux as opposed to 3 , 4 or 5.The real clincher perhaps was born of my professional dealings with adolescents and their parents who most often were- – but not always- good folks attempting to cope with the increasing societal complexity of the 70s and 80s- aka sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
    Today there exist blogs for childless-by-choice couples ( e.g. nokid-ers) in addition to the plethora of mommy blogs. Women are having their first children in their 40s one way or the other (Kelly Preston has conceived at 47!). I heartily support all of you who chose to take on the most difficult job EVER. Alas, some of us knew early on ( me at the age of 13) that we were just not cut out for it. So somewhere between those hours of 4 to 8 PM I will pause and raise a glass of good red wine to all of you wonderful, strong and fabulous women and hope you will NEVER forget who you were before, stay focused and creative in the present with all its travails and make plans for your own fulfilling futures. God bless and God speed!

  6. Milady Guzman says

    I think in the end, the beautiful picture of playing with kids in the park, the husband next to you and blah blah blah, at the end – the beautiful pictures will be only in your mind. The babies are gone and the men are always free, even when they are married. Good article though, I enjoyed it!

  7. wendy sintow says

    Excellente thought provoking article.
    Society and Dad do expect mothers to be
    Super Moms. We even expect it of ourselves. You laid it all out beautifully.

  8. Wendy Sintow says

    Ecxellent article…… thought provoking. Society and Dad do expect Mothers to be Super Moms. Unfortunately Mom shares that expectation. It”s a nice little formula for guilt . You pointed out the love , sharing and memories.I’m not sure you gave the joys theier fair share.

    I look forward to your next article.

  9. Brittani says

    I believe you’ve given voice to so many afraid to speak themselves. Society does seem to expect that women are just naturally perfect supermoms and I’m so glad some of us are finally calling BS. When everyone is flailing around just doing the best they can – it’s nice to know no one is alone in this. Therefore…looking forward to hearing more from you!

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