Being a mom is hard. It’s hard now, and it was hard when our moms and grandmas were in this season of life too. But something about being a mom today feels different. In this post we’re talking about modern motherhood and why it’s different than past generations.
It’s pretty obvious that the world is changing rapidly around us. With new technology evolving and the pace of life rapidly increasing, it’s no wonder that motherhood looks a lot different today than the generations before us.
Maybe it’s because of the near-constant comparison on social media. Or maybe it’s because we try to do everything ourselves with little-to-no help, all while trying to avoid burnout.
Motherhood in past generations certainly had its ups and downs as well. I’m sure if you asked your mom if being a new mom was easy for her, she’d say no. Nowadays though, things have changed. And if I’m being honest, it feels like a lot more is expected of us.
In past generations, there was a lot less focus on the choices mothers made for their children. For example, a common question when you’re on maternity leave now is usually, “When are you returning to work?” It’s like this preconceived assumption that mother’s don’t stay or can’t stay home with their kids anymore.
Another topic that mother’s feel so much pressure around is how they feed their baby. Are you going to breastfeed? Or are you going to do baby-led weaning? Are you making your own baby food?
Then, as they get older, it’s questions on where they’re going to school, and what activities their involved with. It’s like if they’re three or four-years-old and not in an activity or two or three, you sometimes feel like the odd ball out.
Even having a “village” to help raise your child is different now. Life moves a little faster than it used to. Everyone is busy with their own kids and activities. There’s not as much time to pick up the neighbor kids for carpool, and you don’t see kids playing in the neighborhood as much as you used to. And while some may have the luxury of relying on our parents to babysit or help out daily, most don’t. Many of our parents are still working a 9-5 job, or focusing on their own lives to be able to drop by at a moment’s notice.
Because of this lack of support, moms today feel the need to do it all themselves.
We’re expected to have a baby, get right back to taking care of our other kids, make dinners, do the laundry and the dishes, excel in our careers (but not so much that we get burnt out), be the best mom and remember to take time for self-care. If it sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. And it’s exhausting.
Social media use is at an all-time high. The constant consumption (and maybe even comments) about how we should be doing things or even comparing ourselves to how others are doing things can be exhausting.
If you see a baby walking at nine months on your feed and your one-year-old isn’t, you feel pressure. Or you see a mom on social media who makes all her baby food from scratch, when you’re giving your baby store bought. It’s this cycle of questioning yourself as mother, “Am I doing enough?”
Social media can give an unrealistic standard of what motherhood should look like and what we should be doing to meet those standards. Some have spotless homes, feeding their kids three organic meals a day, and enrolling them in endless activities to keep them off their iPads— and we might not have the ability to do it all.
At some point, motherhood became super… busy. Where are the slow mornings, asking for help when we need it, and lifting each other up during this season of life?
None of this should take away from the beauty of motherhood. Motherhood still is (and always will be) one of the greatest joys. All I’m saying is that we need to realize that we can’t do it all. We weren’t meant to do it all. We weren’t made to be drowning in motherhood tasks but then showing up as if we have it all together and are thriving.
“No woman has ever had to do as much, on her own, as the modern mother. We don’t have the same family structure or the same neighborhood structure anymore… it’s really hard, and every woman needs to give herself a break.”
– Dr. Harvey Karp
Rather than trying to do it all at once, we may have to prioritize different parts of our lives at different times. Our relationships, our bodies, our homes, and our careers – it’s a lot of balls to juggle. And it’s totally normal to be thriving in one area and be near failing in another.
Your house may be clean, but then you don’t have time to practice self-care.
I try to squeeze in at least 10 minutes of self-care at the end of the day. We all have 10 minutes to devote to ourselves. Whether that’s through mediation, a skincare routine or a hot bath, you can take time for yourself and spare those few minutes. For 10 percent off your OSEA purchase, use code JESSB at checkout.
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You may have given your kids 100 percent of your attention all day, but then you only have the energy to pour a bowl of cereal for dinner.
You may make the most delicious and nutritious dinner, but then your house is a mess.
Instead of getting down on yourself that things may not always be perfect, learn to juggle only a couple things at once. Then let the rest go or delegate the task to someone else.
It’s tough work being a modern mother. We’re not meant to walk the walk alone or criticize other moms for how they do things. Instead, let’s celebrate each other’s wins, lift each other up, and realize that we’re all doing the best we can.
You’re doing a great job, mama!
What’s one piece of encouragement you would tell other mamas? Let me know in the comments below!
If you are soon to be a new mom, and are looking for guidance and education leading up to your birth, check out my 1-1 doula services for some personalized support! OR – download my Bump and Birth Guides for all the good info you need to feel more confident in your birth!