I read posts all the time – on this site as well as others – about how tough motherhood is.
Posts about how it’s hardest job in the world, that it’s thankless, that it’s exhausting, etc. As it is.
But they all seem to begin or end with the same little caveat: That the author wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. That she loves her children to the moon and back despite the hell that they put her through. That motherhood, even with its many flaws, is still the best experience of her life. That she wouldn’t change a damn thing if she could.
But, here’s the thing I’ve never admitted out loud before… I would. I would change it all. Because, in my heart of hearts, I don’t like being a mother.
I love my children, I do, and I write these words anonymously so they never find out the horrible feelings I feel. But I have to get them off of my chest somehow; the burden has become too much to bear. Ever since becoming a mother 12 years ago, and every day since, I haven’t been able to escape the sinking feeling that I shouldn’t be one.
It’s not the trivial things that people complain about like peeing with an audience or having to drive to endless lacrosse games. It’s the fact that I truly liked my life better before I was a parent. I liked who I was better, and I spend an inordinate amount of time dreaming of those days.
I take good care of my children and they have an adoring father, grandparents and aunts and uncles. They are well adjusted, happy human beings. They are fine. It’s me who’s the problem. Me who feels like I’m playing a role I wasn’t meant to play every single day of my life. Me who must be missing some chain of DNA that all mothers are supposed to possess.
I’m not sure what I want from putting this out there.
I’m sure I’ll be called a bad parent and people will suggest I just leave home; that my kids would be better off without me. But I won’t, because I don’t think I can ever truly be happy again, whether I’m at home with two kids or living on my own somewhere far away. Guilt would consume me either way, so I may as well be the only one to suffer and not bring the whole family down with me.
And there’s always nighttime, when the kids are soundly sleeping and I can dream of the days before motherhood; the days that should have lasted forever.