I’m just going to come out and admit it. Sometimes I don’t like being a mom.
The sleepless nights with newborns.
The “I wants”.
The “Why Nots”.
How in the actual fork can a mom truly enjoy motherhood, anyway?
My 9-year-old told me she and her brother are better for daddy because he spoils them more.
Gotta love the honesty, but God help me. I can’t compete with that!
I spent nearly 9 years being a stay-at-home mom and spending every waking moment with the kids was exhausting. I aimed to please, but the little emotional vampires consistently reminded me that nothing I did was ever good enough.
Well, that’s how it can feel anyway!
The worst part of it is the feeling of loneliness and guilt that comes with not feeling happy and fulfilled as a mother.
I Don’t Like Being a Mom! Is This Normal?
So, the thing is, if you have some honest friends, most of them will tell you being a parent sucks some of the time.
But, if you’re looking for that sort of honesty on social media, you’re likely to feel alone. In the age of social media and “sharenting“, it’s all about the likes, rarely about raw, honest emotions.
And believe me, parenting comes with a shit ton of raw emotions, both good and bad.
So yes, not being in love with motherhood every waking moment is normal!
Why is Being a Mother So Hard?
Parenting is hard work and there are so many factors that contribute to making life with kids hard.
We’re distracted by and feel compelled to compare (and compete) with all the other parents sharing on social media. Everything is about the likes and comments. And one particularly snooty comment about what you do (or don’t do) with your kids can strike a nerve.
You’ll fall victim to asking the age-old question, “Am I A Good Mom?“
Late nights, early mornings, and middle-of-the-night breastfeeding sessions all contribute to poor mood.
Honestly, the long hours and sleepless nights with a newborn that won’t stop crying can easily make any good woman feel like she hates being a mom.
Speaking of fatigue, moms sacrifice a lot!
Besides the sleepless nights, moms make a lot of sacrifices, including caring for themselves.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “I don’t have the time to be sick right now!”
Most of us thrive on routines and they’re really good for kids. There’s breakfast, lunch, nap time, snack time, dinner time, and bedtime routines. There are school morning routines and after-school routines. And for the most part, routines help everyone operate pretty well because everyone knows what to expect.
At the same time, living life by routines can wear a person down. And moms have all the weight of those routines that are difficult to break out of.
If we’re not careful, being a mom can have some pretty nasty side effects on our relationships.
It can be so easy to get caught up in our roles as mothers that we neglect or take our partners for granted.
Well, we have all the emotions! But guilt is one emotion moms feel at almost every turn.
Can’t or don’t want to breastfeed? You’ll feel guilty.
You’re not crafty? You’ll feel guilty.
You don’t buy all organic foods or you let your kids eat Lunchables? You’ll feel guilty.
Your baby fell off the bed, down the stairs, or you bumped his head on the car as you put him in the car seat? You’re going to feel guilty.
Even if there’s no one openly shaming you, you’re going to feel guilty and feel like you’re the worst mother ever.
And it doesn’t subside as your kids grow. Instead, they’ll learn to pile it on and give you some extra guilt trips.
What to Do When You Don’t Like Being a Parent
The first and most important step is to accept that it is okay to not love being a parent every waking moment!
If anyone makes you feel like a terrible person for not loving motherhood at all times, they’re most likely living in a fantasy world (or haven’t had children of their own).
Some ideas for dealing with the ups and downs of motherhood include:Journal – every night, try to jot down some of the events of the day as you recall the good and the bad moments. You can even challenge yourself to list 5 good moments as you try to build up the habit of focusing on the positive.
Take a Break
Take a walk, join a gym, go volunteer, join a book club, or take a weekend off. Find a way to break away from the kids and give yourself a little TLC.
Spend Time With Your Spouse
Try to reconnect with your spouse. A date night or weekend away as a wife can do wonders for your mood and make you feel like a regular adult!
When our lives are messy (and no matter how organized you are, your life is a mess with kids), it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Do you hate being a parent or is there a lot going on that makes it feel as though your life is spiraling out of control?
Spend Time With a Friend
Choose a non-judgemental friend that won’t mind you being brutally honest about your feelings about motherhood. You and your friend can gripe about the kids and offer each other kind and loving support to get through the rough patches.
If you find that the feelings persist or control your thoughts, it’s perfectly acceptable and even highly recommended to seek counseling. It’s okay to need professional help to work through these. And a trained family counselor may be able to help with some parenting struggles that are causing your unhappiness in ways you hadn’t considered.
Make Time For Things You Enjoy With the Kids
Get out of the routine and go do something out of the ordinary. Go to the park, take a family bike ride, visit a cat cafe, or look at the pets in the pet store. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as you all are doing something that breaks you out of routine
Also, take comfort in the fact that sometimes what you’re feeling is just a phase. Maybe you don’t love the infant phase, but you’ll have a blast with your baby when he’s 2. Or two feels like the worst but 4 years is the bee’s knees!
I’ll be the honest mom!
I don’t always like being a mom. And dealing with infants was just about the worst, in my opinion. Even as they age, I find out new things about my kids and some additional things that I don’t like.
But, when I get out and do out of the ordinary things with my kids, I often find special moments when I realize that being their mom rocks … at least until one of them rolls their eyes at me.
One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to take them to theme parks and ride all the roller coasters. And it’s days like those I can forget that being a mom is mundane and exhausting. Instead, I get to focus on enjoying being with my children.
So, find more time for enjoyment!