The 15 hardest things about being a mum in 2023

It’s not exactly a newsflash that being a mum is one of the hardest things known to womankind, but what exactly is it that makes being a mum so hard? I’m pretty sure it’s not one single thing – but more the sum of all parts.

We mums are selfless, caring and loving individuals. We give everything we have to help our children thrive.  It’s difficult to balance everything you need to do as a mum with your social life and downtime. It’s also hard to find time to yourself and relax so you can remain healthy. Essentially- you need to make sacrifices to successfully raise your kids.

Here’s we’re sharing the 15 hardest things about being a mum here, so everybody knows they are not alone in feeling this!

1. Judgement & justification

The hardest thing about being a mum is constantly having to justify your parenting choices – be that to breastfeed, co-sleep, babywear or formula feed, sleep in their own bed and use a buggy! We make the choices that are best for our families at that time and it’s really no-one elses’ business to make me feel bad about that.

2. Dealing with emotions

You’re happy, tired, sad etc. It’s such a whirlwind. A total rollercoaster. One minute you can be bursting with pride and joy, the next filled with self-loathing and anxiety.

3. The constant good enough struggle

You’re always questioning if you are good enough and if there are things you could do better. It can be unbelievably hard not to compare yourself to others, especially when their lives and achievements are plastered all over social media

4. The drudgery

Going from having a fairly equal relationship to one where you’re (quite reasonably) in charge of dealing with a lot of boring housework is a massive shock to the system! You don’t get days off like other workers do; you just get extra shifts, more work, and more drudgery coming from you at all times.

5. Working mum guilt

As a working mum, it’s the guilt that comes with it. You always feel like you’re never giving 100% of yourself at home or at work. Wherever you are, there’s always something youwill be missing.

6. Learning to trust your mummy instincts

In a multimedia world where there is so much advice/opinion it’s hard to know what to follow. It can be a struggle to learn to go with your gut, which is usually always right. Often it’s about nodding at advice but pushing forward with what you think is right anyway.

7. Never being able to switch off

It’s hard not to miss the days of being able to completely shut yourself off from everyone and everything when you’re facing a bad day. If everything is getting too much, you can’t run away from it all.  Mums spend most of their time caring for their children. We are the front-line workers in the war to ensure our family’s survival. And there is never any downtime from that.  

8. Bringing up a teenager

The hardest thing for many parents is actually bringing up a teenager. Creating and nurturing a mini adult!! The rollercoaster of emotions, the holding on while letting go, the never ending complex demands of living with a teenager. So challenging yet also so rewarding.

9. The constant worrying

Constant worrying – you worry if you’re doing everything right, or enough all of the time! What have you forgotten? How did you mess up? Are you giving them enough attention? The list of worries is never-ending.

10. The tiredness

Especially when your child has had a bad night, you’re unwell, work needs doing and you’ve got to do chores and have to feed the family too! You need time away from your kids to refresh yourself and have fun. You have to eat, sleep, wash, etc. without worrying about your kids’ safety and wellbeing. You need to relax after a stressful day if you want to have any energy left over for your kids. But nobody has time for that when they’re being mums, which means that we are always tired ALL THE TIME.

11. Keeping up with the changes

Just as you’ve figured out one challenge another comes up – or the original challenge gets even harder. I hate feeling like I don’t know what to do most of the time because my children are changing faster than I can come up with strategies to deal with those changes!

12. Trying not to shout

Avoiding shouting and finding the energy to follow through with setting boundaries/consequences. I know I shouldn’t shout and I hate myself afterwards but if I’m tired and stressed I just can’t help it and then it kicks off a cycle of everyone being in a bad mood. Which makes all the shouting happen even more! And the kids need boundaries but enforcing consequences or having the patience and energy to avoid situations where consequences are needed in the first place is tricky. I went on a parenting 

13. Watching them grow up

Seeing them grow stronger and more independent. Time goes way too fast and not being needed 24/7 is hard, but also wonderful to see them flourish. Bittersweet times indeed.

14. The loss of independence

The hardest thing for many mums is the loss of independence. We’ve been confident women able to seize the day for so many years, then suddenly all of that is turned on its head. People don’t understand the amount of time needed to successfully care for a child and what a big chunk that takes out of your independence unless they have been there and done that themselves.

15. Lack of support

Fact: Children take up a lot of your time; they require constant care and attention. You’re responsible for making sure they’re fed, sheltered, well and loved. Think about how much easier it would be if we had ‘a village’ of women around us who helped. It may be glorifying it but it seems like being a mum would be much easier if it was all hands on deck.

Remember, if you’re having a bad mum day take a deep breath and know you are doing the best you can with what you can, and tomorrow is a new day.

Picture credit: Designed by Freepik


  1. This is all soon true… It is super hard being a Mom… my worst things are the lack of time. Never having enough time to do the multitudinous things that need to be achieved! And the guilt… the judgement and the guilt. Its like its built into the framework of being a Momma… <3 If you ever need a contributor to these posts lovely don't hesitate to give me a shout! [email protected]

  2. It’s certainly true – us mums spend so much (probably too much) time worrying about various things! Never being able to switch off is my biggest issue.

    Helen x

  3. YES completely agree about trusting your mum instincts. It took me a while to trust myself when I was a new mum but my instincts are always right – I needed more confidence x

  4. Great post, I feel all of these especially the mummy guilt, loss if independence and trying not to shout. It really is hard being a mummy sometimes! Reassuring to know lots of people feel and find the same things though.

  5. I can’t even imagine how tough it is being a mum. You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for working and for your choices, you make them because they work best for you and your family x

  6. The mum guilt is the worst! I don’t find listening to my instincts difficult though, regardless of the ‘advised’ way of doing things I know my children best and not everyone fits in the same box.

  7. I’m a bit late to the party but glad I had chance to read this. Parenthood is so challenging but it’s nice to read that everyone has the same challenges so you aren’t alone x

  8. […] Being a mum is no easy task, and the world is becoming an increasingly annoying place to live whoever you are…with all sorts of things that annoy, bother, grate, irk and p*** you right off.  And so with that sentiment in mind, today I’ve teamed up with the The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation to bring you 10 things (it could have been 100!!!) that frustrate the hell out of us mums. […]

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