Anyone else hate motherhood?(122 Posts)
DS is now 10 months and I've struggled from the start. Practically I manage fine, DS is the best behaved, good-natured baby in the world. He sleeps all night and always has. I have no baby-related reason to find it tough, I just don't enjoy it. If I never have to change another nappy in my life it will be too soon! After 10 minutes of sing-songing or reading a book with him I'm bored. I resent him because he takes up ALL my time and I can't do anything else except look after him. The thought that I'll never have a proper relaxed lie-in or holiday for the next 16 years or so fills me with horror. Oh, and I hate going to Mother and Baby groups because I find the baby conversation dull and irritating.
Yet, I can't talk about this to anyone except my husband because it's socially unacceptable to say you don't like being a mum. People even ask "so are you enjoying motherhood?" And I try to give some non-committal answer. I don't have the guts to just say "no" and see what they say! Don't get me wrong, I adore my little boy and he was very much longed-for, but now he's here I regret the decision to have children.
And if you don't like reading this, please don't bother responding. I'm looking for support and people who feel the same. I don't need to hear sanctimonious twaddle about how lucky I am to have had a child, many people aren't so lucky and he didn't ask to be born so it's not his fault etc etc. I know all that. I'm desperately miserable and I feel very alone and I hate myself for not being happy and being able to just enjoy and be grateful for my gorgeous little boy.
Oh this must have taken a lot of ourage to write lancylass . I saulte you for that because it's not an easy thing to talk about.
I felt the same with my DS1, he was a very hard work baby but I think even if he had been 'easy' I still would have felt the boredom you describe. I was convinced I was a horrible mum and I would never have a life outside of feeding, changing, building tower blocks and pretending to actually enjoy his company. I felt like an alien, like I was the only one in the world who didn't like their own child. I loved him. I wanted him to be happy but I just didn't want to be the one who had to work at it all the time. It just seemed so hopeless and relentless. Ground hog day.
I think if you are anything like me then you may 'grow' into motherhood. I found the baby phase nothing but hard work and you don;t really get anything back. Being around a non verbal baby is very draining, day in day out. It drove me mad.
DS1 is now 5 and is mazing. I get so much back from him now. I enjoy his company. He is interesting. He makes me laugh. He is not just demanding and draining.
I now have DS2 who is 15 months and I feel largely as you describe again. He's not the easiest baby but he's not as difficult as DS1 yet I still feel bored and claustrophobic around him. I just don't think I am very good at being around babies. They stress me out and bore me to tears. That's not something I would admit in real life mind. We're all supposed to sail through it all aren't we? It's all supposed to come so naturally. Well it didn't for me at all. You aren't alone.
i hate it too, your not alone! well done for posting! i have 2, DD is 2 1/2 and DS is 15 months, DP is useless, have no time to do anything wish i could rewind 3 years! hugs
Hi this was exactly how I felt with ds1 and swore I was never having any more - fast forward 4 years and I love him so much but also love being with him, enjoy his company and activities like swimming and cinema trips are a joy (can't wait to try Disney world and Lego land in the coming years!)
So much so that I had ds2 3 months ago not for me but for ds1 because I wanted him to have a sibling !
But oh I had forgotten how hard the early months were and have also spent a lot of time crying - but now it's over lost time cuddling ds1 and lazy Sunday lie ins with cbeebies on in the bedroom.
SuperDooper - I've felt like that about so many of the posts here, I wish I'd read mumsnet before deciding to have a baby :0
These posts should be compiled into a book and handed out to GPs who assume women have pnd simply because they aren't dancing for joy at becoming mothers....
I want to send this thread to the odious James Delingpole who I once heard on the radio proclaiming that they shouldn't extend paternity leave because women are more natural at parenting and they enjoy it more. I happened to hear him after a particularly terrible night with DS and I wanted to throw my baby at the radio I was so angry.
The assumption that women are somehow better at drudgery than men is hugely insulting. I do it because I have to but I don't bloody well enjoy it or feel that it is a natural part of my womanhood and therefore somehow sacred.
Completely agree with Anyoneforturps about medicalising this. If you have depression then you should see a GP. But I absolutely wasn't depressed - I was effing pissed off!
I'll end this rant by saying again though that my life has got much better as my DCs have grown. The key milestones for me were not "first step" and "first word" but "first time able to get into car seat by themselves so I don't have to lug them in" and "first time able to go out for lunch with two normal humans accompanying me rather than two screaming whiners".
Opening up to friends helped me deal with this. I was incredibly weighed down with the feelings of guilt about finding motherhood so hard and so boring. I have a couple of close friends with children (at the time babies) of a similar age and we opened up about how effing relentless we found it. It was like a lifeline, just knowing someone else understood.
I really identify with your feelings of being trapped and the whole thing of clockwatching till you get a break. I still hate it when they (now 11 and 8) are ill and we are trapped in the house.
MillionPramMiles - reading your 2nd paragraph was like reading my mind. Spooky!
LancyLass - thank you for starting this thread, I've found some of these posts heartening, I hope they make you feel you're not alone.
My dd is 10 months old and I've found motherhood at best mostly dull, repetitive drudgery and at its worst almost unbearable. Yes I love my dd, cuddle her endlessly and her smiles melt my heart. But if I'd known before I was pregnant what I know now, I wouldn't have had a child (and I certainly won't have a second!). I'd never wanted children but my dp did, so I gave in, against my instincts. Admittedly I've a non-sleeping baby which doesn't help (oh what I'd do for a two hour nap....or waking later than 5.30am...).
There's lots of good advice on the posts here, the only thing I would add is - ditch the guilt. As long as you're confident your ds is being looked after properly, whether its by your partner, grandparents or a babysitter, then try to have regular proper breaks doing something that absorbs your attention and helps you relax. Try, try, try to forget about your ds during these periods.
Try to have something, any little break, to look forward to. I literally count down the days on a calender....
I havent read the whole thread but I just wanted to say that feeling like you do seems to be quite a natural reaction to being a mum - loss of agency, living your whole life at someone else's beck and call, spending your whole day with someone who, if adult, would be classed as having a personality disorder, poor sleep at night, your body is messed up, you can't find much time to do the things you love and which make life fun, not to mention the endless guilt, worry and responsibility!
I have two - I love them. Deep down I am deeply content that I have them in my life, its lovely for DH and I to share in them and they are gorgeous children. i wouldn't change things.
I do also have happy moments with them, when they are playing nicely, or they come out with lovely things or we have fun together as a family. I enjoy the thought of watching them grow up.
But I wouldn't say I feel "happy" generally - indeed, after a poor nights sleep with DS, when he wakes me at 6.45 and I have to try and shower with him round my feet and negotiate with DD so she will get dressed, I feel frankly quite miserable and dread the slog of the day.
I'm not depressed generally. If I had the time to do what I enjoy, I would be full of joie of vivre I do look forward to weekends when we are all together.
I think feeling miserable and like life is a slog is part and parcel of motherhood.
Have you read Torn in Two by Rozsika Parker? Excellent book on the conflicting feelings aroused by being a mother. Definitely worth the money.
It sounds as if the OP has already been screened for PND and had counselling. I totally agree with Corygirl further up the thread: we shouldn't be medicalising women who express unhappiness at being mothers. You see this on MN all the time - if a woman reports any distress, she is told to see her GP. Of course, sometimes depression is part of the problem but often unhappiness is a normal and rational reaction to huge life changes. Every aspect of your identity changes when you become a mother: job, sexual relationship, body shape, social role. It is not surprising that women find this difficult, no matter how much they love their baby, but we do not allow them to express their feelings. Either they are supposed to say how much they love motherhood or, if they manifest any negative feelings, we want to categorise them as depressed. It's like the Victorians medicalising women's discontent at society's restrictions on them as hysteria.
I admire your honesty. Without boring you with it all, I thought my life was cr*p and it was the biggest regret I had. I'd been made redundant whilst on ML and couldn't go for the jobs I would have loved to do, all because of my role as a mother. When he was 6 months old I went back to work because I was sick of it all. I left him with my mother who has the patience of a saint!
Please take the advice of others and see a GP. I didn't and perhaps could have saved months of misery. I remember ticking all the no boxes on the questionnaire that the HV brought round asking was I weepy, depressed etc. How could I admit it and be seen as a bad mother? Please also plan little treats for yourself. Go away for nice lunches, the theatre anything. I don't know if it will work for you, but I found it much easier to cope when I realised that I was still allowed to be me, not just trying to be this amazing mum and nothing else.
I'm not saying its the same for everyone, but now I love him so much and can't bear to be away from him. He's a toddler now and I really like this phase. He's just amazing and so funny. I've even changed jobs to work from home so I can be with him more and at one time I would have never done that!
Not all of us are cut out for baby stage, just as not all of us are cut out for Kevin the teenager years either.
Lancylass My DD is 19mo, and it's only the last few weeks that I've not minded going to mums & tots groups. I won't say I enjoy it, but I can bear it. I am rubbish at making conversation with people I don't know, so have found it hard to make friends, but it is finally happening.
The reason I go is because, like you, there is so much I'd like to be doing at home - gardening, crafts, cooking (making pies, making curries from scratch, and baking cakes, rather than churning out yet another bolognese or whatever), and even doing the housework. I get frustrated being in the house and seeing all these things that I need / want to do, but can't because of DD. She is good at entertaining herself, but still, I can't vacuum the stairs whilst she's around, for example. I could make pastry, but I'd have to stop and wash my hands a million times to remove her from whatever she shouldn't be in / on / near. So at least if we're not at home, I'm not thinking of all the things I can't do. If you're doing a lot of work on the house, there will ALWAYS be something you want to get done, and it is frustrating when all you can do is look at it.
It gets easier as they get older and communicate a bit more. When DS was young I didn't want to leave him either but then when he was about 1 I started to go back to the gym and yoga. (needed to get back some of me)
Am sorry you missed the start of crawling but in my view it doesn't count until you see it. Otherwise I missed DS crawling because I had a shower! I think it is mean when family try and tell you missed something. You didn't miss anything, it only counts if you are there.
It is hard to loose that spontaneity, and the feeling of being free to enjoy culture for example, but it slowly slowly will start to come back. I took my nearly 2 year old to a thing which was short films set to live piano. Meant for kids but I still got something out of it. What I am trying to say is that there are ways to get some theatre and cinema experience if not quite the adult stuff. We have baby cinema one day a week near us. there must be some theatre for children that adults can enjoy too.
dodgy days.... you're still that woman, reclaim her!!!!
It is so, so difficult. Much tougher than I ever imagined (and I really didn't think it would be a walk in the park either).
There used to be a woman, she had an interesting career and fabulous friends. She used to eat out all the time,
even breakfast. She attended yoga classes three times a week and had a fabulous figure You would have liked the clothes that hung in her wardrobe. Her husband thought she was sexy, funny and interesting. She had a few adventures under her belt. Travelled, sometimes alone. If you'd met her, you might have ended up mates.
There is a mother. She is dulled, bored and hasn't had a full night of sleep in 18 months. She is sliding into matyrdom and although aware of this, feels there is precious little she can do about it. Her confidence and sparkle has gone. When she looks at her sleeping child, there is a swell of love in her heart. But it isn't enough. It does not and cannot sustain her through the days spent sat on the floor, playing the same games, reading the same stories and asking the same rhetorical questions. The days when the only other voice is the radio's and the echo of her faux-brightness is mocked by the four walls. The days when, observed only by her child, she has curled up on the carpet and wept for the woman she used to be.
I don't know where I am going with this, just venting...
And I've realised now with my second that I don't have to amuse baby all day long, they are quite happy rolling about on the floor while you read a book for a bit and you can get up and go for a pee as long as your house is already baby safe. With my first I waited until he was asleep before I had a bath, no wonder I was getting ratty! With second I have a bath while he plays just outside the door peering in and we have a bit of a chat and then I relax with my candles for a while. It doesn't do a baby any real good to have mum always hovering about and they really can survive and thrive with a little bit of time to themselves (thinking 30mins not 4 hours!). Just thought I'd throw that in.
"And sometimes I feel like I'm just killing time; until they nap, until I can have a cup of coffee in peace, until DH gets home, until the weekend, until the next event that breaks up the drudgery and monotony of it all."
yes yes yes to this. DD is 3.5 months, she is a delightful baby but oh my god it's dull looking after her and entertaining her every day. I look forward to feeds because at least I can watch some tv then and not have to amuse her.
I too struggle with the fact that I can never just do what I fancy (am BFing so can't take more than 3hrs away from her in the day, and am too tired to enjoy doing stuff in the evenings). I can't even go for a pee when I need one, I need to make sure I put her somewhere safe first... At least when I was working I could usually just get up and go to the loo!
I am not feeling too bad about finding it dull however, and I think that is because I expected it to be. my mum has always been honest about how boring she found the baby stage so this lowered my expectations. I made the decision to have a DC despite thinking i probably would not enjoy a lot of the baby stage - basically I had a baby in order to get an older child one day. that may sound very negative and of course there are plenty of moments in the day that are lovely... but mostly, it feels like killing time till she gets older.
just wanted to chip in re the sleep, I love to sleep, mean really heart it. I have 4 children,nyoungest is 4 months. I have a lie in every weekend religiously,can you do that?
Could it be that you haven't accepted that your life has changed? That you're still attached to the life you had (even though at times you didn't enjoy it that much) and you haven't shifted over to this new life? I find the endless worry about the babies exhausting and I really really hate that, I feel anxious about them a lot and feel my peace of mind has gone in a way. But I adore them and have fun with them but I can't stand the relentless boring housework and the way I feel like my mum in a pair of marigolds.
Oh and easy babies by that age sleep other than on you.... I've just had another flashback to dd1 (who is now a lovely, easy 4yo fwiw!)
Grace with both of mine 2-3 months was awful. You feel that the 'postnatal' period is over and baby should be settling but they arent.
If your lo screams when you take her out she isnt an easy baby I can assure you. Dd2 was an easy baby, I could cart her round anywhere in the car seat/ pram she barely wimpered. Dd1 I seem to remember screaming if bored and it was so stressful. Thankfully no one ever told me she was an easy baby though - that would have made me feel really useless. Chin up, aim for 4 months.
What I find hard tbh is not having time to myself. Dh takes them out loads but its somehow never enough.
Oooo! X-posted with Lotte. Yup, totally agree with the "fairy tale facade" analogy
I went to a baby massage class with DS3 today - the lady that runs it is brilliant, every week we start with a bit of a chat, today it was what we find difficult about having babies. For all the first time Mums it was like opening the flood gates and much of what has been said on this thread was talked about. It also made me remember the early months with DS1. I found it soooooo hard and so
bloody boring! I too used to worry about him crying and people think I wasn't doing it "right" (whatever that is, I'm still probably not!) I really think the early months with your first baby are incredibly tough. It's such a massive change to every part of your life, your body, relationships, everything! In my experience and most of my friend's, it does get easier. I think that some of the problem is expectation and the fact that we're all told that having a baby is so fulfilling and marvellous. I certainly did not find that for a second when I had DS1! It did get easier though, so much so that I've just had my third. Best of luck!
That's a really brave post too GraceSpeaker. Im so sorry that things are hard for you. If it's any consolation, my best friend had a baby 7 months ago and she has had more than her share of 'mini meltdowns'. She said she wasn't prepared for how tough it is to have to think about someone else's needs every second of every day and feels that she's had to really neglect herself, and that's been much harder than she thought it would be.
'No one else in RL seems to feel like this'
They do, I promise you, they really do. It's just still such a taboo to talk about it. Motherhood is supposed to be every woman's crowning glory, the pinnacle of her fairytale, and something every woman wants desperately. The truth needs to come out more often and it takes brave posters like you to share your stories to make that happen. And there's such pressure on women to keep up the fairytale facade and be the 'perfect mother' (no idea what that would even be!) that it's hard to be honest.
Something that saves my friend's sanity is spending a night out with a friend, or a night away with a friend about every 4-6 weeks. I know your little one is still tiny but it might be something to think about in the next few months?
I hope things get better for you
LancyLass, I can relate to a lot of what you're feeling. I find myself having a mini meltdown and in tears at least once a week. DD is 2 months old and (I'm told) a very good baby. She's started babbling and we have lovely little conversations when she's in a good mood. She's also started to sleep 5-6 hours a night. Nonetheless, I realised soon after she was born that I'd had no idea how bloody hard and intense caring for a baby is. And that's with a brilliant DH, who does 3/7 nights (she's formula fed). I find the days when I'm on my own with her very, very boring and unfulfilling. DD won't sleep anywhere but on someone during the day, so getting anything done is difficult. I've been out a couple of times to see the other mums in my NCT group, but as a rule I find going out with DD very stressful, because I'm scared she'll cry endlessly until we come back, which is completely irrational, as she spends most of the time we're out asleep. I miss our old life all the time and I miss my job. Even though I love my daughter, I can't quite remember why we thought this was a good idea.
You're definitely not alone and it's been so helpful to read everyone's posts. No one else in RL seems to feel like this.
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