Mums Pretend to Be Happy

Did you know?

The majority of mums (especially new mums) pretend to be happy, while inside, they’re falling apart.


As a new mother, you’re thrown into a whole new world. A world that is much different than you had thought it would be.

Nothing is like you had expected.

Suddenly, you’re holding a baby who is entirely dependent on you, while you yourself feel confused and overwhelmed by all the changes in your life.

Others say, ‘You must be so happy!’, but…  Well, you’re not. Not entirely, anyway.

But you feel like admitting it would make you a massive failure.

So, you put on a happy face and pretend everything is OK, even when it’s not.

The question is WHY.

Why the need to pretend you are OK?

(Download my FREE guide on how to cope with new mum stress HERE.)

I have recently read an interview with an English psychologist about this matter who highlighted two major issues.

First, we rarely discuss mental health issues in daily life.

Second, new mum are somewhat automatically expected to be happy. Open any newspaper, turn on the TV, or browse the internet, and you’ll see smiling faces of mothers experiencing the most beautiful time of their lives.

Relatives share stories of couples who struggled to have children and are now bursting with happiness.

These influences create the impression that motherhood is the pinnacle of happiness and joy.

However, reality is often different.

A new mother can feel further confused if she doesn’t feel the way she expected—or the way she thought she was expected to feel.

While motherhood is amazing on many levels, it takes time to adjust to all the changes that come with the baby, and the process can be painful, both physically and emotionally.

It’s normal and common to feel sad, hopeless, or lonely; to struggle with breastfeeding; to cry; to feel exhausted to the point of breaking; or to wish you could turn back time.

Yet, these experiences are rarely discussed in daily life.

However, they’re not completely hidden either.

Specialised websites offer plenty of information on these topics.

When you ask a fellow mum about her early stages of motherhood, she likely won’t describe pure love and happiness.

Speaking up about depression reveals that many other women experience or have experienced it too.

When you cry, other parents understand.

When you ask for help, people are happy to help.

If you admit to “messing up” sometimes, other mums will admit the same.

So, these struggles aren’t entirely hidden, they just aren’t widely broadcasted.

They’re not common knowledge.

And therefore, mums feel the need to hide them and pretend they are happy, even when they’re not.

The question is: what can we do to change this?

The best thing we can do is TALK about it.

To start with ourselves, stop pretending, and be honest about how we feel.

By doing this, we not only help ourselves but also encourage others to open up.

It’s a win-win that can heal the world and make a HUGE difference for mums around the world.

Why mums pretend to be happy when feeling depressed?

So starting today, please make a promise to yourself to be more honest about your feelings as a mum.

I know it’s easier said than done (I’ve been theare myself), which is why I suggest you start with someone you know well and trust.

Don’t overthink it, just talk to them.

Put the happy face off, and be vulnerable.

I promise, it’s going to benefit you on many levels you can now possibly imagine.

Don’t forget to let me know how it went then! You can DM me on Instagram or drop me an email at Can’t wait to hear from you! (And I mean it! 🙂

With love,
Ivana xx

PS. If you want to discover more secrets about life as a new mum most mums wish they had known earlier, check out my book Motherhood – The Unspoken. 


  1. […] Another factor that closely relates to beginning of postpartum depression is the influence of the media and the environment of a new mother. Have you noticed that motherhood is mostly spoken of in positive associations? Magazine titles, stories you hear from friends, interviews with celebrities, movies, songs, social networks… From each side we are fed by the illusion that a new mother should experience the feelings of greatest happiness and love from the very first moment. Reality is often different, and if feelings of happiness do not arrive a mother feels bad and guilty. I say more about this topic in the post Why do we pretend happiness when feeling depressed?. […]

    1. I agree with you, although this happens everywhere (more or less) 🙁 The problem is that from early childhood we had been taught that the positive feelings are somehow “good” and negative ones are “bad”, which is a shame as negative feelings are as important part of life as the positive ones. Repressing or ignoring the negative ones does never lead to anything good. x

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