Dear Mommy Martyrs: Enough With The Bitching

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Maybe I just live in Dullsville, USA, but I keep seeing the boring mom drudgery everywhere I go. Granted, it’s also splashed all over my Facebook newsfeed, so it may not be distinct to my small corner of Texas.

What am I talking about? Here it is in a nutshell: “Oh, me? I haven’t been out to a nice dinner in ages because the kids keep me so busy.” Yuk yuk yuk.

Or how about? “I think the last time I saw a movie Avatar was playing, if that tells you anything!” *Commence knee-slapping and chuckling.

Since when did it become cool to be a mommy martyr? I don’t know about you, but I really like going out in public. We waited until my first son was about a month old before we forced him on my in-laws with a very long and detailed list. Sure, they were kind of freaked out by the whole thing, but they figured it out. Sink or swim, right?

Since when did it become cool to be a mommy martyr? I don’t know about you, but I really like going out in public. We waited until my first son was about a month old before we forced him on my in-laws with a very long and detailed list. Sure, they were kind of freaked out by the whole thing, but they figured it out. Sink or swim, right?

Since then, we’ve always had monthly babysitting because my in-laws live about 45 minutes away. Whenever they’re not available, we set aside cash for a babysitter because it really is that important to go out in public and be a normal person from time to time—just like paying your cable bill. (A necessary luxury, dammit!)

I do feel that I understand the mind of the mommy martyr. You may feel like your life is no longer your own. You may feel really guilty for complaining about the awesome, healthy children that God gave you who also happen to scream in unison when they don’t get popsicles after dinner.

So how else are you supposed to express your frustration in a healthy way that doesn’t scar your kids for life? You can dive right in to mom drudgery and make sure that everyone knows about all the hard work you do.

As I describe this thought process, I promise I’m not judging. It’s something I can relate to as I do chore after chore after chore and pick up 12 dozen Lego toys and blocks every day at 7 PM when I put the kids to bed. (Just a shout out to my husband because he helps with all of this too! A “daddy martyr,” if you will.)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • radicalhw

      Oh, I’m not a martyr. I just really, really like complaining.

      • ShanLea

        We must be long lost sisters!! My dad, who is a wee bit of a smartass, said to me the other day, “If you didn’t have something to bitch about, we would think you were mute!”

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I wanna do a post called complaining is my favorite because it is is, seriously

      • Crusty Socks

        I thought all articles on Mommyish was for this purpose

        **runs away!!!!!!!!

      • Véronique Houde

        Yeah but the difference is that when you complain, you’re 1-funny and 2-not TOO serious about it… ;)

      • AtlasVI

        God made children because he knew I love to complain.

    • Véronique Houde

      I HATE mommy martyrs. Got into a fight with a coworker mommy martyr because of it. She responded with “Not all babies are as easy as yours” O RLY???? I took my baby out in 2 degree celsius weather for the first time when she was 2 days old. I got the comment from an old lady that lives on my street that it was too cold out to take out a newborn. I smiled and nodded and moved on. My boyfriend and I TOTALLY took advantage of the fact that my infant didn’t have an official bedtime and either slept, fed, or stared into the abyss, to go out to friends’ houses, restaurants, malls… Wherever it pleased us. No regrets! Now, my daughter is 16 months old and knows (most of the time) how to behave in restaurants because we’ve brought her enough times where she sits and colours (or stands on the bench), doesn’t throw her food on the floor, and doesn’t scream and try to run around the place. It’s a godsend because we have a social life.

      I guess the only thing that I haven’t been willing and able to do unless she stays overnight with my sister, is go out late at night. Since she wakes up sometimes at night, and can be shy, I just can’t see myself leaving a sleepy baby with a sitter she barely knows, and her to wake up to find a stranger… Perhaps when she actually understands human vocabulary and I can explain what is happening, I’ll be able to do that.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Ours do pretty well with overnights… So far. My mom only lives close enough for overnights like 3x a year. But I want more! ;)

      • Véronique Houde

        I can’t really ask my parents to watch them overnight… Well, maybe I COULD ask my dad, but I always feel a bit bad imposing on him for more than a few hours. He’s a good babysitter for the evening and totally loves to watch my daughter… But overnight might be asking too much. Considering my sister has a guest bedroom, a daughter the same age, AND that our daughters are best friends ever, she totally doesn’t mind doing it once in a while, but I don’t want to impose…

      • Bethany Ramos

        You should impose! Haha but I feel you.

      • notorious

        Offer a trade. She takes your daughter one night, you take hers the next (or the next weekend, or make it an every other week/month thing whatever works). Then it’s not imposing, because you’re all working together to stay sane.

      • Véronique Houde

        Haha I wish, but right now it’s not possible ;). I still live in a one bedroom apartment so I literally can’t have my niece sleep over, and my sister is not known for her crazy active social life lol. She’s a homebody and prefers to stay home. But in May, I’m moving into my house, so perhaps the opportunities will become more present. It’s not as if we hadn’t thought of it ;)

      • Justme

        My SIL is one of those mothers who doesn’t believe in being away from her children for any extended amount of time. Her boys have only spent the night at my parent’s house one time and the oldest is ten. And I hate to throw her under the bus (or maybe I don’t) but her marriage with my brother is struggling…and I think that her devotion to her children and the ignoring of my brother is at the root of their issues. I feel sad for my brother because he misses the relationship with my SIL that made him put a ring on it in the first place. I truly think that the best way to be parents to a child is to model a strong, healthy relationship and taking time to be a couple separate from the child is one way to accomplish that.

      • pixie

        I feel sorry for those kids. I knew kids that never spent any time away from their parents both when I was a kid and when I was in my undergrad. The ones I knew as a kid would come to my house or another friend’s house for a sleepover when we were tweens and would call their parents in the middle of the night to bring them home because they were homesick. The ones I knew in my undergrad were barely able to function by themselves as young adults and do basic things like cook for themselves, clean up after themselves, wake themselves up for class, do their own laundry, etc. Their parents’ constant involvement in their lives and running of their lives did a huge disservice to them as individuals.

        Not that this will happen to your nephews, but I agree that the best way to be parents is to take adult time with your partner and model a strong and healthy relationship.

      • Justme

        I completely agree with you – especially on the last sentence. The weird thing is that this attached to Momma is NOT the way we were raised – my parents always had (and still do have) a very active social life away from our family time. Not that we were neglected or anything, they just enjoyed each other’s company and liked doing things together. My brother has little to no say in how the children are raised and in the words of my father…my brother needs to grow a pair. Stepping away from the slight misogyny of that statement (love you, Dad) and seeing the big picture – parenting and raising children is a tough job and the more perspective and experience, the better, right?

      • darras

        Hahaaa! If I never took my son out when it was 2C or below I’d only be allowed to go outside between the months of April and October.. That old lady needs to be told that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

      • Lilly

        This. I had a late November baby so the cabin fever would have been strong had I not ventured out when he was little.
        The sad joke of it is where I live there are more issues with babies overheating in the winter — people bundle them up like there are going on an Antarctic expedition and then spend most of the time in heated cars, malls, restaurants etc without taking any layers off.

      • SA

        Yes, this! We take kid everywhere and have since she was born. She does wonderfully most places (better than at home) – it makes for a good social life.

        She had had 3 over-nighters, but I think the last was a little rough on her (being at the age of a little understanding but not getting why it was going on). I don’t like to do it often because she does wake a lot of the night and of the morning she is very clingy to me and only me. My parents are begging for a long weekend with her, but I said that I want her to be able to communicate better before that happens. We’ll see, I might end up needing it before then though. :)

    • Crusty Socks

      For every mommy martyr, there’s a dad strapping the suicide vest?

    • rrlo

      I think a lot of the martyrdom comes from a place of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. It’s sad that so many women are making themselves miserable for no reason.

      • Justme

        Yes, misery loves company! And no one ever said we can’t be sometimes disillusioned with our lives, but does every disappointment, setback or frustration need to be vented on Facebook?

      • rrlo

        I have a few friends with the tendency towards martyrdom. These ladies define being a good mother in terms of how much they suffer. As if all objectivity and common sense goes out the window when faced with some impossible definition of what makes a good mother.

      • Véronique Houde

        It’s true that mommy martyrs often travel in herds. They tend to attract each other ;)

      • Justme

        Last night my daughter was pretty sick (tummy issues) and the Oscars had to be put on pause so that sheets could be stripped and put in the washer, and an impromptu bath could be given at 10:00 pm. But I didn’t run to FB to put out the “woe is mom” call…I just took care of my daughter and was thankful that in the grand scheme of things – she’s a pretty healthy kiddo, and that I had my husband at home to share the load. But…I am a very positive person regardless of the situation or my position in life and I think that has something to do with it.

        I think people who constantly project woe and misery about motherhood…probably project woe and misery about many facets of their life.

      • rrlo

        Oh yeah – last weekend my son ran a 103-104 fever the whole time. It was stressful but he is fine now. No harm done. No one knew about it on Facebook. I hate spreading woe on Facebook.

      • Justme

        She most certainly does. She woke up at 7:30 this morning singing the song from Doc McStuffins, “I feel better, so much better!” :)

      • AtlasVI

        And then you put it on mommyish….

      • ChelseaBFH

        It does seem like it can become a way to backdoor brag. “Oh look at me, I’m so devoted to my child that I don’t even SHOWER. Aren’t I a great mother?”

      • Courtney Lynn

        Truth. AND will try to pull you down with them. Apparently, I’m too worried about having a clean home according to my other mom friends. Wow. I’m wrong for wanting cleanliness. Just…no.

    • Justme

      But if these people can’t complain about motherhood, they will find something else to complain about, you know what I mean?

      Parenting is like marriage – each morning you have to wake up and CHOOSE to love your partner, and I think you must treat your approach to parenting the same. My husband and I work very hard to make sure that some semblance of our old life stays intact.

      For the most part though, I only see Mommy Martyrs online and aren’t actively friends with them in real life because they’re kind of a buzzkill.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Ok, that pic makes me really ragey – can’t explain it…

      • rrlo

        What bugs me is that it is kind of true in my case – but not because of being a parent. I was busy watching House of Cards, Sherlock and other awesome shows.

        Also, Blue Jasmine and 12 Years A Slave looked really, really depressing. I just can’t do depressing right now. I need happy.

      • Justme

        Yeah, I can’t do those either. But Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle? Yes, please.

      • LiteBrite

        I didn’t even see Frozen, so take that mommy-martyrs. Boom! I WIN!

    • Andrea

      Ha ha no Bethany. Bitching is our god given right here at Mommyish!!!

      • Bethany Ramos

        Wellll I do love bitching! But I also love babysitting!

      • Andrea

        Oh agreed!!!! But this is the post-modern era, we can do both! ;)

    • K.

      I think it’s:

      educated people + SAHP mom cabin fever + social media = small violins

      I get it; I try to be sympathetic; I too was once a breastfeeding mom of a needy newborn who would have clawed my way to an iPhone if an anvil fell on my legs because it was my window to the outside world, but in SAHPs are a different breed on Facebook.

      I’m sure everyone will have a pet peeve, but mine is the “mommy crowd-sourcing.” Oh God, I hate this. It’s not about mom-to-mom advice, but more when mom’s search for baby or kid-friendly things that are perfectly easy to figure out on your own, such as “does anyone know of a kid-friendly restaurant in Dayton, OH?” or “Does MGM Grand Vegas offer crib rental?” or “Anyone know whether the First Years’ carseat comes in purple?” crap.

      I think it’s because it’s a form of overdramatizing stupid shit, like “OH MY GOD, I’M GOING TO TRAVEL WITH MY KID AND THIS IS CAUSING ME ANXIETY SO I HAVE TO ASK PEOPLE STUPID THINGS THAT I COULD PROBABLY FIGURE OUT THROUGH GOOGLE JUST SO THEY KNOW THAT OH GOD, I AM TRAVELING WITH MY CHILD!”

      • aCongaLine

        HUGE pet peeve of mine when people use the Facebooks as the Googles. Oi.

    • LadyClodia

      I’m honestly trying to break out of the mommy martyr thing, but it’s been hard. It’s been a bit better this past year since I haven’t had to nurse, and we’ve even been out of town without the boys, even if it was only for a night. When our first son was born we lived hours away from any family, and we knew no one in the area, so it was at least 9 months until we went anywhere without him. Then with our second son-we do now live next door to my mom-my husband worked away from home for the first 6 months. And our 2nd never took a bottle (because I hated pumping,) so I was kind of stuck until he weaned. We like to go out without the boys, but it just doesn’t usually happen. I’d also like to have pursuits that don’t involve the boys, but not being able to drive at night really sucks. I also don’t really have any friends here either. I know I’m whining a lot. *sigh*

      • etbmm

        ((I’m with ya.))

    • Valerie

      I’ve never understood it either. From everything I heard from other moms I knew before I had my first kid I was just assuming I would be a greasy-haired sweat-pant-wearing foggy-brained bridge troll for the first year of my child’s life. Sure there were days like that where I felt like I was my baby’s servant but for the most part, it wasn’t that hard to stick my baby in the bouncy seat on the bathroom floor so I could shower daily and then set her on the bed next to me and make funny faces so I could run a flat iron thru my hair and put on some make-up. I guess it’s about your priorities and from the start, I have always made myself a priority. It’s the old adage- if I’m not happy, how can my husband and kids be happy? Hell, I brag about doing the opposite of Mommy Martrying- I happily tell fellow moms that I spend time on myself and my appearance and that if my husband and I want to go out alone we figure out a way. I see no shame in it. Martyr does not a perfect Mommy make. But it can make you an insufferable asshole and also, a crazy person.

      • Justme

        I always thought I was “doing it wrong” when I first had my daughter because I managed to take a shower, put on make-up, get dressed and generally live my life fairly similarly to my pre-baby life.

      • Kay_Sue

        I am dittoing this so hard in my mind.

      • Valerie

        Ditto! I will say it got harder after my second was born because he was a VERY high need baby but I still found a way to do what I needed to do. It was vital for me to feel like I was a human being deserving of a brief shower and a dinner out now and then.

      • Kat

        After my son was born, I managed to shower daily, wear mostly clean clothes and do my makeup fairly frequently. My attitude was that there was no trophy given out for the mommy who took the fewest showers and most resembled the Crypt Keeper.

      • iamtheshoshie

        I just realized that I can shower with my baby. This is awesome because I feel human and he gets degrossified.

      • SA

        Bumbo seats are great for that! I put baby in the bumbo of the shower floor until she turned toddler and now she just stands in there with me. I like a shower by myself, but sometimes I’ll take what I can get.

      • iamtheshoshie

        That looks awesome. I will be so happy when my baby can hold his head up on his own. It’ll be a whole new world of freedom. Right now I’m just happy to get him clean without him screaming. Showers are apparently better than baths because he can get clean while being snuggled.

      • darras

        If it helps at all.. My son HATED baths until he could sit up, because he wasn’t fond of the lying down in the bath thing. So, if yours is the same there is a light at the end of the tunnel in just a few months!

      • Andrea

        #blessed
        or
        #humblebrag ?

        LOL, I’m just kidding. I was/am like that too. I have no regrets. Happy mom, happy family!

      • Valerie

        Lol. Ya know, I would accuse me of the #humblebrag too but I don’t have a huge support system of free family childcare and when my kids were babies and I stayed at home we definitely did not have a lot of money- nothing about our situation made it easy for me to prioritize myself and my marriage but I guess I just forced it to happen. My own parents were TOTAL martyrs- they had money and means but did not go on even one overnight trip by themselves until I was 20 years old! They put their all into us kids and as a result, their marriage sucked when I was younger. They fought all the time and they were definitely strung out. After witnessing that, I just promised myself it wouldn’t go that way for me. So if my baby has to cry for 10 minutes so I can shower, so be it. If they whine a little sleeping at my parents house for one night because they miss us? They’ll live. But if I don’t have time alone with my husband our marriage might not. :-)

      • NatS

        My Mum is adamant that when her kids have kids that we will be dumping them with her and dad for a week every year so that we can have alone time. My parents did it every year for their wedding anniversary and I am so glad they did. My siblings and I got quality time with our grandparents and they got quality time alone. So many of their friends got divorced once the kids left home because they had forgot to have a marriage.

      • JLH1986

        My parents went out 3 Fridays a month. How? There was a group of people, and each couple watched the kids for the others one Friday night a month. That’s how I got my current rotation for my lady friends with kiddos. So one Friday night a month my parents had all the kids over and we played and watched movies. The other 3 Fridays we were with their parents. This was done all free of charge. So that you know parents could be adults.

      • Valerie

        I think that is awesome. I wish my parents had done something like that. I can remember the handful of times they went out and left us with a sitter and we LOVED it. And sadly, I think most of those times it was so they could attend a funeral or something else obligatory. They just had no fun with each other and I think it’s so sad!

      • Bethany Ramos

        My husband says the same! His parents never went out (mine either), and he always says our kids will love the babysitter when they get older. :)

      • JLH1986

        When money was easier for them they went out every Friday. Our babysitter was one of my favorite people and when I was old enough to keep my bro in check she still stayed in touch. She actually wrote my letter of recommendation when I was trying to get into college! We had a blast with her. I’m hoping the hubs and I can manage something similar with kids. I still want to be Jen. Not just “baby H’s mom!”

      • ChelseaBFH

        When I was a kid my cousins and I had a sleepover at my grandparents’ house pretty much every Saturday night. I swear I was in my 20s before it dawned on me that this was just as awesome for my parents as it was for me.

      • G.S.

        That group should write a book. Seriously, that’s the most genius thing I’ve heard in a good while. Good on all of them for that one! :)

      • JLH1986

        Even though I’m not a mom I participate. It evens out that basically we all watch the kiddos like once every six weeks. Friday nights we all rotate and if it’s not your week you get to go to dinner! The mom friends even rotate which house I baby sit at (because our house..not kid friendly). It only gets sticky when you have several weeks (like at Christmas) when we don’t go out because everyone is slammed. Sometimes it’s dinner out, sometimes it’s dinner at someone’s kid free house, movies, Christmas shopping. Basically anything to get kid free for a few hours. So far it’s worked really well. Of course we are all friends so it’s a bit easier to leave the kiddos for a while.

    • Shelly

      So, I definitely agree…mommy martyrs suck ESP on Facebook and social media. Can’t stand that. HOWEVER, I do think it is important to recognize that sometimes moms are really burned out and need a little support from their peeps. And let’s face it – it is just not equal in terms of how much support each mama has. For those who have generous grandparents who take kids for the day or night (or an HOUR!), you are truly blessed. For those who have trusted babysitters and non-clingy/anxious kids who will stay with them willingly, that is amazing. For those who have the finances, energy, and schedules that allow for regular date nights – AMAZING! But not everyone has these luxuries. So when you combine the regular toll that mothering/parenting takes with people who are under-resourced in these areas, you have what appear to be mommy martyrs, who may just actually be really stressed/overwhelmed/burned out mamas. Again, I am not defending the ridiculous people who post their “woes” on Facebook, etc. But I am defending the mamas who legitimately vent and/or look for support when they are clearly struggling. Parenting is hard work! And with little support, it can be impossibly overwhelming. Important to maintain compassion and recognize your audience (e.g. don’t tell a mom who has no grandparent support that she “should just scheduled a date night or night away every month with hubby,” and don’t tell the financially strapped mama that she should “go out to dinner every so often.”).

      • Rose

        I agree, parenting is hard, and sometimes you’re legitimately alone on that limb. I don’t have family nearby, and I don’t enjoy shelling out for sitters, but I’m glad I have the ability to do so. What irks me is martyr + sanctimommy, when people are all, “I haven’t been on a date alone with my hubby in 3 years, but I love it, love my babies, wouldn’t change it for the world! #blessed”

      • CMP414

        Ugh! Those mommies irk my soul and unfortunately they are all over my FB feed

      • Shelly

        Yes! I so hear you! The martyr + sanctimommy is the WORST! It actually makes it worse for people who are legitimately stretched thin and stressed b/c their constant “complaining” desensitizes everyone!

    • Kay_Sue

      This is the reason why, when people gasp when I say my mom and dad are around the corner, less than three minutes away, I just smile…it is so nice that they are so willing to keep the kids when we need a break…

      • MellyG

        My grandma was my constant babysitter. My parents didn’t really give up any of their social life. I keep reminding my mother of this…:)

      • Kay_Sue

        My mom always says they want to do for us what they wish they’d had someone to do for them…it works out well, so I’m not complaining. ;)

    • Karen Milton

      Meh. I don’t really have an adults-only social life, but I’m fine with it. I do agree there’s no need to plaster it all over facebook though – literally zero people give anywhere close to a fuck about whether someone else goes out twice a year or twice a week, and nobody is going to show up at your front door with a cheque and a medal for exemplary martyrdom. I think it is most definitely insecurity. I’m comfortable with my choice and I don’t particularly need facebook friends telling me how awesome/pathetic I am for it. Someone almost begging for validation doesn’t seem all that happy about their choices at all.

    • JulySheWillFly

      Eh, I was lame before I was a mom. Still lame now. But now I can blame the kid to try to save face.

    • B

      Yes! I have no patience for mommy martyrs and I know so many of them! It’s not even just on Facebook, it’s in real life too. There is a huge difference between “can’t” and “won’t” when it comes to parenting. Don’t tell me you “can’t” spare two hours to see a movie or have dinner because none of your family lives nearby. Hire a baby sitter. And as far as not being able to afford a sitter, I know some can’t but I’m talking about upper-middle class women who carry $300 purses. I think they can pay a high school kid 50 bucks. If it’s a “won’t” then own it instead of bitching to everyone who will listen about how weighed down you are.

      Even my own mom guilts me sometimes for spending time away from my kids.
      Although, she was the ultimate mommy martyr when I was growing up. Maybe that’s why I try so, so hard to not be one.

    • stgdfhu

      The articles telling women what to post, how to feel and how to parent are far more annoying. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. This site wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for burned out moms looking for a place to vent or just know they are not alone. Martyrdom? Maybe. But it’s commiseration these parents deserve.

      I see 100 times more “woe is me” Monday posts from working people than occasional complaints from moms.

      • notorious

        I see far more Monday posts from mom’s whining that their husband/partner has to go back to work, or claiming that their husband/partner’s 3 day work trip renders them a “single mom”. I guess it’s all in where youre looking. And venting to your spouse or best friend or mom is one thing, posting to all the world how deprived you are is quite another.

    • iamtheshoshie

      We went out to a benefit dinner with our 7 week old. We got lots of kudos and barely held him all night! And we got to have a nice evening out. We also took our son to a pub when he was a week old. Because we may be parents now, but we are still people! We’re still not comfortable leaving him alone with someone, mostly because he’s in his fussypants phase, but we’re planning a night out without him for my birthday later this month.

      • Bic

        That’s the thing though isn’t it, you haven’t to mind people wanting to touch, hold and talk about the baby and from what i’ve read and seen some people really don’t like that.

      • iamtheshoshie

        Yeah, I dunno. Maybe they’re out of the ordinary, but our friends have been pretty respectful of us wanting to talk about adult topics. And also have always asked before touching. And when we don’t want people interacting with him so much, we hide him in the baby carrier.

      • Bic

        Absolutely once the initial IT’S A BABY excitement has worn off people tend to get more back to normal, at least the people I know have. Having said that a good number of them were having children for the first time all at the same time, so anticipation played a part too. The conversation varies now, although a lot are still in baby/toddler stage and in some cases are still on (9/12 months here) maternity leave so they don’t have work to talk about in the same way they used to.

      • iamtheshoshie

        Yeah, we have friends who are expecting soon and there’s lots of baby talk. I just try to redirect, usually to news or media. But, yeah, not having work to talk about is rough. And the boat that I’m in right now.

      • CMP414

        We took our daughter out to a restaurant when she was about 10 days old. It’s been awesome for us because we still get to go out and she has learned pretty much from day one how to behave in a public setting. she is now 2 years old and is a little lady in a restaurant and I don’t always have to cook.

      • iamtheshoshie

        That’s awesome! I’m hoping that taking our son out and about regularly will help him learn basic social niceties from a younger age. It also keeps me from going nuts.

      • CMP414

        You won’t regret it! My 2 year old is an absolute handful at home but she really does know to behave in public. We started taking her on vacations when she was 6 months too so she sleeps really well in other people’s houses and hotels.

    • Frannie

      OR, maybe they just can’t afford to go out. I have lots of friends who live near parents and go out all the time because they have free babysitting at their disposal. I don’t have that luxury, so if I want a date night, I need to pay for a sitter on top of whatever we choose to do while we’re out. Unfortunately, like many people, we simply don’t have the extra money to spare these days, and even if we did, it would be better put towards paying for some other necessity that takes precedence over date night. Last year I made 30% of what I made in 2012 due to a series of company-wide pay cuts. I don’t consider that being a martyr- I consider that reality. Perhaps you wouldn’t be so angry at your friends if you’d stop being so negative yourself and consider how fortunate you are to be able to afford a date night or mom’s night out.

      • etbmm

        Yeah, I hear you on this! The thing is that it’s a huge difference parenting with your parents nearby versus parenting without family around. And its also a huge difference parenting with disposable income vs. not. I don’t post on facebook or brag about not having had a night out, though… I think that’s probably what Bethany is referring to. But my husband and I saw one movie sans kid in the first year after his birth, and have had precisely 13 hours of date time since then. That is how much babysitting time we have been able to afford. :( I never thought I would be *that mom* but hey. I yam what I yam.

      • Frannie

        Right? Me neither. I’m sure there are definitely moms out there who brag about staying in, but I guess I’m lucky enough to not have them in my circle. If anyone I know is kvetching about staying in, it’s definitely out of jealousy due to lack of funds. Even when I was making more, sitters in my area of CA wanted 20 an hour! I mean, I want the best for my kids, but even before they cut my pay I wasn’t making 20 an hour!

    • Muggle

      I don’t mind parents complaining, but it’s when they immediately turn around and pull sanctimommy shit that I can’t with them. Everyone has the right to be unhappy and express their unhappiness. But once you turn around and start gushing about how #blessed you are and how other moms who seem happier (or childless/free women, for that matter) are somehow inferior to you, you’re a mommy martyr in my book. And that’s really not cool.

    • whiteroses

      My philosophy is now and has been (since I became a mom) to remember that in order to take care of my son, I need to take care of my own mental, emotional and physical health first.

      Having said that- having this child was a choice that I made. And I do have my bad days- but that’s when you sack up, take responsibility, and keep moving. You speak to a few close friends and your partner, you take a break for five minutes, and you go on.

      • rrlo

        Absolutely! I always disagree with those that claim that taking care of the children is a parent’s #1 priority. Taking care of ourselves is even more important. Our children do not benefit from a sick, miserable parent. And parenthood lasts a lifetime – by sacrificing my health/sanity when my kids are still babies – I don’t want to deny them a fit and happy parent 30+ years from now.

    • CMP414

      I really don’t get the whole no showers/make-up ever again, never go out with friends, never have a clean house crap people spew at you when you’re becoming a mom. My kid is now 2 years old, I have been able to wash/wear make-up, go out with friends and my husband since she was born. I am having my second baby and nothing has changed. I am happy with how my life is going and she is doing great. People need to stop trying to scare new moms.. Motherhood is not a prison sentence.

      • Bethany Ramos

        YES.

    • Michelle

      Please don’t judge. You really don’t know what is actually going on in that mom’s life, and perhaps her woe-is-me is a cry for help. Instead of criticizing, maybe you should reach out and offer to help. Something as simple as “I’m coming over with a bottle of wine” could mean the world to that mom. Believe me when I tell you that things are rarely as they seem – be kind.

    • Toaster

      This post made me realize I haven’t been out alone with my husband since my 10-month old was born and that’s so depressing. So I sent him a message letting him know that his mom better be available this weekend or the kids are going to be on their own while we hit the town.

      I don’t know, we haven’t had a decent sleep since the baby was born and I’m still at that point where sleep > going out. I don’t complain n Facebook about it though.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Yay, you! I hope you have a really fun night out because you deserve it. :-) I also completely know what you mean about wanting a solid night of sleep instead of a dinner out in public.

    • aCongaLine

      I’m definitely guilty of mommy-martyresque-complaining. I don’t rationally realize I do it, I think- I think it comes from a place of fear and anxiety (and frustrated unhappiness) that rears up on a bad day. Yikes. I’ve got to make some changes, for sure.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Well, I love the honesty, so you win in my book!

      • aCongaLine

        :)

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      I don’t think this is an issue specific to parents. I wonder when it became cool to turn everything into a “who has the more inconvenient life” competition. I don’t begrudge anyone venting their life frustrations, but I most often see this sort of behavior in the context of someone calling others out along the lines of “You think YOU have it bad…” and that is just a guaranteed recipe for alienating everyone around you.

    • Erin Smith

      Thank you! I have been giving serious thought to whether I want a baby lately, and all the martyrdom everywhere very nearly pushed me over the edge into never wanting one, even though I think we’d be decent parents and I long to snuggle our baby. Seriously, all of these lists about how horrible your life is post-kids make parenthood sound like something no one in their right mind would ever want to do. I mean, this?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jen-simon/18-ways-my-life-has-changed-since-i-had-kids_b_4823566.html

      It sounds like an unrelenting, unmitigated hellscape. Honestly, I’ve always thought that these kind of horror shows are largely entrants to the mommy wars where the women who wear nothing but bathrobes and never see the light of day think they’re “better” parents than women who take care of themselves. It did and does strike me as suspect that the undertone of these articles always seems to be that you can only be a good mom if you lose every shred of your identity and give up everything you ever wanted for yourself. Still, these articles make parenthood sound so horrible that I start to wonder if we (or anyone, for that matter) should do it. These comments have nudged me a bit back toward believing that you don’t have to lose your entire self to take care of a baby. So, thanks.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Very welcome! Honestly, I absolutely love being a parent and would really recommend it, but it is easy to get stuck in the drudgery. I think the whole premise of this article and the comments was that you have to work really hard to keep a personal part of your life fun and interesting after you have kids to preserve your identity. Good luck to you. :-)

        ETA: And just UGH on that HuffPo article!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I take regular showers, go out for a few hours on the weekend, see the occasional movie, have found a way to sleep in as much as possible with a baby, and get the odd hair appointment. I’ve gone to a couple parties and a wedding and have spent a night away from my son. He’s 11 months old.
      If none of these things had ever transpired, I’d be a shivering mass in the corner of my home weeping for my lost life. I love my son, I’m happy to be a mother, but shit. I like being me too.

    • Courtney Lynn

      I’ve tried not to be a mommy martyr. I know there are times I probably have come across as one, though. However, I make time to shower every day (almost) and a lot of times I stay in tank tops and stretchy pants of some variety. To be fair, I’ve battled depression for a good portion of my time as a mom, though but lately, I’ve started feeling better and have been wearing something other than yoga pants, usually a sundress, have taken down my hair more often and put on a little shimmery eye shadow and mascara. It feels good. And I have started using the kids’ nap time or down time for my own time, usually to paint, draw or craft. That corner of our living room in our small apartment is MINE. I’ve also made an effort NOT to complain about my kids on Facebook anymore and to post something OTHER than pics of the kids.

      As far as getting out, my husband and I often go to lunch with the kids every Sunday after church. When our son was a week old, we went to brunch! I wish we could do stuff like that more often now, but my husband works a LOT. We do what we can, though.

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