The Dark Side Of Motherhood: 9 Shocking Truths No One Talks About


Is There A Dark Side Of Motherhood

Do you feel motherhood has taken as much from you as it has given you? Or that you’re not a cut-out to be a mother? Welcome to the dark side of motherhood. You’re in for a ride!

Our society and popular culture have idealized and romanticized motherhood for a long time. You most probably have heard about how pregnant women glow, how motherhood can be the most fulfilling experience, or how bringing up your child will be the best job that you could have. But there’s a dark side of motherhood that hardly gets any attention.

Most probably you were never told about the sleepless nights, morning sickness, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, and other gory details that exist in the underbelly of motherhood. And neither were you prepped for the doubts, exhaustion, anxieties, guilt, regrets, and loneliness that accompany this seemingly delightful experience with zero drawbacks. Yes, there’s a dark side of motherhood that no one speaks of. 

The truth about motherhood is that it can be a lot grimmer than what gets portrayed. The challenges and hardships involved during the different stages of motherhood can shake you to your core. Yes, giving birth to another life form is beautiful, and watching your child grow up into a full-fledged adult can be a very rewarding and joyful experience. But all the pleasures of motherhood cannot negate the fact that mothers often find themselves in the grasp of some very dark thoughts, feelings, and even behavior, regarding their children and motherhood in general.

Some Unfiltered Truths Of Motherhood

The dark side of motherhood can ironically throw light on the challenges encountered by so many mothers.
The dark side of motherhood is never acknowledged in our popular culture

The darkest secrets of motherhood that always get swept under the rug are the negative feelings mothers have about themselves and their children. Most of the time, this emotionally distressing phase of motherhood is casually mentioned as “baby blue” and passed off as something that women should snap out of, on their own.

Whereas the reality is that the conflict of needs of a mother and her child engenders mixed feelings or some kind of ambivalence among mothers, in spite of them loving their children from the core of their hearts. This is the dark side of motherhood that no mother wants to admit.

Related: Find out what are the common things narcissistic mothers say

9 Motherhood Truths That No One Talks About

Now, let’s closely look at the hidden side of motherhood with the help of 9 commonly observed instances.

1. Regretting The Decision Of Motherhood

You very well might believe that your tiny bundle of joy is the best thing that happened to you, for the most part of the day. But getting up for a 2 am feed, when you have an early board meeting tomorrow, can seriously make you question your decision of motherhood. When you have to decline a girl’s night out with your friends for the umpteenth time, or when the bills just keep piling up, it’s natural to regret motherhood.

Especially when you are a young mother, you might end up regretting the timing or situation of your motherhood even more. What no one tells you about early motherhood is that you will end up missing your carefree days and secretly resenting your child. This dark side of motherhood remains a closely guarded secret among troubled moms.

Impairment of cognitive skills is one example of the dark side of motherhood

2. Flashbacks Of Childhood Trauma

You must have been told that only after becoming a mother, you will be able to fully appreciate the sacrifices your parents made for you. While it might be true, in many cases it has been found that while caring for a newborn, a mother starts remembering her own dysfunctional upbringing and traumatic childhood experiences. It can reopen old wounds and make you think about whether you have it in you to be a good mother and provide a stable and nurturing home for your children.

3. Lack Of Patience For Other Children

A fussy toddler or a rebellious teenager can push your buttons in more ways than one. When your son talks back in the most annoying manner or when your daughter shuts you out completely, you are drained of patience and energy. You might still make yourself put up with your own kid’s delinquent behavior, but you might lose your temper with other children. If you’re someone who works with kids, like a teacher or a nurse, it can be especially difficult for you to remain calm and stable around unruly children.

4. Feeling Estranged

If you think kids start acting aloof only after hitting puberty, you’re in for a great surprise. You and your child will be inseparable for the first few years after their birth but as soon as they start pre-schooling, they will begin to form their own world. They will pick up habits from new friends and start behaving like a whole new person. All of a sudden you might feel alienated from the person who was inside you just a while back. The dark side of motherhood will make you feel estranged from your own flesh and blood.

5. Understanding Why Parents Snap So Often

Before becoming a mother, you might have had strict ideologies about motherhood. One of them is never losing your temper in front of your kid. But now you realize how unnerving it is to be a parent. If you are an emotionally stable person, you will never resort to abuse in order to discipline your child. However, you will start understanding how less stable mothers can easily slip into the cycle of anger and child abuse, and end up on the dark side of motherhood.

Being a mother makes you aware of how the dark side of motherhood can overpower some mothers

6. Losing The Spark In Your Marriage

This is a mistake that many couples make. While caring for their kid, they neglect their marriage. As a result, romance and passion take a back seat and the only thing that binds them together is their child. Therefore, as soon as the child grows up, the couple finds that they are no longer attracted to each other, and many a time the marriage falls apart. Yes, the dark side of motherhood can claim your relationship with your partner.

Related: Learn about the different types of family dynamics here!

7. Not Being Able To Forgive Your Child

No matter how precious your child is to you, you need to realize that they don’t belong to you. They are unique individuals and once they grow up, they are responsible for their actions. You might hate some of their habits or decisions, and that’s absolutely okay! That doesn’t mean you don’t love them and their actions are in no way a reflection of your upbringing.

8. Struggling With Your Identity As A Mother

You might have wanted to be the perfect mother to your child and continuously feel that you’re failing to do your best. Whatever you do, it’s never enough. You need to give yourself a break. No one is perfect. It’s okay if sometimes you yell at your kid or forget to attend a PTA meeting due to your busy schedule. You’re doing the best you can and that must be enough. Life is different from what we plan or anticipate and so you must not struggle with your identity as a mother.

The dark side of motherhood entails pressure to be the perfect mom

9. Feeling Unacknowledged

It might also happen that you successfully meet your parenting targets only to realize that there is not much appreciation for your dedication and efforts. You might start feeling that motherhood is a thankless job and it doesn’t bring you the joy or the fulfillment that everyone talks about.

How To Cope With These Dark Truths Of Motherhood?

The reason why mothers go through the dark side of motherhood is mainly that they don’t share their feelings with others. It’s not unnatural, immoral, or evil to harbor negative emotions toward your children. In fact, feeling maternal ambivalence is a ubiquitous and inevitable phenomenon. It’s our society that has refined motherhood in such a way that it appears to be all glossy and divine, conveniently hushing up the troubling dark side of motherhood.

But that being said, it is of utmost importance that the troubled emotions of a mother get addressed. If these negative feelings remain unresolved, they can get transferred to the child and make them susceptible to unhealthy attachments and mental disorders, at a later stage.

To effectively cope with the dark side of motherhood, we need to create open and safe spaces where women can share their experiences and learn about their situations from expert advisors.

No two pregnancy is the same and that is why every mother needs customized assistance to deal with postpartum depression and other challenges of motherhood. Only when women will no longer feel shame or guilt for feeling their human emotions, we will be able to illuminate the dark side of mothers and the dark side of motherhood.

We hope you will find our article on The Dark Side Of Motherhood to be insightful. Do let us know your thoughts by commenting down below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of motherhood?

The purpose of motherhood is to provide love, care, protection, and nurturance to the child. A mother teaches her child the right way to live and lends them unwavering support.

Does motherhood change you?

Yes, motherhood is a significant life event that shifts a woman’s priorities and sense of purpose. It often makes women stronger and more resilient in life.

What are the four pillars of safe motherhood?

The four pillars of safe motherhood are family planning, antenatal care, clean/safe delivery, and essential obstetric care.

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