Anyone else hate motherhood?(125 Posts)
DS is now 10 months and I've struggled from the start. Practically I manage fine, DS is the best behaved, good-natured baby in the world. He sleeps all night and always has. I have no baby-related reason to find it tough, I just don't enjoy it. If I never have to change another nappy in my life it will be too soon! After 10 minutes of sing-songing or reading a book with him I'm bored. I resent him because he takes up ALL my time and I can't do anything else except look after him. The thought that I'll never have a proper relaxed lie-in or holiday for the next 16 years or so fills me with horror. Oh, and I hate going to Mother and Baby groups because I find the baby conversation dull and irritating.
Yet, I can't talk about this to anyone except my husband because it's socially unacceptable to say you don't like being a mum. People even ask "so are you enjoying motherhood?" And I try to give some non-committal answer. I don't have the guts to just say "no" and see what they say! Don't get me wrong, I adore my little boy and he was very much longed-for, but now he's here I regret the decision to have children.
And if you don't like reading this, please don't bother responding. I'm looking for support and people who feel the same. I don't need to hear sanctimonious twaddle about how lucky I am to have had a child, many people aren't so lucky and he didn't ask to be born so it's not his fault etc etc. I know all that. I'm desperately miserable and I feel very alone and I hate myself for not being happy and being able to just enjoy and be grateful for my gorgeous little boy.
I think that you might benefit from speaking to your GP who can then refer you to a professional who can help to sort your feelings. I sincerely hope that you work out how to enjoy your baby.
Are you planning on returning to work?
Might make you feel better being out of the house at work and not just "being a mum" all day?
LancyLass, that is a very brave post. You are definitely not the only one who feels this way - I have worked with hundreds of parents and I can think of many who gave every impression of not enjoying parenthood.
I'm sorry you're feeling like this. You are right that there is a massive taboo about admitting you don't enjoy being a mother.
Not everyone can enjoy every stage of parenthood. Not everyone is a baby person. You may find that you absolutely love the toddler stage, or you love it when he starts school, or you may find that you have a natural talent with teenagers!
Do you get any time to yourself? My friend has a 7 month old and tries to have a night away with friends about once a month - she says without it she would go crackers. She desperately needs time to not be 'mummy' and to hang out with other adults.
I don't have any first hand experience of this (not a mum) but others will be along soon who do. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and that it is a very healthy thing that you are talking about your feelings.
Some people like the baby stage, others prefer the toddler stage etc etc. You might enjoy it more when your child is a bit more independent. I also agree with Molotov.
some days yeah.. i love my babies but sometimes id give it all up to travel the world/enjoy my career/lay on a beach in an instant! im quite open about it too, im quite looking forwards to returning to work. i want to be more than just a mum. but, im determind to enjoy it too. afterall the baby years go sooo quickly.. they'll be kids and then teenagers for a decades!!
Do you work? Do you plan to go back to work? It sounds like you've resigned yourself to being a full time mother and you probably need something else in your life to regain perspective.
Do you have family/ friends who are willing to have your DS overnight? Being a parent doesn't necessarily mean you will never enjoy a lie in again or a holiday, or just some time out alone.
Could it be possible you are suffering from PND? I'm not saying there must be something wrong with you to feel this way and i know that others will be along to say they felt/ feel the same. I just mean is it worth considering? You do sound very unhappy and i'm sorry.
lancylass, I know exactly where you are coming from. There are millions of women who feel exactly the same as you. I work FT and it saves my life every day.
I actually love being a mum now (DCs are 6 and 3) but if I had to stay at home I wouldn't. And I definitely didn't love the early years - boring. Have a look at this article to reassure yourself you are not alone. It's called "Why parents hate parenting! :
All I would say is don't regret having children. You hate being bored and lonely - that's absolutely normal and you are absolutely not alone. You can find the joy in parenting - just not when you are overwhelmed with being bored and lonely. Part of the problem is that there is a myth of motherhood - and if you try to knock that down, people don't want to hear it. You can say it on here though.
You are not alone; well done for being so honest.
Try and find some hobbies/interests that you can do which don't revolve around your child - I don't know what you enjoy but I did loads of voluntary work when my DS was young, I just carted him around with me, he learned to fit in. That way I was doing the sort of thing I liked to do, without it being 'baby centred'. I also found a gym with a creche that helped.
Have you got a partner? I used to insist on having time completely to myself at weekends - I would go out, on my own, even if I just sat in a coffee shop .
Oh and i'm totally with you on the mother and baby groups - i avoided them like the plague and also find them boring and irritating.
I hated the baby stage. I found things got much easier when my girls were 2+, and able to entertain themselves. Then when they start being invited to friends' houses for play etc (3+ when they start at pre-school), you start getting some time back - though it helps if you reciprocate.
It does get easier and easier every month, though you don't really notice until you look back.
However - once they hit 15/16, it suddenly gets much harder again - and they try your patience like nothing you have ever known!!
Many people feel the way you do during these early days.
Could you join a gym with a creche so that you could do some exercise for a couple of hours everyday.
Even if you don't like baby groups, could you make an effort to join one so that you could make a couple of friends you could trust to share babysitting once a week or so?
It is hard, but please believe me when I say this: IT WILL GET BETTER. As your child grows he will become so much more interesting and you will really enjoy your time with him. There are difficult moments, children do go through very testing phases, but, if you put in love and effort you will see the rewards.
You need to find time for yourself.
Here's the rule - do just as much mothering as you can do well and enjoy. That is different for everyone. Some are earth mothers who wanrt to spend every waking (and sleeping!) moment with their children. Others, like you, find it less congenial. So........find yourself a job and a good childminder and just do the amount of mothering that you can do well, and let the childminder do the rest.
We are all different. The important thing is to be honest with yourself and not to feel guilty - there is no reason to. If you judge how much you can do well and let someone else do the rest you will be doing the best for your child, so no need to reproach yourself.
And it does not mean you do not love your child - you are just recognising your own personality and needs. The last thing a child needs is a bored unhappy Mum.
So sorry you feel like this, and like others say, going back to work might help you. I've worked full time since DD was five months, and I'm convinced I enjoy the time I have with her so much because it is short so I have to make the most of it. After a hard day at work I find myself just longing for a cuddle with her, and to read some daft story or just watch her crawl around me. But I'm sure that if I didn't work I would often feel bored and frustrated at home. I'm not saying everyone feels like this, but I'm sure it would be true to me. Good luck - hope you find a way through this.
Thanks guys. Probably a bit of background required too - I've always suffered from depression and anxiety for various reasons (won't bore you with that too!) I don't have a job. I decided not to look for another job after the recession put an end to my last one as I've never enjoyed working either. I've seen so many counsellors and therapists over the year I've given up! However I find all that is fine to talk to people about - I don't mind admitting to people I struggle psychologically - but talking about not enjoying motherhood, that just seems to not be allowed! Plus my three best friends all can't have children for one reason or another so I can't really talk to them about it! Actually that probably doesn't help. I have no-one I'm close to who also has children.
I do get a day a week when my parents have him for the day - but it's not enough!!
Thanks though. Just saying it to you guys is helping already (plus he's having his two-hour afternoon nap - things always seem better then )
I woudn't go as far as to say I hate motherhood, but the relentlessness of it is certainly very draining at times. I often feel guilty because I don't feel I'm very good at playing with my children. Looking after them comes more naturally but my attention span for pretend play is limited. And sometimes I feel like I'm just killing time; until they nap, until I can have a cup of coffee in peace, until DH gets home, until the weekend, until the next event that breaks up the drudgery and monotony of it all.
And as others have said, we all have our parenting strengths and weaknesses, and stages we enjoy more than others. You might find the toddler stage more engaging. Plus once they're about 2yo they often start to play more independently
and you can park them in front of the TV while you have a nap/lie-in and it's a bit less full-on.
It's not something people tend to admit to IRL, hence the guilt and isolation. But you're not alone.
A bloody brave post to be sure. And no you are not alone in hating motherhood. I hate it sometimes and detest mother and baby groups with a vengeance. Baby talk is boring and only good if you need advice or something to vent about. You were not to know (like many of us) how exhausting, mundane and difficult it can be much of the time. However , it will not be like this forever, which I'm sure it feels like to you at the moment with a 10 month old.
They grow older, are grateful for things you do for them, and are insightful and amazing little people to be in the company of. You don't have to take them on holiday with you provided you have good childcare for a week/2 weeks. Me and dh swanned off on a lovely weeks holiday and left our ds with his adoring grandparents and aunties! And lie ins...as long as you make it clear as soon as they're old enough (my ds is 4 and lets me do this) that mummy and daddy are resting and aren't to be disturbed, they play in their rooms and amuse themselves.
I think a trip to the GP wouldn't hurt just in case this is a bit of PND or slight depression. It's very very common to hate motherhood and be sure that you aren't cut out for it. I've had many a day myself where I just want to chuck it in and run away, but it wouldn't solve anything. Bonding and laughing together is key, as well as a ton of support from your dh. I hope your post helps other mums because I don't think I would personally have had the balls to be so frank, and it's only a good thing.
You don't have to be a "mum" with "a baby". Be a human being who has a beautiful child to show amazing things to.
Don't conform to the stereotype if its not who you are.
I had my first child at 18 and despite all the opposition, i continued being myself and took him round the country, to festivals and touring and working and exploring, everywhere basically. I didn't feel that my life had stopped because I had this amazing person with me who was an extension of myself really.
For what it's worth, I really despise parent and toddler groups so I don't use them. It's not compulsory.
Mine are now grown up & left home, but I can totally empathise with you. I found the baby stage very, very boring. It got so much better when they started to talk. I remember going upstairs one evening to DS who was crying & when I walked in the room he said: "Drink". I felt a huge milestone had been achieved. I enjoyed it more & more the older they got.
And for being so brave as to post this - I am sure you will get lots & lots of sympathy.
I absolutley agree with you - however, I went on to have 2 more DCs, despite feeling as you do at times with the first, so I suppose you adjust and The thought that I'll never have a proper relaxed lie-in or holiday for the next 16 years or so fills me with horror becomes less of a nightmare.
But my mistake was to feel it was MY duty to care for DCs (and DH was away alot) and that was wrong. I should have had a regular break to go out (though it's difficult as you worry when you are not with them) using a childminder or babysitter. And a break for you, not for supermarket shopping.
If anything this would have done my baby a great deal of good, got her used to others and made me a happier and therefore better mum. So find something to treat yourself to regularly.
Start 'training' DH to take over in the morning so you do get the lie in. He wants a happy you too.
And by the time they are 16 you will be they no longer want to go on holiday with you, believe me!
lancylass that's a lot of background there, especially about the friends. That sounds tough.
The best thing you can do is be good to yourself on this. It's bloody hard work and bloody miserable at times. I can't imagine who on earth would enjoy singing round and round the bloody garden for the hundredth time but some people do! The fact is that there are many, many women (and men) out there who don't. That's ok - we don't have to love it. We just have to do the best we can and as Mishaps says, do as much as we can and do something else with the rest of our time.
And also honestly it does get better - they stop being such a grind and start being fun. Not quite yet I must admit but you haven't accidentally signed up to a lifetime of drudgery and round and round the garden...just a couple of years and you've nearly done Y1 already! Now that DD is six I find myself wishing she could stop getting older - I want to savour every minute. Whereas when she was a baby I was wishing the months away.
What would be good is if you can find something fulfilling to do on the day off. This isn't easy ( I don't work and have been struggling to find anything which I truly love to do). But art, singing, painting, learning a language,stuff like that give you a sense of achievement which could keep you going during the boring days.
Thanks, many of your posts there have made me smile I suppose I always
hoped thought I'd be a perfect Mum who loved it and that it would be the answer to my struggle to find a satisfying career /life I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it hasn't been!
Thank you for thinking I'm brave to post this. That makes me feel better too.
Got to go now. His highness has awoken and will require milk... drudge, drudge, drudge...
Can you plan a trip away? On your own or with friends, you need something exciting to look forward to.
I went halfway around the world when DC2 was 10 months old.
Was away for 3 weeks....loved every second.... DH did the honours of child care & nursery drop offs etc.
I now have 4 DC & combine travel with my work, it's the only way I function. DH is OK with it... Kids are great when I come home...All seems to work well.
Plan yourself something nice. I hated all the baby group stuff too.
Don't be too hard on yourself
Join the discussion
Please login first.