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how to surrender to motherhood...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Im really struggling with this right now. Resentment... Does anyone have any tips? Books that have helped? It just seems like for weeks now, I've just been finding it far more of a struggle than a joy (though contributing to that gratitude thread in this forum s howed me there IS a lot of joy in my life). My problem is, how to feel it (the joy) and live in it instead of feeling hard done by? I always feel like I dont want to play with my son, dont feel like doing much except read him stories or go to the park. Basically, the older my son gets the harder I seem to find the level of sacrifice of my own needs, wants and desires to his wellbeing - isn't that weird? I mean, it was hard when he was a baby, but it was more sort of - well, understandable - but now it's like, he's 2 1/2 and i'm really realising THIS IS IT for a long, long time. Not just some acute period that's going to pass.

I'm doing quite a lot for myself, and get regular time off - more than some of my mom friends because unlike them I'm a single mom and DS's dad is really up for taking him regularly - but still, it never feels like enough. Maybe it's bc I had DS when I was only just past my mid twenties (most of my mom friends are 10 yrs older), and was just starting to blossom and explore and start finding out WHO I was and WHAT I wanted to do - and now I feel continually frustrated that I can't just let rip with that. (he wasn't planned, but I had wanted a baby in the abstract sense for a while). I feel like I'm always plotting and planning my next escape! My son was VERY high needs until recently so I have never been able to just get babysitters or anything like that, so I guess I have a bit of a backlog.

My yoga teacher (who isn't a mom by the way) was saying to me today that this is the most important thing I could do, raise this child, and the blessing he can have on the world etc etc...but I just don't feel it...I feel like my creative life is being put on hold, and to be honest it's the same kind of frustration I felt before he was born when I was stuck in a job I hated. I kind of saw having him as a bit of an escape from that (I know, really mature!) and now I just want to escape from full time motherhood! Ugh, it's a real trap in my thinking and I want to break this cycle. And just enjoy the phase I'm in now, which is having a dependent child. I feel so guilty for being so selfish. Help please!
post #2 of 17
I have no advice because I'm feeling so similarly to you. And I feel like it's really hard to talk about/ask for advice because you're 'supposed' to enjoy motherhood, you're 'supposed' to love being a mother, so what happens when you... don't? I am sure having a high-needs kid is a big part of it. I have been feeling so frustrated that other people can sit back & enjoy their kids and I'm always having to calm, soothe, do things I don't want to do in ways that I don't want to do them, just to keep him happy. I miss the simple things, like taking a shower in peace and cuddling with DH before going to sleep. And I do feel very 'trapped' -- this is it, I'm a mother, I'm going to be doing this for the next 18+ years... I can go out or get away for however long but I can't REALLY take a vacation from being a mom. It's so tough to explain because I really do love my DS so much. *sigh* I'm sorry you're feeling similarly and I hope someone has some great advice for you!!

ETA: I find it interesting that you only want to read stories & go to the park, because those are 2 of the only 3 things I really want to do as well (the library is the third).
post #3 of 17
I hear ya! And I think its interesting that you attribute your feelings to your age because I was doing the same thing...only I am ten years older than you. I figured it was because I had a kid so late that I felt this resentment. I had a career I loved that is now on hold, my DH is in his dreamjob, yadda yadda yadda, bleah.

I think that its perfectly appropriate to morn becoming a mother as a loss, because it is. Its a loss of your freedom, and of some of your dreams, hopes and identity. Sure there are things that you gain from it, but it can be so freaking annoying when those parts of you are all anyone can see anymore. Its like you walk around with a giant MOM on your forehead, and all conversations and worldviews suddenly revolve around your kid. Sometimes I want to scream..hey! My kid is fine, what about me!? Hey! Lets talk about something other than being a parent!!

I am truly hoping that it will get better when my kid has developed outside interests (outside of throwing blocks that I have to pick up and boobie). I'm looking forward to exploring the real world with my kid...doing science and reading great books, and talking about the news. I should have given birth to a highschool kid I guess...except it would have hurt more.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your empathic responses... it's great to know I am not alone and not abnormal in not loving every minute of this experience! I think it's spot on what you said,Chamomile Girl, that it's a process of mourning - motherhood, yes, we lose so much as well as gain a lot. and interesting that you had the same dilemma of feeling you were missing out, because of having to give up a career you loved - for me it's that I was just starting to figure out WHAT I wanted to do as a career, and now it's all on hold to a certain extent....not totally though, if I'm honest with myself.

crunchy_mommy, I like library trips too..in fact have one planned for this afternoon! It's so much easier also when the weather is nice and we can be outdoors. I just need a lot of adult company.

I also realised today that a lot of my resistance is to do with not knowing how to contact my own inner child and enjoy playing and being spontaneous, joyful and in the moment. As a child a lot of that was squashed out of me, and now it's almost like my child's vividness and naturalness pushes a painful button - like, I'm happy for him, that he can be like t hat, but damnit, I want to blossom and live too! No one stopping me except myself, I know....
post #5 of 17
If there are a few things you like doing with your son, I would do them more. Some days I don't feel like reading to my kids, but I am happy to work on a puzzle together, or play a card game. Or, focus on some enjoyable things he can do now that he's a little older, which weren't possible when he was a baby.

If it will give you a little more free time, try checking out some books on tape from the library.
post #6 of 17
There have been some wonderful responses here and I just like to add, you are NOT supposed to want to feel like or enjoy playing like a 2.5 year old. You're an adult woman. If you meet up with your friends you enjoy a glass of wine and a good chat, you don't all get down on the floor and make believe with your Barbies!

It's fine to play cars or whatever for 10 minutes but feel free to redirect the play to your interests. Humanity didn't evolve with children being the absolute centre of a parents day. I mean, yes their safety and well being is, but not constant entertainment.

Do your thing, he'll be delighted to go along and learn. I know I can't do play doh for more than 5 minutes before the urge to poke myself in the eye with a plastic rolling pin strikes...anything to get out of it

Being the full time parent of a toddler (or infant) is boring, there's no nice way to put it. Of course you can't disconnect and spend your day on purely selfish pursuits, but you can find a balance where the majority of your day is interesting to you and honestly, everything is interesting to a 2.5 yo. A trip to the supermarket is the toddler equivalent of Vegas.

While you have to allow more time in your normal activities for dawdling, distraction and questions, it can often be fun (or just not mind numbing) and 2.5 is starting to be the tail end of really boring. The coming 6 months will bring an absolute explosion of language and grasping of concepts that can make conversation wonderful (and hilarious).

Hang in there. It gets better.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
I feel like my creative life is being put on hold... I just want to escape from full time motherhood!
Could you get a part-time job in your area of interest? I work two days a week right now and it's fabulous. 2.5 is probably old enough to enjoy some time with peers in a quality day care setting.

And I agree with pp who said that you don't need to spend your day actively playing with your kid. What are your creative pursuits btw? Painting (with nontoxic media), pottery and stuff like that are things your ds can do right alongside you.
post #8 of 17
Bea- I think you are right on!!!

I also believe that it is a life lesson to surrender to what is out of your control. Staying home has taught me somewhat to just be, to enjoy what I have, to relish in the small things.

When I get down and play on the floor, I like to have some music or the news on to engage my brain. I agree 10-20 minutes is enough and more than most people I know do. Although, most people I know aren't AP.
post #9 of 17
Yes...I found it helped to let go of the need to have rules around my creative life..I am a writer...I write every day...at some point I write...usually after they are asleep.

Find something you LOVE to do..and do it every day...

post #10 of 17
OP, I'm there with you with my 2yo, who was also high-needs, and I even have a PT job outside the home. It's just tiring and sometimes boring and a lot of times REALLY aggravating.

I think Bea hit the nail on the head. Thank you, Bea! I'm going to print your post out and put it on my fridge.
post #11 of 17
Sorry no advice but just wanted to say that the age from about 2 until 6 or 7 is really hard for me. I know for many mothers these are the best years, but it's just not that way for me. It gets better when they become more rational and less dependent. Ironically, the baby stage does not bother me nearly as much as the preschool stage, even with my second child who was a very high needs baby. She's almost 7 now and is becoming much much more fun to parent. Of course, I've also got a 3yo and a 1yo, so not out of the woods just yet.

Just wanted to commiserate!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
Im really struggling with this right now. Resentment... Does anyone have any tips? Books that have helped? It just seems like for weeks now, I've just been finding it far more of a struggle than a joy (though contributing to that gratitude thread in this forum s howed me there IS a lot of joy in my life). My problem is, how to feel it (the joy) and live in it instead of feeling hard done by? I always feel like I dont want to play with my son, dont feel like doing much except read him stories or go to the park. Basically, the older my son gets the harder I seem to find the level of sacrifice of my own needs, wants and desires to his wellbeing - isn't that weird? I mean, it was hard when he was a baby, but it was more sort of - well, understandable - but now it's like, he's 2 1/2 and i'm really realising THIS IS IT for a long, long time. Not just some acute period that's going to pass.

I'm doing quite a lot for myself, and get regular time off - more than some of my mom friends because unlike them I'm a single mom and DS's dad is really up for taking him regularly - but still, it never feels like enough. Maybe it's bc I had DS when I was only just past my mid twenties (most of my mom friends are 10 yrs older), and was just starting to blossom and explore and start finding out WHO I was and WHAT I wanted to do - and now I feel continually frustrated that I can't just let rip with that. (he wasn't planned, but I had wanted a baby in the abstract sense for a while). I feel like I'm always plotting and planning my next escape! My son was VERY high needs until recently so I have never been able to just get babysitters or anything like that, so I guess I have a bit of a backlog.
This is exactly how I feel. When I got pregnant (unplanned), I was 26 and just months before had finally begun to feel like I was coming into my own. And then BAM! I'm a mom. Now my life is about dd, and figuring out how to be a partner to dp. I'm only 10 months in to motherhood but I am so worried that these feelings of jealousy of my childless peers and moments of longing for a life I only began to live for a split second will eventually breed resentment. And I love my daughter more than anything; I don't regret anything that brought us together. But I am still an individual, with individual needs and reconciling my two selves feels impossible.

OP, you're not alone. And thank you nichole for this little gem of perspective: I also believe that it is a life lesson to surrender to what is out of your control. Staying home has taught me somewhat to just be, to enjoy what I have, to relish in the small things.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. It's good to know it gets better as they get older! I do agree that I am an adult and not on his level, and it's funny but I did use to approach parenting very much in the continuum concept model and didn't think my job was to play with DS constantly - I used to go about doing what I needed to do and he was either on my back or joining in, or sometimes playing by himself. But since he hit 2, he's just become increasingly - well, 'demanding' in terms of needing a playmate, and as he's an only child I don't think it's fair to just ignore those requests. But yes, about 10 minutes is my limit! He mostly wants me to play role play games with his little figurines and cars...snore!! But we had fun in the bath last night just being a bit silly and playing with boats and stuff. I have to be in the mood...and often I'm just not. I do have a friend round for him at least once a week and we regularly meet with other children and parents. I only survive really because we go out most of the time - I find being at home so hard - so as a consequence my housework really gets neglected!

As for working part time, well I did that for about 6 months and it totally stressed me out, I felt it made me even less present to him bc the kind of work I did was ad hoc and I couldn't guarantee I'd be able to do it in my designated child free time - so often it would be in the evenings, leaving me exhausted the next day. I'm happy to be SAHM-ing again but looking forward to preschool from January when I get guaranteed blocks of 3 hours for up to 5 mornings a week. I don't think I want to do all 5 mornings as I want us to have unstructured time too, but even 3 or 4 would be brilliant.
post #14 of 17
I need an update. How are you feeling now? It's been 2 years. Any more advice looking back?
Feeling the exact same way and hate that I
feel this way and cant 'think' myself satisfied with my situation - home with baby and toddler.
post #15 of 17
I really appreciate this thread too and hope it gets updated . I am expecting my first baby and worrying that its going to be a "trap", i just dont think i want an abortion but....i dont want to lose the me time i desperately need..so strange to think of how many women go thru this , and many do remain feeling less happy and just get stuck, we just dont hear about it as much maybe? Like even mentioning abortion, its hard to think about but so is not liking motherhood .
post #16 of 17

It sucks. At the same time, words can't describe how I'm a much more complex and wise person since having children. 

 

My kids are 17y.o. and 13 y.o.  For quite a few years I hated that I'd stepped into this motherhood trap, and if I could have gone back in time and stop myself from getting pregnant, I would. And of course I felt guilty for feeling that way.  Then I forgot about that idea for a while.  It was just in the last year that I remembered all this.  And it dawned on me that I didn't feel like that anymore!

I wouldn't go back in time to keep from getting pregnant.  I actually want these two people in my life. I was actually relieved to discover I felt this way.  joy.gif Yay! I want my kids! orngbiggrin.gif

 

Who ever above said the time between 2 and 7 (i think?) was the hardest was oh so right. You described it very accurately. Kids get more interesting as they get older. 

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by here we are View Post

I really appreciate this thread too and hope it gets updated . I am expecting my first baby and worrying that its going to be a "trap", i just dont think i want an abortion but....i dont want to lose the me time i desperately need..so strange to think of how many women go thru this , and many do remain feeling less happy and just get stuck, we just dont hear about it as much maybe? Like even mentioning abortion, its hard to think about but so is not liking motherhood .

 

I'm just going to share my opinion, my hope for you.  I hope you won't have an abortion for the above reason.  Being a mom is going to be the hardest thing you've ever done. Parts of it are going to suck.  But there is a reason women describe all the lovely things about being a mother; they're true too.  We all experience motherhood differently.  But if you're open to it and look for it, you will have joyful, beautiful transformative experiences. There's just no explaining it or describing it ahead of time.  Be brave! It's going to be beautiful!

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