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.
This seems sort of appropriate to this thread. Stolen from FB.
Baby number 1 is really, really hard (actually, who am I kidding, so is baby number 2) - you have to make such huge sacrifices and adjustments. You don't feel like yourself anymore. You might go from having a really interesting job, going out a lot with friends, having a cleaner, etc etc to all of a sudden doing masses of laundry, cooking, staying in, being tired for very boring reasons and not having a second to yourself. The baby years can be dull. I can't claim to love every minute. But I guarantee that you will find your DS utterly fascinating and amazing company in years to come. And you don't have to be a conventional parent - do what works for you.
At some moments of the day I completely resent having a toddler! But since having my first, more than 6 years ago, the have been lots of times when I've done really cool things that I wouldn't have imagined in the that first year - you can have a life again! And I think you appreciate those moments you get to yourself, to do something you really want to do, all the more, than if you were childless.
DS1 is 6 and it's a complete privilege to watch him grow up. I'm even thinking about having a third, but the thought of those early days again... It really is enough to put me off, so who knows!
I am sure you will meet some like minded parents too - sometimes the mother and baby groups can be good to meet someone and then you can go off and meet up elsewhere, could you use them long enough to make a few more friends with similar age DC?
I read Kramer Vs Kramer around this time with my DS and cried because it was the first time I'd 'met' another mother (baaaaaad JoannaKramer) who couldn't get into being a full time mum and wanted to runaway to her old self.
My 3yr old and 5 yr old are gorgeous. But I wouldn't be saying that if I didn't have a full time nanny, and a job I love. Parenting preschoolers isn't for everyone. Men realised this two millennia ago <shrug>.
I think it helps to focus on bits of parenting you don't mind, and do them a lot. I hate playing on the floor and role play etc so I do lots of reading books, singing, and going out to the park. I leave the playing for DH and the CM. I don't feel bad; you can't like all of it. FInd the bits you don't mind and they can be your things.
I work and love it but if you can't, perhaps a course, or volunteering, or something like that, to give you another focus?
AuntLucy I love the film but never realised it was also a book <dumb>
Should I read it? Sounds like Joanna is brought to life by the book more than the film.
end of hijack
Oh but actually it's a good point for the OP - there is evidence out there of mothers who are struggling to love motherhood. I found Rachel Cusk's A Life's Work very powerful but some people hate it. I also always point people towards the Rolling Stones "Mother's Little Helper". There's a reason why mothers back then were on uppers and downers and whatever - they were miserable too but it was even less ok to say so then.
I've never seem the film. But in the book JK is a 'whole person' and loves her son, and the story goes into a lot of detail about how it's societies/her DH's expectations that motherhood should be 'enough' for her (whilst she continually tries to protest against this) when it just can't be, that lead her to abandoning her family. I get the impression that the film made it much more one sided... It's a great book. Very sad. Very complex.
i haven't read all the replies but I'd say I felt similar (if not quite as strongly as you) when my children were young. They are now 9 and 7 and while they can still be exhausting, i far prefer being a mother to children this age than to babies and toddlers. In fact, more often than not, I am utterly besotted with them and love being involved in their lives. I've worked less and less the older they've got so that I can spend more time with them - BECAUSE I WANT TO.
Do you know what I did when they were 3 and 5? I sailed across an ocean for 6 weeks just to get a break. I got a whole lot of stick for doing that both on mumsnet and in real life, but it saved my sanity and reminded me that I could still do things for me every now and then.
Don't beat yourself up about it. Make time for yourself and know that it does get better
I do sympathise. But.. you don't want a job AND you don't want to be a mother?
What do you want to do?
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.
Oh GOD I can relate to this. I went back to work at Christmas when DS was 20 months and now I just have every Friday at home with him (as well as wkend) - and I feel so horribly horribly guilty that this is how I feel.... every Friday.
@Inclusionist - if I knew that I wouldn't be sitting here in misery. I thought I wanted to be a mother. Now I know I'm not cut out for it. So I'm now kind of stuck with no hope of a get-out.
*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.
Oh GOD I can relate to this...*
Exactly, me too... you've got it spot on there...
But perhaps it's not motherhood itself rather it is you. You sound as if you're not keen on anything really. You don't have a career you're missing. Detach from the motherhood thing and focus on healing yourself as a person not a mother.
My midwife always said to me that as soon as i find myself not enjoying my babies is time to see the GP as it could be PND. Of course it may not be and I hope that isn't belittling your feelings, I don't mean to and can totally understand that even without PND everyone feels on a treadmill sometimes. Little babies are not the best company!
Maybe go to a lifecoach? I know it's a bit mumbo-jumbo but they might help you to think about what you do want to do? I read this book called 'Do It'. In the first chapter you had to imagine that you had just been made an all powerful immortal with unlimited resources and decide what you were going to do with your good fortune! The rest of the book was about planning (and acting) to get as close as you could to the dream.
I adore my little boy but I couldn't be a SAHM. I would go crazy. I need to work for the feeling of control it gives me- having my own agenda I can follow and not being enslaved to an irrational 2yo the entire time.
Maybe you could find a raison d'etre with some external support?
Actually @Inclusionist... the answer is I want to be gardening, decorating, reading books and magazines, watching films and dramas, and sleeping... lots and lots of long lie-ins and sleeping... None of which are possible with a baby... And yes, I was probably totally naive (as I said, I have no close friends with children so I never saw the reality of parenthood), but I had absolutely no idea that motherhood meant I wouldn't be able to do any of those things anymore. I had a vague notion that a baby would sleep most of the time, or happily play in a playpen, while I got on with the rest of my life... then I envisaged happy days with a small child playing in the sunny garden that I'd created, with them helping me plant and harvest the vegetables and prune the flowers. But my vegetable garden has lain bare since I became pregnant... Sorry, waffling now...
Is it not a little idealist to think that life can be like that? I think that very, very few people are able to live with so few responsibilities.
Have been to a career coach and a life coach in the past! Actually, my problem with work is the same problem I feel with motherhood and you've hit the nail on the head with the feeling of control it gives me. I hate feeling trapped. That's why I hated work. I was trapped in an office for 10 hours a day and in the control of an employer. Now I feel trapped by a small person with relentless demands.
You said imagine the dream - that's my dream! It still includes responsibilities - the responsibility to bring up my child. Anyway, don't want to get into an argument. If you've not spent every Sunday night crying your eyes out because tomorrow is Monday and you've got to go to work again, it's probably difficult to imagine what that's like...
This is totally how it was for me.
Desparate to get pregnant, crap loooong labour, relatively easy baby but once the adrenaline/novelty,wore off a few months in it was a grind. That counting down to bedtime/nap is bang on.
I spent a small fortune getting out of the house every day to escape the mind numbing ness of it all. I did that thing where I questioned my bond with him, thought how I felt meant that I didn't love him properly and was desparate to get back to work to start feeling 'normal' again, and guess what, I didn't. I wasn't myself for a long long time.
I am now. He's 22 months and a joy. I'm never going to enjoy all the playing stuff, I'm rubbish at it but I'm not rubbish at wanting to make him as happy as he can be, it's just reframing and all of a sudden,it's not a chore. Yes, its relentless, yes the routine is backbreaking, but as he gets bigger, it eases off, everything isn't so NOW, there is time and you don't feel quite so trapped. You're at the point where it's change change change, just as one thing seems established, but that will get easier.
What do you like to do? Do you have access to child care, even a session a week for you to have some lay flat out onmthe sofa and do nothing time will help.....
I think my sister felt a little like you. She dealt with it by taking control at home. She boot-camped her babies. Think Gina Ford and activity timetables. They haven't suffered for it at all, they are lovely, secure, easy going kids. She felt in control that way.
I solve the problem by making sure I have a job where I have a domain of responsibility (luckily I was at management level before I had DS). That gives me a place where I set the pace.
Wouldn't pottering for your whole life make you feel a bit guilty about whoever was supporting you financially?
Oh and the decorating, that's still 'work' and a responsibility... building (literally) a comfortable home for my family. I see that all as a big responsibility. Sorry, I'm getting defensive... time to go away...
Oh yes, I'm a Gina Ford mum all the way!! It's the only thing that's kept me sane. I was falling apart the first few weeks, but the day we starting implementing Gina Ford I felt some sanity come back! My DH is happy to support me, even if it means we have to go without a lot of the time. He saw how miserable work made me and he'd rather I was happy (I know, I'm very lucky with him.)
Re: not knowing what you want to do with your life - might sound a bit obvious but on the off-chance it's helpful: you don't have to have One Big All-Consuming thing. Sometimes people talk like life is about finding some big vocation, whether that be saving the whales, motherhood, or a Grand Career.
But that's only one way of being happy. It's perfectly possible to be happy without having a Big Thing for your life to be about: just lots of smaller things that give you pleasure. So if "OMG I picked the wrong thing, now I won't have time to find the right one!" is one of your anxieties, then it doesn't have to work like that.
Lancy I feel exactly the same. I love it once they are talking. I have 3 and it was only with my third that I felt ready to say I dont like the baby stage. First I was looking forward to getting to 6MO, then 1yr, then 18MO and now 2 years and Ive not even got to the 18MO bit yet.
Im looking for a job ATM as I just dont like being a mum. I do other things (running and a couple of courses), but I still feel I need more. I would like a full time job so I can do that instead of being a mum most of the time.
In regards to what do you want to do bit when you find the answer (or how you got to the answer) let me know so I can figure something out myself.
Then again Im having a tiring day today as DD2 got me up at half 4 this morning after a bad nights sleep as she's full of cold so not feeling well. When I finally got her to sleep earlier DD1 started crying as she felt sick and woke DD2 up again.
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