It doesn?t make me a bad mom. It makes me human.
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I feel the need to start this by saying I love my daughter and I love being a mom. I wanted a baby for a long time and I have zero regrets. I?m terrified of being judged as an unloving mother because I have times where I don?t want to be a mom. But it?s important I am honest. So many moms feel the exact same way yet instead of supporting each other we suffer in silence.
Being a mom is the toughest job I have ever done. Nothing prepared me for how difficult it would be. I give my all and my baby still needs more. I can be physically and mentally drained to the point where I feel like I?m going to collapse, and I have to carry on. If this was any other job, I?d take annual leave. But there?s no annual leave from being a mother.
My love for my daughter is what gets me through. On the days where I feel like I can?t cope, I do. I do it for her. But those are the days I have thoughts of not wanting to be a mom anymore. I have been feeling guilty about this. What sort of mother has theses thoughts? When there are so many women who can’t be mothers, how can I think such things?
Having these thoughts is not the same as not loving my child. I love her so much I could burst into tears just thinking about it. I very much want to be her mother. What I don?t want is to play the role of a mother than society forces upon me.
I keep catching myself missing aspects of my former life. Then I feel frustrated that the role I have been forced into prevents me from experiencing the things I miss. Why can?t I be a mother and engage in hobbies without guilt and a time limit? Why can?t I be a mother and work and have affordable childcare so I can advance in my career? Why are simple things like washing my hair and having a full meal rare luxuries? Why can?t I do the things I used to do without being viewed as less of a mother?
Then there?s the pressure to pretend not to be a human being with feelings. When I?m exhausted and my daughter just won?t sleep, I?m going to feel impatient. When we are about to leave for an appointment and she does an explosive shit and I?m thinking ?am I gonna have to cut her out of these clothes?? then I?m going to be pissed off.
Before I was a mother, I could show these negative feelings without shame. I could have bad days and bad moods. Now I feel like I have to pretend I am enjoying every moment or at least downplay how hard it is. Even the moments that are literally shit.
I feel like there is a silent expectation that I should be doing this with minimal help. Parenting in an individualist culture is lonely and impractical. The expression ?it takes a village to raise a child? is so true. Not only does it help the child to thrive, but it also helps the mother to thrive too.
Sure, people offer to help and they genuinely mean it. But moms have been conditioned to not accept help. I was conditioned to do this before I became a mom and my vision of motherhood was that I would be able to do everything and be everything. This expectation that society places on mothers is not only unrealistic, but it?s also cruel.
When I was trying to conceive, I knew I was ready to have a child. I was ready to give up spontaneity and putting myself first. I was ready to give everything to my child for the rest of my life. I expected that I would have to give up a lot of things, but I didn?t expect that I would have to give up my sense of self. And that most frustrating thing is that it doesn?t have to be this way.
I hope that if my daughter becomes a mother, she will look upon the role that mothers of today are stuck in as a bizarre part of history that will never apply to her.