Sunday, December 7, 2008

Observations of a Happy Mom

I walking again today with my coworker, Sandy. She's the person I wrote about last week who's a new mom. When we walk, we talk and vent about a lot of things - as I've mentioned, our mothers and other stuff. Today we were talking about motherhood in general. She's one of these rare mothers who is just bubbling over with joy at being a mom. She genuinely loves it and I can see that she is just delighted with her new role in life. I know one other mother who is this way - one of my best friends, Sarah. Other than Sandy and Sarah, I can honestly say I don't really know any mothers who seem truly joyful in their role. In fact, I've met many who have told me if they had to do it over, they wouldn't do it again.

Anyway, although Sandy is bubbling over with happiness about motherhood, she is also very supportive of people who chose not to procreate. She completely understands it and feels each person should live whatever life makes her the happiest. It angers her when she hears people judge childfree people harshly. She realizes that while motherhood is great for her, it's not something everyone should aspire to. Because of this, we are very comfortable talking openly with each other about these kinds of topics.

During our walk today, she said something interesting. She told me that of all the mothers she knows, she is the only one who is happy being a mom. She said that all the women she knows who are mothers are clearly not happy in their role as mothers. In fact, she told me that their unhappiness is so palpable that she often feels critically judged by them for being too happy. They treat her with suspicion for being happy and enjoying motherhood. Sandy wonders if some of them are jealous and it hurts her that they cannot share in or enjoy her happiness, but rather feel resentful of it.

I thought it was interesting that a happy mom shared my perception. I too have noticed that most women I know who are mothers do not seem happy in their role -in fact this is a big reason I chose not to have kids. They will tell you they love being a mom, but I am never able to actually observe joy and happiness when I watch them interact with their children. I have written about this in this blog. I have at times wondered if my perception of mothers as unhappy was colored by my own negatively-tinged childfree perception of motherhood. But here was a happy mother telling me that she has made the same observation that most women are not happy being mothers, so maybe my perception is not so off-base after all.


Me said...

I don't think your observation is off base at all. I'm someone who wants to have kids, but can't and so I have all the incentive in the world to make the whole endeavor as rose-tinted as I possibly can. But, if truth be told, I agree with you and your friend - at least half of the mothers I know are not happy in the role. They claim they are. But their actions tell a different story.

Unknown said...

I don't usually see mothers that are happy when you take their children away. Just a thought.