I hate being a mom—not all of the time, but a lot of the time.
Have you ever hated being a mom? Or do you hate the fact that you are a mom? Full stop! End Of Story. Fricken Period!!
When someone bumps into you in the supermarket and asks how motherhood is, or how the
kids are, have you ever grit your teeth and lie through your gums with a forced “they are great”?
Some moms go through times of hating being a mom, and some moms don’t like being a mom. You might feel useless, stupidly tired, lonely, isolated, or resentment. Maybe you look at other moms and wonder why the hell they love it so much, or how they are doing so well.
Maybe you wish your kids would just shut up, go to sleep, listen and do the things you ask them to do! Why are they so damn demanding? Can’t they do things on their own? Wasn’t this meant to be rewarding?
Maybe they remind you of their father or another parent, and that shits you to tears! Why can’t you stop crying or yelling or being a syndicated, confusing, pendulum of both? Are you sick to death of it? Will it ever end?
I have asked these questions and felt these things before.
In the article ‘Most Common Parenting Regrets of Mothers,’ I discussed the most common concerns that moms have - the kind where they are worried that they may have damaged their child somehow.
And this article is about those moments (sometimes everlasting), where you CAN’T STAND being a mom.
There have been times where I hated being a mom. Sometimes it lasts for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, sometimes much longer.
And you know what? I am not the only one.
When I go through these moments, I don’t regret having my kids (at those times, I probably felt like I did). I have told you before when I have thought about how it would be easier if I weren’t a mom.
Whether you are a mom who has on-again-off-again mom-regret, or if you HATE BEING A MOM full stop, there are things you can do to like motherhood more and make the whole thing seem more bearable.
Effects of Hating Being a Mom
Believe it or not, resenting your child from time to time is quite usual. It is vital that you seek help if you seem to be feeling resentment to your children often or all the time as this can lead to more harmful behaviours from yourself and have a lasting negative impact on your child.
Signs you resent your child:
- You may not find their naturally childish behaviour as funny or cute. It might drive you crazy.
- You think they are just awful and naughty all the time.
- You can not seem to find any resemblance or common traits or qualities to yourself in your children.
Rejecting a child can be extremely damaging. Rejection is displaying the opposite of providing children with the love, support and nurturing that a child needs to develop into a healthy and capable human being.
Rejecting your child can lead to your child having low self-esteem, depression, self-doubt, confidence issues and behavioural problems. They may even begin to become aggressive.
There are various types of abuse: emotional, physical, and sexual.
- Emotional Abuse: It refers to the situation where a parent does not provide an appropriate amount of support, love, care, attention and affection. It can also be in the acts of humiliating, taunting, name calling or belittling your child.
- Sexual Abuse: It refers to molestation or the illegal or undesired sexual act or behaviour from an adult to a child.
- Physical Abuse: It is aggressive physical acts towards your child resulting in injury or physical pain.
Neglect is another form of abuse. Negligence is the act of a parent not meeting a child’s basic needs, including education, health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing, and wellbeing. It includes social, emotional, safety, and physical requirements as well.
Not enjoying motherhood can result in feeling stressed. You may feel extended periods or circumstances of emotional or mental strain or turmoil. Stress can have an adverse long term effect on our bodies and result in illness.
Unlike the baby blues, symptoms of postpartum depression do not pass easily or quickly. Some common symptoms include:
- Feeling guilty
- Not enjoying things
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of sadness, anxiety or helplessness
- Finding it hard to bond with your baby
Postpartum Depression affects about 1 in every 5 -10 mothers. It is important to note that Postpartum depression can affect one or both parents, not just the mother or parent who gave birth to the child. You can check out our article and video on how to deal with Postpartum Depression HERE.
Funnily enough, some of the possible effects can be precursors for not enjoying motherhood also.
Does Hating Being A Mom Last Forever?
Honestly, for some moms, it does seem like it lasts forever. Some moms hate being a mom. They can’t stand it. We will discuss some reasons, instances and solutions of this throughout the article.
I have found very few moms who have hated every living second of parenthood. Most moms that I have interviewed about this have had periods (often various) of hating being a mom and FEELING like that moment will last forever, but it rarely does.
These are usually times of absolute despair or times when the outside world is giving you the shits, and it all becomes too much. I went through a period a couple of years ago where mom regret seemed to stretch out for months.
I could feel my relationship fraying slowly. My house wasn’t any more a happy place to be. I was being bullied at work by people who were once my friends. It was an understated kind of thing and one of the big reasons I didn’t return to work.
I then had my second baby. Just days after, a family conflict between my partner and his sister was brought into our family, and it all became too much. My ex-partner was called out of the house to smooth things over. We just had a brand new baby, and I felt he should have focused on us learning to be a family of four together.
I remember hating every minute, not being able to open my eyes without crying. I couldn’t understand why they would be so inconsiderate at that time. I had let everything wear me down so damn much that I had lost my strength and power. I didn’t do anything useful to take control of these situations; I just cried and felt hurt.
As a result, I didn’t bond with my new baby for the first few weeks.
I had let these things affect me so much that there was a time where I regretted being a mom. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my kids; I was just so emotionally exhausted and turned upside down that it became too much for a while. I felt like I wasn’t doing what I needed to for them to feel loved.
I didn’t want to parent kids anymore. I didn’t want to have that responsibility while juggling everything.
But after a while (quite a long while sometimes), it subsides.
I still have moments where I feel like it is all too much and I think I am an inch away from crossing the line from sanity to insanity. I get so upset that I can’t cry or I can’t stop crying, and my usual way of dealing with things is to go out of the window. I start pleading to my kids to sleep while I think, ‘I can’t handle it right now’.
But What About Those Who Truly Hate Being a Mom?
Some moms do not enjoy being a mom. END OF STORY.
And for you, it seems like a constant uphill battle.
Most of you moms that hate the title still love your kids. You don’t enjoy being a parent to them and in some cases wish that it never happened.
Most moms that hate being a mom feel like they are failing the most because they can’t give their children what they think their children require. They may even hate the process of doing so.
You can't get your head around how the heck motherhood is meant to be enjoyable.
You always have to ask your kids to brush their teeth, comb their hair, and go to bed. You are up to your elbows in diapers and wipes. Even when they are asleep and resting, it can seem unenjoyable.
And then teenagers… well, at least they are old enough to do some things on their own.
For moms that don’t understand what that would it feel like, imagine feeling forced or obligated to go to work every day in a job that you hated and then feeling guilty that you didn’t love it, only worse.
Some moms can start resenting their child because they don’t enjoy motherhood.
It may be that you feel like your life has been in ruins or like you are missing out. Maybe you had to give up your career, your travel plans or your time out with friends. Perhaps you have prior-parenting life envy.
And you probably still feel guilty.
You might say or do things that you wish you could control. Or you can’t find it in you to show up at all. Whatever the reason is (and we are going to discuss some of them here), there are things that you CAN do to make it more enjoyable, or at the very least… easier.
Reasons for Mom Regret
There are a lot of reasonings that can lead to regretting being a mom. Some seriously feel like they are out of your control. If there is something I have learnt about life, it is that you can’t control anyone else, but you are in complete control of your actions (side note: take that bit of life advice for free).
Postpartum (or postnatal) depression is the case of a mother experiencing depression following childbirth. As a new mom or a mom that has had children for years, there are a lot of challenges that you face. You are also probably dealing with lack of sleep, life stressors, changes to your roles and responsibilities and changes within your relationships and career.
You might feel sad, overly tired, helpless, stressed, lost or isolated. You may wonder what is wrong with you.
“I had Postpartum Depression with both of my babies. I did not know I had it and it wasn’t diagnosed, so I thought there was something wrong with me. I loved both of my babies but really struggled to bond with them. The sound of them crying sent me stupid all the time. I couldn’t bring myself to hug and settle them some nights. I was always crying and couldn’t bring myself to look after my baby. I didn’t eat well, and sometimes I ate too much. I was desperately unhappy.”
Postpartum Depression is not something to be embarrassed about or overlooked. There is professional support for you, and we will discuss this in the second part of this article.
Exercise, self-care, relaxation and surrounding yourself with great people can also help if you have Postpartum Depression.
Past Life Envy
Which mom hasn’t had past life envy at least once?
That crushing feeling that you get when you see the freedom that your childless friends have. It is so easy for them to say yes to everything. They can make decisions that only require considering them. They don’t have to pack supplies or back up stocks to leave the house.
I am sure many of our friends without children think that we enjoy spending our days scrolling through Instagram and planning hours of fun, engaging and educational activities for our kids from the myriad of bright ideas that we can find. This stuff can be great, but;
Sometimes we want to have a wine and be able to leave the house then and there without having to bring our kids or find a babysitter. Sometimes we want to plan a holiday that doesn’t have to consider child-friendly options and cost the earth because you have to pay an extra 1K for a three-bedroom villa, with connected rooms and a freaking gate around the pool.
Our friends without children say things like, ‘But it must be so rewarding’, or the best one yet, ‘I get it. I have a dog, and it keeps chewing on my furniture’, Whoopidy Doo!
‘I have a kid that also chews the furniture while throwing poo at the walls, gets sick when I have nights out planned… and I bet your dog doesn’t answer back!’
Although this is supposed to be in good humour, I know you get my picture.
We don’t get to live life the way that we used to. It isn’t as easy as it once was. And yes, we make sacrifices and changes in our lives for our kids, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t sometimes think back to everything that we used to do and how we used to do it and sometimes feel a bit sad.
You Didn’t Realise How Hard It Was Going to Be
Kids can be hard work and being a mom can be tiring. We all know this. But for some moms, the tiring moments happen every day. And sometimes this adds up to the point where we become exhausted.
Being a mom isn’t always enjoyable.
“I became a mom and didn’t realise at all how bloody hard it was going to be. Probably, I didn’t think through being a mom enough. I didn’t realise that there wasn’t an answer for everything. Also, I didn’t realise how emotionally attached I could be to a little person whose personality and company I didn’t enjoy at times”.
I used to imagine my mind as a little avatar character on a treadmill 24 hours a day. Running, running and running and never stopping. For moms, it is a battle to leave the fricken front door of the house on most occasions. We are masters of logistics, chaos, problem-solving and negotiation to bloody step outside.
If you want to laugh your arse off at a reenactment of this moment, make sure you take a few minutes out of your day to watch this.
Now, I live in Bali with my kids, which means we travel everywhere on a scooter. Yes, all four of us can fit on it. Myself at the back, then my four-year-old, my partner drives and my two-year-old sits in a baby holder on the front. And most days, we also have to fit the kids’ favourite stuffed toys, including the 4-foot pink unicorn that my four-year-old has an attachment to, and will not leave the house without it.
But she is happy to leave without underwear and shoes.
The nappy bag goes inside the seat, and off we go to get from door to bike (about 21 feet away). It would take two adults three seconds to get there. For us, it would be about 33 minutes on a good day. And that is once we are ready to go after all the planning and packing.
Then when we finally arrive at the bbq or colleague catch up, we are usually at least an hour late, and we get confused looks from people who aren’t parents and looks of sympathy from parents who have managed to get there earlier than us.
Before mum life, this would have been easy. I would have thrown half a carton of vodkas in my scooter, and off I would go with no one to worry about but me. But this isn’t Hollywood; we don’t get to choose not to work with children. We work with them, and they work against us every day.
Seriously, motherhood is hard. Little people take up so much of our time and our physical and emotional energy. We are making decisions for the wellbeing of other human beings.
Most mums aren’t just moms either.
They are also fulfilling the roles of work, being a friend, a partner, a committee member - extra-curricular mom duties. Hectic to say the very least. I have had moments when I have felt like I have so much going on that my body has wanted to shut down.
Get kids ready, go to work, work, pick up kids, be present, play, cook, mealtime, bath, bottle, book, bed, struggle, bed, out of bed, nighttime feed, repeat. I get it, mom; I get it.
You Feel Like You Are Missing Out
Now, this is a big one.
How many of you experienced a feeling of loss, like you are missing out on something. Maybe you used to travel freely. Or maybe you had plans to take trips, to move, to work on your career and you then felt like having kids puts all of these to a standstill.
Maybe you had babies early and feel like you missed out on your youth. Perhaps you are a late-blooming mom and feel like you have missed out on relaxing.
“I wanted to go to Uni and travel. Being 21, leading a life of going out every night. Work, drink, party, travel. And then all of a sudden I had a baby in my arms and felt like I was locked up inside.
I couldn’t go out, and if I did, it was such a mission. Baby poo, baby spew, cry, milk, breastfeed. And then they get older, and you can’t sit and eat your dinner in peace without a tracking device on a two-year-old who runs and gets into everything.
You can’t go shopping unless they are pinned into a trolley. If you don’t have a trolley and they are in a pram, it is a two-person effort, and in most shops, you can’t fit the pram down the aisle. Then they cry, reach out, break things and touch stuff. I was constantly on edge.
Where are they?
What are they doing? You never get the opportunity to go anywhere because you are too tired and don’t want the logistical nightmare. If you do decide to go, then guaranteed my kid will crack it over nothing so I throw my hands up, walk away and decide it is too much hard work and can’t be bothered.
If you do that enough, you become depressed. I wasn’t ready to let go and have that kind of responsibility. Even more, I let go of my dream. I missed out; I now realise that I didn’t have to miss out."
Kids take a bit more planning.
But there is no reason that you have to miss out on anything; you might have to be a bit smarter about it.
That promotion, the career, the goal, the nights out with your friends here and there, the travel life—they are all possible. Kids don’t have to be a reason that you didn’t do something that you wanted to do, that you never went after that dream. They should be MORE of a reason to go out after your passion.
There is a perception that you have to give up your dreams to be a parent, and this isn’t true. All this does is rock your sense of identity that can lead to that feeling that we are ‘just a mom’ and not worthy of anything else.
Added Stress And Life Impact On You
Sometimes your world gets hectic, and it seems like it is entirely out of your control. Stuff happens, and it is not always great. Life can feel like it sucks. You may be going through a hard time, and the stress of it all gets the better of you.
“I just have so much going on. I had a lot on before I was pregnant, during my pregnancy and now I have a toddler. It is hard enough to juggle life’s happenings. With work, commitments, taking care of my parents and trying to keep everyone around me happy.
Then there is keeping a smile on my face, especially when my husband is working and we are dealing with family issues. I spend a lot of time trying to keep the wrong people happy. Moreover, I am not happy with me and my life so I can’t find happiness as a mom.
I am lost and so damn alone.
Also, I don’t have time, and if I do, I don’t enjoy spending it with my baby. I wish I never became a mom. At least not now. I am not sure if I was even made out for it.”
Two of the most significant pressures that moms feel affect their ability to enjoy being a mom are financial pressure and being in toxic relationships.
Providing for that little one is stressful enough. Babies grow, and they grow so fast. Every few months is a new set of EVERYTHING.
There is a lot to consider and budget for; Meeting mortgage repayments, car repayments, and feeling like you have to keep up with the Jones’. Food, utilities, medical bills, schooling, it just doesn’t stop.
It is horrible having to say no to your child because you can’t afford something they want or seeing them miss out on an event that their friends are attending to because it doesn’t fit the budget.
It can also be hard when there is added financial pressure due to having a child and having to make sacrifices to your own financial decisions.
We will talk about the other parent and the part they may play in making you hate being a mom in just a second, but I am going to speak with you about friends, colleagues and family for the moment.
I want to talk to you about this. As an online mindset coach and someone who has allowed toxicity in their life before, I am yet to find a mother who does not accept bad treatment from others in their life that then effects the way they think and feel about themselves — the kind of relationships that limit joy. The type of relations where you feel like you experience mistreatments, or feel like you are always walking on eggshells.
So many mothers put SO MUCH energy into these type of relationships. They expel emotional energy and feel emotional turmoil due to bullying. Many moms spend time with the wrong people. They try and make not so good people happy because they feel less anxious as a result. This behaviour takes away from the energy that you can be putting into yourself, your family and your children.
You Didn’t Want Kids In The First Place
There are some mums that I have spoken to that say they had kids, but they didn’t want them.
First-time moms became married and felt like it was the next logical step and did it without even thinking about it.
Some moms became pregnant. SURPRISE! And it wasn’t planned.
Some moms had kids because their friends did and they felt pressure to keep up with social norms.
Other moms had kids because their Aunty, mother, grandmother, or boyfriend kept pressuring them to do so and it got them off of their back.
Some moms have had kids and looked back and realised it wasn’t a decision that they wanted to make.
“I sort of left it up to the man who I became pregnant with and then became my boyfriend after that. It's more like I didn’t really want to be the person in charge or responsible for making that decision. I justified it by lots of different ways, but that as it.
As a result, I had babies with a person who I didn’t love, barely knew and had convinced myself I would learn to love. That might have been the case if you didn’t throw a BABY in the equation”.
I Had a Baby with the Wrong Person
Having been a single mom myself, I know that there are A LOT of ladies out there, married, separated, divorced and single who feel that they had babies with the wrong person.
There are so many reasons for this. You may start growing away from your partner; you find that you have different goals, values and ideas. Also, you may not be in a mindset that allows you to accept love and support from another person (and vice versa). You may be experiencing an unhealthy relationship, including an abusive relationship.
Some moms stick it out anyway; some don’t. They feel they don’t have a choice.
I had babies with someone that I didn’t love, which isn’t even the problem because two people that don’t like each other can still be great parents. Our relationship was tumultuous. He was never home, and we didn’t see eye to eye.
We wanted different things. It's just that we weren’t two people that were wanting to grow together before we had children. We had different dreams, goals, ideas, values, wants and needs. A baby made us grow apart even more and caused our relationship to break down… and the result of that is two separated parents who still can’t get along. It is so damn hard.
“Even though we didn’t like each other while we were in the relationship and it was just a morbid relationship for both of us, my children’s father is so angry that I left. His sights are set on making life hard and hurting me rather than putting the children’s interests first”.
It can be difficult when two parents are not happy in their relationship and are unhappy in the same home. It can cause extra friction and conflict.
Some parents feel like they are the one that takes on most of the responsibilities and duties of parenting and is working twice as hard. Parents that feel like they are copping the brunt of the changes and are making all the sacrifices can lead to disagreements and resentment towards your partner. Furthermore, it can lead to regretting having children or having children with that person if it is not spoken about and dealt with that partner.
Do Partners Hate Being Parents?
Dads and partners can experience Parent regret and post-natal depression. If this is the person you are relying on, parenting becomes even harder.
"For the first six months of my daughter being born, I didn’t want to be her parent. I resented her coming into this world to the point I neglected her. In fact, I would go to sleep and wouldn’t worry about her. I would go to work all the time and go out with the guys all the time.
I didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t want to go home because I was scared of what I needed to do. And my relationship was in turmoil, so I took it out on my daughter because I felt like she was the reason why I was stuck. I wouldn’t pay her any attention. That being said, I refused to change her pooey nappies; I refused to help. More so, I hardly ever held her, I would get frustrated at her all the time for crying and being sick.
She had terrible colic and was sick ALL THE TIME. I was absent all the time. Moreover, I think I had postnatal depression (the dad version). Not knowing what to do; all I saw was her taking my time away. I was 21, and I wasn’t ready".
We need to stop for a minute and look at the reality here. We are not the only person experiencing changes.
I know when I had my babies, my focus became solely on the children. It became to the point I was so busy being a mom and fulfilling the emotional needs of my babies that I never considered what my partner was going through. I just expected him to be okay.
It may mean that your partner needs to go and get help or you can seek support together in the form of parent or partner counselling.
There are tons of reasons for hating being a mom. Loathing and hatred towards motherhood are because of many issues such as having so many regrets, experiencing consequences of hating being a mom, acquiring behaviours such as resentment, rejection, abuse, neglect and stress, wondering if hating being a mom lasts forever, developing postpartum depression, envying past life without children, experiencing difficulties and pressures and having babies with the wrong person.
One may wonder how to deal with so much weight on your shoulders. The next part, part two, of this series will tackle how you could handle the responsibilities of motherhood. Yes, despite all the stress acquired in being a mom, there are advantages in being one.