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Friday, June 8, 2012

The Dark Side of Motherhood

Five Mintue Friday - Expectation

I wasn’t sure what it would be like.

We’ve all heard the stories of cooing, of breakfasts of burnt toast and spilled juice in bed.  The sugar coated kisses that come from little faces smeared with chocolate.  The hugs that never end.

I imagined swinging in the park, strolling around town gazing up at the majestic high-rises, splashing in water.

I expected to be tired from joy and fun and care and doting.
What I got was quite different.  Oh there were messy kisses galore and splashing in water, but there was also the dark side.  Those things that others know about, but don’t want to tell for fear of discouragement, or even embarrassment.  The dark side exists and it can be found in the chubby little fingers of a toddler.  These same that fingers that play with your hair and smoosh your cheeks can also draw blood and hit with the sting of a prize fighter.

The expectation should have been to know what was coming and love unconditionally in spite of that.  Motherhood is a journey we often start without a map.  Can we please start being good tour guides for each other now?


This is a joint exercise between Five Minute Friday and 15 Habits of Great Writers – Day 4 – Practice.  This is 5 minutes of raw, unedited writing that I’m putting out there – ugly and all.  This was a topic that I certainly don’t like showing to the world, but I need to be brave and honest with you all.  How else will you really get to know me?  Hope I didn’t scare you off.

If I didn't, won't you join us at either place?


  1. Visiting from Five Minute Friday...

    I really appreciate your honesty here. We often hesitate to share the ugly side of motherhood, but we're not doing anyone a favor, are we? "Motherhood is a journey we often start without a map. Can we please start being good tour guides for each other now?" I love that. Perhaps our expectations would be a bit more realistic if we were more open with one another.

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks for visiting. Openness can't be met with judgement, but I think it would be wonderful. At least you wouldn't think you were the only one having to deal with certain things.

  2. Oh I had such expectations of being the greatest mom ever! Reality set in by the time my girls hit their tween years. Motherhood is the hardest job ever ... It's not for sissies!

    1. Very impressive that it took until the tweens. It certainly isn't for sissies. I don't know how anyone ever did it wearing pearls and heels! :) Thanks for coming by.

  3. I think part of the issue is that every kid is different- and goes through different stages and so we all are going through different things at different times. L is finally growing out of the strong willed stuff. E has always been a sweetheart. G is a challenge! :) And what I have learned is that it has so little to do with our ability to parent. It has everything to do with our willingness to lay it all before the Lord and commit our children to Him.
    You are a wonderful mama! Your faithfulness now WILL reap benefits- I promise!!!! Love you!
    (and great post, btw! Love your honesty!)

  4. (((hugs))) We all have stories we could share, I would dare say. But it's not something we choose to remember consistently. We want to remember the good. I share the bad when someone asks. Considering it's about my kiddos, I don't feel comfortable putting the bad on the web quite out in the open. I'd rather that be between friends whom I know could hear a story to help.

  5. I think if I'd had 7 minutes, or 27, to keep writing this would have been a little different. I think the issue is not so much sharing specific "horror stories" about our kids behavior, but our own reactions and how we can be caught off guard. It's also nice to learn that the definition of "normal" is as wide as the Atlantic Ocean. when you are on one end of that spectrum it can be hard to ask questions. The isolation is what I want others to avoid.

  6. This reminded me of a piece that I wrote many years ago when I was a wee babe of 25, and my children were all 2 and under...

    You Never Told Me

    You didn't tell me that my heart would never again be my own.
    You didn't tell me that a simple chore would take 50 times longer than necessary because of their help.
    You didn't tell me that I would feel so helpless when I couldn't fix their hurts.
    You didn't tell me about those split-second thoughts, in the midst of a tantrum-filled day, where I would think for just a moment that I wished I wasn't Mom, nor did you tell me about the oppressive guilts that would consume me the very next second.
    You didn't tell me that the exhaustion never ends.

    But then...

    You did tell me that I would never want my heart back if it meant giving them back.
    You did tell me that the joy on their faces because they thought they were helping would be more than worth the extra time.
    You did tell me that my babies clinging to me in relief would be the best feeling there is.
    You did tell me about those moments when I would gaze at them & my heart and eyes would literally overflow with love and adoration.
    You did tell me that the fascination never ends.

    And perhaps those are the only things that really matter.

  7. That's why I keep reading, because you're honest, real--you. (One of these summer days we'll have to get together...)=) T

    1. Absolutely!! Thanks for your encouragement.