Sometimes, I Hate Being a Mom.

Via on Dec 27, 2013

Puppy Face

This feeling arises when I least expect it.

It’s dependent on many factors; how I’m feeling that day, how the kids are behaving, if everyone’s slept through the night, how busy I am with work or how busy they are with activities. I can’t predict when I’ll hate being a mom, but I can predict I will hate it at times.

I remember the first time I did. My eldest daughter was about four months old. All I wanted to do was shower but she didn’t want me to, so I clipped her into her bouncy seat, brought her in the bathroom and showered while she screamed.

“I hate this,” I thought. “I love her, but I hate this, being a mom. I’m completely responsible 24-7 for this other person with no reprieve. What about me? How selfish am I? I just want to ‘do’ me sometimes, is that so wrong?”

These feelings have strengthened in intensity and frequency over the past eight years, because like every parent, I didn’t know this was how it was going to be. I wasn’t prepared for this, not to mention there’s no one who can teach you how to take care of another human life; you have to teach yourself.

I didn’t know there would be days I would want to quit because, although motherhood is a blessing, it’s also a job. There’s no job description or responsibility chart to consult prior to employment. You have absolutely no idea what to expect and if you don’t like it, that’s too bad because this is the one job you can’t quit, even if you try.

When you become a parent, you become the boss of unruly employees who think they’re your boss and live to test your patience and your sanity. They will threaten to fire you because you didn’t give them another cookie, or you took away their favorite toy because they hit their sister.

The part of the job I didn’t know I would resent the most is not all of the above, plus the lack of sleep, the attacks of poop and vomit, the vein baby/souvenir of childbirth known as the hemorrhoid, or the hearing loss from the blood curdling tantrums, nope—it’s the ‘I didn’t know I could love someone this much it hurts and consumes my every thought’ part.

When they hurt, I hurt. When they suffer, I suffer.

Whether they are with me, at school or with their dad on the weekends, I think about them constantly. I worry about their every need. I feel guilty I’m not doing enough or I feel guilty for doing too much.

I hate how my happiness is dependent on their happiness, and their happiness is dependent on mine. To be this intertwined with another, to carry the weight of this responsibility—I cherish it, but I also hate it.

Sometimes, they make me want to jump out of the moving car and/or I fantasize about throwing them out of the car (even though I never would) and sometimes, I love them so much, I want to eat them so I can digest the love I feel for them.

Either way, whether they drive me insane in good way or in a bad way sometimes, it’s just too much, it’s overwhelming and I find myself hating it. Especially now that everything has changed since I’ve found something, myself.

A Mother's EmbraceMost of us become mothers before we become ourselves. We don’t grow into our minds, hearts or bodies until our thirties when we’ve already been parenting for years.

Here we are, finally falling in love with ourselves, discovering our purpose and passion in life, but it has to wait because we have to find the yellow crayon someone was using even though there are three more in the container, and someone else is crying because they just wanted one more yogurt squeeze.

Discovering your purpose when you have children is like buying a brand new sports car you’re only allowed to drive in the driveway (unless you occasionally sneak out to the racetrack knowing you will face a consequence when you return).

I know, because I’m this mom—the mom who found her calling and tries relentlessly to do it all and avoid the consequences. I try to ignore the exhaustion, frustration and trailer of guilt, but I can’t. I always end up in a fishtail of resentment.

I feel like I’m failing as a mother most of the time and I’m not succeeding as myself either.

I feel selfish for opening a second studio and teaching. There are many nights I feel disgusted with myself because I’d rather be writing in my room than sitting with my daughters while they play.

I find myself at an impasse frequently, as though the standoff must end at some point and one must surrender to the other—me or motherhood? Do I need to fail at one to succeed at the other?

When I consider this, I know without a doubt I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. I love my children not just because they are my children; I genuinely appreciate and love them as the people they have become.

However, I would be lying if I didn’t admit sometimes, I wish they would disappear—transported to a safe, loving planet where Mary Poppins clones await, holding trays of fresh baked cookies made of spinach (but that taste like chocolate chips). A place where rainbow looms grow from trees and a shortage of rubber bands doesn’t exist. Where an endless table of arts and crafts sits eager to be destroyed with glue, paint and eraser debris I don’t have to clean up. A place they can go so I don’t have the burden of worry. I could let go of the responsibility and just ‘do’ me for a bit.

I’ve wondered (often), what would it be like if I wasn’t a mother?

I could sleep until seven a.m. without the poke of my cheek at  three a.m., “Mom, can I go watch cartoons? Can I pee in your bathroom? Can I have cheerios? I had a nightmare mommy, a giant fly punched me in the nose, will you get him out of my room?”  I could sleep through it all and wake up well rested without the need for a caffeine boost.

I could write at all hours of the day, skip breakfast, or lunch or dinner if I wanted to. I could teach yoga classes without having to consult the school schedule, or give all of the earnings from the class I taught to the babysitter I hired so I could go teach the class.

I could make it through the grocery store without finding three packages of Oreo cookies hidden at the bottom of my cart.

I could have the luxury of assuming whining was a condition listed on the DSM-IV, not the daily vocal tone of a five year old girl. I certainly wouldn’t know the torturous experience of being caught in the middle of Target, as they decide to throw a tantrum because I wouldn’t buy them the Hello Kitty stickers from the $1 bin.

I could pee without someone barreling into the bathroom with her American Doll, “Mom, you have to put this heart necklace on Donna right now, she can’t go out without it. Please, now, now!”

I wouldn’t feel guilty for ignoring the PTO or volunteer emails from their school because I don’t want to help. I’d rather work, write or teach so when I do get my kids at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve accomplished something important and I don’t ‘hate being a mom’ when I’m inundated with back packs, boo boos, smelly shoes filled with sand, and a to do list that never seems to end.

I wouldn’t get stomach aches worrying about them being bullied by that girl at school, or the deep ache in my heart I feel when they have an ear infection and there is nothing I can do to make it better.

It would be easier without the responsibility, but I would miss them and I would miss me too. motherhoodBeing responsible for another person was the catalyst that propelled me into self-realization.

I’ve become myself, because of them.

They’ve inspired my growth just as much as I’ve guided theirs. What I thought was a stalemate in life’s purpose, is actually a state of compromise and balance. I can’t do it all, but I can try to do my best with it all. I can be a mom and I can be myself.

Part of being myself is accepting my humanness—my thoughts of discontent, the guilt, the worry, the feelings of failure mixed with my desire to fulfill my dreams. All of these feelings are natural; they are a part of the job.

It’s ok that hate this job sometimes, how could I not?  It’s the hardest job in the world that no one is ever prepared for. I just need to remember if I try my best, it is always enough. Sometimes, my best is a compromise between meeting their needs and honoring mine. Some nights, I will leave them to play on their own as I write in my room, because although they are my responsibility, I am my responsibility too. If I’m unhappy, they will be too, so being ‘selfish’ and taking my sports car to the track is the best thing I can do for all of us. It will inevitably make all of us happier.

My kids have been away with their dad this week and I’ve had the opportunity to just do me. I’ve been productive—fulfilling my purpose, but something’s missing, that feeling. I realize, I would rather know what it is like to hate being a mom sometimes, than not know what it’s like to hate it at all.

Right now, I’m craving the whining, the maple syrup spills in the morning, the juggle of my classes and my writings, because without it all, life is purposeless and so am I.

By Rebecca Lammersen

Relephant Reads:

Post Partum Public Urination: Motherhood (Finally) Understood. ~ Licia Morelli

Motherhood is not a Competition.

6 Mantras for the First 6 Months of Motherhood. ~ Joanna Natalija White

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Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photo: Courtesy of the Author / Pixoto

About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, a donation based yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. Check out Rebecca's website and her articles at The Huffington Post. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!

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33 Responses to “Sometimes, I Hate Being a Mom.”

  1. DeeDee says:

    Thank you for posting this. Sometimes it feels good to know your not alone. I love being a mom but I do wish I wasnt wt times just so that I could be me again. I miss the free spirited get up and go that was me, now there are days I dont eve go out of the house. When I do go out all I do is worry about them. I don't want to worry I would like to be care free for just a day.

  2. @pixielatte says:

    Couldn't have said It better… The most hard thing to do is to accept this feelings because the people begin to judge and makes you feel so guilty, bad mother, etc.. Everything is not bright. Thanks for sharing this !

  3. Miranda Rose Vineyard says:

    *tear(sssss)* Thanks for this lovely post.

  4. christina says:

    Thank you. Ive been struggling and wrestling with all of this lately and have been reminded by your words that im not alone. Love to all who find themself in this place now.

  5. Carol says:

    Mmmmm ditto! And as you say at the end, it’s a journey we’re on and a tough one, the hardest and the most rewarding experience we’ll probably ever have, and we must remember to be a good friend to ourselves, and support ourselves as we would a dear and loved friend, and as we would our children. Much love to all

  6. Susan says:

    Oh I can so relate to this….and I just want to share that my kids are now grown and that annoying as hell cliche of 'cherish this, it's over SO FAST', was true, dammit! Your honesty is so appreciated and, I'm sure, helps your peers breathe just a little easier knowing they are not alone in this experience of Motherhood.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for this. Sometimes I feel absolutely awful, like I dont deserve my children because of the way I feel. But I feel so empty when they are gone. You have put this problem beautifully and I am grateful to know that I am not alone.

  8. jazz says:

    Thank you for writing this! I came to the realization that I do have the choice to make time in mmy life for other things I want and need tonaccomplish, aside from being a single mother.

  9. Lis says:

    It's hard to win as a mother. I read these kinds of articles and I think there's something wrong with me that I've never hated being a mother. Is it because I lack ambition? I worked for years before I had children and I enjoyed it, but I rarely miss it. I do feel I've accomplished something important when I spend my day cooking or running errands or writing the PTO newsletter before I pick the kids up from school. The feeling I have to fight is that I'm somehow *less* because I am fulfilled by motherhood, because I'm bombarded by messages that it shouldn't be enough for me.

    • Cara says:

      You are not less! I was a corporate trainer and I loved loved loved my job. Then I realized I couldn't be 100% to both and it irked me because I'm a perfectionist. SO I picked the one thing that meant the most to me, which was my family and my four kids. My mom worked and so I also think that mom's that work are awesome too, they just have it harder than I do. I'm thankful I can stay home even if all my kids are in school, because they are still a full time job in my eyes.

  10. Mina says:

    Interesting, as a self-chosen child-free woman I read these articles with great interest too. Guilt and insecurity seem to often be part of women's daily reflections. In today's society apparently we still get guilt-tricked, regardless of the path we chose. Mothers feeling unaccomplished, mothers feeling like they are somehow "less" and child-free women like me who are pushed into thinking they are being selfish. Luckily I do not surrender to it. Perhaps we should stop the self-blaming and blaming each other, accept that each choice is different, but fine in its own right. Stop focusing on whatever "image" we think we should project and really learn what we are about. Peace & Love M.

  11. Cara says:

    This article disgusts me and brings to mind, “irresponsible journalism”. How many times on the news have we heard of parental child abuse? This article is basically telling people it’s okay to hate your kids, and have thoughts to hurt them…even though you would never follow through with it. There is something wrong with a person who has thoughts like this and they need to seek psychiatric help. They also need to reassess their life and priority’s. Today’s mindset of our generation is that you can have it all. You can have children, the career, look perfect, be perfect and have the perfect family. That is a load of crap. If you want anything, sacrifices have to be made. That’s a term nobody likes to hear, or do. When you have children you are willing to give up part of your life and make them the center of it. Selfishness cannot exist within a family atmosphere. I understand about needing time alone, I understand about being a single mom, I understand about postpartum depression, and I understand being a working single mom going to school with four kids under the age of 8. What I don’t understand is how someone can glorify hating being a mom. There are a lot of would be parents that would gladly help you out there. They would love the moments you seem to despise. Maybe I took the article wrong, maybe I misunderstood you. Maybe you should learn a larger vocabulary and words to describe how you really feel….

    • Kyle says:

      Cara – Thank you for being so perfect. You are right, Rebecca and the thousands of Mom’s that needed a little vicarious venting through Rebecca, are obviously wrong. If more moms could learned to bottle up their feelings like you, the world would obviously be a better place. Please send a link to some of your articles, I am dying to read more of your enlightening thoughts.

    • Dee says:

      I do not take this article as glorifying anything! The author is trying to share her real, human feelings of sadness, bitterness, overwhelm and dislike at times of the submersion of self that motherhood is, as well as the amazing parts of being a mom. What didn't you understand about that? Nowhere was there any saying or even implying that it is Ok to hate your children or condone hurting them. I can see that anything that threatens your worldview or what you think people "should" think makes you very quick to label and judge and condemn. Maybe you should take a look at that?

  12. Julie says:

    Thank you for writing this. I have had so many of the feelings you do/did. It has taken me years to relax a bit and not dislike the experience so much and, in fact, learn to appreciate it as she grows. I love that I am dedicated to my daughter, but I ache so much for the missed career and life opportunities and how I can't really take them now since I want to devote time to my daughter. I miss 'doing me' but this is what I signed up for and I know it is worth it (for the longest time, I was not sure if it was). It is so taboo for women to say they don't like motherhood but the fact is, you don't know if you like something until you try it and, as you said, there are no take backs on this one. I love my daughter deeply and the worry about her being bullied, someone attacking her, her just feeling sad, kills me when I think about it – it's why I have given up on a lot of my dreams, so I can be there for her to make her resilient and confident with the hope that those qualities will carry her through the hard times. But the loss of my dreams and living in the shadow of a successful spouse is tough. Thank you again for writing this, I appreciate this honesty.

  13. Dee says:

    Amen, sister!

  14. Diani says:

    You have expressed exactly how I’ve been feeling for the last year! Omg I knew I wasn’t alone but didn’t feel like I could share this with anyone. I’ve been feeling so guilty about these thoughts and feelings, wondering If I have what it takes, thinking I’m a terrible person and mother for feeling this way. A last I can breathe again. I think I’ll print this article and read it every time these frustrations arise and know that i CAN do it and that I’m not alone! Thank you for writing what so many of us are afraid to put into words. May God bless the works of your hands and your beautiful children. I look forward to reading more by you.

  15. lyn says:

    Thanks for this! I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I've come to a safe conclusion : ***I love my children but I don't love being a Mom all the time*** I think it's okay, these feelings are especially true at 3 am when my baby girl wakes up screaming – I just don't love being a Mom at that moment or when my son has a major melt down and the list goes on. You don't need to love child birth to love the end result, which is the child. I'm learning that it's okay to leave them to scream and walk away, to be me, in another room and just breathe and pull myself together (it usually means locking myself in my room for a few) but I do it and they will be okay and when I'm okay, I can deal with it better.

  16. Veronica Juarez says:

    Thank God I stumbled upon your article. I’m actually in tears because I needed to read someone else’s feelings that relate so strongly to mine. I love my kids but being a stay at home mom can have its moments of turmoil that I have found myself questioning if I am a good Mom, considering the fact that more than half the time I’m agitated & exhausted. But yet, I can’t imagine life without them. Thank you.

  17. becca says:

    Yes. Yes to all of it, but especially to this– “Being responsible for another person was the catalyst that propelled me into self-realization. I’ve become myself, because of them.” Thank you for saying outloud what I think so many of us think and feel.

  18. movimiento says:

    I think this article reflects not only the hard work and responsibility that goes into motherhood but two ways being a mother has also been affected by our "modern" ways of living – less community and extended family support, child-centered parenting and still living in a very patriarchal society. My mother got her Masters and Phd and worked all the time besides running a household, while my father was able to develop his musical career with little responsibility to the home even though he was a good father in emotional ways. I married a foreigner and moved abroad where my husband's family (grandparents, aunts) really pitch in to help and raise the children. Even thought it is mostly the women who are doing it. I also feel that my child will have a better model of a parent if I am happy and pursue what I love in life without them feeling I am not paying enough attention to them. I think children in the past were left alone more to explore and develop themselves. Helicopter parenting limits them as much as it makes us feel like we have to be at their call constantly. Lastly the support of women in general in pregnancy, birth and postpartum has contributed to a huge crisis in motherhood. Mothers play the principal role in raising human beings and we are treated like we do nothing. This undervalue of mothers around the world makes mothers themselves devalue themselves and feel as they are not ever doing enough or worthy enough.

  19. dana says:

    Gut wrenching what women feel from time to time. I think it is important to know that feelings are fleeting, however if people get stuck in thinking this way it can lead to more sad than good and then one needs to find some help. I think this article is a self help tool for the writer. Having children is not easy, throw one in who has health issues and your perception of what is important sometimes changes (you have no choice but to give up certain things that you think you need). Bless all the women in the world. Taking care of your self should never seem as selfish, but as mandatory to keep strong for your family. Mommies are super important.

  20. shay says:

    Its almost 3am and I’m laying here with tears in my eyes, This article touched me in many ways. I’m a single mom of 2yr twin girls. Their dad committed suicide when they were 4 months old. This journey hasn’t been easy, I can feel the depression tapping my shoulders, pulling my hair! I refuse to give in because my daughters need me. But I feel so overwhelmed!!!!!! I’m mentally exhausted. This article reminded me that I am human and God gave me these girls because he knew I could handle it. I’m still holding on…

    • Melyssa says:

      You can do it, Shay. Being a mom is the hardest job you'll ever love. It's not fair that you're doing it on your own. Just love them and do your best. Keep reminding yourself that you're human, stronger than you think you are, and beautifully blessed with the love of your girls. Consider yourself hugged.

  21. Bev Crear says:

    Great article. Now that I am a Grandmommy of 3, I can relax and be the Mommy I always wanted to be. I was a single Mom for over half of my 3 children’s lives. I do appreciate your candor, it is so very refreshing and so very real. I remember my excitement anticipating “Dad weekend” when I could clean the bathroom minus little hands and feet to help, the euphoria of a long, long undisturbed shower and the luxury of moisterizing. I remember wondering if my kids missed “stealing” into my bed after I was unconscious, and could not say “No, good night and I love you.” It indeed goes very quickly, so you are right to steal some time for the race car, it is so important. My daughter is now traveling that same path and she has a village of support, much like the one I had. My husband and I, my sister and her family and my son and his wife always step up to fill the gap left by the ex-husband, non-present dad. Thanks for putting into words, with such clarity, the incredible motherhood journey.

  22. Ange says:

    3 days into summer vacation and I'm losing my mind. I googled "I hate being a mom" and found this article. It articulated everything that I have been feeling for a few years, especially the challenges that we face when we've found ourselves after having had children. I am a recent 30something university graduate with two daughters and feel that I have found my purpose and calling in life, but struggle with fitting my daughters into my evolving academic and career goals and often find myself resenting them and regretting my decision to become a mother – and that is an awful feeling. It helps to know that I am not alone. Thank you. I am printing this for future reference and comfort.

  23. HappyMom says:

    First off, "most of us" didn't necessarily become mothers before we became ourselves. Many women waited until they were in their 30s or even 40s to have children. If you were blessed to have children so young then I think you should be thankful instead of resentful. In this article, you come across as very selfish, complaining that you have to wake up at 3 AM to find a crayon, or discovering hidden Oreos at the bottom of your shopping cart. True, you don't know all that being a parent entails before having children, but common sense and experience of others tells you that you have to make sacrifices and the world stops revolving around me, me, ME! I personally love every second with my child and realise that even if a tantrum can be frustrating, those too will end and I will miss them when my son grows up. When your children are grown you will have plenty of time to take an undisturbed shower or have a sleep-in until 9. For now be thankful and accepting that it's more about them, and less about you.

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