Being a Mom is hard. There are messes and schedules and meltdowns and chores and school and work and literally everything. Your husband is your team mate, the one person that will understand and not judge you when you love your kids so much, but also have moments when you want to run away and take up a life of wine and book clubs and cheese. Having a husband there with you in raising your kids gives you that extra level of comfort and security. Chances are, you meant to have kids, you did it on purpose! Even if you have the most “woke” partner who shares all of the baby duties and takes their part of cleaning the house seriously, there are always going to be some Mom struggles that Dads will just never understand.
Your husband is probably not the one who has scoured Instagram and Pinterest, looking for super cute outfit ideas for your child. He might be completely baffled as to why it is NOT ok that he has dressed your little girl in red sparkly pants with a pink and orange fleece top. Clothes are just clothes, they’re going to get dirty anyways. Sure, maybe if no one is leaving the house that day. What your husband just doesn’t understand is that if you happen to go out, and come across some beautiful little fountain that would make for a lovely picture, there’s no way you’re posting it when your child is dressed like Sinbad.
13. Parenting on a Period
Your husband can obviously never feel this pain. It’s just something that he’s never going to get. The dread of looking at the calendar, and seeing that your family beach day is planned right in the worst stages of period-land is soul crushing. Not to mention having to be a sane and normal parent while having the worst cramps of your life. Your husband may be the absolute sweetest man on the face of this planet, but he’s still not going to understand why there’s just no way you’re going to the trampoline park.
12. Maternity Pants
Yes, the “baby” is now 2 and you could probably fit into your old summer shorts. What your husband will never understand is the total comfort of never having to deal with buttons and waistlines cutting into your belly. There is no sweeter joy than rolling out of bed and just rolling some maternity pants on. You can eat a giant meal and not have to unbutton your pants! You can low key use them as a form of Spanx! They are the most versatile fashion piece that any woman could ever want.
11. Mom Shaming
There’s this feeling that you get when your child is having a temper tantrum and you look over and there’s another Mom with a perfectly behaved child giving you the side eye. You can literally feel the waves of judgement coming off of her. You feel like she’s judging you as a Mom, and you feel totally defeated. The reality is, that Mom might not be judging at all, but one wrong look when we feel like we’re not parenting at our absolute best and it sends us into a tailspin of guilt. This seems to pass right over Dads as they don’t have that ingrained fear of judgement that we as Mom’s seem to have.
10. Birthday Presents
This is another Mom struggle that Dads just don’t get. If it’s for your child, you worry about whether or not they will actually use it, what their reaction to it will be, and if it’s enough. A Dad just doesn’t seem to have the same worries. Even worse, if it’s a present for another child. Things that Moms think about might never even cross a Dad’s mind. Is this present an equal value of what they got YOUR child for their birthday? Does this present convey the right tone of how much you like their child? Will the Mom approve of the present you bought? DID YOU GET A GIFT RECEIPT????
9. Mom Friends
Men will never obsess about, or worry over making other “Dad friends.” They simple get to reap the fruits of your labour in making new Mom friends. After you have a child, and you don’t know other Moms with kids your age this kind of awkward mating dance begins of trying to find another Mom to be friends with. Are they judgemental? Can you have a conversation with them and not want to stab your eyeball with Sophie the Giraffe? And where do you find these elusive women? Mom groups? The library? It’s so hard to put yourself out there, it’s almost like having to date again. And yet the Dads simply get to meet the husband of this Mom that you’ve spent weeks or even months cultivating a friendship with.
Your husband might not understand why, when you were a perfectly rational human woman before baby, after baby you now sob in the theatre while watching Nanny McPhee Returns. Your hormones have changed, and things that might not have touched you before will now reduce you to a ball of salty tears. Anything could possibly set you off, a rescue dog commercial, your child handing you a flower they picked, your soft boiled eggs not having a runny egg. Anything is fair game!
This is something that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you start to realize how little Dads think about how your child looks it becomes baffling. If you are getting your child ready for school, you might have done actual investigative research on the perfect braid, and practiced for hours before actually doing it on your child. When your husband gets the kids ready for school your daughter goes to school with an an unbrushed lump on top of her head. If your child has curly hair, Dad is not understanding that you CANNOT be brushing it unless it’s wet with conditioner in the shower! He also cannot understand the horror of him coming back from the hairdresser and he has (gasp) let your daughter get bangs. BANGS!
6. Getting the Perfect Picture
Dads are prepared for formal pictures at birthdays and holidays, but what they never seem to be prepared for is the fact that with children, a photoshoot can present itself anywhere at any time. They also don’t seem to appreciate the effort that it takes to get one good shot. Children are squirmy, blinky beings. So yes, you DO need to take 35 shots of them in the exact same position. You need to try different angles, and make sure their eyes aren’t closed. Dads are often confused as to what occasion needs professional pictures taken. The answer, after having kids, is almost any. Having professional pictures done is becoming more and more common, seasonal family portraits, cake smash pictures, all of these have become the norm, and Dads don’t seem to have caught up with the times.
5. Mom Groups
Mom groups. In particular, online Mom groups. Dads will never understand the delicate balance it takes to navigate these groups. You might think you are posting an innocent question about where you can get formula on sale (YOU ARE KILLING YOUR CHILD IF YOU ARE NOT BREASTFEEDING) or a doctor’s visit (ANY KIND OF VACCINE WILL POISON YOUR CHILD). All of a sudden, you’re in the middle of a heated Mom debate that you never even wanted to be a part of. Dads will never understand the utter horror that is being the part of an online Mommy Group.
Dads will never understand this, because they’ve never pushed a child out of themselves. Things are different. Things have changed. While you used to be a camel, you now have the bladder of a bird. Now there is a great fear that if you laugh really hard, you might pee your pants. If a coughing fit emerges, you might pee your pants. If you are jumping up and down a lot, you might pee your pants. If there’s a stiff breeze, you might pee your pants.
There are things that you never even thought about before having a child, and now (in large part thanks to Mom groups) you are now aware that there are so many dangers to worry about. While Dads are aware of most of these things, they don’t seem to get as bogged down in the crippling fear that it could happen to your child. Food recalls, boating accidents, almost any news story can send you into a spiral of worry.
2. Lunch Packing
Your lunches are works of art, you might have saved a million pictures of food art, and tried to recreate them for your child’s school lunch. You worry about food groups, and not packing too much sugar or junk food. You are highly aware of all allergies in your child’s class, and are militant about checking all food packaging. You know that your daughter prefers a spoon, while your son prefers a fork. You know that Thursdays are litterless lunch days, and that Fridays are pizza days so you don’t have to pack as much food. Dads don’t seem to understand everything that goes into packing your child’s lunch for school. Times have changed since they went to school, and a white bread sandwich and a juice box simply will not cut it anymore.
1. Playdate Preparation
Dads will never understand the struggle of preparing for a playdate. First off, your house has to be clean. What if the other Mother takes one step into your house and judges you for your dust bunnies? You might have just crammed everything into your room of shame, but there’s no way the other Mom will ever know that. You become obsessed with planning healthy snacks and fun games for the children to play. Dads don’t get that playdates can make or break your child’s friendships. If there’s no activities planned, and the kids start bickering, you have nothing to distract them with. If your snacks “suck” will it reflect badly on you?? This is something that would probably never cross a man’s mind, but as women we are conditioned to worry about the weirdest things that could possibly happen.