Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What If You Don't Love It?

Enjoying a motherhood moment with Quinn a couple of years ago
There was an article on Scary Mommy, written by an anonymous mother, who wants to tell the world her darkest secret: She doesn't like being a mom.

Reading the piece was hard.

This mom rejects the caveat placed at the end of even the most annoyed of posts, by people like me. That caveat in which say that we wouldn't change it for the world, and that we love being a mom.

For her, it's not true.

I have some thoughts about this.

First of all, this is why we shouldn't pressure people into having kids. There's this thing called "childless by choice", and it's a perfectly reasonable decision for people to make for themselves. Some people have different dreams and desires. Some have different goals for their lives. Some have different gifts to give the world. And you know what? It's none of my damn business to judge it, and it's certainly not my job to change their minds.

Maybe if we stopped insisting that people will love having kids, people would feel less pressured to have kids that they don't actually want.

Maybe if we were more accepting of the fact that some people are childless by choice, then more people would stay that way when that's really what's going to make them happy.

Secondly, I don't know if we lie to ourselves or if we lie to the world, but I tend to think that we all at some point, think about what our lives would be like if we didn't have kids.

I imagine working full time in a career that I love. I have gorgeous clothes, and really great hair.

I come home in the evening to an immaculate condo, because no one has moved anything while I was gone. There are no messes to clean up, because I  haven't made any.

I walk to the fridge and take out some delicious leftovers. Because not only do I have disposable income for things like eating out at nice restaurants, but when I put my leftovers in the fridge, no one else eats them.

I kick of my high heels (the shoes I never wear in my real life), and enjoy the fact that I still have my slender high school figure (I don't), while I kick back on a fabulous couch that doesn't have any jelly on it anywhere, listen to the sound of smooth jazz, and drink a glass of wine.

And that's funny, because I don't really like smooth jazz, like, at all.

Of course the reality is that I've always been someone who wanted a family, and my biggest career goal was to be a midwife. Really, if I were single and without kids, I'd actually be very lonely and sad. So, for me, this exercise in imagination is a temporary thing, devoid of any kind of reality.

But oh yeah, sometimes I think about it.

Of course I love my kids. And so does the mother who wrote that article.

Despite all these feelings she has, that maybe she really wasn't supposed to be a mom at all, she loves her kids. Her feelings scare her so much that she doesn't even put her name to the piece, for fear that they might see it.

If any of us are having feelings like that, we need to seek outside help. That mom can't change that she chose to be a mother. But she can find tools to help her thrive, and be the best she can be for her kids and for herself too.

There may even be an underlying issue at play that she doesn't fully understand. She shouldn't have to be unhappy.

I hate that any mother should feel that she has to walk that path in silence, and in secret, consumed by guilt.

There is help out there.

Even those of who love it, sometimes don't. Sometimes we hate it. Sometimes we go walk around Target for an hour just to have no one hanging on us. Sometimes it's hard, and it's scary, and and we don't have any clue what we're doing or how anyone thought this was something we were capable of.

But if those moments are the ones that are creating the narrative of your maternal experience, then talk to someone. Those feelings don't have to last forever.

Every mother should get to love it. At least most of the time.

We struggle though the days sometimes, but it's made easier when we struggle through them together. Thank you for supporting me, and giving me a voice. If you like my blog, please click the banner below to vote for me. I really appreciate it!
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