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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. You can also find some great tips in this piece, Stay-at-Home-Mom Depression: Symptoms & How to Cope.

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. 


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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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Natalie Nevares

Natalie Nevares

As Mommywise Founder, my mission is to help families grow and thrive, provide sustainable income for women and mothers, raise awareness about postpartum mood disorders, and make treatment more accessible. As a mentor and parent, my mission is to role-model a strong woman, parent, and leader who endeavors to leave a legacy of positive change through service and humility.

Natalie Nevares

Natalie Nevares

As Mommywise Founder, my mission is to help families grow and thrive, provide sustainable income for women and mothers, raise awareness about postpartum mood disorders, and make treatment more accessible. As a mentor and parent, my mission is to role-model a strong woman, parent, and leader who endeavors to leave a legacy of positive change through service and humility.

368 Responses

  1. I’ve been a single mom for 18 years all I can say if you hate being a mom that will never change you can love you kids and still hate being a mom somethings are just not meant for some people and that’s okay I think that we should be honest about it instead of sugar coating it with time to time you’ll feel this way no in a lot of cases you will always feel this way. Even want to leave state or country after there raised and adults to start you life for you is a normal feeling and you should be able to love that life kid free and not be judge you’ll always be there mom doesn’t mean you have to be at there every step and feel bad about it you did your 18 years of raising them now it’s time for you.

  2. 38 year old Mom of four here (15, 12, 5, 2). Being a Mother is brutalizing for me. My mom died when I was 5 (cancer), grew up with emotional and psychological neglect from every adult in my life. I’ve paid the price for it. I’ve broken the terrible cycle that my family dragged me through so that my kids won’t have to. Sacrificed all of my wellbeing to do it. I have anxiety and depression that I’m constantly managing.

    I’ve stayed home with all of the kids for years. My dreams mean nothing. I’m a nanny and maid. My older two have a different Dad and he is as cold as a stone. My current husband treats them like crap. He’s harsh to all of the kids but he is good to me.

    I need so much time away from my husband and kids. I go out every weekend and sometimes don’t come home for days. I have a sugar daddy and see other people. I try to escape from my reality as much as possible. I cannot handle this.

  3. I am alone with my 2 year old son. I live far away from my family on a farm, I have five horses, 2 dogs and work full-time with horses. I am doing everything alone. It’s only me. My kid was a surprise, I never wanted kids, but abortion felt wrong. I love my son and he is amazing, but most of the time, I hate being a mother. Feel like no man will ever want me and by the time my son is older and life easier, I will be old and exhausted. Have been smoking a lot of weed to cope, but quit a while back. Thinking of starting again to survive this shit. He is in kindergarten but there is a new fucking disease each week… just wish I had him half time or every other week…. wish I could just turn him into a 5 year old. Hate kids

    1. I feel you. I love my son tremendously. He is 4. I’m a single mom. He argues with me all the time, doesn’t listen, seems to want to be with everyone but me. I know he loves me. But as soon as it seems I have a grip on things here comes something new… a new cold or virus. I’m fortunate because it could be worse but I find myself saying I hate being a mom more and more. I’m tense, anxious and unhappy. I hate this version of myself but I love my son with all my heart and soul.

  4. Wait till your kid cuss you after what you have done for him. I worked and a sole breadwinner, I am s till married but my husband don’t contribute financially whether he has job or not. He watches the kids when I go to work that’s when they’re sleeping. I don’t get enough sleep everyday because I have to watch them during the day and work at night. I try to keep sane but it’s hard. Especially when your kids disrespect you and cuss you. I sometime feel want to give them to others who can give them proper parenting and discipline for their own good. I wanna give up already…

  5. I love my children. I have a 2 year old and 4 year old. It’s been super hard coming to terms with the fact that im really stuck with the responsibility of being a mom forever. I feel like I can’t do this everyday. I really just wanna be a happier mom. I just stopped feeling suicidal but i’m still deeply depressed. I miss the freedom of not caring or worrying about the future. I constantly worry about being a good mom as well as worrying that my kids are gonna be bullied because I am too broke to buy the latest things. I also worry about paying 3 phone bills on $16 p/hr paycheck. & i know I have years to come before these things occur but i am still scared everyday. I want to be a better mom, a happier mom. Recently i just started having all these selfish thoughts. My first born destroyed my stomach with so many stretch marks and i was okay with it. I then had another one & even more stretch marks & now I just really miss my smooth skin. My stomach is back in place but i have so much extra skin. I just miss life and my body before my kids. I hate being a mom. Its a 24/7 job with no rewards. It’s the toughest thing ive ever had to do & i can’t quit.

    1. I so get you. Im a stay at home mom with a 2 yo and a 10 yo. Both at the stage of defiance (if you know what i mean) and does not listen to most things i say. I do love my kids but there are times i would catch myself thinking, “oh my god, having kids is the biggest mistake of my life!” I really lost most of the things that makes me, me. My career, my body, my way of life, my dreams. Children can really suck the life out of you and you dont get any real rewards–yeah the hugs and kisses are nice but they’re not enough to fully counterbalance the mental and physical exhaustion.

  6. Yup All of this! I’m beyond bitter and live in a constant state of anxiety. The majority of women I see around me did not realize going in that they will be the absolute default parent. Before you know it you will be handling every Frigan thing and even if you have a full time paying job, you will handle all the organization of everything. The father even if you are married will mostly act like an incompetent toddler himself and you will have to instruct him constantly about doing anything at all. The majority frankly don’t give a shit that you are drowning and doing everything, in fact they expect it! Their own moms likely just shut her mouth and lived in misery and was trapped without any way out until the kids were older. Not only do these sad excuses for human beings not recognize their own mothers pain, they expect you to shut up and provide hundreds of hours of free mommy services for them now. It’s no wonder that study after study has shown the happiest group of people are single childless women time and time again! Men and of course children drain women of all her time, mental sanity, physical well being etc etc. Maybe the real reason women hate being mothers is because she is doing all the work around the clock and figures out that the other parent can just opt out of doing anything at all at anytime. Bonus points for women who get divorced from losers and have to hand the children over to someone who is an equivalent of a toddler themselves. While simultaneously being blamed for filing the divorce that is breaking up the family, even if domestic or verbal abuse is involved. Men take more than they give and mostly make motherhood even worse for women. Look around how many women describe their husbands as being another child? The response “Your own fault you should have picked better!” Ok I’m sure every young women just magically knew what kind of father or parent someone would chose to be. I have many friends who’s partners were beyond excited to be dads until they saw the work involved and chose to cough up an attitude, staying away from the house, drinking and complaining that their Wife/mommy wasn’t the same and not coddling them. Bottom line most women step up to the plate cause they have to and the bar for dads is in the Frigan basement. They realize very quickly that they can get away with doing nothing because the mother will be accused and or have charges pressed on her for not properly doing this free job 24/7. Women have always been fed lies and find themselves drowning very quickly and becoming resentful. Turns out being stuck around a screaming kid / kids is annoying and women are actually human beings who are the only gender expected to have unrealistic patience for the aggravation while doing 100% of the job. And don’t forget the shopping, cleaning, cooking, doctors, dentist, school, specialist appts, homework, projects, 100’s of hours of holiday planning and shopping, birthdays, vacation planning, organizing carpools, responding to all emails, making the family calendar and of course updating it non stop when schedules arrive or change, paying bills, pet appts, around the clock nurse duties for the family, filling out non stop paperwork for everything pertaining to anything your child is ever involved in on the planet, if your kids foot grows get them new shoes, same goes for clothes, don’t forget to go through and bag up the old shit for donation, of course you will be taking it to the donation site as well. If your kid gets punched in the face at school or pukes and you are at a paying job, be prepared to answer the phone and plan accordingly, I hope you have a mother who is still alive or present who can drop everything to handle parenting duties for you or you my friend are now leaving work to handle the mess, cause clearly you couldn’t afford an around the clock nanny. Let’s call it for what it is! Women hate being mothers because most mothers get no support! That lack of support causes anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and long term financial hardship after the free around the clock job of motherhood harms their paying job and or career. How many times do mothers get passed over for jobs? Or not hired at all? No promotions? Lots of mothers complaining they are pressured to do the office housework as well. And don’t get me started about my nurse friends that work as a nurse getting paid and are working as a nurse at home for free around the clock, cause the daddy thinks he deserves a free nurse/mommy and of course she is the nurse/mommy of the children. She of course is her OWN nurse when she gets sick. How lovely! And yet some people are absolutely confused when women vent about what a shit deal they get in the reality of childbearing & Marriage!

  7. I found myself here after taking my 4 year old on a vacation to visit my brother out of state — our first vacation since before the pandemic. He was incredibly homesick, usually in the middle of the night; terrified of my brother; and developed an ear infection on a weekend evening when the only medical care available was at the ER. So much for a vacation!

    The problem with “choosing” to be a mom is that you don’t really know what you’re choosing until after the deal is done. So much of pregnancy is spent focusing on a “birth plan,” which, frankly, goes out the window the moment you enter the hospital. No one prepares you for the YEARS of interrupted sleep; the difficulty of trying to maintain a career; navigating the crappy American healthcare system, which you use more than you ever wanted to when you have a small child; and the overall feeling that you’ve lost yourself. And even good husbands end up being kind but clueless. Mine pats himself on the back for “supporting his family,” even though we make about the same amount of money, and all the daycare scheduling, doctor’s appointments, house cleaning, laundry, etc. fall on Mom.

    I’ve heard it gets better. But I haven’t experienced that yet. Thank you for being honest about how much motherhood can suck sometimes.

  8. I don’t find this comforting at all. I may not alone, but I want to fell better. I want hope that someday I will feel better. These stories make me even more depressed, there is no hope. I just want to die. Motherhood is an epidemic

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m experiencing a lot of what other moms are sharing on this page, but I also want to say that it will get better, I can promise it gets better. As our children grow they will also become our adventure companions, teach us new ways to look at the world, return all the love and nurture we give in magical moments that beats anything we experienced before family life. It’s ok and normal to feel depression, anger and resentment too, there are two sides of the coin.

      There is a soul lesson here and I believe that for many moms it is to learn to nurture themselves so their cup is full when everyone else in the family wants their time and energy. Self nurture can start with small things if the resources or support are not there; a bath and a cup of tea, a piece of luxury chocolate, sitting alone in the sunshine for a few minutes etc. When we start caring for our inner child as much as we care for everyone else we get more energy and we’re able to see the world through a different lens. Remember you are all super heroes and treat yourselves like Queens, your family depends on it ;).

  9. I am 43 and have an 8 year old boy. I love him very much but oh my god if i had a chance to do it all over again, i would have made my ex husband wear a condom. Or have just avoided my ex in the first place. I hate being a mother. I am jealous of my friends that dont have children. Beyond jealous. My life is a constant argument. Nothing i do is enough. I hate spending time with him but force myself because it is what is expected of me. I feel guilty EVERY SINGLE DAY for feeling the way I do. My son was visiting his father for 10 days and was supposed to stay an extra 7 days but had to come home early. I actually cried. I have just gone on anxiety medication as dealing with his shit on a daily basis is driving me around the twist. Summer vacation has been a damn nightmare. I cant wait until he is old enough to take care of himself. God forgive me.

  10. I’ve read through ALL of these comments ladies and they mostly pertain to dealing with young children. A lot of you are hoping it will get better, and I don’t mean to dash any of your hopes, but it probably won’t. Let me tell you about my ADULT son. He’s in his Mid-Forties and first of all he never listens to me when I try to tell him anything. He’s constantly argumentative and he has almost no ability to take care of himself. I would put him on the level of a person that has a mental disability but is high functioning, except my son doesn’t have a disability. He also is so neurotic that when he does something like stubs his toe he literally worries he’s going to die and calls me on the phone all upset about it(not exaggerating). So during the pandemic he worked from home and basically locked himself up and wouldn’t leave his house. He got so mental about the pandemic, that I had to run to the grocery store for him to get him groceries or he would have starved. I’m 73 years old for crying out loud and I’m braver than him! I guess I did it out of my motherly duties and devotion, but I probably should have just let him starve and I may have finally felt sweet relief in my life. So again ladies, I’m sorry to burst your bubbles about hoping things will get better, but it may not. I felt I did everything right as a mom, and I gave this boy everything I had and he still turned out kind of mental. I guess it all depends and it is different for every mom. This is a lifelong commitment and to be honest, it sucks.

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