'The Mom I Thought I'd Be ... & the Mom I Actually Am': 14 Women Confess the Difference

Wendy Robinson | Aug 31, 2016 Being a Mom
'The Mom I Thought I'd Be ... & the Mom I Actually Am': 14 Women Confess the Difference

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I was a perfect mom once. My kids never whined, there were no picky eaters in my house, and every night we happily played on the floor for hours. Patience? I had an endless supply. This was, of course, BEFORE I had any kids to ruin my illusions. 

And now I have an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old and there is definitely sometimes a disconnect between the mom I thought I was going to be and the mom that I actually am. 

I'm a good mom -- but I'm a good mom to a picky eater who whines sometimes, especially when I can't hide the fact that I find playing with her dolls for hours to be totally boring. 

I asked some other moms how they stack up to their ideal image of themselves as a mom and the answers are sweet and sometimes sad but always relatable. 



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  • Not What I Expected

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    "I was sure that I'd enjoy being a mom so much more than I do. Really this whole experience has been nothing I expected. My second is a preemie and it threw my entire world upside down. Labor and delivery was totally different than what I hoped for, breastfeeding was super hard, husband wasn't as helpful, and I spun into serious depression. Ultimately I guess that I've realized we can never be prepared for this. And I can't rely on my children to make me happy." -- M.F. 

  • Picky, Picky

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    "The picky eater thing all the way for me. I tried homemade organic baby food in the beginning but then they tried pre-made food and started eating better. Now at almost 3, they are picky as hell and I don't really give a f*ck." -- J.P.

  • Humbling

    Image via iStock.com/Tuned_In

    "Oh, the humbling job of parenting. Where do I start? I thought I would be a 'natural'; turns out I'm not. I thought I was going to have more control of things and really I have had to just let go. Visions of things I wanted, but it wasn't in the cards. Big things like fertility and breastfeeding." -- C.S.

  • Breastfeeding More

    Image via iStock.com/Maravic

    "I was sure that I wasn't going to exclusively breastfeed, and that I definitely wasn't going to do it for more than a year. Wrong on both counts. I stopped pumping for daycare at a year, and we stopped around 15 months, but that was his choice, not mine." -- R.W.

    More from CafeMom: 11 Women on What They Love Most About Being a Working Mom

  • No TV? Ha!

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    "So many things are different than I expected. I thought I'd only breastfeed. I'd have no picky eaters because I'd introduce all kinds of food and I like everything. There'd be no TV until 2 (worked until third kid!). No cartoon characters on shirts or wearing sweat pants to school -- why I cared, I don't know. I like seeing my kids' style, or lack thereof, now!" -- C.M.

  • No Fun

    Image via iStock.com/Izabela Habur

    "I thought I'd be a fun mom. Turns out I'm too busy and exhausted meeting everyone's basic needs to be fun." -- J.M.

  • Not My Best Self

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    "I thought I'd be better at being a mom, or enjoy it more. Or be nicer to my kids. Instead I'm crabby and irritated all the time. I feel like I'm my worst self around my kids instead of my best." -- J.D.

  • Screen Time

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    "Screen time. I thought I cared. Turns out I don't care. Like at all." -- R.W. 

  • It's Harder When They're Your Own

    Image via iStock.com/Susan Chiang

    "I thought I'd be super cheerful, creative, and easygoing, like I was when I was a nanny. But then I became a mom and I feel kinda rigid, annoyed, and tired. Not all the time, of course -- just didn't think I'd be this crabby ever." -- V.R.

  • I Love It

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    "I never really thought about having children. I honestly didn't really like them. I hated babysitting. Even when we got married, we hadn't talked about it. I had no expectations going in. I planned to just wing it. When our daughter was born, she became my whole life. I worked outside the home, but she was my #1 job. I loved dressing her, playing with her, and couldn't wait to see her at the end of the day." -- N.S.

  • Not Uptight

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    "I think I assumed I would have been way more uptight about things. Like reading about everything and doing what is always recommended in literature. Now I realize you look up what you need when you have a problem, and just trust your gut. And life's too short to stress about every little thing. I choose to enjoy them and not freak out about the little things. Big things I obviously hold to be important (car seats safety, water safety, etc.). Also, never thought I'd last so long breastfeeding, but again, whatever works is what I'm going to do! If we are all happy and our house is working then I'm good with it." -- L.L.

  • Boring!

    Image via iStock.com/Halfpoint

    "I find 'playing' with my toddler excruciatingly boring. That lady at the park staring listlessly into the distance as she halfheartedly follows her kid around to make sure he doesn't kill himself? Yeah, that's me." -- R.B.

    More from CafeMom: 26 Reasons to Love Being a Mom -- Right Now

  • Hola?

    Image via iStock.com/EikoTsuttiy

    "I thought I would raise my kids bilingual. Oliver's Spanish is no bueno at best." -- L.W.

    More from CafeMom: Why Being a Mom Defines Who I Am

  • Happily Working

    Image via iStock.com/pixalot

    "I thought by the time I had my second kid that I'd cut way back on working or take a few years off. Nope. I was happy to go back full-time after 10 weeks of leave following my second. I love being around grown-ups too much." -- L.B.

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