Somehow I have a hard time closing the gap between thinking about blog posts and actually writing/posting them. I make no excuses, I’m just lazy. I technically have the time and opportunity. But the fact of owning a baby is exhausting; mostly, any free time is spent zoning out whilst marathoning various Netflix crime dramas.
But today I felt slightly inspired. I somehow ended up on the mailing list of a site called Scary Mommy. I don’t really understand how this happened, but I actually find a lot of the posts to be interesting and realistic, and occasionally humorous. It has a little less of the sanctimonious “mommy wars” that most of the baby sites are polluted with (if you avoid the comments, that is. Always avoid reader comments). One that I read today struck a chord with me, entitled I Don’t Like Being a Mother.
First things first: this is difficult to admit. Especially if you’ve (as she clearly has) made the commitment to stay a mother/involved. I watched a special on TV last year that featured several untraditional moms who had left their husbands and children due to exactly this feeling. I have personal experience with this, as my mom did something very similar by divorcing my dad and moving out when I was two years old. An important thing to note here is that she did NOT abandon me, she stayed very much involved in my life and I have a close relationship with her. I love her and don’t resent her for the decision she had to make for her sanity. Something similar in all these cases was that there was involved and financially-stable fathers who didn’t mind shouldering this burden.*
The truth is that I feel something akin to this. By no means the same (after all, I’ve only got 11 months of experience); I don’t fantasize about my pre-baby life or what could have been, I don’t regret having Baby M and, while he might have been a surprise, we were planning to have children at some point. However, compared to all the women who have been waiting their whole lives to be mothers, who want more children (more than… 0-1), whose lives have been given meaning (ick) via motherhood, who cherish every moment with their babies (I’m typing this as the baby pulls everything out of the recycling bin that he can reach and my husband dozes on the living room floor), exclusively talk about them, meticulously plan first birthday parties that won’t be remembered, who cry when they cry (that’s a thing, apparently), etc., there’s definitely the realization that I don’t fit in. The best advice I can give is to not spend too much time communicating with/reading about these kinds of people, and just focus on the things you’re interested in instead and the light at the end of the tunnel. And also to talk to a professional if you really can’t let go of these thoughts… just to have a healthy outlet for it.
Bullshit “advice” aside, the truth is that I’m incredibly lucky. We don’t have financial worries, I’m married to someone that I get along with well, who is an involved and patient father, allows me to go to school so that I’ll be able to work in the future. All of these factors allow me to enjoy being a mother. I could imagine a situation where it’s me writing that post, even if it’s not the way I feel now.
*yes, children are a burden