I knew being a mum was going to be hard, but not this hard

I knew having kids would mean there would be difficult days, days where I was frazzled and they were crying.  I knew that it wasn’t going to be plain sailing.  On some level I knew that being a mum was going to be hard.  I just never realised how hard it was going to be.

No one ever told me that it would be that hard.  I mean, I knew being a mum was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it would be this hard….

I knew sleep deprivation would hit, that there would be nights of me dragging myself out of bed to breastfeed my newborn back to sleep, then dragging myself out of bed in the morning to play with my older child.  That I would half heartedly push a train around the tracks clutching onto my coffee waiting for the caffeine to hit my veins and for me to wake up a little bit.  I just didn’t think that 18 months into having my second child I would still be sleep deprived, that my 18 month old wouldn’t sleep, that I would be so exhausted at times I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  That I’d pick up every bug going from the boys because I was so run down.  That I would have the same conversation with my husband because I hadn’t realised that we’d already had it.  That I would happily give up my evenings to go to bed and sleep when the boys slept because I didn’t know when the next wake up would happen.  I knew sleep deprivation would be hard, would affect us all.

sleeping baby

I didn’t think being a mum would be this hard.

I knew that my patience would be pushed to the limit.  That the same repetitive question on repeat would drive me insane.  That the daily battle to do anything without a battle would grind me down;

Good morning, shall we go the loo?  NO.  Can you eat your dinner please.  NO.  Come on, no more Peppa.  NO.  It’s time to get dressed now please.  NO.  We’re late, let’s go.  NO.  Time for bed buddy.  NO.  NO.  NO.  NO.

I didn’t expect to become a shouty mum who lost her temper.  I thought that I’d keep my cool and be serene and joyful and “that’s ok darling peas aren’t for everyone” even when it was hard.  I didn’t realise it would be this hard though and that my natural reactions would be to shout and get frustrated.

I didn’t think being a mum would be this hard.

I knew I would worry about them, from are they eating enough to should they be doing that already.  That each night I would creep into their rooms as they slept to whisper goodnight, I didn’t know that just looking at them wouldn’t be enough, that I would need to touch them, to ruffle their hair, to do one last goodnight kiss.  Whispered I love yous.  I didn’t realise that I would get more and more anxious.  That unthinkable scenarios would dance around my head as I slept.   That I would need to go in and check just one more time

I didn’t think being a mum would be this hard.

I knew that I would over-analyse, that I would inspect every moment of their routine, are they stimulated enough?  Am I doing enough?  I knew I would be my biggest critic but I didn’t realise I would be so hard on myself.  That mum guilt would hit me in full force, that it would become second nature for me to overthink every move I make.

I didn’t think being a mum would be this hard.

I knew that there would be long days, I didn’t realise that there would be days I would be counting the seconds to go until bedtime, let alone the minutes and hours.  That I would rush off as soon as my husband walked through the door to find some air to breath.

I didn’t think being a mum would be this hard.

On the same hand I didn’t realise how joyful the happy moments would be.  How my heart would sing at the sound of my boys saying Mama.  How I would melt in a puddle at every snuggle.  How the sounds of laughter would bring joy to my soul.

I knew that there would be happy moments, that there would be smiles and laughter.  I just didn’t realise how wonderful they would be.  That when people say there is nothing in the world like the sound of your children laughing they truly meant it.  That one shy smile lasting mere seconds would make up for all the difficult moments in-between.

use I have a brother I will always have a friend

How every night, however bad my day had been, I would creep into my sleeping children to watch them.  Eyes closed, dreaming in the way that only children do, arms and legs flung out of the covers.  That I would cover them up, stroke their hair, give them one last kiss, one more I love you, and know that no matter how hard it is, the happy moments are what keep me going through those difficult moments.  And wine.  Wine helps….



  1. November 23, 2016 / 9:29 am

    Thank you. It’s hard beyond belief. And I’m struggling to find the joyful parts. But I have my waders on and I’m pushing myself through the deep waters. It’s encouraging to know others find this parenting thing hard too. Thank you.

  2. November 25, 2016 / 8:01 am

    Love this. Parentis is so rewarding and equally a complete pain in the arse with those “why dod we ever want to have kid” monents. My eldest one drives me spare most of the time but then at night when she asks for a cuddle and we snuggle on the sofa I cherish it and know in a few years she won’t want so many cuddles. Thanks for hosting as always #effitfriday

  3. November 25, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    I hear ya. There are so many days where I truly think I am not gonna make it til bedtime…let alone 18 more years!


  4. November 25, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    It’s so tough at times. I struggled so much in the summer when it was boiling at night and nobody slept and then once outside constantly worried if she was too hot! Now it’s winter I worry if she’s too cold!!
    Worry is relentless but worth it.xx

  5. November 26, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    It sure is tough and confusing at times. I think lack of sleep makes it much more harder to tolerate the smaller things X #effitfriday

  6. December 4, 2016 / 11:44 pm

    It is both tougher and more wonderful than any of us could imagine. It is the tough bits, the sleep deprivation and the losing of oneself in the day to day demands that takes its toll. Great post. Really reflective of motherhood.

  7. December 5, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    Loved this. Feel the same! I’m a 46 year old mum of a two year old. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had!

  8. December 5, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    I loved this post. I feel the same. I was 46 at the weekend and have a 2 year old. Its the hardest job I have ever had!

  9. December 10, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    Everything younsaid is so true – well it was for me anyway. This is the reality of motherhood which can only be understood through experience. jo x

  10. February 19, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    I feel like I could have written this. Every bit I can relate too. Most days I feel I’m wading through mud, some days are great…I just wish there were less days wading through mud! X

  11. Lucy
    April 8, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    The interesting thing I find (& please I’m not blowing my own trumpet here regarding my own 3 year old) I genuinely feel the brighter the child the more they demand of your every breath. The trick is to try to give in rather than keep fighting the inclination to spend the day dreaming of free time. I used to do that until I thought,you know what,if you can’t beat them,join them. So I gave in & stimulated them with as much learning material as I could lay my hands on & now I feel like the greatest teacher as well as a mother. It is still hard as the proverbial at times & often I could run a mile but I genuinely feel less stressed day to day now.
    Toys are brilliant but boy do they love to learn 🙂

  12. August 4, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    It gets easier, but it also goes so so fast and one day you’ll look back wishing the days of them being little had lasted longer. I have four children and I think that with each one I’ve relaxed a little more. I’m very chilled out but I still have rules and keep my children in a good routine. I’ve learnt to pick my battles and always focus on positivity. There has been the odd day here and there, where it has been tough. I worry that the toughest times will be when they are teenagers.
    I completely agree with everything you said about when they are sleeping. I wake up in the night and feel the need to check on all four and give them all one more kiss. The fear, is the hardest part of parenting for me. xx

  13. January 12, 2018 / 2:44 pm

    It is incredibly difficult when not getting sleep, especially with how active kids are when they are awake..

    Some say it gets easier and in most cases it does. That said, I know some that still have sleep issues even now kids are 5. What I would say is, that, if you think sleep is an issue then get to the doctors and insist on it. It can take 6-12 months to see a sleep clinic if one is required.

    But it maybe as soon as school/preschool is in the frame, they get tired out more and may sleep eaiser.

  14. February 8, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    It is hard and still is…I have had a tough few days battling with myself as a parent and my nine year old pushing boundaries…your post was right next to mine on twitter…proves we are not alone as mummies. They are so worth it though. Beautiful children, lovely post ❤️

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