1. Rozanne says:

    Thank you for writing this! I was feeling all these things and you articulated them very well. I too had my first born in my teens and now my youngest is 5. I am a 78 child though 🙂 Back then, I went on instinct and have been going with that ever since, trying to trust what works for me first and foremost. I also love #10, especially as my eldest is ready to leave home next year. They are not extensions of us. They have their own stories and will choose to write them the way they see fit to write them. After my fifth child, I would have to get over #14. That was a tough myth to shed. I finally feel comfortable asking for help and have built stronger connections by doing so. Again, thank you!

    • Beth says:

      Thank YOU Rozanne! It’s pretty amazing how much different parenting feels today vs. such a relatively short time ago. Thankfully instinct is inherent to the species and simply requires that we learn (or relearn!) to tune into it!

      • Jennie says:

        I would like to add to that that most people do not understand the “practice” of science. Scientific conclusions are not always correct. Many factors (variables) need to be considered including personal experiences, the spirit of the individuals etc. People like black and white because it is easier to follow rules and recommendations than think through things. This is meant to guide us, not dictate how we live and parent. Recommendations change, medications get pulled off the market. For example.. When my teenagers were small the standard was to give kids fluoride tablets if your water was not fluoridated. I often forgot, and felt horrible about it. NOW, with my little ones they say NO fluoride just a small amt of fluoridated toothpaste.I felt guilty about not giving those tablets for no good reason. The kids are probably better off. So much for science. Not to discount everything, but it should be a helpful tool, not a standard to judge ourselves or others.

  2. This is wonderful.

    I started motherhood in the age of internet and right from the start, planned on being “the perfect mother”. How could I settle for less? All the resources were there. I’m a smart, privileged woman. I had no excuse. Well, motherhood, if anything, has been very humbling to me. I let go of perfection. I even went and got help! (I really needed it.) This will have taught me to take life (and motherhood) with a grain of salt. I am grateful for that.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Julie. Humbling indeed! Though I didn’t see it at the time, I, too, fell into the smart, privileged camp (during my most idealistic days) which created the perfect breading grounds for unmet expectations and disappointment with myself. Mexico humbled me even further by helping me see how incredible a life we actually have and how adequate (if imperfect) my children’s lives are.

    • Amy P says:

      I am much like Julie – with all the resources I have, how could I settle for less than near-perfect? I also ended up getting help, and the biggest lesson I learned in that was to both define my *real* expectations of my children instead of having vague giant expectations and to realize that I can’t really control my situation or my children, for that matter. I definitely influence them and can work to help and improve them, but I needed to let go of control. It has helped greatly.

  3. Kelly says:

    I was a mother during the “What to Expect While You’re Expecting” and luckily, “What to Expect the 1st Year” (or something like that). Those books were very helpful to me. I was pretty much at a loss by the time my daughter was 2 years old. I think I was lucky the internet wasn’t really full of the options it has today which would have added to my confusion and frustration. The best advice I ever received was from a counselor, when I was parenting my barely adult daughter. She said, “Just make sure she knows that no matter what, you love her. No matter what, she can talk to you. And no matter what, don’t judge her – just love her.” I wish I had that advice when she was a teenager, I think our lives may have been a bit easier. But, by just letting her know that I love her no matter what – we have grown close and are both much more confident in ourselves.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Kelly. That truly is advice of the wisest sorts. <3

    • Teresa says:

      kelly i agree very much with your statement. children need to know they will be love no matter what i have two daughters one in college and one as a junior in highschool both have known that no matter what the subject or questions i will answer them if i dont know the answer i tell them that too both my children realized that not every person has all the answers

  4. Wonderful blog post. Best parenting blog I’ve read in a long time. I read Dr. Spock’s book when I had my children and they turned out great!

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Glenda! It really is amazing to me how little control we have over how they turn out now matter what methodology we subscribe to or book we read!

  5. Jane says:

    I really appreciate this article. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  6. Fernanda says:

    I’ve been saying the same things for a long time now. I’m 41 and I too was a mother on pre-Internet days, although a bit older than you at 20. And have other two Internet-days kids (11 and 10). I am pretty sure that the excess of information and the ability to share experiences instead of helping have caused much more confusion. I will be sharing the post (can I translate it into Portuguese for my non-English-speaking friends?)

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Fernanda! I would be honored to have you translate my piece! Let me know if you do and I’ll try to promote it, too, with your permission. <3

  7. Allyson says:

    Well said chica, well said.

  8. Jolie says:

    This is probably the most RIGHT ON article I have EVER read. Truer words were never spoken!

    • Beth says:

      I don’t even know what to say to that, so I’m going to have to settle for a humble, emphatic THANK YOU with a few hearts and lots of love. <3 <3 <3

  9. taryn oakley says:

    Thank you, you rock!

  10. Denise says:

    Great blog post. Can’t wait to ready your book. I really liked this: “Every human on the planet is here to face, overcome and grow beyond their challenges.” – including our kids! Not everything we do should make life just easier for our kids. Through challenges we all grow and become stronger.
    Thank you!

  11. Considerling says:

    HELLZ YEAH. And I am struggling with a partner who lives on the computer and internet at work AND home and is constantly posting things about how HE thinks parenting “should be.” We’ve been in a rut of criticism towards each other for so many of the reasons listed above being projected back and forth. I even got to a place where I thought everyone would just be better off without me. My mama-friends helped pull me outta there, yet…the husband-troubles march on. Thank you for a nicer version of reality!!!

    • Karen J says:

      Two years down the road… I hope that your situation has improved in the meantime, Considerling! Hugs 🙂

      This is a fantastically true and useful post – so happy I found it, Beth!

  12. diva chugani says:

    Thank you Beth.:) I live in Hong Kong and am a dance movement practitioner. I was going to bring your exact point home and introduce DMT as a possible let tool for a parenting workshop next month. Hopefully, many parents will be able to understand that invest in self is the best investment.:) Thanks again…

  13. Sheri says:

    Beth, this is my first time to your blog and I’m so excited! This post is absolutely “spot-on!” As a mommy of 2 girls and 2 boys, my heart’s desire is to stand against these myths, realizing that motherhood is wonderful for all the simple, yet profound reasons your mentioned. I especially liked #11 and #14. How families would be transformed if more sweet mamas held onto the truth about mothering. Looking forward to reading more!

  14. Tracey says:

    Thank you for your profoundly insightful words, Beth. I am reading them at precisely the PERFECT time. I have been rather ruthless with myself as of late. Reminders like these are critical for my over-all wellbeing… as a mother, a wife, a friend, and…well… as a woman. I look forward to reading more from you. Cheers!

  15. Very nice. While not a mother by choice, I am heartened by you conscious illumination about you experience. You speak truths that will help many. Never saw the Dali quote before. In what context was it said? You mAy also enjoy the truths in the book THE HEART CODE which tackles a grandmother’ s focus on helping her granddaughter hear and heed her own heart voice. The fiction was inspired by the new science of the hearts intelligence. Laura

  16. Nicole says:

    I needed to read this today; I just felt the tension in my neck release.

    Thank you from an isolated, guilt-ridden, full time working mom of a 16y, 12y, 5y, 2y, and 3m.

  17. Kirsten says:

    This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to share it with my friends and family. As a mom of the internet age, I’ve struggled with so many of these issues. It has only been as I give up searching out advice (other than from close family & friends), learn to trust my intuition and separate myself from those who believe in the notion of perfect parenthood that I’ve been able to believe in myself as a mommy.

    The internet is useful, but this notion of “perfect mommy” has got to go. We’re all doing a darn enough good job, which should be all that matters.

    Thank you so much.

  18. Thank you, this is brilliant! I share your concern and confusion over bringing up children before, during and post the internet revolution. As Mothers it is indeed up to us to manage its impact, take care of ourselves and continue to trust our intuition.
    I will be sharing this with all my clients.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Wonderfully said! I would add blogs to #2. I have to keep the word “fairytale” in my mind when I go to many, many mothering/parenting blogs. I ask myself if it has to be this way? Why are we doing this to each other as mothers? I feel like most blogs are not fully honest and/or are selling something (often a “right” way of doing something). I really struggle with that.

    I have to say this is my first time on your blog, so I’m not responding to you as a blogger! This article indicates that you may very well be one of those bloggers that is more honest and respectful of the variety of mothering experiences.

    Blessings,

  20. liz says:

    Nothing in this article is new. Read some magazines and books from 40 years ago, they day the same things. You were not aware of more books and sources at 17 because tou were 17, not because they werent there. Suddenly being aware of things that are decades old does not make them new….

    • Jennie says:

      I don’t believe that was Bet’h’s point at all. Of course there were resources available, and yes at 17 you may not be aware of all of them. However I think Beth’s point is less about the lack of resources and more about support and confidence in parenting, which is even more important when you are 17. As we grow we learn, as parents and as people. Thanks to Beth for articulating these points so beautifully and succinctly, and reminding me of the importance of love, support and confidence.

  21. Alexandra says:

    I wish I had read this when my daughter was first born! I have believed so many of these myths and unfortunately my husband still does believe some. I have put so much pressure on myself and fallen short in my eyes and my husbands that I have definitely been miserable since 2012 when my daughter was born. The myth that sticks out the most is believing that investing in myself is selfish. I always put myself last and my kids first and this has affected my energy levels (emotional and physical) and my marriage. I like the idea of becoming more centered rather than balanced, because to be honest I suck at being balanced! Thanks for this post!

    • Joan says:

      Hi Beth, great article thanks for the perspective. I have been feeling a lot of the same recently and a couple of your comments I read again as I liked them so much. There is just too much! we need less for more contentment i feel. Thanks again.

  22. Rose says:

    I love what my best friend says: all you need to give your children is enough confidence to ask for help when they need it. The rest is gravy.

  23. Kristen says:

    I read somewhere that if you take the time to investigate a style of parenting and then proceed to buy a book on that particular style parenting, it doesn’t matter if you actually read it… You’re statistically more likely to be a better parent. We don’t give ourselves enough credit as parents.

  24. Jelena says:

    Thank you Beth for writing this! Love everything you said and feel the same way. We are the same age and I can totally relate not because age though but because it is time for this consciousness to come through. I love design of your blog as well. Wonderful illustration and Header. I started blogging my self about parenting and natural living at greenfamilyraam.com just month ago. I am so happy to find this gem. Love it!

  25. Jennifer says:

    Great article. You could take it even further. It goes beyond motherhood and deep into all women’s sense of themselves, whether they are mothers or not. You could easily call this article “17 Modern Myths That Are Making Women Miserable”.

  26. Michelle DeMarie says:

    Wow this article is amazing. So insightful and well written. I have it bookmarked

  27. Eva Benway says:

    I always look forward to reading your blog posts. This one is just spot on – amazing and beautiful.

    Thank you for telling the truth!

    You rock indeed!

    Eva

  28. I have been contemplating intuition as it pertains to parenting and cooking all week! What a beautiful piece to stumble upon. Such insight. Thank you!! Love from Scotland

  29. Renee says:

    “Science trumps intuition. A truer story: Science supplements intuition. Though it’s clearly increased our quality of life, science cannot account for the individuality of the human spirit. You, as a mother, are better equipped, biologically, than anyone on the planet to understand and adjust for the uniqueness of your child’s needs.”

    And this is how we ended up having a measles outbreak, and keeping children from having more independence in their lives. Yay.

    Sorry, but science *does* trump intuition. Intuition can be right, but it doesn’t guarantee rightness; sometimes our intuition leads us astray. That’s what we have science for, as an intuition check. It can scary to take our children for injections, especially when we don’t understand why or how they work, but that fear doesn’t mean there’s something actually wrong with having your kids vaccinated. It can be scary to let our kids walk to the park by themselves. Feeling that something is wrong doesn’t make it actually wrong; we’re mums, we’re super cautious, and that’s natural, and sometimes we need an external, non-intuitive force to show us what’s actually a danger and what’s just our intuition causing us to make irrational decisions.

  30. This fed my soul. I am beating the drum of all 17 points. My longing is we as women get better at reflecting truth to one another in order to buoy eachother in this challenging rOle of motherhood. That said, I had a lot to learn about relating to a child and started working with a parenting coach. The one thing not sold to me but that I sought out to embrace my humanity as a parent, assuage mommy guilt and be deeply supported so I could stay deeply relational with my kids. I love rose’s comment about equipping kids to ask for help…I feel my kids have learned from my mistakes and speak up for themselves. Parenting, mothering is just so humbling isn’t it?

  31. Marshall says:

    My wife still complains about the lack of a “user’s manual” when they pushed us out the doors of the hospital in ’91 with our son. 24 years later, our son has been diagnosed as bipolar and with severe anxiety to boot. She still feels somehow responsible for this and is always cropping up in conversation. We are doing the best we can with the situation and he is living with us as he tries to get meds and the anxiety leveled out.

  32. Thank you for writing this. I’m not a momma yet, but I will be in a few weeks and I can already feel myself being drawn into the delusional ideals of a “perfect” mother. It’s so nice to be brought gently down to earth once in awhile.

  33. Sara says:

    As I sit here with my one month old baby girl asleep on my lap, on the day my almost 3 year old started preschool, and the day I started working from home again, I think that this post could not have come at a better time. I am a perfectionist, ambitious in all areas of my life, and the breadwinner of my family and I feel a constant pull to be excel in all areas of my life, and one can only take so much. Today, I can handle the tears that come with new motherhood and sleep deprivation, but the tears that come with the self-doubt of if I am doing the right thing for my family is another story. I’m lucky to have an amazing partner for this adventure, but holy crap, it’s exhausting.

  34. Reannber says:

    Thank you for posting this truthful perspective. I love it!

  35. Gingi says:

    This is a great post.. I agree, that too many mothers feel a sense of insecurity and self doubt. My husband and I got lucky and haven’t (yet) fallen into that category – we have always felt like we are doing our best and doing a damn good job of it. But I see moms who I would deem veritable supermoms, and they DON’T EVEN SEE IT. They doubt their ability, their impact, their role. It makes me so sad!

    Anyhoo, I found your blog through a Sustainable Bloggers Link Up site (trying to find more like-minded bloggers to follow and connect with!) and I love your site! It would totally make my day if you stopped by my blog sometime and said hi.. or better yet, keep in touch!! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  36. Jenny says:

    Sent this to all my close mama friends. Felt it deeply. Thank you!

  37. We are the same age and I totally feel what you’ve said! My oldest is about to turn 16 and I didn’t have even my own parents when she was born. Just my husband and I and the not-so-helpful child rearing book his parent’s gave us with a long lecture about “You’re having kids too young don’t expect us to pick up the pieces”. Its a bumpy ride but the universal fact is that if you love your kids and do your best in 99% of cases they will grow into responsible adults.

  38. Anna says:

    This wise and mindful view can (and should) also be applied to other aspects of our lives, not just mothering. As a single woman with no children, I still found this relevant. We are all inundated with messages of what a good, successful, fulfilling life should look like when the sources of these messages are indeed profit-driven and meant to make us feel inadequate (so we will buy their stuff).

  39. Lili says:

    Beautiful article! Thanks for the reminder it’s so easy to get lost in the myths and propaganda and burry yourself in stress. I just had my 2nd child and while I’ve been blessed with extremely well natured children, the change from one child to two has been rough on me. It’s been all too easy to sink into bad habits of self blame.

  40. Annie Rao says:

    Great article. You are an amazing writer!

  41. Lori Beth says:

    This is the idea that stuck out most to me:

    “Balance is overrated and easy to market. Attempting to hold a balance in your life (for more than a few minutes) is like holding a handstand for any real length of time: it’s not only exhausting, but it requires so much focus that you end up missing out on the richness all around you. I much prefer the concept of centeredness. Once we find our center (which can require some digging through layers of cultural confusion), there’s always the option to return to this powerful place within, no matter the perceived imbalance all around us.”

    Maybe I should stop trying to stand on my head 😉 The ideas in your list are really refreshing to hear…as a mother, woman, wife, and well, just as a person. Thank you.

  42. BRH says:

    I’d like to add one to the list. Just because my 4 year old isn’t reading at a 3rd grade level doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. My first kid learned to talk fast, almost full 4+ correct grammered sentences by 18 months. My second kid 25 words top. I used to beat myself up saying I must of been a better more mom with first, but that’s just not true. Kids all come in different varieties, these differences don’t change the fact that I’m a good mom, it just means they are individuals.

  43. Michele says:

    Have only started the article and love it. Parenting solo, as in parents miles away, and disinterested in anything other than ‘you’re doing it wrong’ via phone; husband who said ‘I’m done’ at 3 weeks old, and friends who all say ‘the pediatrician knows best’ – and she wanted him weaned at 4 months! it’s hard. It’s harder finding stuff on such a vast ocean that not only resonates but is healthy.

  44. Kat says:

    Great article, thank you for writing it.

    So many truths here. Navigating modern motherhood in our culture is more manageable with Self care and trusting our intuition. It would have been helpful if I’d learned that sooner. But I am so thankful I have!

  45. Karin in Oregon says:

    What a wonderful gift you have to clearly lay out and articulate myth v. reality, thank you. I was a mother of three girls in the late 70’s, all born within 5 years. I felt like a Blue Bird Club leader. All you describe resonates and answers a question I have had: Do you mothers now feel less isolated today with cell phones and internet? Clearly, all that is most likely adding MORE to the pile.It remains the hardest work in a lifetime, bringing these children safely to their own shorelines of life. I salute you all.

  46. Mel says:

    Nice but made me sad because it shows how little people understand science. Science has no value judgements. It does not ever try to show you how to do anything and how to live. That’s what your ethics do.

    Herd immunity is real whether that is meaningful for you and your family is your business/ethical system. Corporal punishment leads to children more likely to be violent, again it is your value system that decides your actions. And even where your problems don’t fit the expected norms, like a child that is sensitive to gluten, science explains patterns and is based on norms. There are always outliers. Outliers do not mean the science is bad.

    So I don’t mean to detract from the article but I had to say that.

    • Temora says:

      Whether something is or isn’t a fact is not being disputed – ‘herd immunity’ is an achievable state of being – but it is possible for people to disagree about whether it is worth the risk – some people may not choose to prioritise the herd over their own unit. Gluten intolerance exists but how people go about managing their gluten intolerance, (or indeed not managing it), is about individuals weighing up the various pros and cons of their particular situation, (the severity of reaction versus the pleasure of consumption etc.) the article is not suggesting that science is inaccurate, it is explaining that simply being in possession of facts doesn’t serve to constitute a homogenous, one size fits all, ‘correct way’ of being.

  47. Pdaddy says:

    Best internet parenting advice I’ve seen in awhile! Although personally I think the title would be better if it read parenthood instead of motherhood. as this advice applies very much to fathers as well.

  48. Temora says:

    You’re AWESOME – will you marry me? xxxx

  49. Lisa says:

    GREAT piece! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for your book.

  50. Zoey O'Toole says:

    I’m not sure I agree exactly about the impact of the Internet. I understand the difference it’s made in your life, but I think MANY parents, mothers in particular, felt that isolation and lack of support BEFORE the days of the Internet. For instance, as the editor of another blog about mothers and revolution (www.thinkingmomsrevolution.com), I hear stories of moms of older children who are so jealous of today’s moms’ ability to cinnect up with like-minded souls in an instant. That said, I agree with every other wise and beautifully stated point you made. This was excellent, and I for one will be co-creating that reality with you.

    Thank you.

  51. The French dude says:

    This could also be reflected on fatherhood. There are a lot of single fathers out there.

  52. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful article – I particularly loved point number 10 – in a short paragraph you articulated something that every parent needs to understand and accept in order to continue a relationship with their older, less dependant upon us, children. My oldest is 17 and while I have tried my best to arm him with all the knowledge I have and lessons I’ve learned, I understand that ultimately, it’s his life, his journey and his turn to make the most our of opportunities he is given, or not. So far, I’m cautiously optimistic about his future but I will remind myself, once again, that this is his journey. THank you for sharing your thoughts.

  53. Joan Yamamoto says:

    When (in 1969) I “fell pregnant” and hastily married being a mother was my responsibility and my joy. I enjoyed to the fullest all the mess, frustrations, tending to the sick ones and celebrating stuff like “look, Mom, I caught a frog in my own bare hands!”
    I considered motherhood my best full time job and did have to go back to work once my kids were in school. At 42 and 40 I still worry about them but trust them to make their own mistakes and have their own joys. I love being a grandmother, too. I, like my own parents, did my best and that’s what life is all about – progress not perfection and a bit of fun, too.

  54. Dad Ofthree says:

    Hi Beth, Why not “17 Modern Myths That Are Making PARENTHOOD Miserable” rather than “MOTHERHOOD”?

    While I appreciated your article and agree with your insights, I take offense with the fact that you characterize these difficult decisions and the information overload that we face today as challenges of “MOTHERS” rather than “PARENTS”. You are also perpetuating a myth that dads don’t matter in raising a child.

    Your advice is sound, but please don’t dismiss that these are PARENTING choices, not simply decisions of a mother. Maybe as you finish your book you can clean up this one-sided view of parenting as solely a female endeavor. Your blog intro that “There’s a little something for everyone, and all are welcome here” rings hollow for this DAD. Wake up!

    • Beth says:

      Thank you for your insight, Dad of Three, but choosing to narrow my target audience to those I relate with best hardly qualifies me as being asleep. I assume you haven’t read much on my blog if my inclusion rings hollow. I wholeheartedly believe dads are equally essential in the lives of children. Maybe ask how the author feels next time rather than making broad-sweeping assumptions? Respectfully, A Dad-loving Mother-of-Four

      • Ashley says:

        This is one of those that are my biggest petpeeve on the internet! The assumptions with trying to read between lines that are not even there!! I am so annoyed with people always bellyaching about “the opposite” I get that someone is taking their thoughts and going with that thought that doesn’t always require every freaking branch of the tree. God JOB to the author, not for a second did I second guess your motives nor believe for a second that you were alluding to dads not being important. You could ONLY draw that conclusion “that dads don’t matter” if you had actually commented to the fact that dads don’t matter! BUT YOU DIDN’T! AND vent over

  55. Grace says:

    I look forward to your book! What a fantastic artI’ve. Great to see there are mums like yourself speaking up about the reality of parenting and the fact that old beliefs are not always right.
    Exploring what’s right for you and your values is what’s most important. Society can have their say, mums run their households they way they feel is right.

    Go supermums! (Coz every mum is a supermum!)

  56. Betsy says:

    The simple fact that your prose held my internet-addled attention from start to finish, speaks volumes about how apt and resonant this post is for me right now. Thank you for taking the time to explore what may seem to some to be a fact of life since time began, but can feel like a plague for so many of us. This illusion of control we mothers are being sold at every turn is so easily checked by a little common sense. None of us really, truly, know what we are doing. We’re all just winging it. Some of us are more tidy, organized wingers than others. (:

  57. Doris Menzies says:

    As a 60 year old woman, mother of 3, aged 40, 36 and 32 and grandmother of 1….I can say unequivocally that I made more mistakes, emotionally, physically and spiritually as a mother and wife. My life was turned around 360 degress, not by my own ingenuity or self-exploration, but by answering the knocking at my heart. I invited Jesus into my life when I was 36 years old and He has and continues to grow me into the woman He created me to be…I only need one life-map, no internet, no navman….JUST THE WORD OF GOD – THE BIBLE…Jesus is who He claims to be : THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE…

  58. That is an excellent 17 points that you raise! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.

  59. Patty says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  60. Wendy says:

    I absolutely love the framing of these 17 myths and whole-heartedly embrace them all. I do disagree with the premise here though. That pre-internet, mothers were blissfully unaware of external information to make them feel they weren’t doing it well enough. My mom’s house (in the 1970’s and 80’s) was full of women’s magazines telling her she needed to do it all better while maintaining a cleaner home and prettier face. Daytime tv was constantly pumping out messages what motherhood was “supposed” to be. There has been an unrealistic yardstick for a long time – as soon as consumer culture started needing us to buy our way to “better” the messages have been there.

    That doesn’t make the points here any less true – the internet has certainly amped it up. It has never been more important to learn how to self-author your own life and decide for yourself what “successful” means.

  61. Alice Gold says:

    I haven’t even finished this article yet, but I just want to point out the obvious irony that you said you only two sources to go to for parenting advice pre-internet and that was a good thing. Now, our brains aren’t wired for this overload of information but here I am reading your article with SEVENTEEN tips. Bahahahahahaha

  62. EllaJoe'smom says:

    This may be. The best post I have read for you to understand parenting just 17 years ago vs today’s world is huge. Many parents- of new(ish)parents – the gap is larger. So it truly has become apples and oranges. What a great perspective, voice, and assessment. Thank you for sharing to a daughter of a sah (stay at home) Who is now a wmoascnnbmc (working mom of a single child not necessarily by my choice). And I supposed to “number sign” you somewhere in this message?

  63. Jess Townes says:

    This is one of the most excellent articles on mothering I’ve seen in a long time. I think so many mamas have lost sight of the fact that they even CAN react to the gap you describe in the last point. That we are so ridiculously fortunate to have choices, even limited ones. And that the most important choices we make are about what we say to ourselves, how much grace we first extend to ourselves so we can give it freely to others. I have a lot of thoughts on all of these points but they pretty much mirror yours. Thank you for articulating this so well.

  64. Ashley says:

    LOVE! No other words are adequate enough! A simple LOVE IT says it all!!!!

  65. Kelly says:

    Great read! An honest look at this crazy ride called motherhood that really resonated with me. I’m sure many will relate.

  66. Amy says:

    Thanks for articulating these thoughts. Being a mother is an honor but also so hard. I am learning these lessons every day (with kid 3 in the past 6 years). I put a lot of pressure on myself to fulfill some ideal or others ideals of motherhood — I am daily trying to refocus and listen to my quiet still voice inside. Thanks for all the lovely reminders. xo

  67. Jenny says:

    This is so good it is hard to say which entry is my favorite. They all are. Thank you for writing this.

  68. Christina says:

    This is all kind of missing the point… a lot of posting about nothing. The problems with motherhood today are the same as always: fear, pride and selfishness. Forget the internet. We are afraid of not measuring up, but mostly afraid of other people THINKING we don’t measure up. The cure to the mommy wars is two-fold: stop assuming everyone is even thinking about you (they aren’t), and stop getting offended at the idea you could actually learn something from someone. Neither requires guilt. Just learn from others, do better as you know better, and accept that NO ONE is good at everything… nor are others targeting you when they make different parenting choices.

  69. Jennie says:

    Absolutely true! We need to support each other. Thank you so much for sharing. I find it helpful to consider unkind criticism the result of someone trying to justify what they feel guilt about. It helps me to not be as affected by it, and stay centered.

  70. Rachel says:

    Confused. I was also born in 1977 and had the Internet at 17…particularly by 18 & 19 I was using it as my primary means for research papers etc in college so there was a ton of information and resources and plenty of chat rooms etc for moms to be looking up information and exchanging information.

    Is it just that you chose not to use the Internet? It was widely available both when your daughter was born and even more so when she was 1 & 2 so I’m not understanding why you say there was no internet?

    • Beth says:

      I suppose it varied from person to person and community to community, but I got my first email address in college and don’t remember using the internet for anything substantial until I was maybe 25 or so. We were intentionally minimalistic when it came to technology (didn’t even have a tv until six years ago), so maybe that had something to do with my late blooming into the online world. I definitely don’t think its impact and reach then can be compared to today. It was by no means the go-to for info, nor yet a source of overwhelm for most of us.

  71. Yvonne says:

    A bit simplistic…. The Internet has opened us up to reality… A reality that we have choices and can look outside the box. We can choose something other than a parenting book or our pediatrician to help us. It has also taught us that our parents that were terrible do not have to be our role models. Processing it all can be too much definitely but now that we’re not not doing it the same way, we get less supportive which is sad.

  72. Miranda says:

    This is amazing. You get it. And express it beautifully. Its hard “today” get remember these things..and keep you sanity. Thank you for the wonderful reminded. I shared with many!

  73. cate says:

    Thank you for this. I have three children and have been suffering since day one of my eldest son’s birth with guilt, doubt, anxiety, and depression. Your words speak right to the root of my experience. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom. I can’t wait to read your book!

  74. Kerry says:

    This article is so rich. I think #11 is one of the most important bits of understanding that a parent can have. So much information is available, and some of it is really helpful, but it must be connected through our own life, our own intuition, values and knowledge of ourselves and our children. If we all followed the same recipe, we wouldn’t have the opportunity for self development or really creating a unique relationship with our children. Thanks for writing this and for your passion to support the journey of motherhood.

  75. Caragh says:

    Thank you for this article!

    I was 17 with my first child as well, and 30 when I had my last – and I related to this so much it was almost as if you had written it for me! I was/am having a crisis of parenting right now, and I really needed these beautiful articulate words. Thank you!

  76. Patti Ashley says:

    Hi Beth: Loved your article. So right on! Thank you. Wondering if I could send you a copy of my book: Living in the Shadow of the Too-Good Mother Archetype for you to review. I speak to the changing roles of mothers and the unconscious repetition of the past mistakes. I just need a mailing address and I can send your way! Patti

  77. Chris K says:

    Interesting read. Though not necessarily in agreement with #4, that staying home is a freedom of “choice”. Sometimes you really wish to stay home with your kids but you have no choice, you have to work to feed the family. I wish stay at home moms would be more considerate and not blubber on and on about how great it is they can BE there for their kids at such an important age and attend all their kids events. For goodness sake, just be more considerate!

  78. Chris K says:

    Sorry, my comment is about #3… Trying to multitask on my train ride home (lol)

  79. ( : Katelyn : ) says:

    Some very helpful truths! And how neat to have the experience of mothering pre and post internet-everywhere!
    Have you read the book “The Wonder of Girls” by Michael Gurian? If not, I think that you would LOVE it! It totally revised and revived my mindset about mothering, and being a female! I can’t wait to read your book when it’s finished!

  80. Red says:

    I love this! I try not to get sucked into too many of these myths but there are some that are so ingrained in our society.

    #4 creeps into my head a lot and causes feelings of guilt from time to time. I never call myself an “attachment parent” because I work outside of the home and my son spends his days at daycare. Even though I identify with and believe in much of the attachment parenting philosophy and was a baby wearing, co-sleeping and (still) breastfeeding momma.

    #6 is creating a new mantra for me. Balance cannot be achieved – focus on finding your “centeredness.”

  81. Kate westrupp says:

    I fall into the same camp, I am 45 with a 3 year old, a 27 year old and two in-between. I couldn’t agree with this article more, all the time I feel guilty at what I am not doing as shown by media, Facebook, pinterest etc. I hate parenting in this day and age, it is horrible.

  82. Babs says:

    I am now a grandma and have bought up 5 children . These still apply – so good to read . Thank you

  83. Jeanette says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I feel like a weight has been lifted. I was a mum first time at 20, and now have a newborn at 37 (I was born in 1977 too!). I thought this second time would be “easier” because I’d be armed with the so much more information. But, I find myself doubting and second guessing myself regularly and in a way that I didn’t when I was a young single mum, who relied a lot more on instinct and tuning in to my child’s needs. I find that we mums perpetuate many of these myths ourselves when we post and present an “ideal” version of our lives on social media… But the other side of the coin is that we can reach out for help in a much quicker and more efficient way, if we can effectively navigate the internet minefield! I look forward to exploring your blog more.

  84. Gina says:

    Thankyou, that says it all.

  85. S. McHardy says:

    Can I make one teeny caveat (wholly wonderful observations – glad someone posted this to me)that is probably totally unnecessary for your audience, but which drives me crazy just the same?

    The segment where you mentioned parents taking time for themselves as being important is something I felt to offer a caveat. I hear from people on less thoughtful internet locations that it is “my right to get stoned,” to “escape,” and “to zone out recreationally,” “where I am not hurting anyone.”

    Parenting does not allow for insobriety. If at any time a child or teenager or young adult comes looking for an ear, some advice, guidance, help with homework, a social situation that includes bullies, dating, break-ups, or, ugh, hanging out, or worse, a physical injury or trauma, and a parent is not on their toes, is taking a recreational escape, and cannot listen, respond, or take the kid to the E.R. because they have put something into their body that takes time to clear, or their willful habit of doing such numbs them to what the real world you present so authentically is about, well, that is immoral. Active, aware, loving parents, any social strata or stressful situation(s), don’t need and should not be convinced that insobriety is ever ok. ‘Nuff said. Thanks.

  86. Susan says:

    Hi Beth, thank you for your article. What a deep and thought provoking read! Almost 30, no kids, I’m constantly being asked about motherhood and admit, I’ve been terrified! Often getting caught up in websites, feeling so overwhelmed by it all before we’ve even began! It’s quite honestly daunted me so much, I was left wondering whether I even want to be a parent! But getting back to simple, basic approaches to learning, support and experience through parenthood, and dropping some of the social cultural expectations we place on ourselves and others, will be really useful. Thank you for sharing.

  87. Helen says:

    Excellent. I’ve got two kids in their 20s, both independent and confident, and more secure within themselves than either my husband or I were at that age, so I must know something :-). Here’s what we discovered: each child is born with a unique temperament and tendencies and will need something different from you. You cannot control that any more than you can control when they learn to walk. You can only control your own reaction. So you need to be flexible and play the cards you’re dealt. You are not a perfect parent, but if you mess up, and are willing to be open with your kids when you wish you’d handled something differently or made a mistake with them and need a “do over,” you are teaching them an important lesson about being able to take responsibility for one’s actions. Give them space to handle their relationships with friends and teachers, and guidance if they are having trouble, but try not to intervene directly unless absolutely necessary. Also, don’t be afraid to set boundaries and limits. Consistent limits, rules, whatever you want to call them, with clear consequences that you follow through with, are part of their security, no less when they’re 16 than when they’re 3. They won’t admit it at the time, but deep down they know it’s part of your caring about them, even when they’re railing against how unreasonable you are. Both my kids have spontaneously remarked to us how glad they were that we set limits and expectations for them that help them cope independently today.

  88. Thank you for this breath of fresh air. This one really got me right now: Our children’s questionable choices reflect bad parenting on our part. Right on. They are their own people and some mistakes you just need to make on your own.

    I’d sure feel surprised to find out if my mom felt any blame or credit for my current life choices.

  89. Hind says:

    Dear Beth
    I am delivering shortly a short course for women in workplace where I do provide them with different way of seeing things and skills they will need in life. I used your article to list some myths and true stories.

  90. Kenden says:

    I love how you use the term “A truer story”
    What a unique perspective you have based on your life experience and when you had your children. Your article is very positive and affirming. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  91. Elaine says:

    Great points. I wish I had read this when I was getting all the “advice” during my children’s grade school period. The only thought I have is #7 is great advice for those who basically have the instinct to put their children’s needs ahead of their own not the other way around.

  92. Ashley says:

    Wonderful. Just wonderful. One good thing about the internet? It brought me this, a compassionate, intelligent, succinct articulation of things I thought and felt but have never until now heard expressed so brilliantly. Thank you.

  93. Ly says:

    This is the first time I have been so inclined to leave a comment on a blog post. Your post moved me in such a way because you articulated what I have been feeling and thinking so well. Thank you for your well written thoughts because its serves as my voice and the voice of so many mothers who internalize these feelings but don’t think that any other mother out there is feeling the same.

  94. Catherine says:

    One of the best written pieces on motherhood I’ve ever read. Thank you. Beautiful content and beautifully written.

  95. Dawn says:

    This post is amazing and I came across it while doing research for my latest post about why some Mothers regret having children, I think it has to do with the ridiculous expectations placed on mothers and the crazy identity shift which happens. Thanks for writing so honestly- I look forward to reading more!

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