Yep, Parenting Is Painful (Not Just With Labor!)—And That’s Okay

Jewel Eliese

Do you remember how it felt?

That fear as the countdown to the most joy and possibly the most pain you’d ever felt approached. You couldn't help but be apprehensive.

With my son, I basically went drug-free. 18 hours of labor and yes, it did hurt. But with my daughter, I had an epidural. What a difference.

But there’s something no one tells you. Being a mother is full of pain, too.

And there’s no epidural for motherhood.

1. When the Table Moves on its Own and Stubs Your Toe

You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere -Charles Kettering

You race around the house to grab that sippy cup, more rice, or a toy on the floor and the inevitable happens, you crush your pinkie toe on the side of the coffee table. It doesn’t hurt right away but you know it will.

You hold your breath and wait.

Then scream -at least in your head- and curl into a standing fetal position.

You know, I’ve done labor twice, but a stubbed toe still makes me gasp. It’s part of the motherhood pain we all get as we scurry around our homes.

2. Those Foot-stabbing Toys

On a scale of 1 to stepping on a Lego, how much pain are you in? -Anonymous

A mother’s feet are subject to much pain, one of which is caused by our sweet little human’s playthings.

Their toys.

Try as you might you can never get every last tiny plastic brick, hairy doll, or Batman toy picked up. You walk into your child’s dark room to give their chubby cheeks one last goodnight kiss only to step on a Lego which feels like stepping on a butter knife.

Tears may be shed.

3. You Pinch Their Cheeks, They'll Pinch You

Real love is always painful and hurts; then it is real and pure. -Mother Teresa

I was at a wedding wearing a beautiful 50’s style strapless dress and a nice round shaped bruise on my arm as an accessory. The groom, a friend, jokingly asked if my husband caused the mark and I told him my 8-month-old son did.

He didn’t believe me.

But when a cute little baby pinches you sometimes you freeze, grin and bear it because you don’t want to accidentally hurt their tiny little fingers in your haste.

We do what we can as new and learning moms.

4. The Pulling the Hairs on the Nape of Your Neck

My hairdo is called: “I have kids”

There is a perfect spot on the back of your neck for grabbing little hairs. I discovered since becoming a mother, that those hairs are the most sensitive area to pull and the favorite place for little fingers to grab.

And yank with love.

5. Stop or Your Gonna Poke Your Eyes Out

Stop, stop, stop, you’re going to poke someone’s eye out. -J.K. Rowling

My son used to stare into my eyes with love, melting my emotional heart. He would touch my eyelashes and eyelids so soft.

And then randomly shove his dimpled finger into my eye socket.

Painful, but it still makes me laugh today.

6. Coffee + Busy =...

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. -Lucille Ball

You’ve fed, bathed, and laid the baby down for the night. The house is dim, silent, and calm once more. You finally have a moment to sit and read or write. Pleasant yes but you already miss your kid’s big eyes. But the real pain comes suddenly.

And you only have one question:

When is the last time you used the bathroom?

7. Burning Yourself, But Not Dinner

I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me. -Joshua Graham

The fish is frying, the salad is ready and made. One kid is at the table, fork and butter knife in an upward and waiting position while the other tugs at your sweatpants’ strings. You grab the spatula to turn the white meat over one last only to feel a sharp searing pain on your hand. A burn from the pan.

Another pain in the life of a mother

8. Kick Boxer, or Alligator Wrestling? Both Hurt

There’s no better way to unplug than to have children. Changing diapers is one of the most leveling things that has ever happened to me. -Andrew Lincoln

Changing a toddler’s diaper or clothes can be compared to wrestling an alligator. They may seem sweet and soft, but those little legs have some power, and laying in diaper-change position is the perfect opportunity to kick mom in the face.

9. You're Not Sleeping Beauty Anymore

A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep so soundly in them. -Victor Hugo

Moms don’t get much sleep, including writing moms (read more here). Lack of sleep has been used as torture. It does not seem like a physical pain, but it is felt very strong mentally and causes a person to become clumsier. Bumping into walls, hitting your funny bone, or bumping your head hurts and is normal for a sleepy mama.

10. Very Loud Noises!: (Insert Anchorman Voice)

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. -Franklin P. Jones

Maybe you can relate.

My sweet six-year-old son is quite the enthusiastic boy with much to say and a voice loud enough to tell the world. My daughter can sing sweetly like an angel and scream like a banshee. And while I love them both in everything they do, their loud voices in the bathtub can be ear-shattering.

It hurts.

My ears have rung for a day or two after one of these incidents. I've searched for blood leaking and found none.


11. Love Hurts

A baby fills a place in your heart you never knew was empty. -Uknown

And then there are the best moments, the ones I wait for and yet hurt most of all.

There are times when I look at my children and though they aren’t doing anything special or even know I’m looking there way, my heart feels like it’s going to burst with love.

The love is so strong that it burns, and I may have to wipe a tear or two away.

You can call it a mother’s hormones, but we know better, love is just that strong and our kids are just that amazing.

But every foot stabbed by a lego or Batman toy, bump, bruise, pinch, and ringing ear is worth it just to squeeze my children, see their almond-shaped eyes and smell their necks that somehow still smell like a baby.

Motherhood is the hardest and most painful job of all.

Yet, it is the best.

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Published on Scary Mommy, & Thought Catalog. Amazon bestselling author. Writer Mom. A bit sassy. Loves words + baby kisses. Reach me at

Medora, ND

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