Lies Pregnant Women Tell Themselves About Motherhood


Lie:  “I’ll exercise before the kids get up and lose that baby weight in no time!”

Reality:  No you won’t.  You’ll wake up only when your child has been crying long enough that it’s clear he won’t be going back to bed.  And if you’re really not a morning person, you might even train your children to go back to bed for an hour or two after their first bottle, for the sole purpose of getting more shut-eye yourself.  (Not that I speak from experience.  Ahem.)

Lie:  “I will totally stay on top of the laundry and dirty bottles and I’ll even cook real meals every night!”

Reality:  You will eat ramen noodles and dry toast standing up in your kitchen while staring at the mountain of dishes piled in your sink.

Lie:  “I’ll have so much time on maternity leave, I’ll finally be able to stain the cabinets/reupholster the chair/insert household project here that I’ve been meaning to do for ages!”

Reality:  Before your child is born, maternity leave will seem like a wonderful, extra-long vacation.  But then you’ll give birth and your child will refuse to nap for longer than twenty minutes, and all you will want to spend those twenty minutes doing is zoning out in front of the TV (or showering, if you’re feeling ambitious).

Lie:  “I will feed my child only homemade, organic purees!”

Reality:  You will spend many an afternoon steaming sweet potatoes and carrots and mashing avocados, only to realize how much freaking easier it is to buy the damn jars for 62 cents a piece.

Lie:  “I’ll still put effort into my appearance after the baby arrives!”

Reality:  Some days, you won’t even change out of your pajamas.

Lie:  “I’ll still be the same person, just with a baby!”

Reality:  You will change completely, in ways you never thought possible.  And it will be better than you ever dreamed it would be.



9 thoughts on “Lies Pregnant Women Tell Themselves About Motherhood

  1. When I had my first I remember brushing my teeth for the first time at 5:30pm when my hubby came home. When I started doing it earlier in the day I felt like I had managed greatness. Forget changing out of my pjs. Showering, hah! Not until reinforcements arrived.
    Somehow I am doing much better with 2 now than I did with 1. Great blessing I suppose that baby #2 was more mellow from day 1. Now I even put on a little bit of make up on most days. CRAZY!!! But I still don’t exercise.

  2. This is so perfectly explained. I totally made myself believe all those lies and one by one my beauiful little girl showed me otherwise. I think I am still grieving the maternity leave/motherhood that were caught up in those lies because now I feel like i have failed to meet my expecations. In some ways, I almost feel like less of a mother because of those lies. Where do we even come up with the fairytale notions of motherhood that are far from the truth? Why now do I grieve what I thought it would be like and feel like I didn’t succeed in my first year as a Mother because of those notions? When I finally let go of “what I thought it would be like” and embrace “what it is” I realize motherhood is a fairytale, In a way that cannot be explained and only experienced.
    As I sit here with my ten month old at 11am in my pjs i put on yesterday morning, smelling of something I have never smelt before, wondering why she insists on whinning about being tired and refusing to sleep… It makes perfect sense where the fairytale notion comes from and why we believed those lies :) Its simply because motherhood is the best experience of your life but before you are a mother you don’t get it nor can it be explained. In your world pre-baby you envision what you think prefection would be like as a mom… little do you know what perfection really is.
    So now when a pregnant woman asks me what it’s like.. I say, “it’s a fairytale… In ways you’d never expect” :)

    • You’re so right! I think so much about motherhood is impossible to understand until you actually do it, so all we can do before it happens is hope that it’ll be great according to our pre-baby ideas of what great is. If you had told me before that I’d spent the majority of the day in my pjs, with unwashed hair, getting puked on, hanging out playing with toys and singing made-up songs, washing bottles all day, making formula, pureeing food…I mean, that sounds so boring!!! And gross!!! But here I am, loving every second of it (and it sounds like you are too!).

      You absolutely nailed it – all your ideas about what perfection really is totally change. (And thank goodness…right?!?!)

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