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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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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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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’m lucky to have an amazing partner who probably takes on most of the childcare load because he knows how hard it is for me. Yet, it’s still so hard and I am struggling so much. It makes me feel so lazy, selfish, the guilt is so much that I can’t even use my alone time to rejuvenate. I spend my alone time choking on my tears for realizing how ungrateful I am and that I am just avoiding my wonderful family.

    How can I ever feel okay again? I feel so much shame.

  2. Exhausted mom here – 3 kids (well 2, but I’m lumping my husband in bc y’all know). I know I am so blessed to have a family, but I miss being me :(. I haven’t felt like me since 2007 honestly – before getting married. I miss being young and carefree. Other moms talk so nostalgically about their kids (mine are 13 & 11 and growing up fast). I just don’t feel that way. Right now I’m looking forward to being an empty nester! They exhaust me daily. Constant needs, often not grateful, expensive as all get out, and I’m never alone. Add in my husband once the kids are finally off to do their thing and he wants my attention :(. I just want one solid day alone with no one but my dog and cat. Add in the constant pressure of PTA, kids friends, chatting with other parents, church events with kids… it’s all too much! All I ever wanted to be was a mom and now I cannot for the life of me figure out why :(. I wish I just had a pile of dogs. Whew it feels good to get this out as my mom would think I’m horrible and I don’t feel like I have any friends to express this to either. Thanks for letting me get this out.

    1. Yes to all of this…a 4 and 7 year old, husband (3rd child) that travels frequently for work (which I see as getting a break!)…I feel all of these things—pressure to socialize with other moms/kid friend parents, sports and extracurriculars, planning travel and activities, meals, household maintenance, and don’t forget to make time for exercise and self-care! Whew, it feels much harder these days having to negotiate screen time and the internet and video games and being reachable 24/7, I just want to shut it all off for a little while and find myself again, I keep trying and the demands just pile on harder. I want to give my kids a good life and good childhood, but no one told me it meant I had to give up all of my own dreams, that “me” would stop where they began.

  3. I truly did not realize how difficult being a full time stay at home mom would be. My baby is medically fragile. He has colic, reflux, and a feeding tube. He recently started teething and he cried so hard that he gave himself a hernia. I love my baby with all my heart but I am exhausted and overwhelmed. If I could go back in time and not have him I would in a heartbeat. My life is no longer my own, I feel like a non-person. As women we usually become the main caretaker of our children and it’s rough to say the least.

  4. I absolutely hate being a mom. We have 7 children and my husband is extremely supportive. I didn’t feel this way until about 4 years ago when we lost everything, I started getting blood clots as well and has been struggling ever since. I can not seem to balance this mom life, wife life, employee life and student life. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and put on medication but I don’t think it’s helping. Whenever my husband leaves the house and the kids are here I feel trapped, I can’t move and just feel angry and irritated. I don’t know what to do. When I’m alone and away from home I feel so free and dread going back. I feel guilty and it doesn’t help that my 15 year old gives us a hard time because apparently she believes she doesn’t have to listen to us and she wants to do what she wants to! 😣

  5. Well clearly a lot of us mom’s are feeling the same way if we all ended up here. I just told my kid that I hate bedtime because all you want is my time and I am so exhausted and you can be so clingy..yup the guilt seeped in quickly after and I thought omg I hate being a mom ..then felt even more guilt sweep in. And well misery does love company and here you moms are 🙂 big mom hug to all you super women juggling home life, work life and maybe even another kid (your husband).

    I am sure it gets better right? like when they are off to college or when you are old and you luck out and they don’t throw you in a home and they do visit regularly 🙂 I guess it’s the legacy and a little bit of a diaper change in our old age that makes it all worth it.

    Lots of love and good wishes going out to all you moms. Hang in there – I hear it gets better!

  6. I hate being a mom the constant mommy mommy mommy look at this look at that and the constant running around trying to commit to their needs its pretty boring and exhausting. I’m blessed to have a healthy and smart child but as to being a mom if I would of known I would skipped being a mom.

  7. The fact i sat here and even googled if its normal to hate being a mother though :/ im at the end of my tether and the fact this is now life and i cant see it ever getting better is just terrifying. I mother because its what society expected me to do and my now 18 minth old daughter didnt ask to be born but the guilt and shame and constant feeling of failure and playing this role is exhasting. I gave up a career, financial stability and mental wellbeing to be constantly anxious, exhausted, isolated and live in constant dispair,

    1. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Today I brought my 26 month old to soccer and for the seventh week in a row and he does not listen. He is the ONLY kid in the class that can’t follow directions . I lost my shit and ignored him for the remaining most of the day. I’m sick of being nice and gentle parenting doesn’t do sh*. I miss my life before I was a mom. I had 36 years being to myself and now everything is about constantly feeding a hungry child that doesn’t want ANYTHING I make and rather have chocolate all day. I’m drained and fantasize about me previous life. I love him but I love my alone time

  8. I hate being a mother. I WFH, and my son is with me all day. I am the babysitter. He goes where I go. I honestly wish my son was in daycare all day. Maybe then I won’t feel so bad. I could have a moment of peace. It’s too much mentally, and emotionally. I did not sign up for this alone but, because I am a female and his mother, I have to deal with it all. Give up and sacrifice everything. I hate it. When does it get better? I wake up crying every day. I try to count my blessings, to be grateful but I. Simply. Hate. It.

  9. I have a wonderful marriage and financially stable. My children are 5 & 8 and still l hate being a mother. It’s a dark secret but I’m glad I’m not alone.

  10. Reading all these comments, I feel so bad for you all but thank you so much for your honesty. I think it’s best for me to stay childfree. Society really lies to women and shames us if we choose to be childfree but then there’s very little support for moms. It’s not right. I’d consider being a mom if I knew I’d have support from a good partner, family, as well as affordable healthcare and housing etc but unfortunately that’s not the reality in the US.

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