Confession.

I don’t enjoy motherhood.

They, whoever ‘they’ are, drilled it deep into me even as a child that motherhood is enjoyable. That there’s no greater calling, no better purpose, nothing more fun. Sure, they said it would be hard, they said it would be challenging and trying, but never did I expect the intense frustration and just terribleness motherhood sometimes is.

Now, don’t get me wrong- I am so in love with my baby Joy. She is the sweetest thing, and I love spending time with her and getting to know her personality. So far, she is OCD about her schedule and hates clothing, which is all pretty cute. But I digress.

But the job, the task of motherhood. That. I love, in theory, the idea of being a stay-at-home mom. I like day dreaming about my child and the finger painting we’ll do together, the visits to the park, reading bedtimes stories, etc- but in reality life is a lot, lot more mundane, more scheduled + exact then I ever thought it would be.

To be more specific, I hate the predictability. The schedule, the obvious chain of events, the lack of creativity my day holds, and I suppose some would say the responsibility. I miss being able to mix things up- to meet someone for coffee, to dedicate myself again to my passions. I greatly dislike feeling like a cow for 30 minutes multiple times a day, and holding a screaming baby that just won’t be soothed is pretty difficult as well. Life isn’t full of driving to the park type moments, and at this stage I’m lucky if we’re still doing round three of Itsy Bitsy Spider, let along finger painting.

I know, I know- I need to find joy and grace and purpose in the mundane. Don’t worry, I’ve bought multiple books that probably will repeat the same advice you’re kindly trying to give me. And I know that the days hold little moments that I can cherish, that make it all worth it. Sometimes I see them, and sometimes I don’t.

It’s all selfish, I suppose. And truly, I love being Joy’s mother – just not the actual process of parenting and scheduling. And I’m writing all this, really, just hoping that some can relate to the fact that I can’t find all of my joy, my ultimate calling, the completion of everything ‘Veronica’ inside of my child. I’m writing this for other mothers who struggle to enjoy the mundane every day – there’s nothing wrong with you, and you aren’t alone.Β 

There’s something wonderful, for sure, about motherhood. And I envy the mothers who beam and claim they are in their glory days. “Surely THIS is what I was made for,” everything about them seems to say. And you know, maybe despite my impressions, there *isn’t* anyone like that (or am I completely out of touch?). Maybe we all need to come together and eat Ice Cream and just say me too.

I know I am doing a great work. I know there is purpose, there is reason for being a parent. I know the sacrifices I make daily are not in vain.

But it takes work, a lot of painful, intentional work, to recognize the little moments as big ones, the dull day-to-day as glorious, and parenting as enjoyable.

I’m getting there, I think. Relishing in the painfully long feedings, enjoying the bedtime routine/fight Joy and I share every night, and remembering and reminding myself that not only will this too pass, but one day, I’ll miss these little moments.

 

 

 

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  1. I’m so sorry you feel this way. I have three children and I truly loved every minute of it. Maybe consider just having one child ? I don’t know. In today’s society maybe a lot more young girls feel the way you do. Imagine back a hundred years ago, I wonder how they felt? I hope things get easier for you.

    1. I do truly wonder why others seem to enjoy the entire process of mothering more then others. Is it in part due to ‘society’ and social norms? Is it certain personalities? Is it rooted in our own childhood + upbringing? Although there are many aspects I enjoy, I wish I could enjoy *all* of it… but sometimes can’t. I’m so glad, however, that you do! It’s not an easy task but clearly you conquered. Rock on, mama.

  2. Sweet Veronica, you are not alone. Every honest mother has felt the “Mommy Blues”. Everyone boasts about the rewards of devotion & sacrifice of the mother’s days but the actual rewards come along the way and even into the baby’s adulthood. My children are 41, 38 & 34 approximately. As they have grown I have enjoyed the motherhood rewards but also the defeats of motherhood. There were many times that I felt the unfairness of motherhood to take from me some of my needed personal time. It’s not always a glorious position & you get praises & on the flip side you are always at fault. Judgements are always there for you. But, it is in fact the very best thing I ever did in my life. It takes years to know the glory & joy of these days you are having. So much I would like to say but you will eventually see the light of my story. By the way, I am so happy to finally hear from you!!!! I thought you had totally quit the YouTube. Hugs hugs hugs. I think you are brave & honest to admit to the mundane days that affect you so. Darling, all moms would tell you it is true but it gets so much better. Love n hugs to y’all.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement! It means a lot. I have awesome I-love-every-minute-of-this days, and other days like above where I just go crazy! So good to hear I’m not completely alone on this. πŸ™‚

  3. Can you pump breast milk for Joy to drink later? That way you could just go out to Lunch with a friend and have Jeff or other friend or family members take care of Joy? If I didn’t live so far away, I would take you out to lunch myself! AND… we could get ice cream too! My treat! ^_^ I think you are wise. Your awareness of the Fact you are indeed “Veronica” and in fact were “Veronica “before the baby was born is healthy. YOU NEED TO HAVE SOME FUN and express Yourself in healthy creative ways!!… Somehow you should get some help to facilitate taking a break every week. Prioritize a date with Jeff, and some Veronica time…. You did nothing wrong….. you are not a bad mother… Veronica,I like you just the way you are. You are a great gal in my book! I’m so glad we are friends! I want more than anything to see you better balanced. With all these challenges I know you are a fighter survivor, and you will overcome! And I’m here to help as much as I can!

  4. You may need more outside of the home activities. Maybe some art-time work to explore more of your creativity. A lot of women love working outside the home and that is ok. I hated housework but, I loved taking care of my kids. The first 10 yrs tho I was lonely. I didn’t know there were moms group including a national organization called Moms Club which is a club for stay at home moms. Explore some things. A few bottles wont hurt her one bit. To be a better mom you have to be a happier you. SOmeday you will be able to tell Joy the same thing. Prayers and love for your family.

  5. I don’t agree with the notion of wrapping your whole life up in the role of motherhood because when it comes time for the empty nest you might suddenly wonder what your purpose is now that you can’t be a full time mom. I agree with a parent staying home if the family can afford it, but the stay at home parent needs to find balance in at home tasks as well as fulfillment out of the home (not necessarily a job). I think this is good for the child so they don’t end up sufficated by the parent, or become bratty thinking they deserve to be their parent’s whole world and get mad if the parent has other interests.

    1. I agree! It’s my hope that we are able to raise Joy and future children in a way that allows them to be self-sufficient and responsible members of society, while still knowing that her parents will always love + support her πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your thoughts, Janet!

  6. Ah… I hear you! I’m a homeschooling mama, so I’m with my kids All. The. Time. I feel the same way – I love my kids, but I don’t love everything that comes with the territory. I really felt this recently as I was stripping beds, doing laundry, mopping throw-up when the kids were sick. Not fun! If you think about it, though, those feelings are natural. Take marriage, for example – it’s wonderful, God created it, but living and getting along with another human being, compromising, communicating, etc. is HARD WORK.

    I like to think that anything in life worth doing isn’t going to be easy. I would hope there would be many happy, joyful moments, but it’s unrealistic to think that it will be idyllic all the time. Motherhood gives you a real slice of perspective realizing what God goes through dealing with us – we whine, complain, don’t obey even though He knows what’s best for us, and He still loves us and gave His life for us!

    My mom – who has five kids, the last two of us twins – has often told me that she would cry right along with us (especially her firstborn, when she didn’t really know what she was doing) and she just had to decide that this was her season in life. Think about it… the days do seem long (and monotonous and mundane…), but the years will be short. I think it’s cliche to say “enjoy it while it lasts,” because it’s not that easy, but try to realize new stages will come along with new phases, new victories, new experiences, new challenges, etc. And you will be growing and changing right along with your daughter!

    My husband has encouraged me to try to find a passion, regardless of the cost… which I find ironic, because we really can’t afford much these days! He has taken up the violin, my son the guitar, my daughter dancing… but I feel I don’t have the time, money, and energy to add anything else to my plate. So right now I’m focusing on where God has me – being a mom. I try to make a difference in my church community, with my friends and extended family, but my husband and kids come first.

    I have to say, I love(d) nursing! I didn’t always enjoy it in the middle of the night, but I love that it forces me to slow down – I would read, watch a movie, whatever while nursing. I really have no desire to be going out all the time, but it would be nice to have the option when the mood strikes. With little babies, though – they’re portable! You can take her to coffee shops, cafe, the park, even the movies if you time it so she will sleep through it. Get creative!

    1. Karla, I always appreciate your comments. SO. GOOD. And so encouraging. Thank you so much for your insight and thoughts!

      Maybe I’m going about this breastfeeding thing all wrong. I’ve been trying so hard to ‘enjoy’ this time I have with her that I literally don’t do anything but sit there and try to force myself to love it… haha. I should pick a easy watch on Netflix and do that instead. πŸ˜‰

  7. So I was a young mum at barely 22, being married to a military man, we had three children in under Six years and moved as many times as years in that time. I understand the frustration of being young and having a family. At some point you loose yourself in your children.
    Now I’m 43, my youngest just made me a grandma! And I’m almost an empty nester! I’m struggling to rediscover myself. But I’ll tell you if someone could tell my younger self all the joy I missed with the complication of the mundane, I’d try to hug my children longer and give my self doubting self a break. Enjoy motherhood hun, cos one day you’ll blink and it’s yesterday already and your children are all grown up.

  8. You can do this Veronica. I know you can. <3 I may not know anything about being a mother, but I understand it takes a LOT of hard work, patience, and love. And you have all of that! You have been such a wonderful friend to me, you're basically my older sister. You have the strength to endure the hard days. I'm sure you've told me this before, that the hard times won't and don't last forever. Well now, I'm telling the same thing to you. Is there any way you can step back and take some time for yourself? Maybe once Joy starts bottle-feeding you can have Jeff watch her for a couple hours while you take some time to yourself? Or, like someone else said, you can take her with you to lunch, the park, etc. It's so so so important that you get some "me time", although I understand that it is probably a rare treat for mothers, especially when they have babies (perhaps it increases over the years?). Regardless, it's still important, and I hope you're able to take a day for yourself soon. It's important that YOU'RE happy, because then JOY will feel…might I say, JOY as well (sorry I had to hehe)? πŸ™‚ I believe in you. <3 You are a fantastic mother and I so admire your honesty in admitting that it isn't 100% happiness all the time. Go you, mama. Go you.
    Liza

  9. My son is almost 3 and I’ve definitely had days like you have. I breastfed until he was nearly 2 because of all the health benefits. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the health benefits, I probably wouldn’t have even nursed him. He also never took a bottle, so I was the only way he could get liquid for like a year and a half! I know that sounds crazy, but he seriously wouldn’t even drink from a sippy cup :’( If I did go anywhere, it would be for 3 hours tops because he ate every 3 hours haha. Time apart is definitely a necessity! I don’t honestly get out much because I feel guilty leaving my husband at home with our son, it’s nothing my husband has said necessarily, just the way I am. I’m not sure how long Joy sleeps at night, but I think with my son it wasn’t until about 8 months old that he didn’t wake up to nurse and that was probably the hardest part. Once he started sleeping through the night, though, things improved tremendously! Don’t feel guilty for having a hard time. We weren’t all made exactly the same! You love Joy with all your heart, just because you don’t like being a stay at home mom, doesn’t make you a bad mom. ❀

  10. I understand and have had those moments, especially when my kids were babies. I loved my children but often felt trapped but guilty because all I had ever wanted was to be a mother. I did not live near to family and with my husband at work I was not able to get that time away. Like others have said, it does get better as they grow! You will rediscover yourself again (not that you are lost now), in fact you will find you have deeper dimensions than ever before! Give it some time. This is only a season. You will feel “normal” again! My kids are now 10, 8, and 6 and am loving this stage and wish I could freeze time for awhile! My advice to you is to try to get enough sleep. I know that was crucial for me! God bless you and your little family. God has placed you right where you are at just this time on purpose! Find rest and comfort in that!

  11. Oh girl, I totally get this. I think it has to do with our ENFP personalities. We hate schedules and get fueled by conversation, people, and all extroverted things. So when we are inside following schedules all day it makes us a little bit mad. I try to get out as much a possible. Even if it’s going into target with Leo or going for a walk. It will get so much easier as she gets older. I am too, working out contentment in the mundane. It’s hard work, I actually hate it. It’s a season. Just make time for you to be extroverted πŸ™‚ Love you.

  12. Hey! I found your site while researching tiny homes, but this sounded so similar to me that I had to comment. I think because no one really talks about this. that when women do experience it, it can be incredibly isolating. I had a really hard time with early motherhood (and postpartum depression), and it was very demoralizing. I felt like everyone had promised me this would be the best time of my life, and it made me feel like a failure.

    I loved my baby more than anything, but I just didn’t enjoy it.

    I wish I could say there was one thing that helped me make things better, but honestly? I just dug my heels in and got through it. I held it together for my kid, and then cried in the shower – no shame in that. Crying is our body’s emotional release valve. I drank a lot of tea, and went through more dark chocolate than was probably necessary. But the biggest thing was that in the hard times, I repeated to myself that it had to be done because she was counting on me. That helped me keep going when I felt I hit a wall.

    It did get better with time. My kid got a little older, and while I was already in love with her, we became friends. Now she’s three, and it’s still work, and still tiring, but it’s also amazing. I love every day with her. She’s my best friend, honestly. You’ll get there, and don’t be too hard on yourself for struggling with it. It’s not a failing on your part, it’s just the way some people are. You’re still pushing through and caring for your kid, and that’s the important part.

    The best thing I can recommend is getting out. It can seem like, when you’re stuck at home, that the walls are closing in. Grabbing a stroller or baby sling and just getting out can be very freeing. Make time for yourself, and don’t completely lose yourself to the ‘motherhood’ identity – something I’m still working on. I think it’s especially important as mothers of girls to be examples of, hey, this is a thing you might do, but you don’t have to completely give yourself away to it. I would read outloud to her, but I would read the books *I* wanted to read. Also, if she’s not yet, sleeping through the night is a total game changer. I did not realize how much the lack of sleep was impacting me until I was getting it again.

    This got long, and idk, maybe it’s a little tmi, but whenever I see another mom going through what I did, I always want to say something. You’ll get there, you are clearly a great mother, and it’ll be okay.

    1. No, Carlin this was amazing and so needed! Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. I feel like this is definitely a conversation mothers should be having more. We have been fed a lie (accidentally, I’m sure, but all the same) that motherhood is the entirety of who we are and that it is hard yet almost always enjoyable. I appreciate you for sharing!!

  13. I think you are very brave to have written this. I think a lot of moms feel the same way. I’m not a mom but we fostered 2 girls several years ago. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through. When people say it is hard being a parent, that doesn’t do it justice (even for foster parents). There needs to be a much larger, harrowing word to even begin to describe it. Best of luck.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I appreciate it. Foster parents are an amazing, special kind. You aren’t ‘just’ a foster mom, you are a champion and warrior. I admire you!