In recent years, the explosive growth of “mommy bloggers” and social media “momfluencers” have flooded the mainstream with an overly romanticized view of motherhood, to such a degree that many young mothers feel as though they are falling short.
So-called ‘mommy bloggers’ are mothers who write either on their own sites or on some of the larger ‘mom’ sites, as well as post on social media displaying their “perfect” lives for others to see and aspire to.
They typically make money by using their internet-fame to advertise products to their audiences, but they must always do so with a smile on their faces.
One retired mommy blogger told the New York Post that “marital troubles or feeling burdened by the demands of motherhood isn’t advertiser-friendly.”
Though positivity is always welcome, especially in these tumultuous times when media across the spectrum tends toward the nasty and divisive, we seem to have arrived at a tipping point where some measure of balance is required. The relentless glamorization of motherhood through social media leaves some mothers feeling like they are doing it all wrong.
The anti-thesis of a mommy blogger
A recent post on the online forum Reddit has garnered a huge amount of attention in the last few days when one anonymous woman shared her feelings towards motherhood in a post entitled I hate being a mom, it’s my biggest regret of my entire life.
This mother — what you might call the antithesis of a mommy blogger — described her struggle with motherhood in a brave, perhaps even aggressive, post that broke away from the sentiment that every mother must be happy and grateful to have children.
The post began with a disclaimer of sorts, with the anonymous mom stating “Let me make this ABUNDANTLY clear, I do NOT hate my child. I love him so much, I truly do. And I’m a great mother. Anyone who knows me knows how much I do for my child.”
It seems her resentment is not aimed at her child, but at the role of motherhood itself. The woman candidly revealed that “I just hate being a slave to another human being. I know it’s not his fault but, this is torture. TORTURE. Every single part of being a mom is torture.”
She continued, “I can’t finish a thought process without being interrupted. Can’t clean the house without it being a 4 hour process because he is following behind me destroying everything I’ve just cleaned. A quick 5 minute run to the store? Lol yep, add 20 minutes and 5x the stress.”
While many women take motherhood, and all its trials in their stride, and even expect this level of disruption, this mother describes how every single part of her life “is worse since I had my son.”
In a heartbreaking ending to the post she stated “I hate my life and I wish I could just die and start over. I wish genies were real. My only wish would be to go back in time and never get pregnant. Its ruined my life. And it’s all my fault. I hate myself for ever allowing this to happen.”
Surprisingly, many of the responses online were incredibly supportive of this woman’s plight. One fellow mom commented, “I’m glad she posted it online. Unsure why everyone dresses up being a parent as a wonderful thing. She summed it up perfectly, you become a lifelong slave for a small human.”
Another mother was also grateful that for the bravery shown by the author of the post writing, “Huge kudos to the original poster for tackling an enormous taboo that I also think people should be allowed to talk about without being judged.”
Other replies were more on the fence, wondering if perhaps this woman was suffering from postpartum depression (PPD) or another mental health disorder, and many encouraged her to seek help for her feelings.
One reply suggested the mother seek medical attention, pointing out, “What you wrote screams [of] postpartum, and can be helped. You don’t have to feel like this and can enjoy being a mother.”
That poster was right. PPD is a common and treatable condition, if diagnosed. A study from Seleni Institute found that as many as one in seven women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth.
With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses.
There should be no shame attached to this, PPD is a medical condition, not a failing. If you know someone who is struggling, a great guide to finding help can be found here.