These days, more than ever before, we hear about the challenges of motherhood. And with good reason. There’s a seemingly endless list of obstacles that moms face in raising their kids today while simultaneously juggling careers, managing households, caring for spouses, and the (often invisible) list goes on.
The “village” is as elusive as ever. Current systems are not set up to support us. Parental leave is often inadequate. Childcare costs are rising. The “motherhood penalty” is a very real thing for a lot of working moms who find themselves disadvantaged in various ways after having children.
It’s getting harder to shield yourself from the pressure to homemake, homeschool, and overschedule, all while still fitting in just the right amount (but not too much!) of self-care to maintain some sort of balance. Mom-shaming is now an all-too-frequent occurrence, and with social media, it’s more public than ever before. Parenting is overwrought with decisions, and the guilt – both real and imposed – that can come along with those decisions sometimes feels like too much to bear.
This meme from @alrightmom pretty much sums it up:
Now that I have a daughter, I’ve really started to wonder – what is the rock bottom of modern-day motherhood? The tipping point. The point at which we bottom out and things can only get better from there. If we have it worse than our mothers did, what will our daughters experience (if they decide to have children)? Will it be even worse for them – this impossible balancing act of motherhood, career, and self? This feeling of being overwhelmed and under-supported.
I can only hope that we make more progress by then because my dreams for my daughter are many. If she chooses to become a mother, I hope she experiences more support than judgment. More community than isolation. I hope she has the strength to walk away from the things that don’t serve her, belief in her ability to make sound decisions for herself and her family, and the courage to ask for and receive help when needed.