Whether you’re a working mom with a hectic schedule or a stay-at-home mom with a hectic schedule, being a mom is hard. PERIOD. The last thing any of us need is to be judged, especially when we’re all doing the best we can.
One popular mom blogger and hilarious meme-maker is driving that point home this week after coming under fire on social media when followers began questioning the tone of her online content.
Karen Johnson, a Babble contributor and the writer behind The 21st Century SAHM, took to Facebook yesterday to respond to followers who criticized the message of a recent meme she shared that conveyed the frustration many moms feel after a long winter break at home with kids.
In her now-viral response post, the 37-year-old mother of three shared:
” … in the last few days I’ve been inundated with, ‘Why did you even have kids if you don’t love spending time with them and you should cherish every minute and someday they’ll be gone and you’ll miss these moments and when my kids were young I loved winter break and spring break and you moms these days just complain complain complain … ‘”
Johnson tells Babble that she received the critical comments and messages from followers who don’t know her personally. She makes clear that “… anyone who knows me knows that I love to laugh about parenthood, but that I also love my kids something fierce.”
She explained in her post, “My writer friends and I love our kids. Like would cut off a finger if we had to and go without food for days and run through fire love… We are doing our damn best and sometimes we need a little humor to soften the blows that motherhood throws our way.”
The writer and former high school English teacher explained that she was just keeping it real about the stresses of a long winter break at home with her kids, ages 9, 7 and 4. And who could fault her for that? “Have I enjoyed spending time with my kids over break?” she asked. “Of course. But some days they drove me a little bat-sh*t crazy.”
I know lots of moms who freely echo the sentiment of this struggle, so why would followers question her message? Johnson thinks it’s difficult for some to admit that motherhood is hard. Doing as much might feel like admitting we aren’t so great at our jobs as mothers sometimes.
Johnson says, “I have learned that it is okay to not love every bit of it and to say this is hard. And I want other moms to know that, too — that doesn’t mean you are failing or doing it wrong or that you don’t love your kids. I think lots of moms struggle but we all put this unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be perfect and saying I need help or this isn’t what I thought it would be means we aren’t fulfilling that expectation.”
It’s true. Accepting that motherhood isn’t all butterflies and rainbows is an important part of our journeys as moms. We have to be able to accept that there will be moments that try us and that it’s 100 percent normal … and that we’ve all been there.
Johnson understands that not every mom will agree with her point of view, but makes clear in her post, “For all the ‘why did you even have kids if you are going to complain about them?’ comments I receive, I get 10x that many saying ‘Thank you for being real. You make me laugh and feel less alone.'”
We’re with this mama all the way. Moms need to embrace each other’s honesty and hold back on passing judgement so that we can continue our important work in this difficult job together.