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Is it just me that finds being a mother really hard work?

(23 Posts)
Tartarjungle Wed 18-Dec-13 00:12:20

So background is I fell madly in love with someone on holiday we got married 4 years late and had 2 children within 2 years of marriage. I moved to the country where he lives and am now in a job which pays minimum wage. In the uk I earned a good salary in the city had my own flat and felt like me. I adore my husband and children but I miss being me. Please tell me I am not the only one who misses the freedom if being resposible only for me? And if this happened to you what did you do to get out of this rut? Thank you

kazza446 Wed 18-Dec-13 00:19:36

No its not just you. I would probably guess 80% of mums at least can relate to losing their identity. I am one of them!! I love my kids to pieces and wouldn't change being a mum for the world but I just wish I could still manage to retain a little bit of the old Me! Xx

BikeRunSki Wed 18-Dec-13 00:20:56

I miss me too, and I live in same place in have lived for 14 years. DC are 2 and 5. I barely have time to sleep, certainly no time to focus on anything other than dc, work and enough domestic stuff to keep food on table and a halfway decent level of hygiene. Nothing to do with location. Work was restructured last year and my old job ( pt job share senior job) no longer exists ; I had to chose full time or downward step. I went down, still plays on my mind whether I should have gone f/t again. I am nobody everywhere.

MummyBeerestCupOfCheerest Wed 18-Dec-13 00:24:37

Me too!

I love my DH and DD but have a tough time being thought of as just a mum in everything I do. Sometimes I feel as though I'm doing nothing useful or important.

I've read the same book about 7 times today to DD. We still haven't got to the end. This frustrates me.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 00:31:52

Hi op, I haven't been totally me since 1989 since our first baby screamed into our life.

Our youngest is now 13 and and still feel the same but have more and more me time as they don't NEED me 24/7.

Parenthood is a journey and although there's never an end until one if you dies( and please god it's one of us and not our kids and we have had a close call) it gets to be more about you being less needed and them being more independent.

randomfemale Wed 18-Dec-13 00:31:56

I found it really hard (and still do) my twins are now going on 16 years old and I still get up and think wtf am I doing? They don't come with a guide book - you just muddle along, do the best you can and hopefully they will love you grin

I never -planned- to have children so falling pg with twins was a double whammy but I would not change a single thing. You cope because you have to.

Joiningthegang Wed 18-Dec-13 00:34:07

Me too - always reassuring to find out you aren't the only one to feel this way x

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 18-Dec-13 07:27:14

YANBU to find motherhood challenging but your situation is influenced by more than just motherhood. You're no longer independent, your job sounds unstimulating, your income has gone down, you're a newcomer, a foreigner... all of which are restricting your freedoms. Make sure, therefore, that you make time for yourself. Have hobbies/interests/activities, socialise solo, get out of the house to do something other than work. Make the effort to do thing just for you or else it's very easy to be reduced to 'someone's Mum' or 'someone's Wife' and nothing else otherwise.

sewingandcakes Wed 18-Dec-13 07:32:02

Me too, and while I felt the same way for a while with my first two, it was moving house with my 3rd at 6mo that really tipped me into PND. But, I got help eventually and I'm starting to enjoy life rather than shutting myself away from everything. You definitely need time to remember who you were/are!

stinkingbishop Wed 18-Dec-13 07:35:56

I remember once being at a parents' evening and wearing a sticker with my 'name'. It didn't even say 'DS' Mum'. It just had DS' name.

I love my children to absolute pieces. I really do. And I wouldn't miss the moments of sheer joy for all the tea in China. But.

Am currently retraining as a Psych and am seriously considering making my thesis 'is being a Mum bad for your mental health'!

janey68 Wed 18-Dec-13 07:44:35

I think parenting can be hard work, not just motherhood. But I agree with cogito- this is about far more than having children. You have moved to a new country, you find your work unstimulating and unrewarding and I imagine this is a big factor in why you feel a loss of identify. In your own country it would be far easier to retain the career you trained for, your friendship groups Etc. Not that that's a breeze... I think one of the big challenges of parenting is how to retain your own sense of self alongside being a parent. But at least you'd have a framework for doing so. Is there any chance of living as a family in the UK? Or if your move is a permanent thing then retraining ?

jeansthatfit Wed 18-Dec-13 07:51:52

You sound very lonely to me.

Isn't the truth for women in your position. and the other posters on this thread, that all the challenges of motherhood and associated life/identity changes would be so much easier if dads shared them more? Much more?

I think it's this inequity that is wrong. There's nothing wrong with you.

LadyInDisguise Wed 18-Dec-13 08:04:58

Well ime feeling like yourself is something you need to work on. Being a mother should never be your only identity. You also need to be a woman in your own right and a partner.
This doesn't happen on its own. It is so easy to get side tracked into being 'just' a mum at the exclusion of anything else...

What I do notice is that you had a job in the City and having a good wage and now work in a poorly paid job. So I am guessing that the job you are doing now isn't really your thing and you only do it for .. the money, not to be at home all the time?
Could you not do your old job in that new country? Find a job that you would really enjoy and maybe retrain if you need to?

You need to be realistic there. You have given up a lot by moving to your husband country. If you want to be happy and have a fulfilling life, you (and he) need to realize that some adjustments are needed and it might include you being/doing something else that being a mum.
There is no shame to want to do something else too and have a fulfilling life outside the home.

LadyInDisguise Wed 18-Dec-13 08:06:26

I have to say, I am sad by the number of people who say they haven't been themselves since having children....

Crowler Wed 18-Dec-13 08:07:06

So sorry OP.

I met my husband at a wedding in Istanbul, in the early days I was a bit "WTF has happened here" because we met under such dramatically romantic circumstances and fast forward a couple of years and we're in a tiny flat in NYC with a baby.

I would say this: those early days are so.bloody.hard. I wouldn't go back for all the tea in China. Things will get better, I promise - it's hard to maintain identity when you have very young children.

Yes. It's just you. Sorry. The rest of us find it a breeze and go through life smiling and singing like Snow Fucking White and Cinder Fucking Ella on speed.

Or, you know, I may have broken my sarcasm quota for the day.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 08:39:07

as others have said , tartarjungle, you are dealing with much more than 'simply' becoming a parent, but the loss of your financial independence and social life, flat. city and job......
you are still 'you' though, hang in there....

minimuffy Wed 18-Dec-13 09:57:24

stinkingbishop that sounds really interesting!

I'm feeling a total loss of 'me', I really just want to get back to work and back onto trying to work ny way up in my career! I really wish that I could transfer my mat leave onto DH now!

LadyInDisguise Wed 18-Dec-13 10:00:19

BTW don't let yourself be fooled by all the people who say that being a parent is so hardwork and you are in effect complaining about nothing and just get on with it.

Being a mum isn't about being a martyr.
Being a mum isn't about having a hard life whilst people wo dcs find it a breeze.
Being a mum is one more side to who you are but you still are all the other things too.
The difference for you is that you have to carve a life as a mum and carve yourself a life as a woman, someone who works, a wife at the same time because moving to a different country means you have to start it all again.

Don't believe anyone who tells you that you have no other choice than being a mum first a foremost at the detriment of being yourself.

SettingPlaster Wed 18-Dec-13 10:04:27

What Cogito. Janey and others said. This is not just about motherhood.

jeansthatfit Wed 18-Dec-13 10:11:03

It's not the physical act of motherhood, I agree, I think... but it is taking on the majority of parental care, taking a huge step back from career and experiencing a drop in income/status work-wise.... having a limited social life BECAUSE you are the main carer for small children...all the things that can come with being a mother.

These are all things that will only change if men do more of what is traditionally 'mothering' and wife work.

It's all very well saying 'add more to your life/go back to work more' etc. But it's hard to live your life with the glee and energy of a Bodyform advert when you are the one doing most of the caring/suffering broken sleep/feeling lost in terms of identity etc.

Who was it said they wish their husband was on maternity leave? Well, yes. Sharing some of that would be a good start, and soften the impact of the changed life/identity issue.

Lastofthepodpeople Wed 18-Dec-13 10:11:42

Yes! I feel that also.

A lot of people upthread have said that being a mother shouldn't be your only identity, and it's not but having young children is a huge demand and change on your time.

Like you, I'm also living in a country I didn't grow up in. I think it's definitely harder when you don't have old friends and family close by for support and occasional babysitting.

You don't mention how young your children are. I found it very difficult when DS was young, but it's getting easier as he's getting older and more and more independent, and I get more and more 'me time'

Aberchips Wed 18-Dec-13 11:20:45

Being a parent is hard work & just like with all jobs it's ok not to like it sometimes! I'm sure pretty much every parent has days where they think "wtf have I done!"

Having very little ones is very demanding & it can feel like being in a tunnel sometimes! Hopefully at some point the tide will turn for you & it will start to become a better balance between hard work & just enjoying your kids. Mine are 4 & almost 2 and I'm just getting to the point where I'm having more of a laugh with them & just enjoying their company rather than feeling like "mummy looking after the kids". Don't get me wrong, I love them to bits all most of the time but it's only now that I'm really starting to enjoy them as "people" rather than my children.

It's like the situation you have between your "home" self & your "work" self for example - the two are very different. It's the same with your "parent" self & your "just me" self - I do still get to do some of the things I did when I didn't have kids, but just less frequently. I know it's hard, especially if you've totally upped & moved to be with your husband, but make sure he knows you need some me time & a break to just go & do your thing every now & then.

Hope things do get better for you & there are plenty of lovely people on here to help out when things do get tough.

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