Motherhood might be the greatest of all equalizers. No matter who you are or what you do, when you’re a mom, there are certain things you’re destined to go through. Some of these are wonderful and amazing -- reaffirming why you wanted to become a mother in the first place -- but others are likely more challenging than you imagined any part of this journey called parenting could be.
The only thing that will see you through (and console you in the midst of the seemingly impossible times) is the fact that you aren’t alone by any stretch of the imagination. Mothers everywhere understand because they’ve been there, too (or will be in the very near future). Moms have to dig deep, but they do. Time and time again, they find resilience.
We’ve partnered with Similac to bring you these seven moments when every mother finds her strength.
1. The First Time Your Child Goes To Daycare
You knew it was coming but didn’t know how hard it would truly be. You thought, Hey, maybe I’ll enjoy the freedom (and you will, but not yet). Despite preparing yourself, the waterworks start -- yours and your little one’s. Whether the first time you’re apart all day is at three months, three years or even five, it doesn’t make walking out that door any easier. You wonder, Will she miss me? Will she be okay? Am I doing the right thing? We all kind of want to run back in, snatch her up, and vow never to let our baby out of our sight. But instead, we dry our eyes, pretend to be brave and hope for the best.
The good news? We actually become a little braver, stronger -- and fiercer, too.
2. The Unwelcomed Advice At How You’re Feeding Your Baby
From the restaurant manager who “politely” asks you to put your breast away and nurse in the ladies’ room, to the smug grandmother figure who advises you that “breast is best” (hadn’t you heard?), mothers inevitably run into trouble at feeding time. And there’s no right way to handle the situation. Well, there is, but it could easily land you in jail in about 48 states. (Hint: a squirt in the eye never killed anyone.)
After defending your choices a couple of times, you start to remember why you chose them in the first place. You find your convictions, get to know yourself a little better as a parent and you don’t let go.
3. The Morning After You’ve Been Awake All Day ... And All Night
The baby’s days and nights are reversed, so you have you been up all day … and all night. Maybe you snuck in 10 minutes of sleep here and there while he chewed relentlessly on your phone and dialed grandma 14 times at 4 a.m. But the tiny spurts of sleep only made you feel worse. You get out of bed come morning feeling as if you’re going to collapse -- also knowing for a fact that there will be no opportunity to sleep until tonight … fingers crossed.
Inevitably, you realize if you can function in any capacity on this little sleep, you totally could take over the world as a rested person. Maybe Supermom does exist!
4. The Public Grocery-Store Meltdown
It’s 5 o’clock and the aisles are packed. “We just have to grab a few things for dinner,” you tell yourself. “We’ll be in and out in no time.” But your toddler has other plans. You try to stuff his squirmy legs through the cart holes but get kicked in the ear instead. While digging in your bottomless pit of a purse for your list, out of the corner of your eye you watch as an entire wall of canned beans goes tumbling down, with your grinning kid causing the avalanche. Then a few boxes of crackers get torn apart.
Finally you get to the checkout line and think, We’ve made it, we’re home free! But now the pleading starts. He’s begging you to buy yet another ridiculous item. You calmly say “no,” but before you even get the word out, he’s on the floor wailing, tugging at you, and screaming so loud you start to worry the teenage cashier is going to call CPS because “there is no way that’s normal.”
Thankfully, the mom with triplets clawing at her purse while she drops her groceries everywhere shoots you a sympathetic glance (as quickly as she can because, OMG, triplets). In that moment, you don’t feel so embarrassed. You feel a tiny bit human again.
5. Being The Mother WIth The Screaming Baby On A Plane
Pre-kid, you saw plane rides as a time to catch up on some reading or have a nap. Now they involve a continuous string of entertaining, rocking, walking the aisle, diaper changing and feeding, all to avoid the looming nightmare known as Your Baby Losing It at 35,000 Feet. Despite your best efforts, it happens anyway.
Among the reasons for the tears: She’s bored, she wants to crawl, her ears are popping, she’s itchy and just wants to pull Mom’s earring out so darn bad! Plus napping on the go is not her strong suit. In this moment all you want to do is tap your heels three times and arrive safely back home. But since the only real way out would involve a parachute, you breathe, ignore the angry stares, and keep bouncing, shushing and trying to remember what the heck the other S’s are from The Happiest Baby on the Block.
Luckily, the plane lands, the baby stops crying and you will never have to see any of those people ever again.
6. Discovering What The Term "Diaper Blowout" Really Means
You're cruising the aisles of Target, with one eye on a new purse and the other on a flashy sippy cup, when your keen sense of smell alerts you: there's a diaper that needs changing. But before you reach the family restroom and can unstrap the front carrier and clean off the culprit, you realize ... serious diaper malfunction. And your baby isn’t the only one who needs changing.
Your blouse is covered, and while you have three extra outfits for baby, you didn't think to bring a spare for yourself. You snag the closest thing off a hanger, wait behind six customers in the express lane, then sprint to the bathroom, where you spend the next 20 minutes cleaning poo off of just about everything in your proximity and wishing you hadn't been so ambitious when planning what you and baby would do today.
Perks of this (mis)adventure: you learn which diaper brand you are never going to use again and to always be prepared for the worst. In the end, it’s just another lesson in your every-expanding list of mom knowledge that doesn’t come from a book.
7. Realizing You’ve Forgotten About … You
Who knew motherhood would be so all-encompassing? Somewhere along the way you got used to missing your workouts, your girl’s night or your book club. The kids get sick and you let your work slide. The babysitter cancels and so, you do, too. You love being a mom but deep down you wish there was a little more time for the things that you want out of life, aside from motherhood. But the truth is, one day there will be again, even if it’s hard to see.
While mothers may walk many different paths, on different dirt and in different shoes, so many mom stories are the same. Moms are united in the choice to embrace motherhood day after day. And while it may not always be easy, it should never be lonely. In what moments have you found your strength as a mother?
Parenthood means going through difficult moments. Similac® believes in a world where moms support moms. That’s comfort all Moms can agree on.