I recently read a blog where a mom shared her feelings about the difficulties of being a mom. She was raw and brutally honest. I related to her feelings on a very deep level. Initially, I shared her blog on Facebook, but then I read the comments on her post and discovered other moms were tearing her apart at the limbs for her honesty. Saying things like she shouldn’t have had children if she felt that way and that she was a bad mom, bad person for saying she struggled being a mom. I deleted my share before anyone saw it because I didn’t want to face the same criticism. I couldn’t handle that.
When I originally thought about writing my own blog on the subject, I was going to do it anonymously. I felt like it was something important to share, but again, didn’t want to deal with the backlash.
But then I read another article that struck a chord with me. It gave me a voice for how I was feeling and an understanding that I didn’t hate being a mom, I just hate parenting. And that’s ok! So here I am putting myself out there and hoping to help others who might be feeling the same way.
I Love Being a Mom, But I Hate Parenting
Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. My 6-year-old is a real challenge. She is full of sass, backtalk, temper tantrums, BIG feelings, sarcasm, etc. I love her more than life itself. But there are moments that I want to throw her out a window too!
When we are going through a particularly challenging time with our daughter, I find myself questioning my ability to parent. (Sometimes I question her ability to child.) But in all seriousness, her behaviors make me feel like I am failing. I am failing her, I am failing myself, I am failing our family, I am failing society.
Sometimes those feelings lead to a longing for a different life. A friend recently wrote about how she’d never regret having kids, but there are days that she deeply resents it and feels that childless people are lucky. And there are times that I can completely sympathize.
Now before you jump down my throat, hear me out. I struggled to have my children. I was told my oldest wouldn’t survive, I suffered the loss of 3 embryo transfers via IVF, I suffered an ectopic pregnancy loss and it took 5 long years before our 2nd child was conceived. (You can read more about my pregnancy journey here.)
My kids are truly my everything and I can’t imagine my life without them. But, there are still times (like when we are in an especially long stretch of our daughter’s behavior issues) that I wish I could be carefree without children. As I told my friend though, I also know there are joys we as parents get to experience that those childless people don’t. We are each lucky in our own ways. It’s just that sometimes the sleepless nights, constant bickering, stress, and worry make it hard to see or feel that.
Trying to raise decent human beings is the hardest job on the planet. And, if you truly care about that job, it’s an insane amount of pressure. It’s my job to make sure she grows up to be a good, kind, smart, contributing member of society. And while teaching her to be all those things, I also want to develop a close and meaningful bond with her.
If You Hate Parenting, You’re Probably Beating Yourself Up Big Time
Moms beat themselves up enough. “Mom guilt” is something like no other. It is primarily self-imposed, but it is also the deepest guilt that exists. I beat myself up constantly for my inability to parent my daughter. I question whether I should’ve had children. Am I a bad mom?
So please, whatever your reaction to this, don’t attack me for being honest. Trust me, whatever you have to say can’t be worse than the things I’ve already said to myself. And in case you’re wondering, I am not throwing in the towel here. My husband and I recently started a parenting course and we are hoping to learn some strategies to make this easier for all of us.
You Need to Know You’re Not Alone
I know I’m not perfect, but I also know I’m not alone. Sure, there are some moms breezing through parenthood who won’t be able to relate to my struggles. But I believe that most of us find this parenting gig to be really damn hard, at least sometimes. And this struggle can lead to insecurities and self-doubt at the least. In more severe instances, it can lead to feelings of depression, exacerbate the ever-present exhaustion, and make you feel unworthy of your own children. I’ve struggled with all of these. And it’s important that we stop pretending to be perfect, while we fall apart and beat ourselves up inside. You are not alone. And struggling with parenting does not make you a bad mom or a bad person!
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.