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What If I Hate Being a Mom?

what if you hate being a mom

Yesterday, I spoke with a new mom who’s having a rough time. She’s at home with her 7-month-old, breastfeeding, doing all the childcare and night parenting, and feeling guilt-ridden for not being very happy. Naturally, she loves her son, she’s grateful for the opportunity to be with him, but she feels trapped, lonely, and like every other mom is having more fun. Sometimes it’s so bad she gets into the shower at the end of the day and just cries. She’s crippled by sleep deprivation, her husband works 12 hours a day, and doesn’t get how awful she feels. He gets to go to work, which is by far the easier job.

Sound familiar? 

A few years ago, when my kids were 2 and 4, I ran into an old friend who I hadn’t seen in 10 years. He was divorced with no kids and was so genuinely excited to hear all about my family. “Wow, you’re a mom,” he said. “That’s amazing! What’s it like?” 

My response was a shock, like a bucket of ice water thrown at my face. “I don’t like it at all,” I said, with far too much honesty. 

His face fell. His jaw dropped. And I instantly knew I had made a terrible mistake. Moms aren’t allowed to feel this way, certainly not allowed to say it out loud.

I began dog-paddling backward. “Of course, I love my kids, and I wouldn’t change a thing, but…Diapers? Mopping up vomit? Bleeding nipples and breast pumps? Being awakened repeatedly through the night and at 5-6 am daily for four consecutive years?” 

No, the truth is that I like nothing about the actual job, yet I love my kids more than anything else in the world. So, I do it anyway, even if I hate it sometimes.

If you’ve ever felt this way…read on to learn more about why you feel the way you do – and how to change it.

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How Life Changes After A Baby

Having a baby is one of the biggest changes a person can face. And, in 99.9 percent of cases, it’s the woman’s life that changes the most. If you’re able to be a stay-at-home mom, your life will quickly become all about diapers, spit-up, and crying – and we’re not just talking about the baby’s regular tears. 

The situation becomes even more dire if you’re trying to maintain your career. How can a woman reasonably be expected to work eight+ hours a day and raise a happy, healthy child? You’ll spend your lunch break pumping milk, and there will never be a time when you’re not tired. Additionally, you’ll feel guilty about going to work, as if not being there 24/7 for your child will permanently mess them up.  

Trying to keep your relationship going will also become extremely difficult. How in the world can you watch a baby all day – or split your time between the baby and work – and still be expected to get excited when your partner gets home? And sex? Forget about it. That’s what got you into this situation in the first place!

I Hate Being A Mom…Is that Normal?

The reality is that it’s quite normal to hate being a mom from time to time. When you decided to have a child, you gave up a huge chunk of your life. Now, it’s the baby’s life that matters most. You’ll eat last, sleep last, and just generally become last on your list of priorities. And that’s only if you’re lucky. In some cases, you’ll also have to deal with a very real mental health problem. 

Intrusive thoughts are a major issue for new mothers. These thoughts can include disturbing or violent content. For instance, you might find yourself thinking about what would happen if you walked away from your baby and never went back. You’d never actually do it, of course, but simply having the thought may make you feel like the world’s worst mom. The good news is that not only are you not a bad mom, but pretty much everyone has thoughts like this one from time to time. 

Unfortunately, you may also develop a more serious mental illness. Please keep an eye on yourself for the following warning signs: 

  • Major changes in sleeping or eating patterns. 
  • Extreme mood changes.
  • Excessive anxiety, worry, or paranoia. 
  • Withdrawing from social events. 
  • Long-lasting irritability or sadness. 

If you begin experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to speak to a professional right away. 

Not sleeping is another biggie for mothers. Everyone needs to sleep at least seven hours a night on a regular basis. When your sleep pattern gets interrupted by a screaming baby, it can mess up much more than just that day. Studies show that most parents – or at least mothers – are sleep deprived for at least the first six years of a child’s life. 

Being sleep-deprived can cause you to look ten years older. It also comes with higher blood pressure, a slower metabolism, weight gain, being more likely to catch a cold, having less mental acuity, and depression. Additionally, your odds of developing heart disease increase by 48 percent, you’ll triple your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, and you’ll become 36 percent more likely to experience colorectal cancer. In other words, sleep is critical, and you must figure out a way to get more of it before it’s too late. 

Finally, you can also suffer from depletion. According to the dictionary, this means exhausting or seriously decreasing your supply of something. In this case, it refers to your emotional and physical fatigue. This can be a serious issue, so be sure to speak to a professional if you’ve been experiencing: 

  • Intense exhaustion and fatigue. 
  • Hypervigilance. 
  • Lethargy. 
  • Memory loss. 
  • Anxiety. 
  • Difficulty concentrating. 
  • Lower sex drive. 
  • Poor immune function. 
  • Pre-existing medical conditions become worse. 

What To Do When You Don’t Like Being A Parent

Being a parent is hard, and the secret is that no one likes being one all the time. There are going to be plenty of times in your life that you will hate being a parent, and it starts the same time that motherhood begins.  

Now that you know this, it’s time to help yourself bounce back. When you have intrusive thoughts, are sleep-deprived, or are suffering from depletion, it’s important to take some time for yourself. You may be thinking, “How am I supposed to do that?” But here’s the thing: if you don’t give yourself some self-care, you’re going to burn out even more quickly. Therefore, turn off your guilty inner voice and carve out some time to take a bubble bath, read a book, or take a nap. Just doing one of these things will help you recover some of your lost energy. 

what if i hate being a mom - tweets from moms like you

Do you still feel alone? You’re not. Review the almost 300 comments on this post. Just knowing you’re not alone in your experience will most likely make you feel much better. Additionally, you can look through our helpful resources for new families for more information. 

If you find yourself struggling as a result of becoming a mother, don’t despair because there is help available. The first thing you must do is reach out to someone. Whether you choose your best friend, a doctor, or a therapist, the act of reaching out will make you feel less alone. And don’t just do it once. Instead, keep reaching out until you get the full support you need. 

In some cases, you may find yourself past your limit. That’s when it’s time to pick up the phone to get some emergency help. These calls are confidential and could make the difference between bouncing back and doing something regretful. If you need help right away, call one of the following: 

  • SAMHSA’s Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP
  • NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI
  • Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741
  • The Samaritans: 1-212-673-3000

Ultimately, the only way to start feeling better – and to stop hating motherhood – is to reach out for some help. By talking through your feelings, you can reach a much better state of being. Be sure to use the tips above and remember: it’s okay not to love being a parent every second of the day. But if the feelings become overwhelming, there are resources available to you.  

Perhaps if we didn’t expect mothering to be the most joyous time of our lives, we wouldn’t feel so blindsided and guilt-ridden. 

The same guilt is exactly what prevents so many parents from getting the help they need to sleep train their baby. Teaching an infant to sleep on their own is no easy task – it can be exhausting, stressful, and messy, just like so many aspects of parenting. 

If you can find the confidence to ask for help from sleep training specialists like us who know babies, there’s a world of support waiting to help you get the rest you need to start feeling like yourself again.

The staff at Mommywise is here for you! We understand your baby’s signals and offer in-home guidance to sleep train your baby. Additionally, we set up young parents for success by allowing you to sleep, too! Contact us today to learn how you and your baby can finally get a good night’s sleep. 

FAQs

Is it normal to hate being a mom?

It is not normal or abnormal to hate being a mom, but it is common. Most importantly, know that you’re not a bad mom if you don’t love it. Most mothers are exhausted and annoyed at motherhood because their children may  cry and whine a lot, not listen, and do dangerous things that they’re not aware are anxiety provoking for parents. Motherhood is hard and it’s true that many moms hate being a mother. It’s ok, you’re not alone. 

Is it normal to regret being a mom?

Yes, it is normal to regret being a mom. It’s also normal to question if you’ve made a mistake. One does not truly know what motherhood is like until you have a child. It can be very tiresome, stressful, and if you don’t have readily available family support nearby, you lose much of the freedom you once had when you didn’t have children. If this is you, you’re not alone. 

Does motherhood get easier?

Yes, motherhood gets easier if you’re healthy and have the resources and support to care for yourself, too. If you’re feeling unusually anxious, angry, floppy, weepy and/or or experiencing chronic insomnia, you may be experiencing a mood disorder such as postpartum depression and/or anxiety. When your child is a baby, it’s rough., You need to feed and give your baby naps every few hours. On top of bottles and formula or pumping and changing diapers every few hours, repeated sleepless nights makes it painfully exhausting*

*If your baby hasn’t yet learned to sleep independently, consider sleep training so that your whole family can get a healthy amount of quality sleep. If you have no idea how to sleep train your baby, hit us up. It’s all we do! 

When the baby turns into a toddler, then you have to make sure they do not run into the street or you have to clean up the countless messes they make. Try to get as many people on your support team as possible. Fathers, partners, family members and any other caretakers can be part of your Team. Those years are tough but it does get easier once they turn into a young child (around 5-10 years old). They become more independent and they don’t need you as much. Once they get into their teenage years, they become even more independent but those years have their ups and downs. No matter what, motherhood is a journey. It gets easier but there are always times when it seems unreasonably difficult. One step at a time. With grace and love, You got this.

Why do I hate being a mom so much?

A mother may hate being a mom for many other reasons than her actual kids. After all, parenting is the hard part – it’s all the work on top of childcare and lack of family support that makes parenthood the hardest. You once had freedom and once you had a child, your world turned around with less time and a new job at hand. There is also a ton of pressure on mothers “to be a perfect mom”, “to breastfeed”, “to be empathetic”, “to be family-oriented”, “to prioritize children’s needs, partners’ needs and responsibilities at home”, “to love motherhood”, “to be nice” and the list goes on. There are plenty of reasons why you may hate being a mom, but remember that you’re not a bad person if you feel that way, and you’re not alone!

We live in a culture that doesn’t support, value or compensate mothers for their work. Using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), CDC research shows that about 1 in 8 women in the U.S.  experience postpartum depression”. However, it’s estimated that it’s actually closer to 1 in 4 since so many mothers don’t seek mental health care or treatment. Clearly, there’s a real problem if 25% of mothers are clinically depressed after having a child!

How do I get help as a mother?

You can get help as a mother. If you have helpful friends or family, ask them for help with whatever you need. If you feel like you’re unusually tired, anxious, angry, and or have a family history of depression, see your doctor. If you have the resources to pay for household help, hire help. If you don’t, there are resources available to you through non-profit organizations that can support you whether it’s emotional support, financial support, medical care or babysitting cost reduction services. Check with your state for nonprofit organizations that can help you as a mother.

What happens when you hate being a mom?

Don’t be afraid to speak to friends or family members about your feelings … you may be surprised to find comfort from a friend who is experiencing those same feelings. You can also contact a hotline if you need someone to talk to…

  • SAMHSA’s Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP
  • NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI
  • Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741
  • The Samaritans: 1-212-673-3000

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326 Responses

  1. I thought reading these comments would make me feel better and I’m struggling to see how it makes others feel better. Sure I’m not alone but yet, yes I am. This motherhood shit is awful and I can’t wait for my boys to be older. All I want to do is work out, take a shower, focus on me a LITTLE BIT but instead I have to get up, cook, clean, manage tantrums, change diapers, take a shit with a baby sitting on my lap, go until 1pm before I remember to drink some water, cook again, clean again, cry a little, yell a little, feel depressed ALL THE TIME, clean AGAIN, change some more diapers, do some more laundry, have 5 mins of quiet cause baby doesn’t like to nap, but will cry about it when he’s awake and tired, cook again, clean again, drink water for the second time by 6pm, pop some pills for this raging headache, scream into a pillow, wish I could take it all back, clean again, go to bed dirty cause I didn’t get the chance to shower, wake up and do it all again. I hate my life, God why did I let my husband convince me to have children. Worst decision of my fucking life.

    1. I relate to this on such a deep level. I ended up here because I just had a conversation with my mom about how fed up I am and how I’ve hated this shit for years. I just want to be done. Every time I talk to someone about it I always feel worse. All these articles say, I hate being a mom “occasionally” bla bla bla. No, I’ve hated it for the entirety of it all. Or at least so long that I can’t remember ever enjoying it. Just know that you’re not alone.

  2. Motherhood has been the biggest life adjustment for me yet. I miss the old version of me. I miss my body. I miss financial flexibility. I miss having a laser focus on my career. I miss being able to plan a spontaneous weekend trip, or just go to the movies. I wish I could say it’s sooooo rewarding and the baby 100% makes up for everything, but for me it doesn’t. My daughter is 11 months old and doesn’t even cry when I leave – she has zero separation anxiety and i don’t feel bonded to her at all. I feel guilty, but I don’t know how to fix it. I also feel so angry all of the time now. I am just filled with resentment and wish I didn’t have her. It’s an awful feeling, but it’s real. Life is hard enough without kids. Motherhood is quite possibly the worst choice I’ve made. Not to mention, I found out at week 5 of postpartum that my husband watches porn – bad timing, huh? I never understood people who say “I want to run away from my life”, but now I do. Motherhood is the hardest job out there because it strips you of your self-esteem, self-worth and individual identity. Think twice before you let your husband talk you into having a baby – I wish I would have,

    1. Omg this is totally how I feel right now as well. My sanity hangs on by a thread every single day. Being a parent is the worst. I knew I shouldn’t have gotten married and told my husband I would have one baby for him. I take care of him all day and then I go to work at night as an RN. Being a parent is the worst job to have, second to being an RN most of the time. I’ve even admitted to people that I am one of those people who were not meant to be parents.

  3. As a mom of a 5yr old it’s left me homeless in my car . I thought having a kid would make you happier . But not it’s a f-ing nightmare I don’t get how people can blankly lie to your face about having kids . If I didn’t have my kid I’d be having the best time of my life . Traveling and meeting new people . Not tried done to a state I hate . Doesn’t help the father of my child abused me constantly and the took my child and literally gave it to his dad & I left from the Abuse . And was left with nothing out of an 8 yr nightmare with my ex . I never wanted kids I had a very traumatizing childhood from being in foster care it made me hate children. The last thing I wanted in my life was to have them. I thought my chance nothing but a dream on my life every day I feel like killing myself. It’s ruining my life. What’s the most hugest mistake I’ve ever made and now my kids with an abusive grandfather the one even wash her every day. And worst of all he’s a Jehovah’s Witness so he’s cult. The only way I’m gonna get out of this situation as if I get a family lawyer which I can’t afford. I’m even thinking about once I get her backed up and get her an adopted family way away from her dad and her grandfather anybody associated with her on her dad side. Just to make sure she’s safe and I could be happy doing what I want to do I’m so over being a parent it’s ruined my life completely.

  4. I don’t want to be a mom, I didn’t want to be a mom. Not in this moment anyway. I’m 25 and my son is 5 months old. I thought maybe one day I would want to be a mom…. Now that I am I feel like I don’t want anymore children which is fine but anyways. I read these posts and I can relate, I haven’t read them all tho. I live with my parents right now and I think part of my stress is that it’s always a mess, there is so much clutter. I feel confined in here but then I think about it sometimes and I’m like this shouldn’t be an excuse as to why I don’t get things done. I should be able to do it here. I have had moments of getting my life put together and Everytime I did, I wasn’t living with my parents.I was much more of a responsible adult, doing all the things. Of course not perfectly but I was so much better at taking care of myself. This is my living circumstances for now and it does have the positives of being here but I just feel I become so sloth like here. Honestly If it was to be calculated I don’t think I even spend the most time with my son. I think my mom does. She could be considered his primary care taker which makes me feel worse cause I’m not dealing with all the mom tasks all the time and I’m still having these feelings of not wanting to be a mom . Part of the reason my mom is taking care of him so much is that I do work and I’m also in recovery and in a treatment center at the moment. I made the choices to be in this situation, my son is an innocent little human being and doesn’t deserve my desire to not want to have him. Putting him up for adoption was something I was thinking about before he was born. I didn’t feel like I’d be good mom material and cut out for this type of life. I mean, am I ? I feel the evidence leans towards I’m not a good mom. My mom takes care of him more than me….. So what’s my issue? I get jealous sometimes that she does and I wish I was living more independently and maybe just maybe I’d be a better mom to him….. But again if I am struggling to do it here will I be any better if I was living more independently….. I do think that maybe adopting him out to somebody else who had the desires to have a child would’ve been better for him. I don’t feel like I’m mother material. I do love this sweet innocent little boy. They say love Is an action word and I don’t do the proper things for him so do I really love him? I’ve got to do better. I’ve got to step up to the plate. My son deserves it. I have this image in my head of how all this should be going and what the future looks like with him as a toddler. maybe I should just let go of that. So much ifs, so much wants. If I really wanted it wouldn’t I be doing it?
    I do have good days…. I could go on but I think I’ll stop there. This article has given me the space to be able to cry. Getting these thoughts out has been helpful…. Thank you. I do have some hope. I have hope for all you ladies that things will change for the better. If you like hugs I’m sending you a virtual one right now.

  5. I love it here. Here , under this post. In my real life , I’m just counting down the years until my daughter can stand on her own two feet. You see I’ve been doing this as a single mother for the entire 14yrs. And nothing about those years have been smooth sailing. My kid is an a$$hole, entitled, lazy ,viking that eats and drinks up EVERYTHING. She never saves me a sip or bite of anything I PAY for. She must think to herself hmm “it’s here, let me eat all of it”. I don’t hate being a mom just because I have to hide my snacks in my own house. It’s deeper than that. It’s the constant worry that she’s making the right decisions when I’m not around. Because I know she’s a screw up. She lies. My kid doesn’t even get beatings. So I don’t understand why she lies about dumb stuff. Now one thing I can not tolerate is a sassy mouth. I still open hand mouth pop my daughter, but only after days and days of her being sassy with her replies to me. The huffing and puffing as if I’m making her life harder. Sometimes I picture my fist… never mind. When I walk into her room. Wait let me rephrase that. If I dare to enter her nasty dwellings, I instantly fill with rage, so it’s rare that I even go there. I open to the door and do a visual scan of the perimeter and it never fails. Dinner plates piled on the computer desk, cups and forks on top of that. Water bottles under the bed. Random trash every where. It looks like a trash house. Some times I get so frustrated, on my day off I’ll clean the entire room top to bottom . It’ll stay clean no more than a week. It’s two separate worlds that her and I live in. I’m 14 years in with 1 kid. In comparison it’s easier now than it was when she was younger. Mothering is much less physically taxing nowadays. However there are all these new challenges for me now. Like first and foremost, how to keep my hands to myself when she keeps sucking her teeth at me when I tell her to do something. Or how not to halk smash her when she slams her bedroom door. All new challenges.

  6. I find myself returning to this website to read the comments, so I know I’m not alone. I hate my life. I’m trapped in a horrible marriage with an alcoholic who I also have children with. I cry almost everyday and live with the shame of my life in silence. I pray for freedom from this nightmare. But I realize it won’t come. My career has been destroyed from having kids and dealing with my alcoholic husband and I’m at the mercy of my monster husband at this point. Who after all this time I realize hates me and the children and goes out of his way to ruin everything for us. I wish I had loved myself more and realized the red flags earlier. I’m now a domestic slave that he can treat however he wants. I feel horrible for my kids who can feel how resentful he is of all of us. They are terrified that I will divorce him and they will have to deal with his mean behavior all on there own. It’s awful! I would give anything to go back and start again. Such a sad life 🙁 I think I deserved better. Sadly I look around and can see the emptiness in the eyes of the women around me. They too are unhappy but deal with it like I have to. Honestly no one really cares what happens to women as long as they are shutting up about it and being used for the free jobs they are needed for. Sad reality of life.

    1. Literally came here because I felt helpless and didn’t want to feel like I was alone. I’m numb to it now. I hate being a mom. My daughter is 4 and misbehaves tremendously at school. I never whooped or spanked her. I’ve tried my best and it’s no use. I hate it here. Some days I genuinely wish I wasn’t mom, i want my happiness back.

  7. God I hate my fuckn life. Crazy this is I came to this thread I’m 2017 after having an abortion to try and make myself feel better and convince myself that I made the right choice. Everyone who had kids told me how awful it was and that I was lucky. But my dumbass didn’t listen. I went and got pregnant with my son. It actually wasn’t terrible. I was happy coparenting and getting time to myself when I needed. I had money and lived with my mom. Then what did I do? Got back with his fuckn dad and everything went downhill. We ended up getting engaged and he convinced me that married ppl had to share accounts. I stupidly did so and watched him buy shoes and weed with my money. Didn’t even mention that he didn’t have a damn dime to his name despite us working the same job! God I was so damn dumb!! Then I accidentally get pregnant. I took a plan B the month before but thought I’d be ok the next month but nope. I got pregnant with my daughter & it was a miserable pregnancy. Had to listen to my then fiancée yell and complain all the damn time cuz I was too sick to work. Even tho all the fuckn savings were mine and I could do whatever I wanted until I gave him all the power. Fast forward 2 years, my daughter is 1 and my son is 3 and I just want to end it all. I hate it. They’re sick all the time and my husband is like a second child. I wake up everyday hating my life wishing I never had a 2nd child. Or that I could go back to when it was just my son and I. Why did I get married? Why did I have another child? I think about divorce all the time cuz then we could at least do 50/50. But I wouldn’t even know where to start. I truly do love my kids individually I just hate taking care of them and being a wife. I want to be single and childfree. Have all my money and time to myself. Sleep good every night with no worries. God I wish I could get a Redo!!

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