Monday, December 12, 2011

More Regretful Moms Let Loose

Thanks to CFVixen for directing me to a thread that is currently running on a site called CafeMom in which moms are venting about how much they hate motherhood, regret having kids and are angry that they were duped into believing the myth that motherhood is the most wonderful and necessary path to happiness and fulfilment.

The thread starts with this post and takes off running from there.

"Why is it that we are conned into thinking that motherhood is a blissful, satisfying, and rewarding blessing? I attend a mothers group for young mothers and the other day one of the social workers asked..."Who hates being a mom?" Everyone looked at each other as if they were afraid of the question and that admitting to it is a mortal sin. My hand shot up. After a year of being a mother I can't hate it more. It just prevents me being truly happy. I know some women out there have invested time and money into having a child and think its the most glorious and officious thing in the world. But I think that from little girls we are brain washed into thinking that being a mother is what our duty is. Its evident by the toys marketed towards girls: baby dolls that poop and pee with their carriages, little tiny kitchens, even vaccum and broom sets. JESUS!

Needless to say my pregnancy was unplanned and unwanted. I was 21, unmarried, and still in college with hopes of attending medical school. I dreaded being pregnant and the permanent scars it would leave on my already flawed body. I thought that once I had the baby I would love being a mother and a wife. The truth is I hate it. I couldn't love my child anymore, his smile touches a part of my heart that no one else can, but I don't like being his mother.

It is just a burden I don't want to deal with at this point of my life. The feeding, the changing, the constant neediness, which I know will perpetuate until the day I die. I decided to breastfeed him and still do and regret every day I decided to do this. It has been 14mo since he was born and I still have no ownership of my body. I have tried to ween him, but he become unbearable.

Before having him I was a straight A student, active in school, and I held up to two jobs. Now its seems I can't get my shit straight. My grades would be more that satisfactory for other students, but they just don't cut it for me. I feel like I have to choose between my dreams, and being a good mother, which isn't fair.

I have all the love and support from my husband, but its not enough because I feel like a failure, like I've failed myself. All these emotions have just turned into anger, and its just boiling inside of me because its turned into hate. I can't control my anger anymore. I can't stand being alone all day with my son. He wants to be all over me and all I want is my space. I try to play with him, but I'd rather be elsewhere. I feel like I have to give and give and give, but in return nothing.

To make things worse, I'm totally isolated. My mother lives in an other state. All my friends graduated 2 years ago and moved on with their lives. I have no friends I can relate to, even when I'm at school. I just feel thrusted into a position where I had no say, and I was pushed into it "because it was the right thing to do".

Now I'm filled with regrets, morn the loss of the life and the person that I was (which I really liked) and feel all alone in life. I hate being a mother. I hate my life. Most of all I hate what I've become. "

Some replies:

"The easy part is under 4 years old. Parenting is a whole new ball game as they get into school age. Frankly, it's harder.

I was married young, had a child, finished college, had more children and now I'm working on my graduate degree to requalify in my choosen career field. At my age, I should have 10 years of working experience and make enough to cover daycare. I have no real experience, every job I had was quit due to pregnancy!

I just told my screaming kids in the van I was going to work, hiring someone to take care of them, because I quit! Seriously, I want to quit being a mother, a parent and a wife.

I think you feelings are normal. I don't have any other answer than that for you."

"so many truths spoken here.

Yes, the first four years are easier. The exhaustion that begins to set in at 18 months - 2 years is complete by the 4th birthday. I was hospitalized for 2 days when son was 18 months, then at 4 years, I needed it again, but refused because western medicine had nothing to offer me except prozac.

I discovered that I was pregnant at 35 when I went in for my blood work before my tubal ligation. I wanted the surgery when I was 22 but was told I would have to wait until 35. I accepted my responsibility and hoped "god would provide". I hoped he/she would provide the Money, the Physical Stamina, the Emotional Stamina, the Personal Discipline, and the Social Network necessary to raise a child alone. (father chose not to participate) After 6 years of selfless service, I feel "done". At 41 the career and relationship oportunities that I had always wanted in my life have come to my door, and because I am a mom I cannot accept. I am just too tired.

I do realize that I have "made this bed" so I get to lay in it, but I still hate motherhood. And like all other mothers, "I love my son", because we are biologically and genetically programed to. If not we would have abondoned our children eons ago and the human race would never have reached 6 BILLION. So I struggle with the gaping disparity between my ancient genetic programming and my modern evolved mental self.

The sadest (to me) part of this whole paradigm is that this pattern of suffering mothers is probably only going to increase in numbers and intensity as our culture moves farther and farther from the need of human animals to live in extended family groups/villages in which the young, strong and healthy bear the children, while the elder aunts, uncles and grandparents raise them.

So where does that leave all and each of us today?

I don't know.

I have working with a Homeopathist and her remedies seem to be helping.

I wish you all love and a good night's sleep.

With Gratitude for your honest sharing,"

"Thank you for posting this, I have felt so hopeless recently I have a 4yr old whome I do love but sometimes I get so depressed but feel obligated to stay. I love my husband but I feel so disconnected from him too. I just feel overwhelmingly unhappy. I have tried to cheer myself up but nothing seems to work. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way."

"I'm so happy to find that others feel this way. I never wanted to have children - it's not that i didn't like them - it's just that i loved my free time and was happy with my life. My husband and I had been together for 14 years and he always wanted children but said he was OK with whatever I wanted to do. At 35 I decided to take a chance because I was on the fence with the whole idea and i thought it was now or never - to my surprise i was pregnant within a month. I love my daughter with all of my heart - but I hate it when people say "I bet you forget what life was like before her!" - no, I don't. maybe it was because my husband and I had been together for years before - but i think of my life before her quite fondly - and i think of it quite often. I also know how you feel about being isolated. We live a few states away from our family and we have few friends in this town. So, thank you for posting this. At least I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. "

"I know exactly how you feel because I have been dealing with these emotions which have probably increased over the last two years. I truly thought I was alone in these feelings and it's not easy dealing with these feelings even today as I type this. There is not one aspect of motherhood I've enjoyed not even since pregnancy. and I have been doing it alone since day one which probably adds to the frustration and probably somewhat depression I feel on most days. Not really sure where to go, anyone I try to talk to doesn't understand and probably makes me feel even worse for feeling this way. They automatically think that I dislike my daughter and that's not what I'm saying. I love my daughter, I just don't want to be the one to raise her. I can't imagine her not being here and the fact that I gave her life is probably all I can give her. She's a good kid, very happy and energetic and I probably feel worse that she has a mother who doesn't enjoy what she is doing but I do love my daughter. I really don't want to feel this way but from the women who do enjoy motherhood, I feel emptiness, I feel disconnect, I feel lonliness and sadness, I truly can't imagine relating to this feeling of bliss. I don't want anymore kids and constantly consider having my tubes tied and while I am in my early 30's, I'm still considered young to have such a surgery . I realize the judgement of others is truly what causes this issue to be so "taboo" but it also perpetuates the negative feelings because we have no outlet to voice our frustrations, thoughts, feelings. I think it's unfair for others to judge and make statements that you should have never had sex or shouldn't decided to become a mom if you don't enjoy it, but while I never really looked forward to kids, I didn't think I would dislike it this much. Didn't think it would cause such a loss of desire, loss of myself and maybe it is selfishness but if I had to do it over again I wouldn't and vow not to repeat going down that road again.

Don't know if this post helps or is more intense that what most ladies had previously posted but knowing that I'm not alone adds a little peace to my day."

"I am 42 years old with 3 children. Now aged 6, 3 and 21 months. The first 2 years my first child was born were really great. She was an amazing baby who slept through the night....but then 2 hit and so did the "monsters" from then on until she was 6, I was up with her 4 or 5 times a night because of "monsters". Put that together with having a second child who suffers from repeated night terrors almost on a nightly basis and a 21 month old who has never slept more than a couple of hours consequetively and you have one CRANKY MOMMY!!

I am miserable. I hate my life. I love my children to the ends of the earth and beyond. Would gladly be consumed by alive by a grizzly bear to protect them but if I had it all to do over again, would I? Not likely. I love being a mom but I hate the "job". Sibling rivarly drives me up the wall, the lack of sleep makes me a zombie. My house is disgusting, my laundry is in piles on the floor. My 21 month old clings to me like I am a life preserver he can't let go of. I feel like I am trapped under water and no one will let me up for a breath of air.

I resent the fairtytale that was fed to us about motherhood and how you dare not admit that it is far less than perfect. I have received flack for standing up and saying...this is NOT my ideal life!

I am hearing people say it gets worse not better. I'm saying it can't possibly get any worse than it already is. If it does they will have lock me up in a padded cell..........come to think of it, that sounds pretty nice....padded walls, silence, chance to be alone...where do I sign up?"

"I am so glad I found this post. I have been feeling the same way since the birth of my son seven months ago and thought I must be the most terrible person in the world.

I used to the a student on the path to medical school and I had a job that I loved and dealt with everyday life while my husband was in Iraq. I thought I had it all figured out and was not worried about becoming a mom, thinking it would only enrich my life even more and provide that little puzzle that was missing - beign educated, having a loving husband, working and being a mom who adores her beautiful baby.

And then reality hit - I have not slept more than four hours straight for about a year and I am exhausted dealing with my son's constant crying, neediness, desire to play, cuddle, eat, poop, sleep. Of course, I love and adore him. He is all I could ask for, but I am so tired of living my life for him. I barely get enough time to take a shower because he constantly wants to be pampered. I work from home now, but I can only get things done when he takes a nap, so I do not even get a chance to take a break during the day. My husband barely helps around the house and has gotten used to me being the one taking care of all of the chores (at least I try to). I do talk to him about my frustration, but I don't think he understands the problem fully. I am simply drained and dissatisfied with who I have become.

I have plans to return to college when my child is a bit older and we have a little more stability in our lives. However, I still doubt whether this will happen. At this point, I feel that I am becoming more tired, exhausted and stupid every second. I have no stimulating interaction and the constant noise of toys and whining and baby sounds has driven me to the point where I can barely concentrate on anything. I am simply too tired.

I hope it gets better, but I hear people say it will only get worse. Although it sounds harsh, I feel that I have ruined my life and what I had going for me and am now doomed to stay locked up in the house with a kid all day until he becomes a teenager and does not need me around anymore - and by that time all of my chances of becoming something or someone I would want to be are done and I will feel utterly useless.

Whew, it feels good to let this out :)

"I so understand you all. I love my kids... and it makes me really, really sad that they have me for a mother. I had a really good life going before I had the kids. I had finally finished my degree and had started my career. I played sports and had a lot of fun. But I hit my 30's and started panicking about the kid thing. I never really wanted them but like a prev commenter, I was scared I would miss the boat and then realize I wanted them.

If I could go back in time... I so wouldn't have them. I try... I really do... but the husband is barely ever home and it had been a really, really stupid mistake to marry him anyway. He rarely helps out but then criticizes if I need a minute to myself or a hand with the kids.

But my biggest problem is that my son drives me insane. My daughter is so laid back... her and I can hang out all day and I love being her mom... it's fun and I feel like a compitent mom with her. But as soon as my son gets home from preschool, it's bedlam again. He's so hyper (my daughter picks up on this and joins in). He is constantly moving and barely sleeps and annoying. That boy is so freakin' annoying! He's like Stewy, "Mom, mom, mom, mommy, momomom..." He's always got to be fighting with his sister or constantly asking 10,000 questions (most he just asked two seconds ago). And I feel incredibly guilty because I grew up with my mom showing way more love and affection for my brother than me... and I'm so scared I"m going to do that to my son because... I just don't want to be around him anymore. I don't have the energy or the patience. I truly believe he could be a great kid for a different type of mom. One who wants to be a mom.

I keep seeing job positions in my field that are over seas or have 70% travel and my fingers actually itch with the desire to email them my resume."

"Hubby and I couldn't have kids for 10 years then I got pregnant and was 36. Have had 2 kids and now pushing 40. We are a practicing Catholic family. I quit an amazing job and we were living overseas having a great life when I became pregnant. I became a stay-at-home mom, had natural births (one at home), use cloth diapers, attachment parenting techniques, breastfeeding, looking at homeschooling, etc. Did everything I thought I was supposed to do. I had a terrible childhood and didn't want this for my children. Been at this for almost 3 years now. Guess what.....I HATE IT!! Tried praying till I am blue in the face, took anti-depressents, tried "mommy" groups, took up hobbies.... I am still miserable. I want the terrific life a i had!! I worked my whole life so hard to earn that life and lost it overnight! God forgive me. I wish I loved mothering and building a home but I can't fake it! I am physically breaking down under the stress and so is my husband. We love our children but it has ruined our lives. I feel so incredibly guilty evening thinking this. I can't just "cut and run" however. Couldn't even stand the thought of turning the kids over to someone else.......but I can't seem to shake these feelings. Do they ever go away? My life is just passing me buy...there must be some joy soon......"

"...The best thing we can do for each other as women and parents is to share our feelings. I'm quite honest these days with other moms and you know what? They are all stresed out, exhausted, pissed, resentful, etc...They all spill the beans eventually. Just some more than others. I'm in a multiples group and it's the best becasue we all bitch about what we have to deal with and laugh at the same time. When you can vent with out being judged it helps so much. Of course, we all have those deliriously happy perfecto moms we all hate. But guess what? Behind closed doors they are crying and stressed out too. And...thru the group and by friending them on FB, I found out that are the ones that drink the most. So, some people show their unhappiness, other wait until they get home to drown it. Don't compare yorself to other moms too much. It's just their brave face they've got on. I've got one too. I can't go around with a scowl on my face, although, it would be much easier. Nope, I have to try for my kids and some days I get through it ok. Mostly, I'm emotionally shut off in order to cope."

"I'M SO HAPPY I'M NOT ALONE. I love my kids and my husband is great, but i had dreams, a life, a personality they came along. i feel like my life is over, i don't even know who i am anymore. I have three kids 8months, 2yrs and 7yrs. I'm a stay at home mom and its driving me crazy. I don't sleep, idon't get any time to myself, my husband works all day by the time he gets home the kids are either sleep or going to sleep, so he gets the fun part of parenting and i get the worst...... my life is not suppose to be like this..... i'm just so angry"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Grocery bill high? It could be worse.

How much money does your household spend on groceries in a month?  Probably a whole lot less than someone who has kids.

I was out with my friend Sara on Saturday.  She's a mom of 2 young boys, so her household has 4 people total.  We were talking about money and how expensive everything is these days.  She lamented that her $800/month grocery budget makes it almost impossible to keep her family fed for an entire month.  I almost choked.

I thought I was hearing incorrectly, so I repeated back the figure she told me to make sure I heard right.  Yep,  I heard right. $800 a month.  For groceries.

When she saw how shocked I was, she clarified that the $800 figure includes things like paper products and cleaning supplies.  I guess she thought that hearing that might make my eyes recede back into their sockets.  I was still shocked.

You see, hubby and I spend about $200-$300 a month to keep ourselves and our three cats fed, and that seems like a LOT to us.  So you can see why I almost fell off my chair when Sara told me she spends $800/month and can barely get by on that.

$800 JUST for groceries.  That's $9,600 a year!  For ONE expense.  Now on top of that, add on the other household expenses like mortgage, taxes, utilities, cars, insurance, clothing and the list goes on and on.  And factor in that my friend is a stay-at-home-mom, so she and her hubby are living off one salary.  Yikes.

I should mention that Sara is a not a spendthrift.  She's a frugal shopper, carries piles of coupons with her everywhere she goes, and strategizes her shopping trips to get the most for her money.  Yet she is struggling to feed her family on $800/month.

Hubby and I often complain about our expenses - about how so much of our take home pay is eaten up by bills and how so little is left for the fun stuff.  Well, I think we need to adjust our perspective and remind ourselves how easy we have it, comparatively speaking.  I realize that no matter how financially stretched we fell, we would probably be on the verge of financial collapse if we had children.

UPDATE:  12/7/11

I had lunch with another friend today, Samantha.  Samantha also has a family of 4 - a husband, a 10 year old daughter and a teenaged son.  She is a prudent woman who is good with money (in fact, she is an accountant by trade).   We were talking about money issues and about how prices have been shooting up for everything. I asked her to estimate what she spends on groceries for her family in one month.  She paused and gave it some thought, and then answered that if she "is really careful" - i.e. shops the sales, and is strategic in her buying - she can "keep it at around $1,200/month".


She said a lot of the grocery bill is due to having a teenaged son who eats whole boxes of cereal in one sitting, and drinks 2 gallons of milk per week on his own.

And now, she is struggling to figure out how to help him with college.  He's applying to engineering schools - his choice school having tuition in the area of $45,000 per year.  Although he has been awarded scholarships in the amount of of $20,000 per year, that leaves my friend and her husband with a tuition bill of $25,000/year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Meals - Just Say No

Question of the day: Who is responsible for the obesity epidemic among children?

My answer: Parents

The food police would like to blame McDonald's and other fast food establishments, as evidenced by recent legislation in San Fransisco that bans fast food restaurants from giving away free toys with their meals.  But let's get real.  It is the PARENTS that purchase said meals.  It is the PARENTS who use televisions and computers as babysitters for their kids and let their kids be seduced by McDonald's commercials all day long.  It is the PARENTS that give in when their kids stomp their feet and demand Happy Meals.  No parent has a gun to her head forcing her to feed her kid fattening, low-nutrition, fast food.

Yet in our culture of overly-permissive parenting, where kids rule the roost and dictate what they will eat and how little they will exercise, the blame gets shifted to everyone except the people who are ultimately responsible - the parents.

Yes, McDonald's gives away toys with its kiddie meals.  They've been doing that since I was a kid, yet there was no obesity epidemic when I was young.  Why?  Because kids of my generation were - at our parents' insistence - outside playing.  We were riding bikes, running around, playing kickball, climbing trees, creating obstacle courses and burning lots of calories in the process.  Food was fuel for our growing bodies.  We weren't locked in our rooms, sitting on our butts with our faces in front of a screen.   We ate dinner seated at the kitchen table every night, and there were vegetables served with every meal.  We weren't shoveling down mass-produced slop in the back of a mini-van.  Meals at McDonald's were a once-in-a-while treat, not a 3 times/week savior for parents who are too busy or preoccupied to cook a well-balanced meal.  And it would not even occur to us to insist on ANYTHING.  Our parents made the rules, not us, and if they said "no Happy Meal", that was the end of it.

It's different today.  Apparently, parents have no control over what - or how much - their kids eat, and they are unwilling to say NO.  They don't know how to control or discipline their kids, so they cajole and bribe them with junk food - a reward for using the potty, a reward for not having a meltdown, a reward for a good grade, a reward for breathing.  Consequently, children develop an unhealty, emotional, addictive relationship with food, instead of a healthy one where food is treated as sustenance.

McDonald's - and other corporate entitites that profit from sales to children -are of course manipulative, crafty, and creative and they probably have a team of highly-paid consultants advising them on the most effective way to brainwash little minds into intense desire for their "food". They're in business to make a profit, after all - that's their job.  But no matter how much the government tries to spread the blame around and legislate healthy eating, the buck stops with the parent.  Parenting is their job.  And if the parent can't erect enough of a spine to say no when his kid screams for a Happy Meal, then he has no business being a parent in the first place.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dear Mandy...

Hi Mandy,

I just found your blog Childfreedom and your Top 100 list not to have kids and I agree with your points. My husband and I decided not to have kids for many of those same reasons. And most of the time, we are happy and have no regrets of our decision...I'm 35 and he is 42.

Our only concern is the dreaded old age. Who'll help us when we need help? We have a few nieces and nephews who are at least a few hours away by car. Do you have any insights on that topic? Or can you write about that topic? We know having someone to take care of us when we get older is not a good enough reason to have kids...and there's no guarantee that they will.

Thanks for your blog!



Hi Angie,

Thanks for writing.

The "who will take care of you in old age?" question comes up a lot and as you said, although it is an understandable concern, it is really not a compelling reason to have children.

If you've ever visited a nursing home, you have probably seen that most people in nursing homes have children, and many of said children do not visit their parents. In fact, some of the saddest people in nursing homes are the people with kids, because many of them have been dumped there by their kids and left to rot. What could be more hurtful and disappointing than that?

But let's imagine for a moment that you have wonderful children who are willing to take care of you in old age. Do you really want to saddle your children - who have their own families, jobs and responsibilities - with that burden? Isn't that a very selfish thing to do? I can't imagine wanting to dump that kind of burden on someone I love.

Who will take care of the childfree when they get old? I have a few ideas.

1. Our friends (since we've hopefully developed and sustained many more deep, lasting friendships because our lives have not been consumed with childrearing).

2. Ourselves (since we've hopefully taken a good chunk of the money we have saved by not having kids, estimated to be at least $250,000 per child - and saved it for retirement and quality long-term care).

3. Other childfree folks (imagine a "Golden Girls" scenario where a group of elderly friends live together, share a home and look out for each other. Is that type of scenario so far-fetched?)

A little creative thinking on issues like this can really go a long way!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

Heads up to my readers:

If you are doing any online shopping today on "Cyber Monday" be sure you are registered with Ebates. They are offering double cash back at 500 stores today, so you can really get some good deals!

Here's the link.

If you don't know what Ebates is, please read my previous post

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I Don't Live and Let Live

I know many of my readers will find this hard to believe, but there are some people who think I am doing a grave disservice (to humanity, perhaps?) by vocalizing critical judgements about parenthood. 

The kind of comment I sometimes get (usually from parents, but occasionally from childfree folks as well) is along these lines:

You shouldn't be so judgemental of parents.  You want people to respect the childfree lifestyle, yet you do not offer the same respect to parents.  Live and let live.   Some people are happy having kids.  Others are happy being childfree.  Some people regret having kids, while others regret not having them.  Why can't we all get along?

So being that I get this comment from time to time, I thought it would be good to address it.

On the surface, much of this comment is valid.  The live and let live, or to each his own philosophy is right in line with my own belief system.  And I certainly would love it if the childfree lifestyle was respected and accepted like the parental lifestyle is.

But (sigh) then we have reality.

In reality, the idea of live and let live is - at least for now - a fairytale when it comes to the choice not to have children.  Sure, there are some childed folks who support our decision and do not pass negative judgements on us - and we are grateful for those folks - but as of right now, the majority of childed people (which also happens to be the majority of the adult population) does not accept the childfree lifestyle choice as one that is desirable, admirable, viable or in any way positive.  To the contrary, most adults view - and often deride - us as selfish, cold, immature, deviant, deficient, confused, pitiable souls who need to be enlightened by those who actually know what's important in life.

So starting out, we childfree folks are not getting a whole lot of warm and fuzzy live and let live vibes from most of the people we encounter in our baby-crazed, family-friendly society.  This can put us on the defensive.

Then, we have the factor that parenthood is idealized, glorified and promoted to the point of absurdity in our culture, while the harsh and often soul-crushing reality of parenthood is kept hush-hush and swept under the rug so the fairytale can continue undisturbed in perpetuity.  This leads many unsuspecting and unquestioning people to buy into the myth that parenthood is mostly bliss with a tiny bit of aggravation thrown it to keep it interesting, when in reality the reverse is usually true.  The result of this cultural brainwashing is that many people who are not remotely close to being parent material, have no business having children, or simply would be much happier living a life sans kids, pop them out mindlessly because "it's just what you do" and because they believe all the messages about parenthood being the most essential and joyful role in life.  Then they regret it.  Big time. On the contrary, one would be hard-pressed to find a childfree-by-choice person who regrets not having kids.  Go ahead and search.  We just aren't out there. Despite this, rarely is a person who is embarking on parenthood warned that they may regret their decision, while the childfree - a group that rarely if ever regrets their choice - are constantly chided for our decision and told we will regret it later. 

This relentless pro-parenthood propaganda (a.k.a pronatalism) needs to be counterbalanced by a more reasoned and critical view of parenthood because there simply isn't enough balance in the way parenthood is presented in our culture and that's where web sites like this come in.  I am here to provide a little balance, to illuminate the other side of parenthood (i.e. the dark side that is swept under the rug), and to counteract all the sugar-coating that is force-fed to people (especially women) so that people can make reasoned and well-informed decisions about what type of lifestyle will best suit them - decisions they will not regret later.  As evidenced by the growing hordes of mothers posting lamentful cries on the internet, many women are hopping mad.  They are angry about the lies they have been fed.  They are fuming about how they have been duped into the notion that motherhood is a woman's required path to personal fulfillment.  Most importantly, they are resentful about how the dark side of motherhood was kept hidden from them. Many of them cry, "I wish somebody told me what it's really like." Well, here I am.

Then we have the third factor which must be stated plainly.  The audience for this blog is the childfree and those contemplating the childfree lifestyle.  I realize that some parents read this blog, and I welcome them here if they find what I write interesting.  But parents, while you are welcome here, please realize that I don't write for you.  There is a plethora of web sites, blogs and discussion boards that cater to parents and that support and validate the parenthood lifestyle.  This site is not intended to be one of them.

Finally, while I work hard to counterbalance our culture's overglorification of parenthood by shining a spotlight on the well-kept secrets about the less-desirable aspects of that lifestyle, I do ultimately believe the notion of "to each his own".  We all want to live the life that brings the most happiness and fulfillment to us during our short journey through life and if that involves having children, so be it.  But for many of us, the path to happiness and fulfillment does not involve childbearing, childrearing and all the related drudgery that goes along with it.  I am here to provide much-needed validation and support for our choice and make sure that the people who are on the fence about which path to take are doing so with the complete picture of what the life of parent is, instead of the rosy, incomplete, deceiptful "puppies and rainbows" portrayal that we are banged over the head with from the time we even realize what gender we are.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Mandy...

Dear Mandy,

There is going to be a baptizing of a little boy in my boyfriend's side of the family and I do not wish to go! There are kids everywhere and if you finally find a good behaving child to play with, one or two from the family jumps out from the nearest corner and says: "When are you going to have one? "

And the biggest part of the family knows that I'm not really that into kids, but every time I try to play or in another way interact with a kid, they go insane and thinks that now I have change my mind about things.

It is sooo frustrating and I don't think I can go through with the party because I most likely will end up tripping waiters and old ladies in order to get to the nearest room with a lock.

Sigh, the event is taking place in about twenty days, should I fake an illness or do you have some advice to me, so I can survive that day?

I know fake an illness isn't the most mature thing to do but I'm in a freaking corner and they are many against one.


Dear A.S.

I think we all have been in this situation.  The thing to keep in mind is that you are not OBLIGATED to answer their prying questions. One thing I have learned is that when someone asks a question that is none of their business, the best way to reply is by turning it around on them. So when they press you with "When are you going to have a child?", instead of feeling obligated to give an answer, reply with: "Why would you like to know?" or "Why are you concerned?"  Turn the tables and put THEM on the hot seat. "Is there a reason this is a concern to you?" When they stammer their reply with whatever statement they come up with, you can say, "Thank you for sharing your insights" and leave it at that. In other words, don't feel compelled to answer them. It truly IS none of their business and by turning the tables on them in a polite way, you will subtely convey that message.

In the bigger picture, the remedy to overcoming these feelings of defensiveness is to look at your childfreedom in a different light - where you are empowered by your decision and wear your childfreedom with pride. Think of it as the world's best-kept secret and think of yourself as one of the rare people who has discovered the secret. In other words, instead of thinking of your childfreedom as a negative choice that puts you on the defense, think of it as a positive choice that you are thrilled about and allow that energy to shine through in your dealings with people.  When they try to make you feel badly for your choice, smile at them like the bird who ate the canary and let them wonder.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Mandy

Dear Readers,

Welcome to a new feature on my blog - a childfree advice column called "Dear Mandy". Every month, I will post a letter from a reader who is seeking advice about an issue related to childfreedom, along with my reply with advice.

If you have a reply to the reader's letter, feel free to post a comment.

If you need advice about a childfree issue, feel free to email your question to me at firecracker_mandy(at)yahoo(dot)com, or message me on Facebook (I'm listed as Firecracker Mandy).

Dear Mandy,

I love my counsin's her to death! She is darling (this does not mean that I want one...I just really like her). This is mainly because she is my cousin's who I am close to, and who is totally supportive of my choice to be Child-Free. I really like this baby...not other people's, I do not ohh and aww over other people's kids...I could really care less. However, if I talk about my smallest cousin, people start pressuring me "Are you sure you don't want kids, you would be a great mom, if you like her imagine how much you feel about your own" and so on....When I say I'm quite sure, and that I really do not like other people's kids, I get the "Yeah, okay, you will change your mind". Grrrrrrr. This just pisses me off. Why can't I just really like one kid and have fun and so on with her? Why does it always have to turn into people questioning my choices??????


Dear N.B.

That IS really annoying. I think all childfree people go through this invalidation of our decision.  People make the decision every day to have children, and are rarely held to account for their decision, yet if a person thoughtfully chooses to forego the role of parent, she is given the third degree and treated as though she is a confused soul who does not know her own mind.

Here's something to try. When a person insists you will change your mind about having kids, have them put their money where their mouth is.  Ask them if they are willing to bet $500 you will change your mind. Get it in writing and then CASH IN.  Do this with enough judgemental ninnies, and you will create a lucrative income stream - the classic "turning lemons into lemonade".

If they reply that they are not willing to bet $500 on it (which is very likely), you can say, "Guess you're not that sure I will change my mind, are you?"  Be sure to give them a knowing smile.  That should shut them up real quick.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Pipe Down, Moms - You're Already on the Payroll

Every once in awhile it rises to the surface again - the idea that moms should be paid, or at the minimum that were they paid, they would earn in the six figures, based on everything they do and all the hours they put in.  These types of assessments are uplifting and empowering to moms, who feel overworked and undervalued and who, I suspect, are coming to grips with the harsh reality that the cost/benefit analysis of being a mom is slanted severely against their favor.

The most recent exhaltation of maternal worth comes from Wendy Luhabe, an influential South African business woman, who has taken it upon herself to publicly declare that mothers should be paid a salary equal to 10% of their husbands' income, to stay at home with their kids.  You can read the article here (thank you to Cameron for sending me the link), but in summary, these are her arguments:

1.  Paying moms a salary makes them feel valued, and therefore makes the choice to have children one which is free of resentment.

2.  Motherhood is the most important contribution to the world and should therefore be valued.  Since money is the currency used to demonstrate value, mothers should be paid 10% of their husband's earnings.

3.  Women who choose to have children need support so that they can do so joyfully and not dump their children on nannies.

4.  Creating a society where children are brought up properly by their mothers will create a much more stable and healthy society.

I cannot speak specifically to the value of motherhood in South Africa, but let me address Ms. Luhabe's arguments from an American perspective.

1.  In America, as in most cultures, motherhood is not only valued, it is seen as as woman's ultimate achievement and the pinacle of her existence.  In fact, in most cases, womanhood is equated with motherhood, so that women who cannot (or choose not to be) mothers are pitied, judged and made to feel that they are deficient, unwhole and unfeminine.  If anyone has cause for feelings of resentment, it is the childless and childfree women, who are seen as much less than their maternal counterparts.

How is motherhood valued?  Let us count the ways.  Women are encouraged to have children.  The moment a woman announces her pregnancy, lavish praise and celebration is heaped upon her.  She instantly becomes the center of attention wherever she goes.  She is repeatedly told how beautiful, glowing and radiant she is.  Parties and thrown and gifts are showered upon her. 

Once the child is born, she enters into the Mommy Club in which she has a ready circle of supportive friends who all validate her very existence.   Adding a child to her family also bestows a number of financial benefits on the mom, not available to those without kids.  She gets a substantial tax break on her income tax bill.  She gets to fully utilize her local property taxes by using the public school system.  She gets special treatment and discounts from businesses who go out of their way to be "family-friendly".  If she lives in suburbia, her family can take advantage of any number of activities and events that are geared toward families with kids, while those without kids are unlikely to find many (if any) activities geared toward them.

And let's not forget the most important "pay" a mom receives - the joy of having a child.  After all, women do not have children to selflessly contribute to the world.  They have them for all the joy, love and personal satisfaction they believe they will get from the experience.   Women who argue that they should be paid a salary to have kids are unknowingly admitting that the joy and satisfaction they enjoy from having children isn't enough to make the drudgery worth it - which, by the way, is the same argument I have been advancing in this blog from day one.

2.  Being that the world is overpopulated, and there are already far more people on earth than the planet can sustain, I would have to disagree with the persistent message that motherhood is the most important contribution to the world.  In fact, I would argue that what we need is a reduction in the number of women breeding.  We need to encourage people to take care of the people already populating our world, instead of adding more destructive, polluting consumers to a planet teetering on the verge of extinction.  Instead of paying women to be stay-at-home mothers, let's pay people to make meaningful, worthwhile contributions to the world that actually benefit everybody and the planet itself - for example, adoption, working to end poverty and homelessness, environmental activism...and the list goes on.  Breeding is not a positive contribution to the world.  It is a destructive detriment and it should most certainly not be rewarded with monetary compensation.  In fact, I will go farther and argue that those who breed should be heavily fined, with the money raised by said fines going to people and organizations which better the world.

3.  See my reply in #1 above.  Women already receive an abundance of validation, support and financial incentives to have children. 

4.  While I agree that it is important for children to be brought up properly in stable households, there are many stay-at-home moms who have no parenting skills and no business raising children.  It is not a given that all mothers are saintly, benevolent beings and that the best environment for a child is at home with his mother.  Almost every day, in my travels to and from work, during my visits to the bank and supermarkets, I witness first-hand mothers who treat their children with an intensity of seething hostility that I would not wish heaped upon a convicted felon.  Many of these women are stay-at-home moms who are boiling over with resentment, exhaustion and frustration (and I am sure regret) from the spawn they are saddled with.

Finally, a message to would-be moms.  I have said this before, and I will say it again:  If you don't like the idea of a job with endless work, sleepless nights, non-stop crying and screaming, financial strain, endless hours of overtime and no pay, it's very simple:  don't have kids.  Nobody is putting a gun to your head.  You can choose to do something different.  And ladies, if you do decide to have kids, do us all a favor and don't come back later complaining that you are saddled with endless work, sleepless nights, non-stop crying and screaming, financial strain, endless hours of overtime and no pay.  You knew what the job entailed when you accepted it, so if you are resentful about the choice you made, suck it up and accept that you'll be living with that resentment for a long time. 

And please, don't ask for a salary.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Myth that Must DIE

The time has come.

It is time to put an end to the persistent and pervasive myth that will not die - the myth that until a person becomes a parent, s/he doesn't know what love is and doesn't know what it means to be a giving, selfless person.  I am sick to death of hearing this lie from celebrity moms who are on the front lines in spreading this garbage around (and news media outlets who eat it up), and I am equally sick of hearing it from everyday moms who think they are Mother Teresa for pumping out a unit (thanks, George Carlin).  With bags under their eyes, empty wallets, splitting headaches, and husbands who intentionally work long hours just so they can avoid coming home, moms everywhere are heard shouting from the rooftops that motherhood has transformed them from self-centered creatures, to "much better", "much less selfish", "more caring" people who "finally know what real love is".

Do moms love their kids?  Most do, and many love their kids deeply. (Many also resent them and regret having them, but that's another blog post).

Do moms have to sacrifice a great deal of themselves in order to raise children?  Absolutely.

Does being a mom result in a woman giving, giving, giving and giving some more?  Yep.

Does a mom have to give up many of the joys she once enjoyed, like keeping her appearance up, dining out with hubby, working out at the gym, relaxing without interuption, reading, napping, cooking sophisticated meals, shopping for herself...and on and on?  Affirmative.

Do moms have the corner on love? On caring? On sharing?  On selflessness? 

Absolutely not.

IT IS NOT SELFLESS TO MEET ONE'S RESPONSIBILITIES:  If a couple decides to have a child and bring a new life into the world, then that couple is responsible for caring for the child they created.  This caring will take a seemingly infinite number of forms, including feeding, dressing, bathing, changing diapers, wiping noses, bandaging cuts and scapes, doctor visits, expenditures of vast sums of money, teaching, correcting, scolding, praising, prodding, encouraging, cheuffering, PTA meetings, play dates and the list goes on and on and on.  These tasks will eat up most of the parents' life.  Does meeting these responsibilities make a person selfless?  NO.  It makes him responsible and there is a difference.

It is not selfless to bring a new life into the world and then take care of all the responsibilities that are created because of that choice.  A truly selfless person looks around and identifies already-existing people or other creatures who need help or care and then steps up to the plate and gives of themselves to help them. Taking this a step further, I would argue that considering how many truly needy people and creatures there are in the world, and taking into account that the world is already straining under the weight of overpopulation and the destructive and dire effects of global warming, bringing more people into the world is a truly selfish act, and one which should be actively discouraged rather than encouraged, praised and glorified to the point of absurdity the way it is.

PARENTS DO NOT HAVE THE MARKET ON LOVE, CARING AND SELFLESSNESS:  Contrary to the negative stereotypes parents like to hurl around about the childfree, we do not live in a bubble where we exist only for ourselves.  Only in our dreams are we lying around in bed all day, being fed bon-bons and brought tropical drinks by a cabana boy.  We have jobs, and mortgages and bills to pay and most of us are not rolling in dough.  It is not all about me, me, me.  We are spouses.  We are significant others.  We are siblings.  We are sons and daughters. We are grandchildren.  We are friends. We are aunts and uncles.   We are companions to animals.  We are volunteers in our communities.  We are dedicated employees and many of us are teachers, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, therapists and other caring professionals.  There are many roles in life that allow a person to express love, caring and selflessness and being a parent isn't the only role in life that makes that possible.

IN MANY WAYS, PARENTS ARE MORE SELFISH THAN THE CHILDFREE:   Let's face it.  Parents have children for themselves, not for the children.  They want to have a "family".  They want to experience being a parent.  They want someone to carry on their name.  They want to relive their childhood.  They want to have a helpless little being to love and they want to be loved by this little person.  They want a little Mini-Me who can reflect themselves back like a mirror.  They want someone to take care of them in old age.  They want to be a grandparent someday.  They want to fit in and be a validated member of the Parent Club. They want to feel the accomplishment of "having it all".  These are all selfish motivations and are all about me, me, me.  The unborn, non-existent child does not need to be created, so it is ridiculous to argue that having a child is a selfless endeavor.

IN MANY WAYS, THE CHILDFREE ARE MORE SELFLESS THAN PARENTS:   Whereas the majority of a parent's life, energy, time and resources are used up caring for her children and the responsibilities that exist in the insular family bubble she has created, the childfree's resources can be directed outward.  Childfree folks make great spouses and partners because their love, energy and attention is fully focused on the other person.  They are not distracted by needy, draining third parties.  The childfree are helpful to their parents, since their lives are not bogged down with childrearing responsibilities. The childfree make great friends.  They truly listen.  They care.  They are available.  Want to do something, go somewhere, plan something?  They are up for it and will likely have the time and money. Call them on the phone and you will have their full attention the entire phone call.  They are fun to talk to because they are able to stay up on current events and remain interesting conversationalists.   The childfree make great employees.  They can be counted on to arrive on time, well-rested and alert, work their full shift, fully focused on the tasks at hand, and are often available to work overtime when needed.  Finally, by nature of not being overwhelmed with childcare responsibilities, the childfree are able to be more involved in their communities and with volunteer activities to make the world a better place for everyone.

Despite everything mentioned above, parents still get to prance around emblazoned with the Selfless Saint Martyr Medal, while the childfree continue to fight off the barrage of relentless negative judgements and perceptions of us as selfish, immature, materialistic hedonists.  Our only consolation is that our ranks are growing and more and more attention (much of it positive!) is being paid to us in the media.  Through in-person meetups, childfree blogs, discussion forums and online social networking, we are connecting, supporting and providing validation to each other.  We are mirroring each others' feelings, thoughts and observations. 

Most importantly, we are no longer alone.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Cross we Won't Bear

If you're a childfree person, then you know that the CF life is one of the world's best kept secrets.  The list of awesome benefits of being childfree is seemingly endless.  For countless reasons, every day, I take a huge sigh of relief that I did not choose the parenthood route, and count my many blessings for all the many ways my life is happier, easier and just plain BETTER for making the wise choice to not burden myself with offspring.

This recent clip from the Today Show highlights just ONE reason not to have kids -  and it's a biggie. A person could base their entire decision to forego childbearing on this one issue.  We will never have to struggle with the monumental problem of how to simultaneously save for retirement AND pay for kids' college education.  Talk about a load off our shoulders!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Lifetime Honeymoon

At work yesterday we had a small wedding shower for a young woman in the office.  While enjoying the cake and chatting about her upcoming nuptials, I asked the experienced people in the room to comment on marriage - what makes it work, or what they have learned if their marriage didn't work - generally, any insight they can offer the bride to be.  Interestingly, most people did not offer comments, but I had a couple.  My comments were:

1.  It's important to retain your individual identity in a marriage and not become fused into one entity - don't be attached at the hip.  Continue being known as "Mary" and don't fall into the trap of being "Mary and John". Have your own interests, your own viewpoints and don't allow your identity to be swallowed up by the marital unit.

2.  Contrary to what we've been taught, a good marriage is NOT hard work.  If it's too much work, you've married the wrong person.  The right person loves you as you are and doesn't try to change you into something you're not.  The right person makes you MORE of the person you are, and doesn't diminish you. The right person "gets" you and thinks you are the cat's meow.

As soon as I finished expressing this opinion, one of my male colleagues - a young, married guy with 2 small kids - teased:  "Yeah, but you don't have KIDS.  Once a couple has kids, it all goes downhill.  You have all this division of labor and there's constant fighting over who should be doing what."  He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment and then cracked, "For God's sake - Mandy and her husband are on a lifetime honeymoon!!!"

I replied that he is correct:  children have a negative impact on marital satisfaction and in fact, research has borne this out.   People just looked at me like oh, here she goes again.

I know for a fact that my marriage is happy thanks in large part to being childfree.  The stressors that we have avoided in our marriage are too numerous to count.  Just the financial strain alone of trying to raise children in this economy and consumerist culture would be enough to derail any marriage, let alone the many other pressures, demands and stressors that having children puts on a relationship.   Hubby and I are focused on each other - on making each other happy - on creating special memories together - on sharing life's ups and downs and being a devoted support system for each other.  We are not distracted and neglected by nature of having all of our our energy and attention channeled to needy, demanding third parties.  We are not fighting over household tasks.  Gender roles.  Who does more.  We are not stretched to the breaking point - on the verge of physical and psychological exhaustion trying to achieve the "have it all" lifestyle (which we all know in reality is the "do it all badly" lifestyle).  We have all that we need.  Each other.  Our quiet oasis of a home.  The pitter patter of furry little feet whose biggest demand is being cuddled and having a can cracked open twice a day.

Yes, we have jobs, and bills, and a mortgage.  We work hard and time flies by too fast.  And there's more we want to do than we have the money or time to do.  Contrary to childfree stereotypes, our life is not one big lottery win  and it's not Club Med.  But yes, my coworker is right:  put us next to any married couple with kids and our life looks like an all expense paid honeymoon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Laugh

Thank you to reader "Burrito" for a link to this one from Where can I buy one of these decals!! ??

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Laugh

This bit gave me a chuckle.  Thanks, CFVixen, for the forward.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Laugh

Thank you to Heather for forwarding this cartoon from the Oatmeal. I laughed so hard, I almost spit my hot chocolate all over my keyboard!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Do Women Lie About Motherhood?

Here is a question for my readers:

When you read the dozens of posts by regretful mothers that I have linked to on this blog , what kinds of questions do you come up with?

I have a few, but the question that is in the forefront of my mind is: 

Why do women lie to each other about motherhood?

Many mothers enjoy parenting and are happy to be moms, but it is clear that there are also many who are unhappy.  Some desperately so.  Some even suicidal.  As we have seen, these mothers are coming out of the woodwork to express their displeasure on the internet where they can hide behind their computer screens in a shroud of anonymity and commiserate with the many other similarly miserable moms.  Most claim that while they love their child(ren), they hate being a mom.  Many say they wish they never had kids and that if they could do it all over again, they wouldn't have children.  Some advise others who are contemplating having children NOT to do it.  Many say motherhood has stripped them of their identities - that they are shells of their former selves and they would do anything to get their former childfree lives back.  Many say motherhood is a scam and they are angry about how they were lied to and hoodwinked into a life that is nothing as promised.

So who is doing the scamming?

I would argue that many of the women who are miserable being moms, regret it with their entire being and would do anything to go back to their life before children, are the very same women who are scornful of the childfree, lie to other women and continue to promote the "scam"  that having children is the one true path to happiness and fulfillment.

How do I know this is true?  It's simple math.  While many, many women are catharting all over the internet about the hell that is motherhood, in our day-to-day lives we hear virtually NOTHING but glowing reviews from women about motherhood.  So somebody is lying, or at the minimum withholding the truth.

As always, I have my theories.  I think there are many reasons a woman lies to other women about motherhood:

1.  She feels she can't be honest and admit how much she hates it because to do so would immediately label her as a "bad mom".  And that is a really painful label to wear.

2.  She is afraid that if she admits she hates being a mom, people will think she doesn't love her child(ren).  Again - this would label her a bad mom and a horrible person.

3.  She is worried that there is something wrong with her.  Since everyone else claims motherhood is the pinacle of existence, a woman's "most important role", and "so worth it", they must be right.  There must be something wrong with her and she must be defective in some way.  This is a hard thing to accept so she pretends it isn't so and deludes herself and everyone else into believing that she too is happy and fulfilled by her role as mother.

4.  She wants to appear happy and successful, and one way to accomplish this is to claim that she is happy with the choices she has made and the path she has taken with her life.  To say she is unhappy and regretful would result in her being perceived as a loser, and that hurts too much.

5. It is simply too painful to admit that she royally fucked up her life, because unlike other life choices, she can't undo this mistake.  Having kids is for life.  So it's better to pretend and lie to herself and others that motherhood is her greatest joy than to face the fact that she is facing a lifetime prison sentence.

6.  She is jealous of her childfree friends, and it kills her to constantly be reminded of the great life she once had.  Perhaps "misery loves company" comes into play here. By lying about motherhood and converting others to the awful motherhood role, she reduces her exposure to happy, unencumbered women - women who are a constant stream of salt in her wounds and reminder of what she lost.

Would anyone else like to add their theories as to why women lie to each other about motherhood?  I hope my mom readers will chime in on this one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Installment from the Regretful Moms

The "I Hate Being a Mom" thread on the Secret Confessions web site is still going strong.  Here are some choice recent posts. 

"I’m so glad I found this site! I’ve been sitting here so miserable and depressed hating my life. Did I mention I FEEL ALONE AND ISOLATED??? I felt so ashamed for the way I feel hating staying home with my kids (and resenting my kids). They whine, cry, mess up the house and I’m ready to throw them out the window lol Not really but I want some God Damed time to myself! I’m older and stupid me started over and ended up having a special needs kid, then another who is still on the boob at 2 years old. I’m tired of dealing with food allergies, special diets and a stupid husband who went out trying to find somebody else to **** behind my back! I wish I could do that cause boy am I sick of this life. I have no identity, no longer have work experience and HATE HATE HATE my life! I can’t wait until my grow the **** up and move out but by then, I will be old and washed up! It sucks going through menopause and raising little kids! THANK GOD FOR MENOPAUSE cause I NEVER EVER want another kid! Boy, that felt good to get out! Oh, and I NEVER GET A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so sick and ******* tired of staring at the same four walls 24/7/365 And my husband wonders why I’m so miserable!"

"Yes I feel the same as you. Like completely knocked out and frazzled. I hate the feelings of most days having literally no strength and energy and feeling so weak. Other people just don’t seem to understand the feelings of fatigue and how bad it is. I try and see my Doctor, no matter who it is no help whatsoever. They don’t give you any medication to help. You feel bored and unfufilled, angry, snappy and irritable on a daily basis. Sometimes I just wish my life would end. It’s a never ending drag on your energy. I wish I could just piss off by myself to a Desert Island for a while but that’s not a choice due to never having any money. So you’re trapped in the cycle of poverty and that’s even with a partner who works full time for a living but gets zero to show for it after being taxed to death and working tax credits being reduced to a pitiful amount. His promotion actually did nothing to improve our finances, they’re worse despite apparently his salary going up. It’s a never ending beating for parents. I like this page you can rant away anonymously."

"I hear ya sister, i hate motherhood too, and I can relate to most of what you write… Not sure what to do about it, but I end up spending time in the middle of the night for myself – (after being woken by my child at 3am which annoys the hell out of me) – and then of course the next day I’m tired as hell and I get more angry, and it’s just a never ending cycle…. I wish I would have never had a child and I feel so bad for saying it, but it’s the damn truth."

"I feel the same way. After I got pregnant, I realized I didn’t want the baby. I promised the dad I would never abort his children, and I thought we could make it work. We are both miserable with this child. One reason we split up was so that we could at least have some time to ourselves and enjoy a full night’s sleep twice a week.

Just this morning, I thought about how I used to pray for a miscarriage. Now I just can’t wait to get her out of the house. I work 3 nights gladly so that I don’t have to go through the ordeal of getting this 3 year old to bed.

I feel terrible about feeling this way, and I realized there must be other people who feel the same. There is such a conspiracy of silence about this, so we all feel horrible about it. But I wish I could go back in time and keep my IUD in. I miss that life so much. I only hope it gets better as she gets older."

"Say that again. I hate being a mom and most days I wish I would have never met my husband and never had kids. I hate even more that I had this awful desire to be married with kids. If I knew then what I know now I would have ran from any relationship with anything that looked like a man and been happy all by my damn self."

"I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND!!!! I hate my life to. I just feel sad and mad all the time! I don’t want to be a mom or wife anymore. I am so annoyed always having to do shit for everyone else. Cook clean..clean some more..and more and more. It never ends. I feel like my kids destroyed my body! I hate my life soooo much I some times just don’t want to be here anymore. I feel like a zombie. DON’T HAVE KIDS!!! BAD IDEA"

"I constantly feel that if only someone had told me the truth, I would have spared myself and my husband this miserable life, and could have spared two beautiful children this disgusting world."

"Oh my God! Thank you all for this. I thought I was the only one. You can never say these things to anyone because they would look at you like a circus freak! I hate who I am, that I don’t enjoy anything anymore. I’m exhaused all the time. I’ve become a great actress and when people ask me how I am and don’t I just love being a mom, I say I’m fine and being a mom is great. HUGE lie!! I also love going to work. I don’t really love my job, I’m just so happy to get out of the house and away from my child and he can be someone elses problem until 5:00 rolls around. I know this sounds horrible to most people…"

" I hate being a parent on almost every single level. I love my daughter and will do anything for her, but of course my wife and I were married for 6 years before she got pregnant (unplanned, of course)…and she was excited and I was a wreck, because my wife is 4 years younger than me, she thought of it still as all fun and games, while I knew what kind of unbearable hell I was in for.

I saw friends growing up become shadows of what they once were after their kids were born. Once happy people are now broken, miserable individuals who hate what their lives have become but put on a happy face to keep themselves from becoming pariahs.

The childless people used to be the pariahs, but of course once we had our daughter now all I see is news articles about how all these studies are saying that childless couples are happier and live longer…yeah, thanks for that.

Either way, I love my daughter and that will never change. I hate what my life has become and am willing to accept responsibility so my daughter doesn’t grow up like those neglected kids who turn out to be gangbangers and criminals because their parents never taught them otherwise and hated them enough to allow them to turn out that way.

And yes, we can be great parents and still hate what our lives have become. Having children is not rewarding in the least, and at best it is an inescapable prison. When she’s old enough, I can only hope that we hid our resentment well enough for her to be successful in life.

And our best piece of advice to her will be to get her tubes tied so she never has to experience the miserable existence of parenthood. Go out, enjoy life, and don’t get saddled by kids.

I won’t be unhappy to not be a grandparent…and I’ve already scheduled a vasectomy to ensure this travesty never happens a second time to my already intolerable life.

Am I living a lie by saying I’m a good parent but hating my existence..of course. I wanted to be a parent about as bad as I wanted to be a cancer patient, but it happened, and I’ll be damned if my daughter suffers because of my personal feelings.

One day when she’s old enough to understand, I’ll explain to her the absolute and concentrated horror that is parenthood."

"I am the daughter of a mother who hated being a parent. All through our upbringing she told my brother and I not to have kids. It was very hurtful to hear because she was essentially saying she wished she’d never had us, and for a child this is hard to understand and even harder to forgive. Needless to say, my mother and I never had a good relationship. While she wasn’t a bad parent (we got everything we wanted, we never got hit, got good educations and so on) we hated her for telling us how much it sucks to have kids. As we got older we grew more and more distant while she grew fonder of us. Today, my mother struggles to keep a relationship with my brother and I, while we could give a crap about spending time with her. The child inside of us is basically saying “Hey you didn’t want us, so now you don’t have us.” This has not been easy for her; she’s lonely and regrets saying that to her children. Bottom line is she can never make up for the first 25 years of our lives where she told us having kids is a nightmare. Also, I’d like to say we are successful both financially and in our relationships.

The lesson is this: The kids you wish weren’t around today may grow up to be really cool adults who you’ll want to spend time with. Or whom you will look to for senior care or who you will look to for financial help. When that day comes, don’t be surprised if they are not around.

Good luck!"

"I hear you. I’ve become a complete shadow of what I once was. Having a child has f**ked up my life on pretty much every conceivable level and I spend each day trying to work out how to endure this for another 17 years and hide my own despair so that my daughter never knows that my life effectively ended when I gave birth to her. And yes – what is it with people asking me if I plan to have another. I plan to hack my head off with a spoon before I’d let that happen…"

“I am so sad! i got married, bought a house so next step have kids “right” well it was a mistake. My two children are here now. I brought them into this world and i will love them and take care of them. But every day I feel “stuck & Sad” I feel like life is just passing me by. no life, no real friens i can count on. just cooking, cleaning, bath time, dropping kids off of school, bring them to dance, karate, gymnastics. WOW! this is not what i wanted. What happened to me?"

"I’m glad I found this and to know I’m not the only one. I have a 3 month old baby and I love him but motherhood has destroyed my life and my soul. I am an empty, dead shell of a person. My body is disgusting. I read all these things that say you have to make time for yourself, etc, but what’s the point of that? I would just have to come back. I know I put myself in this position and I have to do the best I can to survive each day. I put on my happy face with my son and I play with him, smile, cuddle, etc. It’s not his fault, he didn’t ask to be born and I will do everything I can to make sure he never knows how I really feel. I want him to have a happy childhood even if I am miserable. If I could have one wish it would be to go back in time before I got pregnant, knowing what I know now, and just choose not to do it. If you are trying to decide whether or not to have kids…DON’T."

"Don’t you HATE how they cannot leave you alone for one single second? I am constantly running (no exaggeration) from one room to another just to get some shit done. This is why my house is in such disarray, because I cannot accomplish ANYTHING with them around. I feel like a circus clown who’s always setting them up with some stupid damn toy or tv show then RUNNING to the kitchen to try and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher before the twins run in there and ruin the whole pathetic effort. I HATE THIS. It’s not cute, it doesn’t make me giggle and say “oh well, some day I’ll look back on this and laugh” and I most certainly NEVER say thiis pathetic mind-numbing phrase that we’ve all been subjected to our whole lives: “but they’re worth it. It goes by so fast.”. BULL!!! They are not ‘worth it’ and each day is the longest day of my life."

"This just in: i’m currently on a business trip, my spouse let me know that our almost 2 year old daughter is very feverish and sick. I am returning home tomorrow so let the fun times begin. Trip to the doctor, battle to give her the medicine, difficult nights of sleep, constant irritability, etc. Woo freakin hoo. And that’s not counting us probably getting sick too afterwards.

Ah the joys of being a parent. I know it’s not her fault, i don’t blame her. But i still have to do the parent thing and pretend that I’m cool, in control, and supportive .. When all i want to do is run and scream and get my life back.

There’s always something with young kids, always that pressure, that weight on my shoulders, whether it’s illness, or tantrums, or busy schedules, etc. I can no longer take this, this is unbearable and inhumane. I want to press “pause” on parenthood and unpause whenever I can take some more, then pause again. But I guess this is called single parent with shared custody .. Not sure that this is a better way to go.


"As I sit here in my once overly adorned pillowed king size bed..rocking my 11 week old baby girl to sleep. I google “I love my daughter but hate being a mother” and poof here this pops up. To my amazement I am not alone. I truly thought I must of missed the “mom gene” cause honestly everyday as I care for my baby I day dream of the life I once lived. I sit at my shore house on the weekends and look out to my old tanning chairs that are screaming my name. But then I look down and see the distorted striped belly that jiggles with hatred. No…no laying out for me. :( or when all I want is to
Just shower with out rushing and can’t help but think…hmmm I use to take 2 hours to get dressed. I was once a beautiful well educated girl who had lots of friends and shiny fast car and a hand full of guys in a contact list to call o days when I felt ewwy! Now my day begins and somehow in only 1 short year I am a fat jiggly woman with no makeup wait no shower. What’s make up? Sigh….:( my once perfect body has abandoned me. Where did I go?? Somehow in the midst of it all I got lost?, or discarded?? I love my daughter she’s beautiful and she’s my soul but I use to love me I use to enjoy me. And the truth is I just miss me. God…one more dirty bottle to wash one more dirty diaper to change one more toilet to clean or dinner to cook…alil more of me just washes away. And to top it off I also now have 3 unruly annoying step children to care for. One year 4 kids. I just want a bottle of oil my old bikini body a pair of head phones and a us weekly magazine…put me on a beach in the peace and quiet and then I’ll smile. No one ever told me that the minute she was born that who I was would die? Parenthood is a sham. Yes we love our children. Would most of us go to the end of the earth for them? OF COURSE!! but at the end of the day that doesn’t change the fact that there is a dirty unshowered exhausted worn out sad resentful mother standing in her house crying inside for just one more taste of what life used to be…hmmmmm….gotta go the baby is crying…….. :("

"You are right. It’s a sham and we have all been lied too, either out of malice/manipulation or just people being numb/dumb/brainwashed. But you know what? Our moms did not have the Internet at our age. They could have never googled anything, because there was no google. Just think how many women we are going to help with sites like these. I honestly feel it’s a major revolution that we are right in the middle of. We’re going to help so many people cope who’ve had kids they shouldn’t have, and we have the opportunity to speak HONESTLY with our kids some day and NEVER pressure them into having kids or giving us “grandchildren” – ugh!!!!! I get so angry when I think of how many women in my family who KNOW me could have saved me from this – but didn’t – or – “couldn’t” because they didn’t have the words or thought it was taboo. Let’s end that. Let’s be the LAST generation who let’s their kids be totally bamboozled. You can be totally in love with your kids, as I am, but hate your life and be in absolute MOURNING for everything that children take away (steal) from your lives."

"i am SOOOOOOOOO glad that someone made this thread. Maybe it will save people who are thinking of having a baby from making the most horrendous mistake of their lives. i get disgusted because so many of my friends and family pressured me into having a baby, saying “oh just have a baby it will end all your problems!”. i am 25, I got married right after i finished college and started an amazing career….everyone was like “have a baby have a baby” including my mom and all of our older family members and friends. i wish i could go back in time and SLAP them in the faces. they didn’t tell me that my life would END. i love my daughter because she is a precious innocent being, so i do everything for her and treat her like a princess BUT…ME? there is no more “ME” when u have a baby…I haven’t slept in almost a year now, sufferng from severe dleep deprivation because of a “colicy” baby who is now almost 9 months and STILL wakes up every 2 hours!!!! i am exhausted with dark bags under my eyes and i NEVER get to spend time alone with my husband any more….forget about travelling together any more….and i never get to go ANYWHERE by myself any more….i used to enjoy running by the beach in the morning, going to the book store/coffee shop, reading, going to the beach after work with my hubby, going out for dinner dates or even for drinks on weekdays with friends or hubby….now its like we are in a PRSION! me and my hubby love each other so much but we are falling apart because we no longer can do anything TOGETHER if one of us wants to do something we have to take turns watching the crying baby!!!! i havent seen a movie or done ANYTHING in about 7 months….its all about this crying screaming spoiled baby… no matter what u do to make them happy u cannot! babies cannot do ANYTHING by themselves not even BREATHE, so u have to be catering to them every second of every day…and all i hear all day is this little brat crying her head off for no reason…i dance for her, play with her, take her for walks and drives, feed her all kinds of different good foods….its like im a 24 hour SLAVE…when she finally falls asleep its like THANK GOD..and then 1 hour later she is awake crying again!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! she’s over 20 lbs and i still have to carry her around all day and i actually tore my right bicep…OH and another thing, i hardly gained any weight during preganncy and so now that she’s 9 months i am even skinnier than my pre-pregnancy weight, so thats not my problem BUT i have developed these disgusting man arms with big nasty muscles from having to carry this needy baby everywhere every second!!! so now my body looks unprportional like someone who lifts weights obsessively. oh and another thing people dont tell u–its virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find childcare. i wanted to go back to work but the only childcare we could find for a baby under a year old is 1200 a month!!!!!! thats more than my college tuition was!!! having a baby was the most horrendously disgusting experience of my life and anyone who says otherwise is a LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"don’t ever give in to the pressure! don’t let people tell you that it will answer your problems. society and our families try to mislead us to believe its some amazingly enlightening experience to have a kid when in reality all it is, is jlike having a 24-hour torturous job that you hate but are forced to do.
not ONE part of raising a baby is fun or rewarding. people will tell you its rewarding and worth it when you see your child grow, these people are in denial….yea sure, its rewarding until they start crying/screaming their head off at you like a maniac at 3 in the morning and nothing will get them to stop… and you haven’t slept in months and are so tird you could fall over! there are times when i almost fell down the stairs at 2 a.m. getting my daughter a bottle to try to get her back to sleep because i was so tired/over-worked/sleep deprived! THAT is the reality! the lies of society are just unbelievable! i won’t lie to anyone who askss me what its like to have a kid. i will tell everyone that i meet the pure truth. no one deserves to be lied to and misled!"

"I didnt sign up for this. I envy my childless friends and wish I could go back and do it over – I would not have gone this route. I want to talk to a therapist. Everyday I am filled with regret, and I feel so bad that I take my anger and frustrations out on my daughter who does not deserves this at all. I just want to overcome this and feel normal again. I want to love doing this as so many other moms do. I want to cherish these moments and want us to be the best of friends. Not blame her for ruining my life.

I do know that I will never have any kids again and I feel bad for the next man who walks into my life wanting kids because it will never happen!"

"I haven’t found a solution. I grab my moments of peace (and they are few and far between) when I can, and daydream of that day when my daughter MOVES OUT!!! And try very hard NOT to think about the fact that I will be in my mid-forties, if I’m still alive. I mean, I even dread the possibility of grandchildren, and having them thrust upon me in my later years. A stiff cocktail on my days off take the edge off a bit, and I am a bit more patient with my daughter and willing to look for the bright side in all of this, but it is a very temporary solution and not practical in the long run. I stay at work long enough to where I’m pretty sure by daughter has already been bathed, fed, and is in bed, and on those particular occasions when my husband is a little late with her nighttime routine and I walk in the house filthy, hot and exhausted and find her still running around with messy hair and stained clothes from a day of playing in the dirt it ruins my whole night and I’m sure the distaste and disappointment is evident on my face. I DREAD her birthday and Christmastime because of the hoops I am expected to jump through- I feel very uncomfortable around other parents and children and I know my daughter looks forward to parties and cake and friends and whatever, and I am loathe to disappoint her, but I literally have nightmares about these occassions and have anxiety attacks prior to any of these miserable events. And when she comes out of her room with a bratty, teary face after a nap and lays on my husband and he baby-talks to her and rubs her back it makes me want to PUKE. She has started to get into a habit of lying, and sometimes I relish the fact that she is misbehaving so I have an excuse to send her to her room. God, I feel awful about this, but how can we help how we FEEL??? Please, let me know if you or ANYONE has found a way to cope! I’m thinking maybe prescription medication??? But then I couldn’t do my job. I’m at a loss… I have basically conceded to the fact that I will be unhappy for most of the next 14 years. Unhappy, stressed out, and constantly JUDGED."