Dec 10, 2009

Unhappy Mother

So, there is someone out there who is an unhappy mother. This woman is so unhappy that she is doing Google searches of things like "unhappy mother" and "unhappy with motherhood" -- these, for some strange reason, bring her to my blog.

I have to say, this is very upsetting to me. When I go and do a Google search of the same things, I come across all sorts of stories of mothers in chronic depressions, mothers who have thoughts of killing their babies, or mothers who already have.

I worry that our society places such an importance on our outward appearances. We all have to have happy families with smiling faces and clean homes. The facts are, though, many of us are far from happy.

Motherhood is an especially touchy subject when it comes to happiness. I'm sure that we all love our children, but there are times when you think "what was I thinking??" People see a frustrated woman with a cherub-like baby in her arms and automatically think "what a horrible mother" They judge instantly. They don't ask if she needs help, or if there's anything that they can do. Perhaps mom was up all night with a fussy baby. Perhaps she hasn't gotten a shower in the last 3 days. Perhaps she's suffering from Post Partum. The sad fact is that just because we're mothers doesn't always mean that we're happy and joyous every moment of the day.

That's the key that I wanted to get across to this woman. If, for some reason, she should come by this blog again, I want her to know that Motherhood isn't all sunshine and rainbows....in fact, in order to have a rainbow, you need to have some rain. Being a Mom is great, but can, at times, be infuriating. There are many times that I feel defeated or like I've lost myself, or that perhaps I wasn't cut out for this mom-gig after all. But all of those feelings are part of being a mom. Our children aren't happy little things that do good every moment of the day. They make messes, they talk back, they wake up screaming 3 and 4 times a night (and sometimes more). They break things, they spill things, sometimes it seems like they look for things to do that will make you want to scream. It's part of childhood.

So, whomever you are, I hope that you are able to talk about your feelings with someone. I hope that you realize that it's normal to not always be happy.


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you made me cry and thank you so much for stating the actual
truth about motherhood in all it's different ways. No one tells the darkside of it all and yes, you are correct about how it seems that "they look for ways to piss you off. I love my two wonderful daughters but just tonight I was telling my husband that I needed much more time by myself. A happy mommy equals a happy child wouldn't you say!

thank you for the pep talk..it helped tonight!
Now, can your next blog be about husbands because after all they are also
in a sense, babies themselves. Really, wives and mothers RULE the planet in my
book..
All the best
Kat Maslich Bode

Hethr said...

Thank you --- the only one brave enough to write in reply to this post. I was thinking of doing another --- but one about husbands is a good idea.

Now -- how to write it without getting myself into hot water....

lovethyneighbours said...

Oh God - thank you for that.

I was actually googling "miserable mother blog" to see if anyone dare admit that sometimes, being a Mum sucks!

Most mothering blogs are so full of shared nursery rhymes, fairy wands and hand-in-hand skipping, that I was beginning to feel like the Old Woman who lived in a Shoe!

Hethr said...

Okay -- I've written a new "venting" post...if you want or need to ... click on the link to vent (or just read my vents and know that you're not the only one)

http://randomthoughtsofadelusionalmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/unhapy-moms-vent-here.html

rosemary said...

I googled unhappy mother and found you. Thanks, it really did help a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. It made me feel like I was not the only one feeling unhappy.

I am almost finished going through the toddler/preschol stages and remarkably came through it okay, not unscathed, but okay. I'm at the school-age stage now, and dealing with it okay too. It's tough to get my kids to focus and do what they need to do and within a schedule. My kids test me (like all kids do), but essentially they are well-behaved kids.

I just have anxiety around the other mothers at school. Can't help feel like they are better and happier at motherhood than I am. Can't help feel isolated because I am a reserved person compared to them, and I'm not apart of any established (& gossipy) cliques. This adds to my feelings of being an unhappy mother, because I don't have day-to-day conversations with adults to vent my frustrations or to commiserate. Out of curiosity, have you ever felt this way too?

Hethr said...

First of all, thank YOU for being brave enough to comment...I get a LOT of hits on this page, and it's the rare person who comments.

I think that there are a lot of mothers out there with these same feelings -- we love our children, we really do, but it can seem as though something's missing. I hadn't been able to put a finger on it until I started blogging...what's missing is knowing that it's NORMAL to feel this way. You hear me? N-O-R-M-A-L

Ironically, I'm also very introverted. It will take a lot to get me to open up in public unless I'm very comfortable with the people I'm around. That's slowly changing with wisdom (or is it just age??) Everyone else was so into things that I'm not. Throwing lavish b-day parties for my kids, caring about the clothes that I wear, or the house I live in or the car I drive.

I mean...really...WHO FRIGGEN CARES???

I don't care. I don't care if they like me...quite frankly, I don't care if YOU like me (no offense meant)...I'm tired of being someone else to please everyone else...and really, when you're trying to be a "happy mother" who are you trying to please; you or society?

In deciding to start caring about myself, I found something -- I like me...I may not like my faults, but they are part of me, and I LIKE ME. I am not happy all day long, I'm not always nice, I'm not the most popular person out there...but guess what...I'm happy now.

Catriona said...

I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I wish I had read this years ago. My daughter is 13, going on 14 and there are still days that I wonder if I have done the right things. I am not always a "Happy Mom", but I love being her mom. There were many times that I thought something was wrong with me, because I didn't always like motherhood. I saw all these other mom's doing things with their kids and putting them into this and that, well I was a single mom and couldn't do all of that....I look at my daughter and am happy with most of the choices I have made....she is strong, beautiful, caring.

If you ask my daughter how I did or didn't do, she will most likely tell you that I was the best mom possible.

- Catriona

Anonymous said...

I was creeped when you mentioned that whoever was reading this blog might have googled "Unhappy with motherhood," because that is exactly what I did. So you are clearly brilliant. And you should know this: I am comforted by reading this post and subsequent comments. Because I don't want to be a mom right now, today. And this is especially...vexatious...for an adoptive mom, who's supposed to be so perfect and so grateful and some kind of heroic role model or else an object of suspicion anyway...Also, reading the comment about not having friends...Well, I don't, and it sucks. But at least I feel better because I understand now that I am not alone. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I googled "unhappy mothers" and found this blog. Good for you for doing this. I don't have time to look around much, as you can probably understand -- I'm "in demand" LOL, gotta go, fetch this, fetch that, do this, do that, ... LOL. I'll be back later and read some more, and perhaps write up a bit of what's going on with me. Cuz I definitely need some help with coping. I am overwhelmed with stress and unhappiness. Major unhappiness :-(

~M

karen said...

I googled that too as i was sat here thinking 'why did i do this' i am not enjoying them at all and everyone says about the cleaning up and doing things for them and those are the good bits for me. It is the screaming arguing fighting and shouting that create so much stress for me. I have never felt so angry in my whole life and they tip me right over the edge. I want to enjoy them being around but instead i go to my room close the door and hope the shouting and screaming with stop, i dont want to be around them anymore i want to be alone and have a life and be young and free again.
It makes me question my marriage too and want to go find someone young and exciting to bring me some moments of joy to punctuate my eternal misery at home. My husband is fed up too, he finds them hard and they make him miserable and angry too and now we arent even making each other happy. I want to escape.

issoehumsaco said...

Wow... I am deeply relieved for finding this blog. I have been feeling guilty and inadequate in my role as a mother for years because I don't feel that "wonderful sense of fulfillment" *they* say I am supposed to. And I too feel like I was not cut for this mom gig. I am my happiest when I am at work, doing what I I am good at. Once I get home I feel like I am always running like a chicken without a head, trying to take care of too many things and rarely finishing a single one. At work I am accomplished, fun, energetic, smart, funny and appreciated; at home I am disorganized, tired, cranky, frustrated and borderline desperate. Thank you for this space to vent. I truly needed that.

Anonymous said...

I have an unhappy mother.
If only I could understand why, or how I could help her.
I'm beginning to think its too late.

Thank you for the blog and the insight it gave.

Amy Catherine said...

Thank you for being REAL with stating the TRUTH about motherhood and that it is not made up of all rosy flower beds but is work to raise our children and aid them in developing into independant beings as well as growing pains for us Mom's!... Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Another Unhappy google search here. Thanks for posting your blog. I am so worn down by the stigma to have perfectly well behaved children. What the heck am I doing wrong? My kids are a mess, I mean, they obey, after the 3rd time I tell them to do it! And the fighting between my older two is driving me insane. Sometimes I want to scream........... and I do! Well, there you have it, I suck at being a mother. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Another googler of "unhappy being a mother" here...I feel so terribly guilty but I often feel that motherhood is the most isolating, frustrating and draining thing I have ever done. You are right in that people try so hard to project a "perfect" exterior. It is hard to find other mom friends who will admit to the reality of motherhood. I'm glad to see that there are others like me out there. Thank you much for your post can't wait to read more of your blog.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for having this blog out here and for addressing the concern so many of us have... I woke up this morning to a son who was demanding every once of energy from me and complaining about everything that I did or have done.... I am zapped of all I have to give right now and grateful that both kids have decided to relax after breakfast and watch a movie... so I got on the computer and googled "unhappy mother" and voila! Here you are! THANK YOU! You are like my ANGEL today! And now everyday that I need some reinforcement that I am not alone! I try very hard to keep it all in perspective and to enjoy my little ones... and I usually succeed... but some days are just too much and sometimes I find myself really really sad and unhappy... and in need of a break.... You are my break today...THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

I, too, googled "unhappiness as a mom." I feel like a failure right now. All I ever wanted was to be a mom, and, now, as a mother of two little ones (and I would love to have more), I hate myself for having the moments of, "What the hell was I thinking?" Or the moments of wishing I could be childless or jealous over my childless friends and their lifestyles. I know that every mom has be unhappy with being a mom at times, but it is so nice to see it in black and white. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your post is the proof I needed that I am not alone with this.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for the honesty. I too question motherhood. What was I thinking? I am responsible for my girls and they need me. I remind myself on crazy days that I brought them into this world and need to see them thru! I am not perfect but we all do the best we can! Women who say motherhood is grand and have alot of children are not always telling the truth! There is no such thing is a perfect mother its trial and error! When I look at other moms, I see drained lost souls. We just do the best we can. As far as mom groups its all BS! I sometimes feel I'm in highschool again and can't be bothered.

Anonymous said...

I was also googling unhappy as mother and just like so many other woman here i had a picture in mind that could not be realized. people tell us how we should feel, what we should think and to be grateful all the time for what was given to us. i have a wonderful daughter and yet the real life circumstances make it very difficult. i hate my life the way it turned out. but mums are not supposed to say that ever, smile happily even if they have to raise a child alone. when people see a man handling all by himself they say "what a brave man". i never hear them saying that about a woman. and sometimes i just wanna scream in the world "f..... everything" i want a life too.......

Anonymous said...

I feel like a horrible , unfit mother , totally isolated and depressed...

Elise said...

I did have to laugh after googling "unhappy mother" and this post came up number one! I seem to be a bit different from the other commenters in that my kids are a bit older. I have one going off to college next week, a 12th grader and a 9th grader. I do remember the days, when they were younger, of feeling like a failure, feeling like I lost myself, feeling like I was unhappy. I had plenty of happy times as well but now that I am getting to the end of it all, I am really wondering if it was all worth it. I feel I have been a great mother and I feel that my kids are great people. My problem is that I feel unappreciated. To make matters worse, other people seem to accept the fact that children will never appreciate their parents and that it is okay. In fact, my hairdresser, who chose to not have kids, said that children did not ask to be born, parents chose to have them and they should NEVER feel obligated to say thank you or to show appreciation to their parents. EEK!! It seems that I am also hearing that I have to know that my kids appreciate me even if they never say that. I am having a lot of trouble accepting both of these concepts. I ask, if I have sacrificed for my children and spent most of my adult life tending to their needs, why shouldn't I be thanked out loud? I am here to say, that although most people don't seem to agree with me, it is NOT enough to "just know" they appreciate me. I don't believe that kids shouldn't have to appreciate their parents because they didn't ask to be born. It would be the equivalent to getting a job and never receiving a raise or praise for doing a good job. It's a really bad boss that wouldn't sometimes tell their employees "good job". I have a lot of people outside the family show me appreciation but I want my family to show me appreciation. I am sorry if mothers reading this comment feel even more unhappy but I am in the process of trying to figure this out. I do believe that I will eventually feel happier but I do wish that I had some people in my life that agreed with me and supported me. Why do parents accept that kids don't have to show appreciation? I can understand them being selfish when they are younger but when they reach adulthood, why can't we expect them to be nice to us? If I can't expect to have a nice and mutually respectful relationship with my adult children, why would I have kids in the first place? I'm supposed to go on sacrificing my whole life? Hmmm. What I find disconcerting is people seem to answer that question "yes". Sigh.

Anonymous said...

This eveing I lost my temper with my kids, in the end I was crying - with my 2 young ones looking on at me with curiousity. I Put them to bed and had a bit more of a cry and googled "unhappy mother" and found this....

Thank you - calmed me and made me feel normal.

Anonymous said...

I am not good at being a mother....the mess, talking back, fighting, screaming, running around,and everything else is running me down....most of the time i just wanna sleep cause it exhausts me....i was one of the most happiest and carefree people before kids and i hate the woman i have become.

Anonymous said...

And here I am as well, Goggle-ing "unhappy mother". I just feel completely drained and totally dissatisfied with my life. My six year has a battle with me over every single tiny issue and it's making it so that life is not fun any more. We don't have fun because it takes so long to get the basics done we never have time for the extra "good times". I haven't read her a bedtime story in weeks as it takes over an hour just to get her into bed. I don't get it. I was not prepared to be such a complete failure at motherhood. This is not a peaceful life, and I am usually an easygoing, peaceful, happy person. I'm not sure how to resolve this feeling of discontent inside of me.

Anonymous said...

first night of Christmas break and I'm already dreading the 2+ weeks of being at home with the kid. He's sweet and "easy" but I find it soooo boring to be a mom. sigh

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