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The Struggles of Mothers Today

Updated: May 13

Written By: Nira Macaspac

Motherhood is often hailed as the toughest job in the world, and for good reason. It's a role that offers no monetary compensation and demands continuous learning and adapting, most of the time, without a guidebook. From the moment you bring your newborn home, you're thrust into a world of intense caregiving that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. However, motherhood also presents many emotional challenges beyond the daily tasks of diaper changes, soothing cries, and breastfeeding. These challenges can persist until your children grow up, bringing worries and uncertainties about their well-being and future. Additionally, shifts in societal norms, technological advancements, and economic changes contribute to the challenges that mothers are facing today.

From managing busy and demanding schedules at work and within the family to addressing external social influences, these impact mothers in various ways. As a mom, you may find yourself grappling with feelings of insecurity and self-doubt or being weighed down by the weight of responsibility. Hormonal fluctuations might leave you feeling like a stranger to yourself. Guilt often becomes a constant companion—whether it's over the state of your home, missing out on your kids' milestones, the desire for personal time, or perceived neglect of your partner. Decisions about self-care or returning to work may be fraught with doubt, and moments of frustration with your child can be accompanied by guilt.

While the joys of motherhood are undoubtedly significant, it's equally important to recognize the struggles that mothers face on a daily basis. We reached out to five moms to discuss the most challenging aspects of motherhood in their current stage of life. Beyond the smiles and tender moments, being a mom entails its own set of difficulties throughout every stage of children's development. Let's explore and understand these moms' challenges, which are often difficult for most mothers to articulate and acknowledge.

Demands of Work and Motherhood

For Melisa Villanueva, a newborn mom and teacher, the challenge lies in juggling the demands of caring for her infant while also pursuing her career.

"For me, the most challenging part is taking care of my newborn while working on the side. As a new mom, I easily get anxious thinking about my son's future. I want him to feel loved and secured; letting him feel that his mom is present and at the same time, his needs are provided. So I'm doing the best that I can to do both. It is challenging yet fulfilling."

Instilling the Importance of Discipline and Learning

Transitioning into the toddler phase brings its own set of trials, as Johnifer Garcia, Barangay Councilor, attests.

"One of the most challenging parts with my toddler is whenever we try to discipline her," Johnifer reveals. "The struggle to instill discipline while combating feelings of guilt and temper flares is a constant battle. We want to teach her that she can't always get or do whatever she likes. However, whenever we do that, she keeps telling us, 'Bad ka, Mommy. Bad kayo ni Daddy.' I feel sad not because she thinks we're bad, but because I sense her feeling of loneliness, like no one is on her side. After she says that, I immediately hug her to comfort her. While hugging her, I explain what she did wrong, reassure her of our love, and emphasize that correcting her behavior is not a punishment. At the end of the day, as a parent, you will end up telling yourself that you are the one who will really adjust for your child's needs, especially on how they will learn and how they want to be disciplined because your way won't work all the time."

Prax Yap, a content creator and mom of two, shares her experience as a toddler mom, emphasizing the role of being her child's first teacher.

"As a mom, I am my kid's first teacher. I want to make sure that I nurture his innate curiosity and cultivate his love for learning. It's a constant worry of- 'Am I able to give him answers to his questions?'; 'Am I giving him enough opportunities to learn?'; 'Am I being too strict or too lenient on him?,'" she expresses. Prax's constant worry revolves around providing adequate answers to her child's questions and offering enough opportunities for growth. Despite the uncertainties, she remains committed to fostering a mindset of continuous learning and curiosity in her child, encouraging him to never stop seeking answers, even when she may not have them.

Bridging the Generation Gap

Yami Macalintal, an entrepreneur and mom of 2 teens, confronts the unique challenge of bridging the generation gap with her children.

"The toughest part is bridging the generation gap. I often feel disrespected by their responses and lack of engagement in conversations. Understanding their views on sexual orientation, gender identity, and relationships is challenging because it differs from my upbringing. Keeping up with evolving technology makes monitoring and guiding their online activities responsibly difficult. As days go by and as I want to lessen hurts and misunderstanding, I need to have the willingness to learn from them and inspire them to also help me to fill in the generation gap by being open-minded."

Battling Stigmatization

Myra Joyce Ramos, a General Manager and mother of a child with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, consistently encounters the widespread stigma associated with her son's condition.

"I think it's the Stigmatization. The labels or adverse responses affect both me and my son, so it's challenging for me to explain and show that not everybody has the empathy or kindness to accept his condition. I always have to remind him to be a good person despite all that."

Proper Self-Care

The demands of motherhood, from sleepless nights with newborns to chasing after toddlers to the constant worries about teen or adult children, can lead mothers to neglect their own needs in service to their families. This neglect can take a toll on their mental and physical health, resulting in burnout, stress, anxiety, and even depression. Without proper self-care practices in place, mothers may find themselves overwhelmed by the constant juggling of responsibilities and emotions. Prioritizing activities that promote well-being, such as ensuring adequate rest, practicing relaxation techniques, and seeking support when needed, is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance.

We reached out to Shiela Portillo, a Mindfulness Family Coach, to glean her expert advice on how mothers can prioritize self-care and maintain their well-being. Here are her four tips, which she calls SELF:

S - elf-talk

Be mindful of how you talk about yourself and to yourself. Words are powerful. As you start your day every morning, face the mirror to greet yourself and appreciate yourself. Tell yourself the validation you want to hear from others. Give it to yourself because the most important validation you need to hear is your own.

E - xplore

Be curious to explore new things. Curiosity opens your mind to keep learning. This will help you discover new interests and skills you may want to try and develop. This will help you nurture your happiness and personal growth, thus becoming your best self in all the roles you play.

L - ove yourself

Your needs are as important as the needs of your family. Being able to identify and communicate your needs to your family is essential for them to also know how you want to be loved. This will give them the chance to love you the way you want them to. Loving yourself is not selfish. It is the way in which you refill your love tank so you can have more love to give.

F - orgive yourself

You are under so many pressures each day. This entails making many decisions, sometimes bad ones. Learn to be kind to yourself and forgive yourself not only for your mistakes but also for the times you take yourself for granted. At the end of the day, your peace of mind is very important for you to live your #blissfullife.

Being a mother today is more challenging than ever. Economic factors, social pressures, and family demands all pose significant challenges in motherhood. As a mother, you selflessly sacrifice and pour out all your love for your family's well-being. It's important to acknowledge and give yourself credit for the countless efforts and sacrifices you make every day. You deserve appreciation and love, especially from yourself.

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