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The Show That May Change My Mind

Thanks Oprah, for ruining all of the happy feelings I have had towards motherhood. Was I the only person who watched yesterday? No, I don’t think so. So let’s chat.

When I heard about the show topic being on motherhood I got all excited. I know it was suppose to talk about “the bad” and “the ugly”, but I assumed “the good” would be somewhere in there too. Mentally going back to my college days, I brought my laptop over to the TV, to take notes… (Oh yes I did)… During the show.

Parts of the show were really funny and interesting to me, I was able to add to the list of “the things they don’t tell you,” (I’ll post about that later–they had a whole block dedicated to that question), but overall I was kind of left with a depressing feeling about motherhood… No joke…

The only positive experience I got out of the whole thing was from women communicating with me though Twitter. Some moms on the “happy” end of the spectrum gave me their opinions. Cristina aka Native Mamma told me “if motherhood wasn’t worth the hassle NOBODY would have more then 1,” that seemed so true to me! Why didn’t they talk about that on Oprah?

Another mom on Twitter, Monique said “Don’t let them get you down. I have 4 and they’re worth every single gray hair and nervous breakdown. =)” I sure hope so!
What scared me was that the women on the show weren’t saying it was worth it! One or two woman went as fas as saying “What did I get myself into?” and some even said sometimes they’ve felt like they’ve made a mistake becoming a mom! It reminded me of a study I saw reported about on Momlogic, that implied “kids [could]= unhappiness.”

See.. That’s the scary regret I’m talking about. I’ve never felt that way about anything so important to me in my life… And to think that that’s “NORMAL” for some… or a lot of women terrifies me! No… I’ve never honestly thought my marriage was a mistake, how could these women say that about their children?

It seems to me the root of the problem (which they addressed at the very end) is the fact that TV shows make motherhood look easy… And happy-looking-neighbors, make motherhood/parenting look easy. And women who compare themselves to what they see on the outside think their feelings of overwhelmingness is something only they experience, and they feel bad for feeling that way.

I think the show was meant to show women who have those feelings that they’re not alone. I get it, but I think it also scared the $#%* out of some women who were maybe thinking they might like to possibly become one someday, perhaps.

I’m not trying to make women who feel that way feel bad, I mean, my heart goes out to women who feel way, but it makes me wonder if motherhood is for everyone–If it’s for me.

I was still pretty ticked about it this morning and wrote a blog post on Momlogic… A letter to Oprah. It’s not quite as nice and open as this one, nonetheless it’s how I’m feeling right now. Oh and here’s one more depressing yet “honest” article that CNN even featured on the topic.

****

Oprah, I love you but you pissed me off

It’s not you, it’s the women you had on your show. What was that meant to do? Scare the living bejeezes out of future moms like myself who are contemplating motherhood? Maybe that wasn’t the point. I guess the point was to uplift moms.. More specifically stay at home moms right? The ones who get all down because they compare themselves to other women who they think are all happy and perfect. When are they going to wake up?… Or don’t they, until they are driven to the thoughts of “What did I get myself into?” and “I think I made a mistake.”

Oprah, you’re not a mom, and I’m not a mom but I think we both know it’s hard. We have moms don’t we? And if that’s not testament enough I think we get the point after reading the bizzilionth blog post about how being a SAHM is SOOOOO hard. If it sucks so bad why have more than one?

I’m not trying to down play it at all ok? I don’t think you are either, and that’s why you invited these women on your show. But what do you think it says to women who want children but can’t have any? Women who are so excited to have a child and are always running into women who are griping about being moms. Or women like me who are kind of on the fence about the whole topic?… Did one person on that show even say it was worth it?


Mallory says:

I got thinking a lot about stuff like this while watching General Conference this weekend. There was one talk that was all about SELFISHNESS. And I really took it to heart. I think that if we are being selfish, being a mom really is horrible! I know whenever I have a particularly bad day, it can be attributed to my own selfishness. But I am not raising children specifically for me. NO, I am raising children for my Heavenly Father. And that makes all the difference!

Jen says:

Wow. I didn’t watch the show, but Wow! I have two little girls (age 4.5 and 1.5) and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They just fill my heart with love. They are extremely frustrating at times but never do I regret having them. Motherhood is definitely hard at times, but so worth it! As corny as it might sound, having my two girls is magic (and I was terrified right up until my first daughter was born). Don’t let Oprah’s show get you down.

Molly says:

Being a mother is difficult…somedays it kind of sucks (pardon my language)…But, There is NEVER one day when I don’t have at least ONE moment where I am so happy to be a mother. I am glad that I am a mother, I will be honest and say that its hard. If my mom had told me everything before I had them, would I still have had 3? Maybe, maybe not. But, honestly, none of that matters…and I will agree with Mallory, if it was all about us, and not the children, how selfish would that be? Oh, and I don’t subscribe to “this is such an awful world, how could I bring a child into it?” theory…if that were the case civilization would have ended long ago!

Lolly says:

I missed that show and it’s probably a good thing that I did. I hate it when moms whine about how hard it is and how they have regrets. It’s TOO LATE NOW! It IS hard but if being a parent was just downright awful no one would do it.

Nadia says:

Motherhood is the most incredible, fulfilling and amazing thing you could ever do. I saw the show yesterday as well. Not to say Motherhood isn’t challenging, it definitely has its moments but the good ones outweigh the difficult ten times over! I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 3 month old and work from my home with my husband. Wouldn’t change it for the world!

Christi says:

To a point they are right, being a mom is not like being a tv mom. Just like being married is not like a TV marriage.

Seriously, how often have you had an argument with your hubby that from start to finish is over in 30 minutes (minus commercials).

There is so much that they can’t portray on tv. There are times that are pretty bad but there are also times of extreme joy.

I just read something recently about how many things (parenthood, marriage, life) are like a pendelum. There are times where you swing to the side where it is awful but then if you hang on, it will swing the other way to where it is wonderful.

My oldest is soon to be 10 years old and in that approx 3560 days I can recall only one absolutely horrible day (curl up in the floor and cry awful). And even then I didn’t regret having them. I sent them to their grandparents for the night, but I still loved them.

Think about it like the news, you don’t cover the normal things (“5 more healthy babies were born today; 1000 dads gave their kids a hug; a dog wagged his tail”) because they are normal, they happen all the time. They chose for the show the more extreme cases. I know one of the bloggers that was on the show seems to be a snarky, snarly, grumpy . . . person from her blog (which is why I don’t read her blog). I didn’t watch it, I just heard who one of the guests was.

Don’t let Oprah bother you.

Shawnta` says:

I feel bad for emailing you to watch this! I sent this same message to you on Twitter but I never know if anyone gets my @ replies on there.

Mama Seoul says:

I think your attitude about motherhood shapes your experience of motherhood. Too often, women compete with others or beat themselves up because they are staying home and feel they should be working or beat themselves up b/c they are working instead of staying home.

Just make a choice and enjoy. I am at home with a 2.5 year old and 1 month old. It is lots of fun! Sometimes I get frustrated, but most of the time, they are delightful in the little moments of life, like reaching down to take my son’s hand to walk somewhere.

I found that when I accepted that getting places takes longer with kids, I was much happier and relaxed and I got there faster than when I stressed and tried to rush.

Jessie says:

I’ve been thinking about that Oprah show too, and I feel a blog post brewing on the whole SAHM is the hardest job in the world bit, too.

I tend to think that those moms who complain about how hard it is and how it’s so much worse than they thought it’d be are the same women who moan about how hard marriage is and about how different it is than they expected. Both experiences (marriage and motherhood) can’t be truly understood until you’re on the other side. So I get that a lot of women may be in for a surprise when it’s not like they expected. But with a good foundation of faith, family and friends, you adjust your expectations and take joy in what you can.

Brilliant comment by christi!

Shoot, parenting is hard, I won’t lie. But so was college. And so is being married. And so was dieting to lose that 140 extra lbs I gained over 5 pregnancies.

But I do/did all those things and got thu.

I have 5 wonderful kids under age 8. I’m self employed and work-at-home. Each day is crazy with cooking 3 meals, laundry, carrying them to and from school, cleaning house, trying to get some work done, all while spending time with my DH.

But it’s just a thing. Ya get up and do it, enjoy every great moment (and there are bunches) ignore the small stuff. My kids are a delight and I don’t regret them for one second.

Hey there – I didn’t see the show and I have no idea what they said (aside from what you have written here) but I have to say that it is not that bad at all. It is wonderful!!! Really wonderful. I love being a mom and I love having kids – yes it is hard but it is SO worth it. I wrote this post awhile ago – http://morningswithmom.com/?p=501 it may give you a little more perspective.

When I was pregnant everyone gave me their horror stories about labor and delivery. They scared me. Truthfully, I worried about dying because I had seen that on tv or in the movies. But ya know what it was super easy. Not to promote my blog and writing like crazy in this comment but you can read my birth story here – http://www.ourlifeupstate.com/2008/09/birth-story.html

I love being a mom (I know I have said that before) and I totally think you should do it. But you have to want to – you have to be ready. But fear is part of the game. So, I cannot tell you what is right for you but I would love to be there for you. I’m happy to answer any questions or talk about anything you want. Shoot me an email if you want. Good luck with your decision. And sorry that Oprah scared you 🙂

Jen says:

Well, I am a SAHM and it is HARD! But it is WORTH it..every single minute is WORTH IT!

Remember, although it’s Oprah, she’s still looking for ratings. And looking for show topics that get people talking..and guess what? This one really hit the mark!

Real quick though..to the commenter Jessie..being a SAHM is very very hard work. And I do think that it’s a lot tougher than I had imagined. SAHM’s who think this is tough work..well it’s because it IS tough work. We’re not just a bunch on moaning women!

Carrie says:

I hate Oprah, and everything she stands for. Don’t get me wrong, she did a great job making something of herself and she does a lot of good for a lot of people who need it, but she’s pretentious and annoying.

I never watch her, but when I saw your tweets yesterday I made my husband record it so I could watch it this morning to see what all the fuss was about.

As a mother, I totally understand the point of the show. As mothers, we ALL know how amazing and wonderful our children are and how rewarding it can be. But, it’s true that a lot of women think they are alone in their struggles. That’s why shows like this are good for mothers. It helps them realize they’re not alone and we all have tough days.

Please don’t let this scare you about becoming a mother. When in the moment where your son is throwing a fit because he wants you to play transformers, and your daughter is screaming because she wants to be nursed and all you want to do is lay down because you have a migraine, our minds wander to places they shouldn’t go. I’ve had days where I wonder why I had kids in the first place, but there is no way I ever would! The good totally outweighs the bad. But it doesn’t mean the bad doesn’t exist.

Don’t tell me you’ve never had a fight with your husband that for a split second your mind wandered to that place of what if… It happens to us all, even if you don’t want to admit it. Being a mom and getting together with other moms to talk about the bad/trying things we go through is just a coping method. It helps us realize that we’re not alone in this and that everyone has bad days. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our children and it certainly doesn’t mean that we would have it any other way.

Emily says:

What wonderful comments here! I agree with everything everyone else said. It is all about your attitude. Sure parenting is hard. Nothing in life worth having comes easily. But it is SOOOO worth it! I love every minute of it. I’ve have bad days and sleepless nights, and I can honestly say I am the best person I’ve ever been because I chose to be a parent. People who whine about not liking the job of parenting are those who still expect their lives to be the same after kids as it was before kids. It will never be the same, and it will be a million times more meaningful!

puddinboots says:

I never watch Oprah (I have a brain and don’t need to listen to her on how to conduct my life) but I find this topic very interesting because I am married and neither of us want children, nor have I ever been bitten by the “mother bug” at all. I don’t hate children but I’ve already made up my mind that I enjoy my private and free time with my husband too much to have that change. And finally, I am very tired of other women out there who use their motherhood status as the only means of proving your “womanhood”. There are many other woemn out there who feel the same way I do however we’re less inclined to share that with a public who seems to think of us as cold or heartless. Frankly, it’s no one else’s business what people choose to do with their lives and it tells me that if you’re so concerned about the welfare of others, perhaps one should try minding their own personal affars and to “live and let live”. I don’t apologize for sounding bitter, quite the contrary, I’m happy to stand up for myself against the status quo.

Sarah says:

Did you notice that the majority of the moms on their aren’t poor?! They had the actress who has help (nanny etc), they had the two ladies that wrote the book about moms, and another lady who had her own blog that brought in over $40,000 a month!!!!(and she has her own book). I would take everything those moms said with a grain of salt. I don’t really like Oprah either. I hate how she does all this good in the world but shows it off like “look at me, look what I did”.

About Jess says:

When my hubby and I were dating… I was not into kids at all…. seriously… I was content to observe from a distant… I had no maternal feelings about anyones little babies at all. And I was happy with that.

Im still that way with other kids to a point… but with my own kids.. I wouldnt change anything. It IS hard, and trying, and frustrating, and sometimes disappointing and such.. but my kids are my world and I cant imagine being without them!

I cant believe there are moms out there who can SAY that let alone really feel that way!! I dont watch Oprah and so dont know about the show except for the comments and your notes shared… but I do wonder about those moms who complained?? Were they SAHM? Did they work out of the home? Were they happy in their marriages?

I mean there are so many things that could contribute to someone feeling that way about their own kids…selfishness, low self esteem, fatigue, I could go on and on here….

Anyways… dont let it damper your feelings. When and if you choose to become a mother…. you will make the most of it. If you dont , then yea you mightbe miserable. But you dont strike me as the type to have a pity party about it too long… before pukking up the boot straps and making it into something that you love, and that makes you happy.

Hope that all made sense. =)

LLnL says:

So much of what is expressed about motherhood is casted in a positively perfect light. Woman have been made to feel guilty for having difficulties or complaints. People use to institute that if you have trouble with your kids you are a bad mother. If you complain about aspects of motherhood you hate your children. I think there is a since of release and power in admitting that you are not perfect and your kids sometimes get on your nerves.

I can share about my frustration with my sick hubby without people assuming that I regret marriage. People need to forum to be honest and when you have tried to keep quiet for so long when you get the opportunity to talk it will not come off balanced.

Marly says:

What I thought was funny about the show was they kept saying “the dirty little secrets about being a mom”. Maybe that’s so for some, but My friends and I talk about everything. The fact that our kids may not have eaten the best that week, or I haven’t had a shower in a few days. Or even that I need a break. There is nothing wrong with that!

I will always be a stay at home mom. I don’t see myself working. I see myself continuing to educate myself. Community classes, getting a degree and Institute classes. I don’t think you have to give up who you are, but you do have to give up some of your expectations. I mean you are taking care of someone else. The same thing is supposed to happen when you get married. You are no longer just you, you are a team. you give things up. That’s how it is when you have kids. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Like I’ve commented before, I think it’s the ‘ME’ attitude that goes on so much now days. To really love someone, you can’t just think about yourself and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Just my opinion of course 🙂

Tracey says:

Being a mother is a tough job! I DO NOT REGRET IT…but I underestimated how hard it would be and how much of me I would have to give up. I am learning to adjust to that now. I love my son, but the daily daily is a grind and is sometimes very monotonous and boring. I don’t hate Oprah, but I also don’t live by the topics or comments that come from her “experts”….everyones life is different. We have one child and I think that is enough for us….others love having 4 or 6 or 14….you know you…and you’ll make the decision of a number as you go along.

LaCee says:

I don’t think being a mom is hard! Honestly what is better than working from home. No dress code, No boss, Make your own schedule, Making forts in the living room, Bedtime stories and kisses everynight! I think I have best job in the world!

MOMSWEB says:

It’s a blessing you watched the show because most mothers didn’t receive insight to motherhood before giving birth. Being a mother is the most rewarding, yet most challenging role on Earth. You have to experience it to understand. It’s almost like marriage…you wouldn’t trade your hubby in, but there sure are a few things about him you have to learn to just accept. Life is like a box of chocolates… (smile).

sues2u2 says:

Didn’t watch the show; not an Oprah fan. However it sounds like it was a vent for moms. I knew about tons of bad things that can happen while pregnant, during delivery & just plain general life. Back in the day before Hubby & I got married I was an emt. I saw some of the bad things.

When we got married we waited 5 yrs for our first because we wanted to. I did end up having the horror story labor/delivery. Life wasn’t easy & perfect but I have learned. I’m still learning. Right now I have a nearly 12 yr old boy & a nearly 7 yr old girl. If you think there’s not times when I’d like to run… well. Life isn’t perfect. I do, however, adore my children. I would be devastated if anything happened to them. I am so grateful to be their mom. And those fleeting moments of wanting to run away? Perfectly normal & understandable. It’s really all in your attitude & you seem to have an awesome one!

Nichole says:

Here’s my theory. Women are having babies later in life – into their 30s and 40s instead of in their early 20s. When you wait longer, I think you have much more to sacrifice – an established career, possibly a second income, freedom to travel, loads of uninterrupted time with your spouse. It seems to me that women, particularly “women of the world”, who do this and who have the mentality that they traded a great life for motherhood, run a great risk of being perpetually unhappy. Women of this sort (and I pray to God I’m not one of them) want to maintain multiple identities and as such, can never fully give themselves over to being a mother. I think therein lies the rub.

And then the Oprah show recruits for women who are overwhelmed by being mothers and sensationalizes it as a sort of epidemic to make the rest of us freak and second guess ourselves into oblivion. Damn that Oprah!

Didn’t watch the show, but I’ll tell you this IT IS SO WORTH IT 🙂 and if it was up to me I would have at least 3 more (we currently have one) well I do hope for at least 3 more…I love every part of motherhood and being a SAHM 🙂 if you read my blog I don’t think I ever really said “Oh it’s so hard being a Mom or I can’t deal with my child”…I mostly bitch about cleaning the bathroom LOL and for me that is the only nightmare LOL

Sarah says:

My mom loves Oprah and she HATED this show! She thought it was a joke that these beautiful blond women are on the show complaining about how hard it is to be a mom when they aren’t home half the time to take care of their child. Trust my mom on this one she knows what she’s talking about, she raised me and my 4 siblings, one of which is still at home! Sure it’s hard being a mom but it’s not as bad as those women made it out to be. It’s all about perspective!

Yolanda says:

I have the show on my tivo and I think you (along with another review of a disappointed watcher) may have helped me make the decision to not watch it. I love being a SAHM and honestly feel every single moment of every day has been an extraordinary blessing. From what I’ve read it sounds like these women have no real appreciation for their lives or their children. No matter how difficult, how stressful, or how trying any of my children may be I can’t see speaking so negatively about little people who quite frankly didn’t even ask to be born. Still love Oprah but I think I’m going to skip watching this show.

Natalie says:

Oprah is going all sorts of crazy these days!!!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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