If you feel like being a mother is the hardest job on the planet, you’re right. The small daily burdens and emergencies that come with nurturing human life make mothering hard, but so do two other realities you may not have considered before. Today, we’ll address #1:
Many women become moms in their late teens or twenties, and the younger we are, the harder the road. That’s because parenting requires maturity, selflessness, and wisdom. These attributes grow each year you’re alive, thus eliminating the fretting, fear, and silly expectations that come with being young. With time, we outgrow youthful fantasies like getting rich quick, being spontaneous, shopping freely, reading for hours or whatever freedoms that mothering puts on the back burner.
Also, the older we get, the easier it is to accept and cope with the demands and childishness of children. That’s why grandmothers enjoy little ones so much. We realize that children are not the only needy, grumpy, ungrateful, and messy people who provoke headaches and heartaches. With age, we accept that everyone has bad days, boring days, stressful, and exhausting days. But young mothers often feel trapped or annoyed because it seems like being a mom is the reason. Truth is, being alive and interacting with humans is the reason.
Learning how to parent while simultaneously learning practical things like keeping house, paying bills, being married and working daily is definitely another reason the road is hard for young moms. And while older women who are new mothers struggle with childcare inexperience too, they do have the advantage of having mastered many practical life skills.
So if you’re a new mom or a youngish mom, I encourage you to have patience with yourself and with your children. Find ways to love this season of your life. Find an older woman who can mentor you and offer you affirmation and perspective. Definitely say yes if she (or hubby or friend) offers to take the kids so you can have a break. Yes, the mothering road is full of rocks. It’s not your imagination. But when you’re young, you tend to focus on the rocks even though those who love you – and those who are older and wiser – are encouraging you to stop and enjoy the view.