I Don’t Like Being A Mom, And That’s Okay

A friend once asked me point blank, “Do you like being a mom?”  I found myself at a loss for words.  I love love my children more than life itself.  They are a precious gift and raising them is my top priority.  But do I like being a mom?

Not really.

Read all about it at The Mirror and let me know what you think.

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22 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Being A Mom, And That’s Okay

  1. Hi Laura, I enjoyed your column! I’m actually on a listserve with my parish right now on which most of the women are moms, and they send around a lot of posts about breastfeeding, natural cooking/home health remedies, teething issues, etc. It’s interesting for me as a single lady to read about this, but a couple times I’ve wondered whether, if I were a mom, I would actually enjoy talking about these things all day. I suspect I would be much more like you–I think we’re both very practical and have many interests that some other moms probably don’t have. Not that this is a criticism of anyone else in any way. I think it’s just a matter of natural interests and personality differences, as you suggest in your column.

    • Thanks Seana. I think it’s like any job–certain aspects of it are interesting in themselves. Other aspects are just interesting insofar as they’re a necessary part of your job. But since motherhood is a 24/7 thing it’s easy to lose sight of that distinction.

  2. You raise some very valid points! It reminds me of something I read once (sorry, I can’t remember where) that it’s important not to hang your entire mothering identity/perception of how much you “enjoy” motherhood one, etc. on any single stage of the process. Some people love newborns or very young children; others find the early years a trial, but really enjoy parenting when their children start getting older. Which really brought home to me (I can’t remember if it was explicit or not) that while we often focus on the “drudgery” of motherhood–diapers, cleaning, and so forth–the heart of it is spending your life with other people. The former is a “job,” but the latter is just… life. Both of which we sometimes enjoy, sometimes don’t, in different ways, and it fluctuates a lot–and that’s okay!

    I guess what I’m trying to say, in my rambling way, is that I like your post, and it’s given me a lot of thoughts 😉

  3. I totally agree with your article. I think because I struggle sometimes with the newborn phase, homemaking and have a lot of questions about homeschooling I overcompensate by reading a ton on those subjects to overprepare (like I used to in my Marketing job). But Mothering doesn’t quite work that way…reading a lot doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the day to day and lack of sleep. On the flip side I really care about education so I do enjoy (simple) preschool activities and the preschool age –and my kids aren’t in formal preschool so I do that at home and get ideas online or from Pinterest. My blog is like a scrapbook of photos of my kids (for out of town relatives who aren’t on Facebook) so it’s not a typical mommy blog, but I’m sure it comes across as kids kids kids all the time (which is intentional). I love talking books and clothing with other moms in person…that’s why I love your blog and Everyday Reading! Also I avoid the natural mothering blogs because everything becomes important on them (nursing vs formula, babywearing vs stroller, and I get overwhelmed).

    • Oh man, what you said about natural mother blogs reminds me of this blog post I read once about the HORRIBLE AWFUL DANGERS OF THE BUMBO SEAT (and of jumpers and exersaucers and walkers etc). I usually resist leaving angry comments when I disagree w/ someone but–man!–I went off on this one. Did I mention it was written by an occupational therapist who has no children of her own? Anyway, I subscribed to follow-up comments so every now and then I’m reminded of it when another comment lands in my in-box.

  4. You know, just yesterday I was thinking of Chopin’s The Awakening. How motherhood was totally not her forte.
    Because when our third baby was born and my husband looked me square in the eye after four days of being home with us and experiencing the monotony of toddler rearing, well he asked, “Do you LIKE what you do everyday? I love going to work, do you LIKE your job.” And I winced as I told him “I love our kids, but no, I don’t love doing the same thing day after day, but this is my labor of love.” I believe that. I also believe that I will like motherhood more as my children grow. A 3.5 yr old is INFINITELY more fun than a 2 yr old, in my eyes, because she uses the restroom with little to no help, brushes her teeth decently and can help herself to a glass of water. I do enjoy teaching my children, and I’m learning I savor independence in a child. All this being said, I’m learning to find joy in things I don’t necessarily like (ex:playing Mario Kart with my husband) and that has been huge for me in my marriage and in my maturity in this decade of the 20s. lol Not that Mario Kart is monumental, but its an example 🙂

    I’m not even sure if this novel of a comment is coherent. Fire up the coffee pot!

    • I’m holding up my coffee mug and pretending to clink it with yours. Cheers! 😉 My husband loves his job too. He knows how I feel about staying at home and will often remark, “You’re going straight to heaven, Laura.” Not sure that’s true but I appreciate the sentiment. Yes, it’s a labor of love and that’s why we do it! What we like changes and may pass away but whether we have loved has eternal consequences!

    • Wow. Just wow.
      Very well written…. I just made a similar comment to my husband today. I wish I could trade with my kindergartener and not be a mom for a day. Isn’t that horrible??? Moms are humans and we are made different. Some days, I don’t like mommy hood at all… Totally understand you about that. (And the jcrew sale!)
      Love is all you need.
      True that.

  5. I’m not a mom yet, and I’m often mystified by the talk of cloth diapers, grinding one’s own wheat and whatever else is trending on Pinterest. I grew up in the 90s (born in the 80s) and honestly don’t remember that sort of thing. Moms breastfed or not, definitely didn’t cloth diaper because THANK GOD FOR HUGGIES, and most of them worked. It was understood that moms (and dads) had lives beyond just us. Not to be all “look at us, we turned out fine,” but when did motherhood become a pissing contest? I strongly suspect the internet had a lot to do with it.

    • IMHO, it’s partly the internet. It’s also partly the developing concept of children being optional. Instead of parenthood being a lifestyle that almost automatically comes with marriage, it’s more like a luxury or a hobby. Like you need to do it perfectly to justify doing it at all. And even if you don’t buy into that mentality, it’s easy to get swept up in the side effects b/c of, like you said, the internet.

      • Very astute. Since it’s just a “lifestyle” choice then it has to be perfect, instead of just something most people do. It’s also a privilege thing; I see this in upper middle class families mostly, not folks just trying to pay the bills.

  6. I second everything you wrote in your article. I loved being a stay at home mum with my first boy – I was happy to do nothing except look after him all day, every day. But since having my second baby I’ve wanted to do other things and carve out time to blog, go shopping, etc. And I love clothes and like you, worry about the vanity thing – am I ‘allowed’ to spend this much time/money on clothes instead of buying developmental toys and reading to my toddler to improve his vocabulary??
    I came across an article about how you shouldn’t put your crawler-age babies on the floor sitting up, because you need to allow them to develop naturally and sitting is an unnatural position….and I’ve come across women who said formula was poison because it has CHEMICALS in it (well gee so does breastmilk, and I’m saying this as someone who is currently breastfeeding, but I have no problem giving my baby a bottle when I want a break from feeding because really, the important thing is that your kids are being fed).
    And I agree with your comment about children becoming ‘optional’. In the past having children was just something almost everyone did. You dealt with the sleep-deprivation and nappies and just got on with it. But now children are something that you plan for and time perfectly to slot in with your career and new house etc. They’re something that you have to achieve, rather than just have, which I think is contributing to the very high termination rates of disabled babies we have. I also find that our society in general is losing its empathy. People are becoming more rude, more ignorant, and more entitled.

  7. Pingback: Reluctant homeschooling | This Felicitous Life

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