J. Paul from Aurora, CO answered: "The hardest part is a combination of two things. The first one is saying no to your children, but you do it anyway because you know it's good for them. The other part that's hard is when all the children grow up and leave and you're not really a mom anymore. You're still a mom in one sense, but not in the way you're used to. You really don't know who you are anymore. All you know is being a mom. You lose a big part of who you are."
A mom of one from Ephrata, PA wrote: "I guess, that somewhere along the way with worrying about everyone else you kind of forget yourself. Either that or natural childbirth. Ha ha."
Charlotte Kuchinsky (Charlie to her friends), a 57 year old mother to 2 and grandmother to 3 originally from Oklahoma, but now residing in Yorktown,VA wrote: "To me, the hardest part about being a mother was realizing that I couldn't be everything they wanted me to be. Mothers are human beings who make mistakes like everyone else does. However, kids have difficulty dealing with, and accepting, those flaws. Having your child look at you with disappointment, even for a truly minor infraction, rips a mother's heart into pieces. It was hard to learn that I had the right to mess up from time to time as long I handled it the right way. It ultimately allowed my children to know it was okay for them to make mistakes as well."
MaryAnn DePietro, a mother of one in Roseville, CA wrote: "The hardest part of being a mom for me is there is no time off. What I mean is, it's a hard job and you need a break every now and then. Sometimes I can't get another cup of milk, or play Candyland, or answer another "why "question. But there is never a day off. I guess when they leave for college you get a day off. I bet then I will look back and wish I was still playing Candyland. No matter how hard it gets I would never trade it.
M.S. Medina, a mother of four and now raising a grandchild as her own in Southern California had this to say: "The hardest thing to me about being a mom is having to let your kids go - let them make mistakes and learn from them, whether they are two or twenty-two."
Tracy from Houston, TX, who is a mother of 2 kids wrote this: "The hardest thing about being a mom, is your own expectations. You want to be perfect, when your children are naturally imperfect people. You may want them to have the best paying job when they grow up so you try to instill all these work habits, information, and hygiene in them before they even get out of elementary school (smiling). Then you try to provide the most stable home environment. In your mind your child is so fragile he or she couldn't even take a beatin' and keep on tickin'. You feel the child will turn out unbalanced, which all your reason knows your child won't with life's minor ups and downs, so to conclude, the hardest thing about being a parent is perfection. It's not possible, but all moms try to reach it for the well being of their children, so you are the hardest part in raising your
Ceetee Sheckels, a New York mother "stuck" in Iowa wrote: "The hardest part of being a mom comes approximately 18 years after you bring a child into the world."
Ambriel Maji, a mother of one in Pennsylvania said: "The hardest thing about being a mom for me is trying to protect your children when harm is being done and being thrown into brick wall after brick wall because the abuse is not enough or the child does not want to talk to a certain person at an agency. The child doesn't want to go alone with a stranger to talk to them or the room has new toys in it so it's much more interesting to play with new toys than talk about the bad things that are happening to them. It's hard watching something you know is happening and you can't prevent it , yet the courts tell you that you still have to send your child for a visit with the party that is doing the abuse.
Lorraine Hayden, a mother of 5 in Syracuse, NY wrote: "The hardest thing about being a mommy for me is dealing with the sibling rivalry between my 12 and 13 year olds. They compete over just about everything.”
K. Ray, a 41 year old mom of 5 in Albion, Indiana wrote this in response: "I personally feel that the hardest part about being a mom is finding the time to do the things I enjoy. I'm not saying I regret being a mom, but it's difficult to find time for activities other than taking care of the household and the needs of my family. However, I still cherish every moment with my kids because I realize that someday they will be grown, and I'll miss having them at home. I recall breastfeeding my daughter, and at that time I realized how precious those moments were. Moms shouldn't focus on the negative aspects of parenting because the kids won't stay little forever. My advice to other mothers would be to cherish special moments and try to engrain them in your memory. Someday you'll wish you could go back in time - even if for just a little while, to hold your kids again, spend time with them as children, and remember exactly all the little details that are so easy to forget."
A 27 year old mom of 1 in Houston,TX said: "The hardest thing about being a mom for me is not knowing , not having all the answers."
An anonymous mom said: "being a single mom and making sure my daughter has what she needs".
Kelly Spies, a 34 year old mother of 4 from Merced, California said: "The hardest part about being a mom is watching your your kids grow knowing that with each passing year, there is less and less you can do for them. When they are toddlers, you tie their shoes for them because they can't do it, but pretty soon they're dressing themselves and heading off to school in their car without you. When they get into trouble you can't always rush to their rescue because you know if you do, you will be hurting them later in life. The hardest thing to do as a mother is to sit by and watch your children struggle and stay quiet so they can figure it out on their own. They grow up fast and you still want to be able to help them, but you can't always do it. It makes you feel helpless as a parent because we all want the best for our children".
Bunting Resources, a mom of 1 in Washington had this to say: "I would have to say the hardest part about being a mom is the pressure that you have to do the right thing for your child. Every decision that you are making is affecting the rest of their life. Everything else pales in comparison of being hard to that pressure, which I am sure is there to help ensure that we all do what is best for our children.
One mom of 2 in Texas wrote: "That is a tough question. I reared my two girls alone and without a support system from the time they were 18 months and 6 y/o, so for me it was not having anyone to share the moments they make you proud; but in general, under normal circumstances, I think I would have to say it would be remembering the following:
You are not there to be popular with them or to be their best friend; but that your job is to turn out mature, responsible, moral, respectful/respectable and contributing members of society when they leave home to live on their own. Which means standing firm in the rules and disciplines they will have to follow in society when you are no longer there to fix everything for them. It is a difficult thing to do when all their friends are telling them their parents are too strict or controlling.
I say this with all confidence; because it is how things played out in the rearing of my girls; but I can honestly say, I had only one big challenge with each of them in all their lives-- different one with each; but only one of the huge fears we have about our children...you know...what if they get into drugs or promiscuous sex, pregnancy, trouble with the law...those type worries, so I must have done something right, even while working 2 full time jobs...one was convinced to take some OTC speed in 6th grade by an upper-classman and the other skipped a class and got caught, so I was very blessed.
They are both on their own with families of their own and I chuckle every time I see them handling their children the same way I did them...yep, Mom was too strict. LOL If only all parents were, the rest of us would not be getting cursed out by 4 year olds in the grocery check out line. So in a nut shell, the hardest thing about being a parent is to actually parent our children; but oh the rewards we (and they) reap when they are on their own if we stand firm and be the grown ups!"
About giving her credit for her words, she had this to say: "give it to GOD; because He is the one who trusted me to train them properly, even though I told Him I was not a good choice for the job, and He is the one that kept them safe while I worked 18 hours a day all those years and wasn't home to enforce the rules with my physical presence. There were many days I was so tired I just wanted to let them go and not worry about it for just a few hours; but I couldn't and I didn't."
Overview and Words from the Author:
As you can see from the comments above, mothers make many hard decisions and handle hard tasks every day. I believe that there are many different ways and methods to parenting. The important part is that we handle it with love and care. The hardest part about being a mom for me is realizing that we are not, and never will be, perfect, no matter how hard we try. I find myself trying to perfect everything I think will affect my children in the future. Sometimes it takes someone else to point out to me that I am trying way too hard.
In reading this article, I hope that other mothers will gain a better understanding of their abilities and parenting roles, as well as take time to reflect on themselves, even if just for a few minutes. Perhaps others reading this will gain more respect for what moms (and dads) do every day for their children. Maybe they can read this and be able to reflect upon what mothers might be thinking and how they can help them out from time to time.
Mothers, love and care for your children and cherish every moment with them, but don't forget to have a moment for yourself each day, no matter how small that moment may be. Don't forget that you are not perfect. Your children are a part of you and they will love you whether or not you have fresh-baked goodies every single day. Believe me, it took me a while to realize that one. I only bake once a week now. Ha!
Also, your children do not have to be involved in every single extra-curricular activity. All they really want is time with you. Playing five different sports or fun classes may sound fun, but don't forget all the stress that may come with it. Pick one favorite activity of your child's that you can enroll your child in. When that activity ends, your child can choose another. They don't all have to be done at once.
Take more family outings and simply enjoy being a mother. Eighteen years of childhood may seem like forever, but it will go by very quickly. Enjoy it while you can and stop trying to be perfect all the time. Things run a lot smoother when you are not hard-pressed and full of pressure that comes with trying too hard. Go with the flow and things will flow smoothly.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network