Before we even get into the context of this article let me say, I love my children. I would cross deserts, move mountains, and kill, yes straight up gangster murder someone for my children. They are unique and hilarious. They are beautiful and loving. I love them with every fiber of my being. I wish I could grant their every wish and never have to ever make them cry or clean their room. They are magical little mixes of my husband and me and reminders of how awesome we must truly be to have made these little people.
All that said, I still hate being a mother.
I hate the guilt that is ever-present when you’re a mother. Add on hating motherhood itself and that guilt gets multiplied times one hundred. I hate the schedules, the mood swings, the schools, the clubs, the birthday parties, the toys, the doctors, the playdates, all of it. I hate the memes about the joys of motherhood with their corny little “Oh my little angel does this bad things but it’s ok because motherhood is great!” messages. I hate the “club.” I’m glad there is a club, we moms need each other, but I cannot relate to you. I don’t want to grab wine and share photos of my kids or talk about PTA drama. I want to get away and forget I am even a mom for an hour or two and just be me, the person, maybe even get to be wife occasionally as well. I love being a wife.
When other moms vent and rant, I like that. Those rants make me feel normal. It’s when the rant is followed by the “It’s so worth it.” or “You’re gonna miss this” that you lose me. No. No I will not. I will miss the 2-year-old who knew all the steps to the Whip Nay-nay. I will miss the 4-year-old who told me I was a beautiful unicorn queen. I will miss the kids who threw crazy dance parties in the living room, but I will not once for a single moment miss being a caregiver to those amazing humans. I will not miss a single dirty diaper, bath time, bedtime story, snot nose, park day, road trip, or any of those things some women seem to relish. Not a photoshoot, not a birthday party, none of the things. I was told to enjoy them when they were infants, and yes they were adorable little humans but I wouldn’t go back to those days for any amount of money so you’re already wrong. Our ideas of fun and fulfilling are just different, I guess.
I never wanted kids. STOP, and before you start the “Well you chose to have them” bullshit let me explain. I knew I didn’t like kids from a very young age. I had many siblings and was the family babysitter for multiple little cousins. On countless occasions I expressed my desire to never have children. Each and every time I was met with a “It’s different when you have your own.” I grew up in a community heavy on marriage and family. I was pretty much raised to believe life wouldn’t start until I was married and had a baby.
My first child was not planned, but I felt kids were inevitable so might as well suck it up and get my butt in gear. I looked forward to that magical moment I would spit him out and suddenly love being a mother. One week, six months, two years pass and it never comes. I blamed my postpartum, my unpreparedness, and three years later I felt I was ready to give this guy a playmate. Again I had postpartum and struggled to breastfeed. Again, I felt nothing. I chalked it up to those things. And when my husband said lets go again, I figured THIS would be when it happened. Maybe it was a little girl that would bring my inner mother out. Nope. Nothing. Baby three was perfect in every way and I still hate being a mother. I always imagined I’d give birth to a best friend. I always wanted that relationship, but most days I just fantasize about when they will be old enough to shut the hell up about Minecraft.
I have heard the word ungrateful more times than I can count. You people need new material. “Be grateful you can have kids.” Yes, how dare I complain when others don’t have the privilege. There is nothing anyone can say to me at this point that I haven’t already told myself. Remember that mom guilt? Yeah, I can handle it on my own thanks.
Don’t mistake my hate for carelessness. I am a good mother. I am raising well adjusted, funny, down to earth kids. My kids know they are loved beyond measure. My kids won’t hate people based on race or sexual identity. My kids won’t bash your religion. My kids are being taught to respect the opposite sex as well as themselves. I am raising the generation I wish to see in the world, and I think I’m doing damn good at it. Excelling and enjoying are two different things. You can be an expert in your field and still hate your job.
If you are a mom who feels like a failure, you are not alone. A recent post in a mom group asked women to rate how much they enjoyed being a mother on a scale of 1-10. While as you expect the majority were somewhere between 5-10, a very large number of women said 1 or even 0 at times. A wave of relief washed over me as I read comment after comment of women who like me, thought the love of being a parent would come with the child, but it never came.
So you enjoy your happy moments and bask in these “good ole years.” I am glad it brings you so much happiness but fuck off with that bullshit when you see me upset and complaining about my own. Stay at home mom depression is incredibly real. Imagine having that depression but not even getting the teensy bit of joy all those moms who choose to stay home, stay home for.
If you’re a mom on the zero end of the scale and want to get together and discuss all those big dreams that are being postponed or just fantasize about what could have been or what will be way down the road, let’s make plans we’ll never see through together because the kids will most definitely ruin them first.
Here’s to motherhood, bitches! You don’t have to love it, you just have to love them.
Edited to add: I will miss trick or treating and Christmas morning. I’ve been sitting on this post for a few weeks and these are the only two I can with certainty say I will miss.