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.'"


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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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.


The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.

As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I was blissfully asleep on the couch while my little one was occupied elsewhere with toys, books and my partner. She got bored with what they were doing, escaped from his watch and, sensing my absence, set about looking for me. Finding me on the couch, nose-level, she peeled back my one available eyelid, singing, "Mama? Mama? ...You there? Wake UP!"

Sound familiar? Nothing limits sleep more than parenthood. And nothing is more sought after as a parent than a nap, if not a good night's rest.

But Mother Nature practically guarantees that you are likely to be woken up by a toddler—they're hardwired to find you (and get your attention) when you're "away."


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