I love my children. Please don't misinterpret what I am about to say, please don't turn me into CPS for not loving them. I do love them, more than I ever imagined possible, but there are days when I really detest motherhood.
It all started when I was pregnant. I HATED being pregnant. Oh, sure there were the moments when I realized that it was the one time in my life that it was ok to be fat, and I did enjoy some of the attention that you get when you are cute and pregnant (yes, I did just call myself cute). But I hated being sick, I hated being kept awake by kicking and I hated sharing my body. My first pregnancy was riddled with guilt about not being pregnant and glowing. I felt sad that I wasn't loving the experience the way other women do.
When the babies were born I quickly realized that I also wasn't fond of breastfeeding. It didn't particularly make me feel any closer to them or bonded with them. I didn't feel so wonderful because they were dependant on me. I continued to breastfeed because that was the best choice for their health, but I longed for the day when I would regain some autonomy.
Right about now, you are probably thinking that you are reading the words of a woman who shouldn't have had kids and who never should have made the choice twice. It may sound that way, but my kids do fill me with joy and overwhelming emotion. Their welfare is my number one priority and has always come before my needs.
Now, my kids are 4 and 6 years old. We have been through many adjustments together. Since, my divorce I have often felt like it is "me and my kids against the world." We cling to each other. But there are days still that I feel like I did when I was pregnant and breastfeeding. There are days when I want to throw my hands in the air and say "I give up,This is too hard." When I had children, I thought I would be married to their dad forever. I never thought that my dream of a perfect family would be ripped out from beneath me. That I would be the ONLY person in this world who so clearly has their best interests in mind every moment of the day. Sometimes, I long for my autonomy back, sometimes I dream about not having them so dependant on me.
My new husband is wonderful with my kids. They absolutely adore him and they see him as a father figure, and their dad is still very involved in their lives. I'm not all alone, like some women are. But there is no one else to diffuse the situation when they get mad and say "I hate you!" Last week my six year old got really mad for the first time, he told me he hated me and then proceeded to tell me how much better his dad is and that he just wants to live with his dad. It stung. It shook me, no matter how much logic is telling me that he was just testing the water. It still made me feel that all of my hard work, sacrifice and love is being wasted.
I look at other mom's who just radiate motherhood. Who are patient and soft and loving. Moms who play with their kids and seem to enjoy every aspect of motherhood. I look at them and I feel inadequate. I wonder why my experience is so filled with struggles and battles of will. I wish that I was a lover of all things motherhood. I wish I glowed when I was pregnant, that I felt so wonderful when breastfeeding and that I truely could "enjoy" all of the stages as they mature. Many days, I feel like I'm just putting one foot in front of the other, taking motherhood one step at a time and waiting for the rest at the end. I'm tired and I yell too much.
Just when I think I can't take another moment of this challenging job they do something so edearing, so tender that they melt my heart. They melt my heart just like their sweet baby sounds and their newborn smell melted my heart when I was hating breastfeeding. My heart melts and I am girded up to shoulder the next challenge of motherhood, one foot in front of the other.
--The Short of It