Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Ugly Truth About Motherhood

There is a part of motherhood rarely spoken of. This is the part that you feel ashamed to admit, that is taboo to say to others. The feeling of resentment and anger towards your little one that surfaces from time to time. I don't know how often other moms feel it but for me right now it's several times a day.

Please don't get me wrong, I love my son with all my heart and can't imagine not having him. He wasn't an accident, we made the choice to create him. Even knowing how difficult he can be I'd still go back and do it all over because he is an amazing little guy and melts my heart from time to time. Even with all the frustration he adds to my life I look forward to seeing him in the morning and when I pick him up from school.

Right now I feel trapped and frustrated. I feel like my life is being held hostage by my precious child. He has never been easy. He was a high maintenance baby and has turned into a high maintenance toddler. An example of one of our biggest problems revolves around sleeping. He sleeps great through the night and he's a difficult napper, but the nap is the least of my worries. It's the waking up part that is the biggest source of drama during our day. 90% of the time when he wakes he is in a foul mood, usually crying. Today after a 2 hour nap he woke up and immediately started crying. He spent the next 20 minutes crying non-stop and throwing himself on the floor. For the following 45 minutes he was just a pill. Many days as soon as he wakes up in the morning I'm already counting down the hours until it's time to put him to bed.

I could make a list a mile long on the things that make me want to lock my little man up in his room until he's a few year older, but I won't do that. I'm sure there are kids worse than he is but I also know there are plenty of kids that are easier. If all kids were as high maintenance as my son the world's population would be a lot smaller. So, I know he's not typical and we have a special one. I keep telling myself that when he's older this will all translate to a really special person with lots of talent. But for now I want to run away and hide. I miss my freedom. I long for the days when I only had to figure out what to do with the dogs when we wanted to do something. I long to make and eat dinner without crying involved. I know we'll have those days again but right now it seems a lifetime away.

I wish more people were honest about the true frustrations of parenthood, especially motherhood. We knew parenthood wasn't going to be easy but nobody prepared me for these feelings of frustration, resentment, anger, and despair. If I hear someone tell me to cherish this time and these moments one more time I will lose my mind. When a mom talks of frustration it doesn't help to say these things to her. All I ask is for others to please acknowledge that these feelings are valid and normal. Nobody wants to feel guilty because they aren't feeling all warm and fuzzy about their child 100% of the time. I feel it's an awesome day if I get the warm fuzzies about Emmett 50% of the day. That is reality and it doesn't need to be a taboo.

Not everyone gives me the guilty feelings. I have several friends, some of them my running partners, that understand my myriad of feelings that I have towards my son. They make me feel more normal. But, in general, our society doesn't want people to talk about the dirty truth, that moms can and will resent their children at some point. It doesn't make us bad mothers it just makes us real humans.

So for now could someone please just knock me out and wake me up when he's ready to go to kindergarten?


  1. I hear ya', girl. While my son generally has a sunny disposition and is a good sleeper, the past nearly 9 years have not been without some major stress. It's nearly 3 years to the day since he was diagnosed with ADHD. While his meds are a godsend, we really only use them on school days--so his teachers see this angelic, focused, considerate kid and we see the raving lunatic who can't sit still and is constantly LOUD and unruly.

    Either some moms are very lucky to not have stressful children or they are in denial...perhaps induced by some damned good drugs.

  2. Kirsten, I knew if anybody would understand it would be you! I want a good case of denial or some of the drugs that those other moms must be on.

  3. I'm really glad you wrote this, Ash. I'd love to see more instances where people are just being honest, and either not putting up a front for people, or else being in total denial. I'd like to think that you're definitely not alone, and these feelings are a LOT more common than you think. When did it become so taboo to talk about these things? When did it become *required* to have the perfect TV life?

    You're doing a great job with Emmett, and I'm constantly in awe of how well you keep it together and have still maintained your individuality. Hang in there, my friend!

  4. Ummmm, weird. I'm not anonymous! I'm Tara!!!

  5. I knew it was you. My batgirl senses were tingling!