Monday, November 15, 2010

Mothers Spilling Their Guts

Despite the fact that we are bombarded from childhood with the message that being a mother is a woman's pinacle achievement in life and the source of her ultimate fulfilment and happiness, there is an army of women out there who would disagree. And now, thanks to the anonymity afforded by the internet, they are coming forward to spill their guts about the awfulness of motherhood and how they fantasize about throwing in the towel.

Thanks to CFVixen for forwarding me this blog post entitled, "I cannot handle being a mother anymore". The post itself is a heartwrenching expression of anxiety and grief (with an allusion to suicidality thrown in for good measure):


I have been tempted in the past, to throw up my hands, and walk away from it. From all of it. Times when it’s gotten so hard, too hard, worse than I ever imagined, I wanted to walk down the road, climb up onto the highway, and be gone. Never to be seen again. I thought it, many times.


Equally stirring are the comments from like-minded readers who share in this woman's pain with a resounding "DITTO". Many of the readers arrived at this discussion by googling "I hate being a mother".

A sampling of some of the comments this post received:

I felt that way, maybe still do. It started when Jackson was two and I couldn’t get far enough away from him……..I couldn’t escape the responsibility physically, mentally, emotionally….no way. Maybe it’s like a leather glove bought a size too small. It stretches to fit eventually.

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Yup — I hear this. I love my boys but I don’t even feel like the same person I used to be. And I liked that person. I don’t like this mom-person I’ve become. She’s bossy and stressed and forgets to smile most days. Boy, do I hear this.
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Thank you for posting this reply. I am a stay-at-home mother to a 4yr. old and a 2yr. old….sometimes the dredgery, monotony and demands can send me bursting into tears, wanting my old life before children to come back. But at times I punish myself for my feelings because I WANTED this – I chose to have children, and now I must fulfill their needs because it would not be fair to them – they didn’t get to choose me as a mother. I don’t understand many times how I could love these children indescribably, yet want to run away and hide, leaving them behind – all in the same day….
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I just spent an entire hour at the store buying school supplies with my 5 year old and 7 year old. The entire time we were at the store, the 7 year old was begging for me to buy him toys. Non-stop. What the hell do I do with that?!? By the time we pulled into the drive-way, I was a wreck. I made them go in the house while I sat in the driveway for 10 minutes crying my eyes out (and I’m on Zoloft). After dragging 10 bags in the house, my daughter was yelling for me. She was on the toilet having diarrhea and it was all over her, her clothes, my bathroom rug, and the toilet. Back to my son, I need to tell you that this begging (for Pokemon cards) has been going on for 2 days with him. All punishments have failed. I’m just exhausted by him! Today was the last straw. I had to “google” “I hate being a mother” and am so glad I’m not alone. Yes, I love my children. Yes, they were totally planned. I am a stay-at-home mother and sometimes think I should not be. And no, no one can prepare you for all this. I just hope it gets easier some day.

Gotta go. My daughter just flooded the bathroom.

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I hope I will not be bashed for entering this discussion, however my wife is in the same exact boat. My heart breaks for her because she cannot cope with being a mother anymore. Our marriage is on the rocks because of it. She is a stay at home mom (full-time) and I work full-time. I do the best I can to give her a break, by cleaning up around the house (cooking,cleaning,laundry) and taking the kids to the park or just out back on the swingset. As a husband, father and a man, I am trying to the best I can. My Daughter just started Kindergarten (3hrs a day) and we are enrolling my son into daycare a couple days during the week. Im trying to put myself in her shoes and understand more of what she is feeling, so I can help her. It kills me when I am at work and she texts be messages how she can’t cope anymore and she hates being a mother. Again sooo sorry for hitting this forum, but I’m lost and wanted to see what other people think anda re saying.
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...I feel SO out of it. Like a zombie, no where near my former self. A shadow, really. An angry, grumpy shadow. The worst part is, I’m still as ambitious as I was before kids. But now that ambition is succumbing to despair because I have no “me” time . . . no time to accomplish things for myself. I feel like my life has ended . . . and I’m only 27!

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I found out I was pregnant 2 months after my honeymoon. I too, felt like I had no choice but to keep him, and I wasn’t happy about it. Everyone told me that my feelings would change once I saw his face for the 1st time. I do love him, but those “natural maternal feelings” never showed up. I resent being a mother even more now that he’s in the rebellious toddler phase. Most days I don’t think I can take one more minute with him and then he does or says something so sweet that makes me feel so guilty for feeling that way. I want to be a GOOD MOM, and I hate the anger/guilt cycle, I just don’t know how to break out of it. You’re not alone and I’m glad I’m not, either!_________________________________________________

Obviously, I googled the same thing as everyone else. Lately, I just really hate being a mother. I was so happy with my life before she came along, I was never wanting children to make me feel complete. She is so wonderful and can be so sweet and has a great sense of humor, but I just need some time away. My husband and I work opposite schedules, so I don’t have tons of support at night. No friends or family help–they are just as busy or live out of state. It is very lonely and draining and I feel a lot of guilt–even as I write these horrible things, she is poking my arm with a cardboard box on her head saying “yehaw”. I miss the old fun me. I am grumpy and tired and easily irritated and short-tempered. I think my husband is starting to think I’m a terrible mother, too. _________________________________________________

I should have NO complaints…afterall I’m living the dream, right? Right…the only problem is it was never MY dream. I knew my whole life I was not cut out for this dream. Now…I’ve proved it, and I don’t think anything will ever bring me out of this G-U-I-L-T. I knew better! I freakin knew better and I CHOSE to do it anyway. I never thought I was capable of such feelings of inadequacy. Holy cow do I feel inadequate. Across the board… I can’t think of a single thing I do well. Others assure me that’s not the case, but I honestly beleive it is out of respect of the skinny fun loving person I used to be. I will never regret giving my husband a son, but I think I will probably always regret creating and subjecting another sweet living being to the dissapointment of being my child. If your gut says no….listen. I wish I had, I really do, and I’ve got it pretty good. Damn.

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If you take the time to read through the comments you will see that a lot of women didn't even want kids, but caved to the pressure put on them by others.


If you'd like to read more from regretful parents, click here.

26 comments:

charmed said...

wow, this could have been me, I was really close to caving a few times to keep a man. I'm sooo glad I didn't even though I'm still crazy head over heals in love with my ex. I think I will love him forever, but I am glad I didn't cave and agree to have kids to keep him.

Anne Marie said...

Makes me even happier that I'm childfree, how horrible to be stuck in that position for at least 18 years.

ash said...

Why, then, are so many parents defensive when we speak proudly of being childfree? That's what infuriates me, as though we're not entitled to be disparaging of raising children unless we've tried it and failed.

I was happy to see this in the last comment: "If your gut says no….listen. I wish I had, I really do, and I’ve got it pretty good." That is a rare sentiment coming from a childed person.

Frugalista said...

I read through a bunch of the comments on the post. It's very sad. It's kind of like a love hate thing with a lot of them. Is the love worth the hate? For some of them yes and for some probably not.

CFVixen said...

Funny how the truth comes out when people can post anonymously.

If you want to experience another dose of schadenfreude, just Google "I hate being a mom" or "I hate being a parent." There are TONS of people admitting that it's just not worth it!

redwings19 said...

I am filled with such sadness for these people! WOW.

Today, I am thankful for formats like this, that allow people to know that there are other options. One DOES NOT have to join the car pool and pop out tax deductions! Stay-at-home-mom is not the only choice out there! There is a choice!

Maybe, just maybe, the next generation will start to get that they are free to not have children. They can be aspire to more than being a parent.... maybe nurturing mother earth instead? This is heartbreaking.

Jaelyte said...

WOW! It's funny because all I ever hear about (on facebook mostly) from all of my mother "friends" are: how obsessed they are with their children, how they believe that their children are the spawn of angles and how wonderful it is to be a mom. hmmmm.

Christy said...

Sometimes I think it is difficult to be cf, to face the disapproval and constant pressure to conform. Then I remind myself of the unhappy automatons all around me who gave in, all for their own very selfish reasons, and then I realize how light my burden really is. How very freaking light!

I don't feel sorry for these women. It's great that they have an outlet that may serve as a warning to others, but their individual stories are no more intelligent or blameless than the smoker who thought, I won't get cancer. It won't happen to me.

I would actually like to see more women abandon their families. Why not? The kids still have one parent. Men do it all the time. I don't think women who do this should be any more villified than the dad who moves out and hardly ever sees the kids anymore. I'm all for anything that makes men more responsible for their reproductive exploits. Maybe the picture of the single dad with three kids, and all that that entails, would change their apathy into vasectomies.

Spectra said...

My mom was one of those people that got pregnant on her honeymoon with me and just felt like that's "what you did" when you got married. I don't think she really thought she had a choice and I think that if she HAD waited and thought about the consequences of her decision, she might have made some other choices. She really wasn't a great mom--she was impatient and frequently yelled at us. Not to mention, she never wanted to interact with us at all or do anything with us. I think it was mostly just that she had other interests besides kids (as do I) and never really loved being a mom.

Moiraine said...

Wow. A part of me really feels for these women. But the other part of my brain reminds me that some of them chose to be mothers. It's hard to make such a life changing choice and then realize that you're getting the short end of the stick. I'm just thankful that I was able to make the right choice for me and that was to be childfree.

Baby Not said...

Well I DO feel bad for most of these people because although they chose this, their choices were not well informed. I could blame them for that, but unlike cigarettes, society glorifies motherhood (as most of us know). And most of these women bought the load of crap that we call a BINGO (it's different when it's yours). I would have an extra hundred bucks in my pocket if could cash in a dollar for every time I've heard that.

I was intelligent enough to listen to my gut. AND I was raised in more liberal places where I wasn't brainwashed to believe that god gave me a womb for a reason or that I had to obey my husband. I was lucky. We don't know the kind of upbringing these women had, but it does make me feel sorry for them.

I watch Mad Men and think, wow, I'm so glad I was born in the 70s and not the 40s or 50s. I feel very lucky and like Anne Marie siad, even happier that I'm childfree!!

Diane said...

A friend of mine who had her first baby last year is always complaining about how hard it is - she never has time to herself, she can't clean, she can't sleep, she doesn't have any family around to help, she's just starting out in her career and trying to build a business while being a new mom, etc etc. I feel bad for her but this pregnancy was 100% planned.

Every time she says "I didn't know it would be this hard," I find it hard not to just shout "what did you THINK it was going to be like?"

How does someone NOT realize that it will be hard? It seems like so many people think they will just continue their same life except with a cute cuddly baby/model kid along. I don't get it. Even as a kid myself I knew that having children would be a huge burden.

Naveen Bachwani said...

So much hurt and anger and despair...

Just sounds like there's a whole lot of bad parenting (and absent-husbanding) involved here.

If the family is committed as a whole, and does things the right way, it doesn't have to be so unbearable. Sure, there are days. But what part of Life doesn't have those?!

Erin said...

Now here's a story Oprah or other media should jump on. Yeah, right. It may not be PC bit it is the truth and perhaps an open dialogue would allow young women - and men - to realize there is a choice and they should ask themselves the question: "do I want kids? Can I handle kids?". And then answer honestly. I'm reminded of a college lecture of a lesbian couple who attended a class titled "Maybe Baby" to help them determine if they were ready for parenthood. Granted, back then they had to consider the legal aspects, too, but I couldn't help but think that heterosexual couples should do the same thing.

I'm incredibly sad for the children of these women as they have a parent who is unable/willing to give them what they deserve to become healthy well-adjusted adults.

As I sit here this evening listening to R&B while devouring my stuffed pumpkin dinner and a glass of Pinot noir, I can't help but be grateful for a peaceful and relaxing evening. It's something I can enjoy every night because of my choice.

thordora said...

Y'all know that for many women, these thoughts are passing, born of being tired, busy, nagged at, what have you. It would be rare to see a parent who says it is ALWAYS like this, just as you'd never see a childfree individual saying they're ALWAYS lonely or whatever else people assume about them.

Having children is exhausting, but also rewarding. Like any job, some days are better than others, and yes, someone people shouldn't do it.

Try and not tar and feather everyone with the same brush. My intention with the post was to open the dialogue so the mother who had "that" day finds it and realizes that not everyday is like that.

Free will is a bitch after all. :p

critter said...

I knew more than 45 years ago that I didn't want to breed.

TLO said...

I try not to generalize about any one "group", but the difference is that while these women clearly SOMETIMES (at the very least) do hate being parents, I am NEVER lonely--or whatever it is people assume about the childfree. Relieved? Yes. Happy to have an amazing husband and two dogs? Yes. Happy to be able to explore my work and creative passions? Yes. Lonely? Not one bit.

Childfreeeee said...

TLO, exactly. You will rarely if EVER hear a childfree person complaining about being childfree. The biggest complaints we have are usually about people passing negative judgements on us for our choice, and certain discriminations we face (fewer tax breaks, etc). But the childfree life itself is fantastic. Unlike parents who have to suffer through a whole lot of drugery to get some enjoyment from their lives, the childfree life requires no drudgery at all.

Hannah said...

I am the mother of 2 kids myself. I am only 23 years of age and I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old.

I became pregnant with my first when I was only 16 and the next when I was 20. It took me awhile to quite lying to myself to to relise, to truly relise, that I had given birth 2 times, both of them to keep a man or please others.

I tried forever to 'make the best of it'- but its just not happening. I love them both very dearly and would do anything for them. I bust my ass day after day night after night for the to be happy only for minutes. I love my children- but I, with every fiber of who i am, hate the job and I hate my life and what it has become since becoming a parent.

I never had a chance to be a teenager and to be honest, it wasnt at all bad with just one child. I had lots of support from family that kept my child for me when i needed 'me time'. But when I became pregnant with my 2nd child, I was going for an abortion because ever ounce of instinct in my body was say ' NO! Do NOT do this! "

But I let a man ( who had never raised a child like i had and knew how hard it was ) tell me that he didnt want anything to do with me if I didnt have his child- and out of fear or heartache and being alone- i did it. Now i know it was the wrong idea.

I still live with the 2nd child father and he does most of the caretaking of him because another child has caused my anxiety to sky rocket and I have even developed OCD and I know, this its because of the added stress of a child that has tantrums constantly and refuses to go to the toilet. Everyday is a fight.

Im at the point in my life where I am considering leaving, with just my 6 eyar old daughter and myself and getting away fromt this mess as much as I can. I know I cant leave them both, but I can leave one until he is only enough to not make me want to hurl him out of a freaking window.

I know that having children was never for me. I had so much that I wanted to do. And i know all of those plans will have to be put on hold for another 16+ years atleast and I dont know if I can handel it or handel being with a man that asked this of me and now looks at me like im a monster when I admit that ' I hate this- and its all thanks to you. Thanks for ruining my life" and worse yet, he thinks im a bad person for admiting that I love him more than my children..and he admited that he doesnt feel that way about me.

Having children has ruined my life. Nothing good has come out of it. I know that it isnt their faults for being born, and I will take responsiblility the very best that I can for my actions- but I have to be honest when I say, I cannot do it all anymore. I am through.

Fur Kid Mom said...

Best blog ever! My mom had me at 16 and I was raised by my grandparents, thank god. My bio-mom, as I call her behind her back is a self indulgent socio-path who says things like, "now that Mom is dead I can be a real mother to you." Eww, no thanks, I'm 41 and don't need a mommy! I can't stand being around her, she's a complete embarrassment and we have nothing in common, but she loves to think we do. She's delusional and should have never have had me. She IS the reason I made a conscious decision to NOT have kids.

ML Tucker said...

To babynot - some of us born in the 50s have not been persuaded to have children. In my case I happened to marry a decent guy who had the courage the to ask me early on in the piece what my feelings about children were. It was a relief to not have to cross that bridge after we fell in love! Be strong and true to yourself.

Becki said...

Great blog! Thanks massively for posting. I have never ever ever been able to even imagine wanting to have children. I'm the eldest of five and that was enough for me.

I do feel desperately sorry for those who made the choice to become a parent and regret it.

Just remember that these years will pass and you will emerge the other side unscathed.

Also, I see a lot of my friends lose themselves when they have kids. You are still a person with wants and needs outside being a mum, don't feel guilty about that.

Look after yourself as well as
your kids and take time for you if you can.

Kate Watson said...

Honestly i have so much to say on this but my 4 yr old it screaming at me telling me he hates me. I hate him too.i wish i wanst here. Dont get me wrong i dont wanna die. just wish it never happened. doesnt help with a mother that tells me im disgusting for sending them to their dads ona friday nite!! please bloody help me

Tasha Martin said...

I was in a three and a half year relationship with a man who has three kids. When I met him I was 20 years old and wasn't looking for someone with kids, we just happened to start dating and fell in love. His kids (6, 5 and 4 years old now) are all boys with the same mom. I lived with this man for 3 years and never had the kids visit for more then a week. I was always very nice and played video games, played at the park and bought them pokemon cards. Now that our relationship is over (we realized we weren't right for eachother) I have never been so relieved. I know being a "stepmom" is different and I only ever had to be around them for a few hours at a time because I work a lot but being around them for even that amount of time I found incredibly exhausting!! I don't know how their mom does it! We talked about having kids and for awhile I was for it, going through "baby fever" for months at a time. I talked to my mom about it and she told me to wait at least 5 years and I reluctantly listened to her...why would she crush my dreams of starting a family with the love of my life?? Think of the beautiful grandchild I could have given her! Well it has only been 2 years since we had that conversation and she was right to tell me to wait!! I now realise I don't want kids, I'm going back to school to get a better job so I can be financially independent and live on my own and i'm putting myself first! I can't wait until I accomplish my goals and I think about where I will be in a few years compaired to where I COULD'VE been! My mommy's so smart, I will always listen to her.

carrie bradshaw said...

Wow, I commend you women for being so transparent. I can only imagine how hard it is! I am 41 and knew at 13 I did not want kids. I am constantly being bombarded by friends/family telling me how wonderful it is and I should have one. The truth is their lives do not appeal to me. Women with children should be put on a pedestal. It is tough work I know I would never want to do.

Page Read said...

Meeting a man, falling in love and having kids is the biggest con ever and I really cannot believe how many of us have been duped. The whole thing is an absolute cruel joke ! It really has got to stop , the whole miserable idea. Stay childless , stay single ... fall in love with yourself , fall in love with your life . Come on girls , enough is enough . Don't fall for it . Motherhood is a totally thankless expedition that will drive you right round the pipe and make you hate yourself . Oh and your man will be raising someone elses kids and so he will be far too busy to help out with his own . Get real girls . Please !