Motherhood is a concept that is difficult to define and grasp for those that haven't experienced it. Even for those who have, the definition differs from house to house, and generation to generation, leaving only a few things constant — a mother's love for her children and her struggles while birthing and raising them. We asked mom bloggers and regular mothers to describe their idea of "motherhood" in their own words.
In the eyes of mom blogger Samira Ahmed, 31, motherhood is a wholly different experience, unlike anything else. In Samira's words, there's "That first pang of induced labour. Stitches so dry I couldn't sit. Doughnut rings. Cluster feeds. Mess everywhere. Inconsolable crying. Burping. Stinky vomit. Sleepless nights. Breast pads. OVERFLOWING LAUNDRY". But then, she adds, "There's also being able to rediscover the world through your child's eyes." Undoubtedly, such an experience transcends words and cannot be held comparable to anything else.
Mothers today have yet another thing in common in their views of motherhood. They all agree that the notions surrounding the idea of motherhood have evolved since the bygone eras and changed, as modern societal ideologies and standards are being incorporated into the concept. The stakes are much higher than they used to be in parental responsibilities. Thankfully, there is a modern tool or two that makes the hard parts a little more bearable.
For many young moms, the internet serves as a north star as they navigate this new and difficult phase in their lives. While it is no magic potion that annihilates all their problems, it sure does help. Tamanna Muntaka, 27, is a new mom residing in Utah, USA. She says, "Most of my ideas of parental duties come from observing my parents as a kid. I'm afraid a lot of those practices are simply unacceptable where I live. There are many times when I'm faced with the dilemma of which route to take. Mom bloggers then provide me with a happy medium that I'm glad to oblige with." Another mom, Onnesha Binte Latif, 23, adds that she often uses the internet to browse through recipes for various quick and healthy snacks for her son or to find solutions for his occasional tantrums.
It's no secret that motherhood comes with its own set of problems. Mothers go through changes in their bodies, lives, mental health, and their overall identities. Mom bloggers often lay bare their own experiences with such difficulties to help their audiences understand the weight of the baggage that comes with motherhood. There's a constant issue with weight gain and the appearance of stretch marks all over the body.
Blogger Nawrin Layla took to Instagram to share her experience about how being positive about her newly-acquired "mom body" wasn't exactly a walk in the park, in a world where body diversity is still a work in progress. Being a parent is a full-time job and millennial mothers juggling responsibilities both at work and at home tend to cut out on the time they would otherwise spend on themselves. This can have negative impacts on their psychological and emotional wellbeing. Mom blogger and DIY craft enthusiast Muhaimina Faiz Chowdhury spoke about dealing with her postpartum depression, saying, "It's one of the reasons why I couldn't fully enjoy the first few months of my child's life. I wish no mother has to go through these phases, sudden mood swings, dark and depressive thoughts hitting out of nowhere."
Because patriarchy still has a firm grip on our society, new mothers often decide against voicing their thoughts on issues such as maternity leave, gender pay gap, breastfeeding, and such. The content found on mom blogs is usually directed towards helping regular mothers overcome the patriarchal norms that continue to be imposed on mothers, by spreading much-needed awareness and advice.
Audience groups following mom blogs occasionally come across details of what goes into producing the content that is being made available. A large number of such people draw comfort in knowing how mom bloggers perceive communication on the internet, the good and bad that comes from it. One such audience member, Tanzila Ahmed, 34, says that it helps them sympathise with bloggers and understand the significance of the advisory content that she, as one of many, would've otherwise not been able to fully grasp.
The realness that mom bloggers bring to the table is extremely commendable. Disclosing intimate facts about oneself, while hard, benefits moms immensely. Tamanna says, "Taking care of a newborn alone is hard enough, imagine just how much worse it is when we're bringing up a child in a foreign country. Seeing other people living in foreign countries, running parenthood-based platforms, especially blogs, and voicing some of my dilemmas is very comforting, and makes me feel a little less alone."
To that, Onnesha adds, "It feels good to see that light is being shed on our struggles. I cannot even begin to count the number of times moms have been put in the ranks of superheroes who can do no wrong. Don't get me wrong, moms are nothing short of superheroes, but trying to attain such an unrealistic level of perfection all the time is very tiring. Mom bloggers are doing us all a favour by bringing the reality to light."
Nabiha Nusaiba often forgets to add her blurb. Remind her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rasha Jameel is an overzealous Ravenclaw who often draws inspiration from mundane things such as memes. Send her your thoughts at email@example.com