What’s the most challenging aspect of parenting?
We always find it comforting to hear from other mothers about the everyday ups and downs of parenting. It’s important to know we’re not alone in our struggles, because we all have them! Hearing from women with children of different ages also gives us a sneak peak into what we might expect to experience, since every age tends to come with its own set of challenges, and strategies for how to handle them. We asked 10 of our favorite Super Mamas this question, and their replies were honest, heartfelt and similar in many ways.
Let’s dive in and see what they had to say.
Super Mama 01 ♥ Amanda
Child’s Age: 2
THE MENTAL LOAD! The overwhelming stress ball that surrounds me at all times, both when Miles was 2 days old and now that he is 2 years old. It’s this constant desire/need to ANTICIPATE everyone’s needs. Trying to balance being a good mama/wife/friend. Sometimes that means making sure Miles has everything he needs, like never running out of diapers or wipes or formula/milk, buying the next sippy cup that better fits his needs, buying an extra pack of crayons because he broke the old set, buying clothes one size up for the coming months. But it also means making the household run well – anticipating a load of laundry that needs cleaning, scheduling a hair cut, making sure to remember to buy the goldfish Miles’ school asked me to get when doing groceries, never running out of everyone’s favorite snacks, scheduling our Doctor’s appointments, paying those bills, submitting our taxes, making plans with friends and family, building the schedule, packing snacks and toys for the car, buying new age appropriate toys (then worrying that I am spoiling Miles with too many toys)….and of course…CONSTANTLY cleaning and tidying!! I try to cope with this by making lists – LOTS OF THEM. I find once I write something down, it gives my head a small reprieve for just a bit because I no longer need to actively remember something!
Super Mama 02 ♥ Jessica
Child’s Age: 2
The juggle between work and motherhood.
Super Mama 03 ♥ Natalie
Children’s Ages: 5, 7, 13 & 15
Living completely and wholeheartedly for someone else. Learning to spend 24/7 based on their (her) schedule was so extremely tough yet, so ridiculously gratifying.
Super Mama 04 ♥ Laura
Children’s Ages: 18 months & 5 years
When I pause to reflect on the most challenging aspect of parenting, I think of the abundance. The abundance of joy, of laughter, of snacks, activities, responsibilities, concerns, questions, heart attacks, nannies, preschools, pandemics and really, just the abundance of energy! I often find it to be challenging to balance that abundance with the rest of my life. In addition to being a loving mom to my nearly 5 year old son and 18 month daughter, I am a wife, daughter, granddaughter, cousin, friend and CEO of a thriving art business I founded the month I finally found out I was pregnant with my first. When I can stop and be present in the moment I love every bit of deliciousness with my kiddos. But sometimes, I wish I had more of those moments and less of the juggle.
Super Mama 05 ♥ Lauren
Children’s Ages: 6 & 8
As toddlers become kids, and kids become tweens, it’s hard to know the difference in when kids are being kids with misbehavior, and when it’s something more like a cry for help. You know your kid better than anyone, but you don’t know who they are becoming, and helping them realize that through their own guided work is fundamentally paramount. There’s always the magnetism between mom and kid to helicopter, swarm, protect, mama bear, but keeping your kid from skinning their knees emotionally will only stunt their maturation. The best parents are those that know when to lean in, and when to just listen. We can’t keep another 9 year old from telling our kid they aren’t best friends, but we can help them feel fulfilled enough within themselves to not let that be the end of their world. Don’t be afraid to parent your own way. If everyone had carbon copy kids then it would be okay to compare your parenting. Your kid is different and unique, so shouldn’t your personalized parenting approach be as well? And on the same token, have grace with other parents who are doing the same. It’s a village, not a private island. Forgive your parents for their parenting mistakes, and for telling you how to parent thirty years after their hay day. You need your parents now more than ever. Lastly, your relationships with other women will ebb and flow after motherhood more than any other time in your life. You’ll lose some relationships, some will drift, and some will grow stronger. Seek out those friends that don’t just like you because your kids play nicely together, but instead seek those women who still recognize the YOU inside the mother figure. To me, this is the best way to still recognize yourself and not lose who you are.
Super Mama 06 ♥ Sheyla
Child’s Age: 2 months
Ooh what can I say about what’s the most challenging thing about parenting… Well, I’ve only been a parent for a few weeks but I’m currently struggling with finding balance and time for myself. It’s 24/7 about the baby, plus house chores, and getting things done. When I do have a few minutes to myself I’m exhausted and just want to sleep. I also hate to admit that I feel guilty about wanting time alone and thinking about myself.
Super Mama 07 ♥ Carolyn
Child’s Age: 2
To remind myself that boundaries are healthy and I am allowed to take care of myself.
Super Mama 08 ♥ Jacquelyn
Child’s Age: 18 months
The most challenging part of parenting is making sure that my child is meeting all of his milestones. I have learned that development is not linear and you really can’t make comparisons. Just because your child isn’t the first to do something doesn’t mean they won’t get there in time! Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to parenting!
Super Mama 09 ♥ Aimee
Children’s Ages: 12 & 14
Hard to pick just one thing but for me, it would be the uncertainty of it all. Never knowing if what you are doing is going to lead your child to live their best life while being a good human. Someone once said to me “if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother” and boy, oh boy, do I hope that isn’t true!
Super Mama 10 ♥ Sara
Child’s Age: 5, 10, 13, 15
I am a proud mom of 3 boys and 1 little girl. After having my first 2 boys 21 months apart, I realized how difficult it was to juggle both their needs 24/7, and keeping up with the endless house work. At that time I began selling custom 3D cakes which added many sleepless nights to the agenda. Juggling everything is quite a challenge! My 2 older boys are now teenagers, and learning how to deal with adolescents have been the toughest struggle yet.
After receiving all of the replies from our Super Mamas, a common theme came through. Taking time for yourself and trying not to feel guilty about it is something several of us face (myself included). I think it’s important to remember though, being the caring, giving and unconditionally loving mothers that all of these and so many other women are, that if you’re taking care of everyone else all the time and not stopping to do something nice for yourself once in awhile, then ultimately the whole family suffers! Let’s try to remind each other that moms deserve to treat themselves too. Happy Moms = Happy Families ♥