A week ago. I had written up a post called When Life Does Not go as Planned. I expressed the fact that I have accepted parenthood did not turn out to be the way I had imagined- along with other unrelated things in life. I admit, I wanted to write other things in the post which I did not have the guts to do- until I had come across the following articles written by very candid and brave moms. Before I say another word, I strongly suggest you check these out.
If you checked these blog posts out, you will see that these moms expressed that even though they love and care for their kids deeply- they hate being a mom. Not only did they sacrifice their own freedom and desires to be caregivers to their kids. It is definitely a job that is not easy by any means and if moms do not take breaks that are much needed- they will feel resentful, depressed and angry. Especially if they have little outside help which makes it much worse.
Why did I call these mommy bloggers brave? Because society expects mothers to not have such horrible feelings while they are mothering their kids. These exhausted moms are considered to be selfish if they were to speak the truth about their feelings. No wonder so many suffering moms are terrified to speak up. They are brave because they risked themselves to be harshly judged and frowned upon by being open and honest about their feelings even though they obviously do love their kids. Even though people who plan to have kids are fully aware that their lives are going to change- no one can ever prepare them for the fact that their entire lives are going to be turned completely upside down and inside out. No one can ever prepare them for the fact that they will have to kiss their old child free lives good-bye for at least 18 years anyway once that child is born. These individuals do know that they will have to make sacrifices once they bring children into this world, however they always underestimate the impact.
There are many fathers who feel the same way, however the majority of them are able to get out and work the same hours that they did before they had kids. They still have a lot of their old life as a result. Most mothers end up leaving their jobs, and are stuck at home doing the housework, and taking care of the kids and other chores. They are not paid for doing the hardest job in the world and it is no wonder they feel that way. Not to mention they are burned out.
I want to thank these bloggers for being strong enough to tell the complete truth about how they feel. I do love my kids, and will make sure they have good lives, however the truth is there are days I become very frustrated. There are definitely times when I really miss the life I had before having kids. I really do miss those days when I could travel, go out every weekend and not worry about having to come back at a certain time to let the babysitter off. I miss being able to have all of the time in the world to do what I want to do. However, I made a choice to get married and have kids. Unfortunately one of them has autism which makes the job even harder. However, over time I have learned to embrace the life of a mom, and find new passions and dreams that I can go after while raising the kids. Not to mention that I know I will eventually get that freedom back because fortunately kids grow up. Even my son with autism is growing up and will leave home. I am making sure I help him make that transition when he turns 18. You may want to read more about it when I had written What is Going to Happen to my Child with Autism when he Grows up?.
Most of the moms who you see are struggling with hating their demanding mothering jobs are the ones who have babies, toddlers and children with significant disabilities that impedes their growth- as they are the most demanding. They need to be fed, cleaned, changed, bathed, and are unable to care at all for themselves when they are sick. They constantly scream and throw tantrums. Fortunately even though my son has autism, is at the higher functioning end and even though he is a lot immature than a typical 10 year old boy, I would not compare him to a baby or toddler either. Thankfully he stopped throwing tantrums a long time ago. In other words, as the children grow, they do become less demanding and life starts to get better. However, new challenges will always arise which will bring new frustrations to the surface.
The best advice I could give to any mom who is ready to tear her hair from being so burned out and frustrated is to make sure that she cares for herself! Unfortunately yes, those desires to do all of those things before having kids will need to stay on the back burner like traveling the world, going out spontaneously- without the children that is, and being able to sleep in until noon. However as I mentioned previously, moms need find a way to embrace their new lives and to learn to develop new hobbies, and find joy in other things. Take a bath, or read a good book, watch a show, and make time for it. It is a must. Are they scared that the kids will interrupt? Well, that is when it is time to look into getting some respite. If the mom is not taking time at all for herself, then she definitely will not be good to her kids and the resentment and anger could seep through which is something that must be avoided.
It is perfectly fine and understandable for moms to be frustrated when it comes to the exhausting and tedious responsibilities. And it is extremely healthy for moms to find a productive outlet to take out those frustrations- like even commenting on those blog posts that I had put up. Mothers need to find some kind of outlet because if not, then the depression, anger and resentment is going to create ill health and the mother will end up taking it all on the kids. Just remember as well that things will get better as the kids age, and remember I have a child with special needs! Given that fact, if I am able to say this, then life really does get better. Yes, like I said there will always be new challenges that arise. However, the point is that as kids age, they become less needy and less dependent. That in itself makes a world of a difference.
I also want to give some other tips for moms who are feeling this way. Firstly, it is extremely important to join communities with other moms. I am talking about online as well as offline. There is a great site called CafeMom., and Google “mom communities”. Find some offline communities as well so you can physically connect with other moms, and it is a great idea to start with MeetUp.com for that. I cannot stress enough how important it is for moms to be connected with others. Living in isolation will only worsen those feelings. I also recommend unfollowing childless friends on Facebook and other social media platforms who are constantly showing pictures of their trips or nights out. That is if seeing these posts are upsetting these moms. Hang out with those who are in your shoes, and stick together. Find solutions to make one another happy. Find out where there is outside help as well if a break is desperately needed. All they need to do is look around. Help and support, and new friends in the same shoes are out there.