It’s no secret that I hate motherhood.
I’ve said it before, and it still resonates 3 years later, but in a different way.
It should be made clear that I don’t hate my children. I am grateful to be their mother, and they are wanted. I have also begun a journey of mental health recovery, again, including medication.
A couple of months ago, I shared this article about the regret of motherhood on my Facebook page, and a friend reached out to me. Her mother had expressed similar sentiments, and as the child, she had a hard time understanding. These questions have sat with me for a few months, and I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to have the conversation with my children when they get older and begin to realise I wasn’t always happy (in these dreams, I imagine finding my bliss).
If my children are reading this in 10 years, I want you to know I don’t hate or regret being your mom. I hate all the pressures, expectations, and disappointment that comes with motherhood in this decade. It is these pressures that give me so much regret in deciding to have children. It’s not about you, it’s about me and society. It’s about me being disappointed in myself and the unreasonable expectations of who I thought I could be versus who I can reasonably become. This is compounded by mental health issues that keep me from finding the daily joy.
I hate all the stuff society expects of motherhood.
- That we will be on and present in their lives for every minute of every day.
- That we sit and play with them during the day.
- That we let them cry it out to fall asleep, but catch them everytime they fall off the playground.
- That they perfectly behave in the grocery store, restaurant, or any other public space non-parents might be.
- That we won’t leave our children in the car while we quickly drop off a parcel at the bank or the older child at preschool.
- That we are constantly at war with one another in navigating the rights and wrongs about our choices.
- That we must be constantly absorbing and learning information to be a better parent than the generation before us.
- That we must find time for ourselves to be beach body coaches and experts in essential oils while loving our children unconditionally.
- That self-care is about girls weekends away, massages, and evenings out.
- That we follow rigid routines full of emptiness.
- That we do this by ourselves in big empty houses lined row by row.
- That it’s not about sharing of knowledge, but about the judgement of opinion.
- That it’s about juggling the expectation of 2018, with the training of the 90s.
- That it’s about returning to work, staying at home, or finding some sort of ludicrous balance.
Motherhood in this decade is impossible.
And that is what I hate.
I hate this era of motherhood.
I hate how everything my mother did with us is now wrong and worthy of immense judgement and shame.
I hate how without formal training in motherhood, I’m expected to be the best most amazing version of mom this species has ever seen.
But I’m not. I’m not even close to the best possible version of myself, let alone as mother.
Motherhood in 2018 is exhausting.
I don’t hate my children, and, yes, sometimes I regret being a mom, but only because there is a pressure to be something I’m not. Perfect.