A very brave woman asked a parenting forum if "it is really THAT hard to have kids."

Ah, children. They’re such a blessing.

From the moment they’re delivered by The Stork into our loving embrace, they bring nothing but joy and calm into our world.

Ha. Hahahahahaha.

Look, every parent loves their kid more than life itself, but they’d also agree that sometimes, kids do not make life easy. They are often loud, occasionally inconvenient, and always expensive (because they need a lot of stuff)… which means being a parent comes with a lot of sacrifice.

Sure, we’re willing to do it – most of the time. And yes, it’s a labour of love, and we wouldn’t want it any other way… BUT. That doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park.

Parenting is hard work; it demands your brain space, time, energy and finances.

This is something many don’t fully comprehend until they become a parent themselves. Because really, how could you? It’s impossible to anticipate with accuracy the sh*tshow of tears and demands (and that’s just from the parents) that having a child entails.

Which is why, when people who don’t have children, attempt to judge us for our parenting or how we’re handling/not handling that sh*tshow, we think that’s a bit harsh.

This is something one lady, user zebra1304, discovered when she posted on parenting forum website Mumsnet, asking “Is it really THAT hard to have kids?”

And yes, this brave woman, in her quest to ask a legitimate question which was completely devoid of accusation, capitalised “that“.

The post - bless her innocence. Source: Mumsnet

Explaining that over Christmas, she'd spent time with her partner's family, and was shocked by how "bloody difficult/expensive/tiring" they made being a parent sound, the woman was compelled to ask the group: "Is it really that hard?"

And if so, she added, "why don't they stop at one or two?"

Zebra1304 explained that she did not have children herself, but has "worked years in child care".

The post was met with a few women sharing their "so far, so good" experience of motherhood - with the reservation they knew that could and would change suddenly. Other mothers in the thread were more direct with zebra1304.


"Babies are a piece of piss for the most part," one said pragmatically, adding, "It’s when they can think and act for themselves and the hormones kick in that the trouble often starts."

A few mums pointed out that it's the unrelenting nature of parenthood that's the most draining.

"I find it quite hard tbh... It’s a combination of things.

"The biggest, I think, is that it’s the first thing I’ve done in my life where input A doesn’t reliably lead to output B - it’s not as if you follow the kids manual and work hard at it you’ll be successful.

Also it is relentless just always, always having to put someone else first."

Many mums observed that mental health issues such as post-natal depression can also hinder a woman's experience of motherhood, and there were many other factors, too.

"The difficulty level depends on many things," one mum noted.

"Age of kids, whether you have a supportive partner, if you're a single parent, do your kids sleep through... do you have health problems yourself. I could go on."

Many mums suggested zebra1304 not be so harsh about parents having a little venting session when in the comfort of their own families.

"I still has a little whinge to me friend on Thursday when we were out with her and her two, as did she to me - she has twins so double trouble.
Doesn;t everyone have a moan now and again?" one mum asked.

After a 30-year-old sued his parents for trying to kick him out of the house, we speak to a young adult who has zero intention of leaving home in the near future.

Users were also keen to point out that working in childcare can't be compared to the responsibility of being a parent.

"I think a lot of it is the nonstop responsibility and worry about your children. That's why some people want to talk about the stress/difficulties etc. That's not something you experience from working in childcare, even if it is busy/tiring during your work shift," one mum wrote.

"It's ridiculous and immature to say you know what being a parent is like being in childcare, having a dog, or having nieces and nephews... you don't," one blunt commenter said, with another mum observing, "But you get to go home. You get a break. If I only took care of my kids from 9 - 5 I'd probably say it was a breeze.

"But that's the difference between childcare and parenting."

Indeed, as all parents know, parenting is the next level definition of a 'full time job' - and, unlike zebra1304 who worked in childcare - we don't get paid for it.

Do you think being a parent is hard? Tell us in the comments below.

If you'd like to hear more from Nama Winston, see her stories here, and subscribe to her weekly Mamamia Parents newsletter here.