I Never Wanted Children

by Toni Hammer
Originally Published: 

I’m a mom who never wanted the job.

Did you know there are others like us? There are fellow moms in the world who are wiping noses and crunching Cheerios with their bare feet who never envisioned their life turning out this way. We are the moms who struggle every day with this thought: This is why I never wanted children.

Have you ever thought that? I did just today. My children were clinging to me, pulling on my shirt, whining and crying because I wouldn’t pick them up, while I fought a frying pan full of bacon. I clenched my jaw, tightened my grip on the spatula, and with every tense muscle in my body I thought, “This wasn’t my plan. This wasn’t the life I wanted. This is why I didn’t want kids.”

Every day is a struggle.

We have mom friends who always wanted children. They speak of the joys of motherhood as though they find rainbows in their children’s diapers instead of beans and corn from yesterday’s Mexican casserole. We read countless mommy blogs about how one’s life is now complete because they’re raising little boys or girls. We are told over and over again how blessed we are to have kids and we should enjoy every minute of it.

These are not our people, though. We are the black sheep. The outcasts. We are the moms who saw our flaws so clearly that we knew—we just knew—that motherhood was not a good choice for us. The moms who sit on the floor and cry at night with fear that, because our children weren’t planned, we’re screwing them up.

And yet here we are.

Maybe it was birth control gone bad. Maybe it was the heat of the moment. Whatever your story is, it happened, and now we find ourselves doing 2 a.m. feedings, holding screaming toddlers, and scrubbing poop out of the carpet all while that voice in our head constantly reminds us, “This is why I didn’t want children.”

I’m not going to give you ten ways to delight in your children on bad days. I’m not going to admonish you for having what some see as a horrifyingly selfish thought.

I’m going to tell you it’s okay.

It’s okay that you never wanted kids in the first place. It doesn’t make you mean or selfish or less of a woman. It just makes you honest.

It’s okay that you can’t identify with other moms who tell the story of how they and their spouses had their family plan all worked out and it came to fruition exactly as they jotted it down on paper. You shouldn’t feel ashamed that your child wasn’t expected or plotted out on the journey of your life.

It’s okay that you feel unprepared and find yourself Googling, “My child does ‘x.’ Is that normal?” when you’re certain your mommy friends who envisioned their child’s nursery since they were a kid themselves would instinctively know the answer.

It’s okay to ask for help. No mom is Super Mom and every mom needs a break. Some of us may just need more breaks, and perhaps longer breaks, to make it through the days and weeks and months of a life we never wanted.

Most importantly, it’s okay to tell your story. There are more of us moms that never wanted the job than you realize. We need you to tell your story of fears and tears to help us feel like we have a friend in this alternate universe called motherhood. We need to know someone understands the struggle. We need to know someone else hears the voice in their head say, “This is why I never wanted kids.” We need you to tell us we aren’t alone. We need you.

Regardless of how you arrived on Planet Parenthood, you are here. You don’t have to feel bad for admitting it’s hard. We know. You don’t have to hide from your story of how you got here. We know. And you don’t have to follow up your woes or complaints with, “But I love my kids.”

We know.

And your children know, too.

Related post: I Don’t Like Being A Mother

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