I Hate Being a Mom Sometimes… Is That Okay?
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or on the career track, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Motherhood isn’t easy.
You’re responsible for another human being who can’t always communicate their needs and throw tantrums to get their way. You not only have to manage your child’s welfare, but that of your home and finances. To add, if you’re a single mom, a lack of partner support means you have even less time to decompress.
Hating or resenting your children doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. If anything, it means you’re human.
And much like the smaller human beings in your life, you can’t control how you feel. However, just as you soothe your child when they’re scared or upset, you also have to take care of your emotional well-being.
In this article, we’ll help you identify why you might be unhappy as a mother, how to address the issue, and how to get help if you need it.
Common Reasons Behind Unhappy Motherhood
If you’re going through a hard time, it’s normal to resent your situation or the circumstances that led up to it.
Mothering is no exception.
By identifying your emotions and calling out a problem for what it is—a problem—you can take the first step towards a healthier, more manageable relationship with parenthood and your child.
To help you get started, here are few common reasons why you might be unhappy as a mother:
“I have no support or help.”
We like to think of moms as superheroes who can do everything on their own, but in reality, they can’t.
And that’s okay.
Without a stable support system, mothers are at risk of developing postpartum depression.
Affecting 1 in 8 women, mothers with PD struggle with intense emotions, like anger or helplessness. Feelings of isolation can worsen if you’re a first-time mom or single parent without access to resources or family members that can help out.
Mothers may also develop clinical depression due to lack of sleep, stress, and the mental toll of raising a child without support, whether physical, emotional, or financial.
“I never wanted kids to begin with.”
It’s a difficult truth, but not every mom wanted to be a mother.
Some mothers are pressured into being a parent by cultural norms or familial expectations. Others fall unexpectedly pregnant.
Though this doesn’t make for a bad parent, it can lead to feelings of resentment or anger for a major life change you never wanted.
“My marriage or partnership is falling apart.”
If two parents are involved, child-rearing is ideally done as a partnership. However, for women in heterosexual relationships, a majority of the childcare tends to fall on the mother, straining the relationship between her and the father.
This can also happen with same-sex and non-gender-conforming couples, where one parent tends to be more responsible for childcare than the other.
A lack of sleep, money and alone time can further deepen the tension.
“I have no time to myself, and I’m losing my identity.”
Parenthood is a full-time job, especially if you have small children or children with special needs. You may long for your old lifestyle or the aspirations you had to give up to be a parent. Your sense of self can feel diminished or non-existent due to all your attention and time spent caring for your children.
“My child(ren) are really challenging and display disruptive or concerning behavior.”
Toddlers throw tantrums; teenagers curse and rebel. It’s a fact of life, but there’s a difference between acts of defiance that signify your child’s developing independence—and a disruptive behavior disorder.
A disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) is a mental health condition common amongst children. They’re not necessarily the result of bad parenting, but a genuine behavioral issue that can make parenting stressful and grueling without the help of a licensed counselor.
“It’s causing me and my family financial problems.”
Raising a child isn’t only emotionally and physically demanding—it’s financially taxing.
From diapers and formula to saving up for college tuition, wanting the best for your child takes its toll. Financial issues often strain a marriage, with unresolved disputes about money being more recurrent than any other marital issue.
“I don’t feel good enough and there’s a pressure to be perfect.”
On social media, mothers are portrayed as superheroes—infallible and unrealistic.
Mothers can seemingly raise a house full of kids, maintain a career, keep a perfect figure, and stay happily in love with their spouse.
As a result, many mothers feel compelled to perform as parents. Combined with cultural or familial pressures, it’s easy to feel as though you are somehow failing as a mother by not painting a cookie-cutter image 24/7.
What Should I Do if I Hate Being a Mom?
Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there, and it’s only made harder by silence, a lack of self-care, and, worst of all, mom guilt.
Though you can’t control your emotions, you can pause, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. By taking a moment to examine how you’re feeling, you can think of better ways to manage your emotions and the challenges of motherhood.
Yes, when you open your eyes, your child will still be there—but so will you, a human being equally deserving of care.
To help you get started, here are a few suggestions on how to prioritize your needs:
Know you’re not alone
You’re not a bad person for feeling the way you do. Furthermore, you are neither alone nor unique in your situation; many moms have felt as you do.
Though mothers are idolized by society, motherhood is a complicated, messy thing. Not every mother is blissful or satisfied with motherhood, and there’s nothing shameful about that.
Ask for help from friends and family
Have you heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”?
Though traditionally mothers are the heart of childcare, we often forget about the people around us who would be more than happy to help out.
Reach out to family and friends when you need a break or some help around the house. If none are close by, schedule time for a visit.
Open up about how you’re feeling in whatever way you feel comfortable and ask for what you need. Be specific.
Schedule a “you-day”
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, alone time is a necessity, not a luxury. Give yourself a full day to focus on self-care, hobbies, or anything else you’d like to do.
You may call a babysitter over on the weekends, schedule a weekly playdate, or ask your partner to take over. Whatever you decide, try not to think about your kids or all the trouble they’ll get into. They’ll be just fine.
Stop comparing yourself to others
How other moms decide to parent will always differ from how you choose to. Accept that you’re doing your best.
Whether that means sleeping in on Sundays, letting your kids eat junk food sometimes, or relying on others for help, what matters is you and your children’s continued welfare and happiness.
Give yourself permission to be imperfect
All good mothers make mistakes. Sometimes they lose their patience and raise their voice when they shouldn’t. Other times, they’re late to pick up their kids from school. It happens, and it’s okay.
Just remember that your child loves you unconditionally. They don’t need you to be perfect, and neither should anyone else.
Get professional help and look for resources
Many women struggle with mental health issues, and those with children are no exception.
Women are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder compared to men and are susceptible to different types of depression, such as postpartum depression and perimenopausal depression.
Combined with the stress and emotional toll of child-rearing, mentally ill mothers may feel helpless and isolated—but they’re not.
Reclaim Your Joy with Emote Online Therapy
A lot of moms have felt the way you do—angry, frustrated, resentful. Raising a child is hard work, and it never stops. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get better.
Whether you’re a new mom with a one-year-old at home or a veteran with several teens under your belt, how you feel is real and valid, and you’re deserving of being heard.
At Emote, we offer just that: an empathetic ear.
With the help of our highly qualified mental health professionals, a therapist or family counselor can help you develop skills to better handle motherhood or tackle issues like low self-esteem and negative thoughts.
With Emote, you’re not alone.
Start today and learn how to reclaim joy as a mother for only $35 during your first week of therapy. Check out our FAQ to learn more, or contact us for questions and concerns.