Dirty Little Secrets … still bleating on about that …

My previous post about Dirty Little Secrets that Mother’s Keep really hit a chord with me (it also set off a totally irrational argument between Kennith and I, but we can save that for another day).

I think my main motivation for starting a blog was because I felt embarrassment and shame that I was just not that into motherhood.  Everywhere I looked were happy glowing mothers who were so happy to be moms and felt so fulfilled, and so filled with joy.


The problem was I felt spurts of joy, fulfillment and happiness but the reality, for the most part, I felt persecuted, drained, confused, empty and pretty angry much of the time.

And I felt alone.

Because it was only me who felt that way.

No one I had ever known had ever confided in me that they felt a bit “under whelmed” with motherhood.

Sure, people said it was “hard” and cramped your ability to ever go to the toilet alone, but not one person I knew ever breathed a word that made it sound like it was not super fabulous all the time.

But for me it was not that fabulous, all of the time.

There were some really stellar moments that made me sigh, but there were some pretty grim moment that made me cry.

And then I thought the unthinkable, ‘maybe this mom thing is a bit crap a bit of the time Maybe it’s sh*t does actually smell ……’

Then I was convinced I would burn in hell for even thinking that thought – which is tricky as I do not actually believe in hell.

One of the many problems I have is that I am a ‘blurter’ – it is not dissimilar from Tourette’s Syndrome.  Basically at the most inappropriate time I will blurt something out, usually too loudly and to the most inappropriate person (or persons) I can locate.

The more inappropriate the time, and the more offensive the blurt, the higher the chance of it coming out.

Picture the scene: Moms I don’t know.  Me at a kid’s birthday party with my son.  I feel awkward, I feel like I am visiting an alien planet and I am nervous that all the ‘real moms’ are going to sniff me out as an imposter.

They are all chatting about how happy they are because Junior has just started walking, and then I feel an overwhelming urge to say ‘Really, it was so much easier when they lay on their back like a jelly, because I found I could get so much done, when they stayed in the same place I left them.’

And then I would usually go on with the scene stealer: ‘Don’t you think birthday parties would be more fun for the moms if they served wine, because I am so over drinking tea …..’

A really innocent comment when compared with my usual ‘blurts’ but even I would feel the shift in the room’s temperature, and realise that I was on my way to leper status.

That was enough for me to realise that the best tactic for me to attempt to try to secure any future birthday invites and playdates was to tone it down, and appear normal with other moms.

And so began the play-acting in front of other moms, and also to a large part in front of most people I knew.

I think the real clinger came when I was watching an Oprah show – (Secret Lives of Moms & Truth About Motherhood in 2009).  On one program a new mom indicated that she was struggling, motherhood was hard, and she did not actually like it all of the time.

I think there might have been less fall-out if Oprah took a cr&p on her interviewers table.

People went nuts.

Harpo was inundated with moms slating the ‘honest mom’ and a subsequent show aired where dozens of moms explained how much they love motherhood, all the time, and that they had NEVER had one moment when they thought it was not the best thing in the frkn universe.

It was brutal.

I realised that clearly the world was not ready for me and my truth, so I sort of skipped that part, and did the ‘smile and wave’ segment of my journey.

Fast forward a few years and I realised you know, fk it, I can’t do this crap any more.

I love my kids, I really love being a mom, some of the time, but some of the time I hate it.  There are some great moments and there are some that only a large bottle of wine, and a few anti-depressant can get me through.

I started to feel better when I started saying some of the stuff that was running around in my head and I could not say out loud.

I have spent nearly two years emotionally puking on this blog.

The best part, and what continues to be the best part, is when weeping bleeding moms confide in me that something I have said resonates with them, or helps them to feel less guilty about something.

No, I do not get off on other people’s sadness (unless it is that Steve Hofmeyer has found a giant growth on his anus), but I really get happy when someone admits that something is not as it appears.

Not quite the ‘truth will set you free’ stuff, but admitting something is not all white wine and daffodils, can sometimes help the next person have the freedom to have their own little epiphany, or just save them a bit of time crying in the bathroom at 2am.

I really am not making my point very eloquently at the moment – so to cut to the chase.

I have created an alternate blog where some brave moms and soon-to-be-moms admit their own ‘dirty little secrets that mothers keep.’


I know when you read some of the posts, part of you feels a profound sadness for these women, but for me I find it uplifting.

Because they have bravely stood up and said something, that maybe all of us are thinking – and by them having the courage to say it, makes it easier for the next mom, who does not have to feel so ‘guilty’ because she maybe does not love it all, all of the time.

And if it is easier for her, maybe she can be a bit more easy on herself, and easier on the next mom she encounters who is battling.

And maybe in that chain a mom forgives herself for not being perfect, and allows herself to just feel and think what is real for her.

Just maybe ….

Leave a comment


  1. Helen

     /  May 27, 2011

    Hang on, there’s NO wine at the birthday parties? Like none? Or do you mean no white wine only red or similar?

    Celeste you need more/different mom friends! There is ALWAYS booze at the ones I go to! Good heavens, we’re not ANIMALS for feks sake!

  2. jenny

     /  May 24, 2011

    I think I agree with Alice on this one. I work with somebody who was nauseatingly roses and light her whole pregnancy. When she came back from maternity leave, she said ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me it was so shit?’ – we all said, we did. You glazed over. The truth is you don’t know you suck at motherhood until there is no turning back. I hate being a mother, hate it. I don’t want my kids to die. I love them immensely. But I suck at motherhood and am happiest in my office. But it’s not like I can turn back yes – vokvoort.

  3. Running fast backwards

     /  May 23, 2011

    I am totally with you RM on Motherhood being one hell of a shock, and nowhere near what your expectations are. I say it like it is, much to many’s jaw dropping horror at the words I utter regarding my experience of pregnancy, birth and my three years experience (which is where I am now) of motherhood.

    What I find though is…tallk to a mom with an older child or children and she has totally forgotten what it’s like to bring up a child who is still very much dependant on mom.
    They look down their noses at you and guffaw…”Well you girls these days have it easy, in MY day…”
    Well I think they all let us new moms down!! They weren’t allowed to express true feelings back then and still wont do it now! Either memory loss or just stuck in the mom mould from back then.

    My gran for example…”Well I popped out 8 kids, all natural birth, breast fed the lot without an aching boob, bought them all up knowing their manners, when we went out they all sat at my feet with a book and knew not to utter a word as children were meant to be seen and not heard” You girls these days are just too spoilt and lazy. WTF is that about!!!???

  4. Nisey

     /  May 23, 2011

    We obviously move in different circles darl, to date i haven’t been to a birthday party where there WASN’T wine…

    Given the drama that ensues when my bundle of joy is let loose on a crowd of kids high on sugar i can’t imagine how else i would get through the afternoon…

  5. Sharon

     /  May 23, 2011

    Celeste! We need to do a “birthday party” together! I think you and I would have a perfectly fine time enjoying the party through a wine induced haze!
    I, like you, have not found motherhood to be 100% rosy 100% of the time. Now being infertile, that means I’m judged even further because not only am I a mother but I put myself and my husband through hell to get here!
    Of, you know, that doesn’t mean I don’t love my child, just that I feel sometimes motherhood is not honestly portrayed which results in some of us (ok a lot of us) feeling disillusioned or feeling like a failure!

  6. OK so you will find me there, maybe in disguise. Maybe not. Heavens, and about 90% of kiddies parties I go to serves wine. Really, it is an essential, me thinks.

    • reluctantmom

       /  May 23, 2011

      I do think there has been a move to “serving wine” at kid’s parties in the last 5 years or so …. I have no idea how that happened, but I am forever thankful. I do get very happy when someone says “there is tea over there, but if you want wine, it is over there….” I am still at that point where I figure it might be ‘unacceptable’ to bring wine to a kid’s party ……

      • Tania

         /  May 23, 2011

        In Gauteng most kids parties have alchohol for the Moms and Dads is various forms, but alchohol drinks are there. Perhaps the fresh cool sea air was sufficient in the Cape up to now? Well, you guys better get it going. Some party invites ask the Parents to bring their own, some hosts provide, depending on the budget. Good Luck and Enjoy your future party planning !!!!

  7. Well done for creating a platform for other moms to air how they feel…often we just need to get it out there and once it’s done, we start feeling better about things and it feels like a load has been lifted off our shoulders. It’s also easier to do it when you don’t feel like you are going against the grain. I’ll be saving that link for sure!

  8. Celeste,
    I love your post title!

    Wow, going to love following the other blog. I’m not a mom, but I’ll sneak in a few, ok? 😉

    I make a living from listening to stories like this. I don’t “get off on it”, but I love how walking with someone throught the sadness and anger brings us to a wider place. Not everyone can or want to be in the presence of or experience dark feelings. Unfortunately, they also never truly experience the wide place.

    Please do not apologise for your inner conflicts. Its yours and some people do not mind it because they realise its YOUR inner conflict and not theirs. Some are not able to do that, and maybe they should share in those dark places then.

    Kudos on you and the other people reading your blog. You’re walking the shade and so will experience being in the sun so much better.

  9. Tania

     /  May 23, 2011

    You are doing a good thing for mothers and wives, continue please. 🙂 Just remember to keep some positive and funny things in between in order to keep the sanity balance between good and evil. Xx

  10. Claire

     /  May 23, 2011

    Thank you RM for bringing this to us, cos it has made me realise I am not a total failure as a mother (and wife) but in most ways pretty normal, which in it’s own way is pretty starnge as I am normally considered to be the “strange one” in most groups

  11. Alice

     /  May 23, 2011

    Is it REALLY that no one ever confided in you that motherhood was the hardest job any person could choose to do? REALLY?

    Is it REALLY that no one ever told you how wonderful it was going to be that you were to be a mom, that the sense of love and fulfillment would be like nothing you could possibly experience elsewhere, but that said with a strange sad glint in the back of the eyes – a glint which you are ONLY able to recognize now that you ARE actually a mom and going throught the same stuff. REALLY??

    Is it REALLY that you thought it was all going to be sunshine and roses… or is it that perhaps you just WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN IT, even if it was being repeated to you via a loud hailer before you actually had children of your own? REALLY??

    I hear you RELUCTANT MOM, but I think the point isn’t so much that no one told you their ‘dirtly little secret’, the point is more that the human species is not designed hear or fully comprehend this stuff (before having had children of their own). It’s called survival instinct – if we did, there’d be ZERO procreation.

    If we knew EXACTLY what we’d be in for every step of the way through our lives, we wouldnt’ bother getting out of bed in the morning. Isn’t “not knowing” supposed to be part of life? I derive a great sense of comfort from having “no freakin’ idea of what’s to come next”! I choose to NOT watch CNN all day, every day and know about every single bomb that went off on every corner of the globe! I don’t want to know about every mutilated corpose found in Poland and South Yemen… I really do not need to know all this stuff… there’s such a thing as “too much information”.

    Yes mother-hood is damb hard. The hours are ridiculous, the salary is non existent and sometimes the rewards can seem few, but it’s no different today than it was 1000 years ago… women have been doing it since the dawn of time… it’s WHAT WE DO.

    To say that NO ONE told you… I don’t really believe that. I see motheres talking to pregnant expectant young moms all the time… I see them saying things – and I see these young girls just NOT HEARING THEM! It doesn’t matter how loud you say it, write it, blogg it, ram it down people’s throats… a young pregnant mom to be is NOT MEANT to get it!

    • I agree with you Alice. We don’t listen. We can’t listen. We’re built that way.

      But that doesn’t make it any easier when the reality hits home. That’s why having a place to offload is so important.

  1. Dirty little secret | ZA to CH

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