“I Hate What Motherhood Has Done To Me…”
“I hate what motherhood has done to me…”
I literally uttered those words to my own mom, while I was driving her, and my 6- and 3- year old to a fun little outing to the Butterfly Pavilion. Having stooped down to the level of a toddler, I had just copied my whining 3-year old at the top of my lungs. I was mimicking her ridiculous response to having to eat apple slices before getting a different snack. Apple slices I lovingly cut, peeled, and bagged for her eating pleasure before packing up all the things and leaving the house to go do a fun thing for her. Her bitchass straight up threw them on the floor of the car.
Through tears summoned by my own disgust for myself and my behavior, I said, “I just hate what motherhood has done to me.”
And it’s true. I feel like I don’t even recognize myself anymore. Do I have hopes and dreams anymore, even? I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t think so. It’s all for them. And it’s exhausting, paralyzing, and infuriating. I legit hate what motherhood has done to me…
…but I love who it has given me.
I can’t explain it. I can’t imagine life without my children, and the thought of not having them in my life is absolutely gut-wrenching. Yet I struggle. Every. Damn. Day. I struggle my way through motherhood. Its demands and exhaustion…its responsibilities and relentlessness. I’ve been a mother for six years now – six-and-a-half, if you ask my son – and the number of struggle-and-survive days just keeps climbing, one after the other, one day to the next.
The struggle is real
Kids suck, I get it. Every mother struggles. Every mother struggles with different children and challenges. We all struggle. I’m at my wits end currently. With everything. Managing the household, schedules, entertainment, meals, outings, shopping, and chores for four people is like a weight that never gets lifted. Tack on migraines, sleepless nights, and – oh yeah – keeping 2 little humans alive, and at least attempting to raise them to be respectful, kind humans. My ass is being kicked up and down, left and right, every freaking day.
I’m not saying I have it any worse than anyone else, I’m not saying I have a shit life. I have a beautiful life. One to be thankful for. Unfortunately it’s a struggle to really, truly see and acknowledge that through the endless fog of tantrums, whining, butt-wiping, and cleaning. I’m drained. Mentally I am done.
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But I will always choose them
I hate being a mom. But, I love being their mom. Again, I probably can’t explain it in a way that might actually make some sense. I don’t like motherhood. Been there, done that, and will be doing that for the rest of my life. 0/10, Do not recommend. But on the other hand, these snot-nosed little brats are my world. My everything. Even if it would mean doing it all over again, I would choose them. But only if it was them. I wouldn’t relive these last 6.5 years for anyone else. Knowing what I know now, I would rather not be a mom than be a mom to anyone but my 2 absolute monsters.
I’d change things if I could
This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t change a thing about my kids. Aw hell, I’d change a lot. Fits over socks? See ya! Crying for 45 minutes over not knowing how to draw an airplane? Screw off. Throwing toys, books, sound machines, etc at the bedroom door during a much-deserved THREE minute cool-down time-out? Get outta here. Sleepless nights spent on a child’s room floor? No thanks. Potty training?! NO EFFING WAY.
“But I wouldn’t change a thing!” actually elicits an eye roll from me every time I see it. I’ve probably said that before, but it’s such bullshit and drives me bonkers. “Didn’t sleep a wink last night because little Booger Butt has a cold, but I wouldn’t change a thing!” Oh, really? Here’s a nice, long middle finger for ya, Karen. I call BS. If I had a magic lamp I’m pretty sure I’d ask that genie to sprinkle some magical sleeping/healing powder pixie dust on my kids so that I could get some damn sleep.
Because I’m selfish like that. Wait, no. I’m not selfish, I’m a living, breathing human freaking being who needs sleep to function. Let alone boost my mood from absolute dog shit to, I don’t know, absolute cat shit? I aim low these days. Cat shit would be an improvement. I’m sure I sound dramatic, but it’s been a rough freaking day, week, month, summer, year. Ya know?
Read on for more on why I hate what motherhood has done to me.
I’m a mother, not a martyr
I can’t even with all the expectations of how I should parent my children. I’m not just referring to societal expectations, either. I mean my own children’s expectations! No matter what we do, where we go, what we eat, how much fun we have, they always, always want more. Like, because I pushed them outta my hoo-ha, they’ve got the God-given right to treats, toys, and exciting adventures for doing jack shit. And boy, oh boy, do they get pissed when their rights are revoked! It’s unbelievable. I’m downright appalled by their abhorrent behavior most of the time.
I’m praying some of this is age, I’ve been practicing gratitude with them more often, and saying no to them more often. Because, let’s face it, I am the boss here. If I raise them to be snot-nosed, greedy, unappreciative little brats, that’s my fault. It’s worrisome. This bothers me. The fact that they feel so entitled and deserving of treats and surprises every moment of every day, regardless of their behavior or whether or not they’ve earned anything, bothers me. It actually makes me sick.
Knowing that who my children turn out to be comes down to how I show up as a parent right now kicks it up a notch on this already anxiety-ridden mother with anger issues. It’s a lot of pressure, and I’m just barely getting by as it is. By the skin of my constantly gritted teeth, as I try my best to not scream and sputter profanities (I usually fail).
The magic word doesn’t do shit
I’m tired of being angry all the time. If I’m not barking orders and commands like a drill sergeant, and constantly bribing and threatening, nothing. happens. Nobody moves, listens, puts on shoes, goes to the bathroom, stops, comes to the dinner table, washes hands, gets in the car, gets out of the car, walks upstairs, or does anything I ask. Simply saying please, and requesting something happen in a friendly voice is as effective as taking a daily birth control pill one time per month. My head needs to be spinning. Even if it’s getting ready to head out to do something fun that the kids want to do, it’s a struggle and takes a million years. Whining, fighting, crying, getting distracted, dilly-dallying…the list goes on! I just don’t get it.
You’re reading “I Hate What Motherhood Has Done to Me.”
I need a break
I’m bombarded by these little people’s bullshit all day long. The second I enter a room, leave a room, sit down, stand up, go pee, take a phone call, literally do anything, it’s “mama, I need” this and “mama, I want” that. “What can I do?” “Will you please do this?” “Can I please have that?” Or, my personal favorite (NOT!), “Waaaaaah!” Even when it’s “quiet” time, I hold my breath that my daughter will fall asleep and stay asleep and that my son will leave me the F alone. Walking on eggshells and holding my breath is what my “break” each afternoon entails. And I’m happy to get it. I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like when they’re both in school all day every day. Sounds like a dream come true.
I think a lot of this mental discomfort and stress is coming from this being the tailend of summer break from school. Even though my son has only been to full day kindie for 1 semester at this point (thanks, COVID), and my daughter only went to 2 months of preschool for just 2 mornings per week. I’m used to having them home. I’m a stay-at-home mom for goodness sake. It’s not like I’ve grown accustomed to them being gone. But this summer has been anything but a “break!”
Change is just around the corner
I’m rundown after 2 months of constantly being on-the-go, traveling, camping, keeping us busy, and creating fun, exciting summer memories. And I’m over it. I’m exhausted. We leave Saturday for our annual week-long family camping trip, and my son starts 1st Grade two days after we get back home – all day, 5 days per week. Then my daughter starts preschool the following week – for 2 hours and 45 minutes, 4 mornings per week.
Hallelujah! My kids need, and are ready for, school to start. It’s not all about me, and what them being in school will do for my time and mental well-being. Although that’s certainly a positive if there ever was one! My kids thrive in school. The stimulation, friendships, learning, structure, challenges, social atmosphere, pride, and non-parent authority figures are all so beneficial for how my children grow and behave. Socially, emotionally, and academically, the leaps and bounds they’ve made in school are astounding. We’re all ready for another school year to begin. I might be the most ready of anyone else in this household, but I’m also carrying the bulk of running the house and taking care of the family’s needs on my shoulders.
A change of season will be good
I love my kids, and I love my life, but motherhood has turned me into a bitter, angry, resentful, tired, impatient, and cranky person. That’s not how I want to show up for my kids, or my family, in general. It’s not how I want to live my life. I’ll continue to struggle and do my best, even when it’s not very good at all. Despite how difficult this is all is, I will always choose them.
Navigating this “new,” not-so-improved me, is hard. I keep telling myself, in hopes that I will soon believe it, that every life and year is full of seasons and ups and downs. This is just a stressful bit. A slump. Things will look up, get easier, or at least the challenges will be different someday. I am so ready for these Groundhog Days of Summer to end, I actually am looking forward to and would welcome a different variety of “hard,” whatever that may be.
Thanks for reading “I Hate What Motherhood Has Done To Me”
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