Between the sleep deprivation, the physical aftermath of childbirth, the constant need to put someone else’s needs above your own and the major life shift you’re working through, motherhood can be really, really hard. Moms are entitled to feel exhausted or overwhelmed or defeated, and they’re allowed to express those feelings. We should never shame them for doing so.

Unfortunately, society doesn’t always get it right. Case in point: When Bachelor star Bekah Martinez dared to get real about the hardships of having a baby, commenters slammed the mom’s choice of words. Bekah shared an adorable picture of her 4-month-old daughter Ruth Ray De La Luz on Instagram, writing “Sometimes having a baby sucks. Then they look like this and you’re like ‘okay, fine. I’ll keep you.'”

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A lot of moms can relate to the feeling and the humor in this post, but the reality star still found herself on the receiving end of hate. “You have ONE CHILD! And it sucks already? Wow. You should be ashamed of yourself. Seriously,” one commenter writes.

Another took offense to a complaint from Bekah, who has a healthy baby. “I think saying that having a baby is hard sometimes is totally understandable, but I can’t imagine you wouldn’t realize that saying it ‘sucks’ wouldn’t trigger people,” the commenter writes. “If you have a healthy baby the last thing I would ever think is ‘it sucks’ much less post on a practically public forum.”

Yes, having a healthy baby is something so many people dream of, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t really, really tough at times.

For her part, Bekah defended herself against this comment, writing: “This isn’t fair. I’m not saying having a healthy baby sucks. I’m saying parenting is hard sometimes. it’s not being ungrateful for a healthy child. it’s being human and struggling and being transparent about that.”

We understand that motherhood is a blessing—and one not everyone gets to experience. We also see how someone who is struggling with infertility, a miscarriage, or a child’s health issue may feel triggered seeing Bekah’s post—but it’s important to remember that all moms are allowed to feel the lows. That’s all Bekah was doing here, as we see it: Being honest about the fact that no mom has it easy…even if her situation may look perfect from the outside.

While Bekah’s original caption may have rubbed a few Instagram users the wrong way, plenty of others have rushed to the new mother’s defense. One commenter points out that only parents can understand Bekah’s comment, and that it’s okay (and expected!) to not enjoy every single second of motherhood.

Another agreed that yes, being a parent is awesome…but it also sucks sometimes. Yet another pointed out the reality of what moms go through (colic, bleeding nipples, round-the-clock feedings) to make the point that it’s absolutely acceptable to complain now and then.

One commenter said it best: “Don’t shame people for being honest about the lows that come with parenting. If you can’t relate to someone’s experience and you’re incapable of empathy, keep scrolling,” they write. Bekah agreed: “WORD. like, it never sucked for you? cool, glad you’re a better mother than me or whatever,” she writes.

Bekah, remember this: Feeling those tough moments and being honest about how hard they can be doesn’t make you any less of a mother. You can love your baby more than anything and be a wonderful mama while still acknowledging that motherhood is messy and exhausting and incredibly difficult. Let’s give ourselves and other mamas the space to be real about this.

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