what no one tells you about being a parent

By Bridgette Petrino | parenting tips

Sep 25


It starts with the baby shower

I love baby showers. I love the little clothes. The cute stuffed animals. The glowing mom-to-be. It’s a beautiful celebration. It’s the only time in my life when I use the word “awwwwww.”

However, I believe that baby showers set us up for disappointment as parents.

The celebration gives us a misleading vision of what parenting will look like. The perfectly folded baby blankets. The matching car seat, stroller, and diaper bag. The 400 hundred diapers rolled up into a beautiful sculpture resembling a wedding cake.

Reality Check

It turns out, about 5 minutes after you become a mom, you realize that you have no idea what you are supposed to be doing.

And, the hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars that you spent on baby gear doesn’t help. At all.

The baby is crying (in my case, it was babies.) You are in pain. You are exhausted. Your husband is exhausted.

You are in awe of this amazing person that has entered your life, but despite the classes, books, and magazine articles, you feel completely unprepared and terrified.

One month later

At this point, extreme exhaustion has set in. You are starting to think you can do this, but you are wondering if you will ever have a normal meal again. Is it possible to sleep more than 6 hours in a row? You forget.

I’ve said this before. I love being a mom. I fought to become a mom. I’ve battled infertility and I lost a baby. But, I was completely unprepared for what motherhood was all about.

Before becoming a mom, I pictured family-life to look something like this: My husband and I taking strolls in the park with our perfectly dressed daughters. We were well-rested. It only took us 2 minutes to get out the door. And, there was no yelling or arguing.

And, when life didn’t look like that, I thought that meant that I was failing at parenting.


Now, I realize that everything I was going through was normal. The vision I had gotten from the baby shower was not at all what parenting was going to look like. And, it is my mission to stop the unproductive mom guilt and redefine what it looks like to be a “good mom.”

We are all doing our best and we love our children.

So, I want to give you a glimpse into what my real life looks like. It’s messy. It’s crazy. It’s scattered. And. It’s normal.

Drop a comment and tell me what your real life looks like. Parenting is an amazing responsibility, but the pressure of creating that perfect life often causes us to miss out on the beauty in the imperfection. I believe that this leads to anxiety, depression and broken families. Let’s change that.

PS – In a few more days I will have to stop celebrating my birthday! Check out the Renew program to learn even more parenting tips and how to go from feeling stressed and overwhelmed to empowered and unstoppable. I am ready to work with moms who are done making excuses and ready to change.


PPS – This video was a few snaps that I shot. If we aren’t already connected, add me on snapchat at bapetrino.


About the Author

Bridgette is Founder and CEO of Mommy Needs a Timeout. She empowers moms to reconnect with their identities OUTSIDE of being a mom, without the guilt.

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