Ever feel guilty that you don't enjoy motherhood as much as you should? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if I'm the only one.
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#2 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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You're definitely not the only one. I think that most people that feel this way sometimes don't want to admit it (or at least my IRL friends, I've come to find out, have felt this way before...)
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#3 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm wondering if you could elaborate on what you mean...
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#4 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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I know what you mean. And I'm not depressed. There are days when DS just pushes my button and I just don't know how to deal with him anymore.

He is and will be our only child so I take lots of comfort of in that. I have a couple of discipline issues that I am trying to get a grasp on that makes Motherhood hard for me.

For instance, he refuses to hold my hand in public and snatches away and run away from me.

I am the type that gets stressed easily so I have to take lots of breaks. DH gives me every Sunday off (the whole day) and I can do what I want.

I come refreshed and just a whole new person and I am a much better Mommy.

DS will be 4 this year so I am sure the tantrums/meltdowns will get better.

You are not alone.
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#5 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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Yes... and I am pg with #3 and wondernig how the heck I am going to get through the next 3-4 years...
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#6 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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I don't really enjoy spending my days with little ones. Some moms eat it up and love every second of it. The first time I had little ones (I've got 3 older kids and a baby) it was OK because the experience was new and I was learning what it meant to be a mom. Well, I've already done that once and to tell the truth, day in and day out with a 2 yo is not my idea of heaven. I really do enjoy mothering older kids, and I love my 2 yo just as much, but the joys of spending time with her 24/7.... well...
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#7 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Yeah, in the late afternoons, when I come home from work, I wish I could enjoy my children more bt there's cleaning, and dinner, and laundry, and packing the lunches for the next day...I feel overwhelmed with all that needs to get done, and the last thing I can do is sit down and enjoy being a mom.
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#8 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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Yeah, in the late afternoons, when I come home from work, I wish I could enjoy my children more bt there's cleaning, and dinner, and laundry, and packing the lunches for the next day...I feel overwhelmed with all that needs to get done, and the last thing I can do is sit down and enjoy being a mom.
My god, I could have written this word for word, and I've only been back to work for two weeks. I feel like from the moment I wake till the moment I sleep I'm preparing and readying for the next day and the next--packing the lunches, washing the diapers and pump parts, picking up the toys. I wish I could just sit down and enjoy mothering my little guys.
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#9 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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I feel this way at times too. Sometimes I feel so exhausted mothering that I am not enjoying it. My kids are 2 and 7 but they are very demanding of me. I think they call "mommy" at least 100 times a day-seriously. Its always something. Seems like when I try to enjoy motherhood something happens that tips the balance and I start becoming upset or just plain tired of repeating myself - for the hundredth time. My dh works so much (I mean at least 90 hours some weeks) so I feel so burnout at times. I really want to enjoy this time, but its hard. I think this is one of the unspoken, commonly felt taboos of mothehood.
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#10 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Yes. I love my ds with all my heart. I haven't felt well since he was born, though, and after much testing (it must be ppd they said) I found out I had lymphoma. He was a year old then. He is four now and I've been through a clinical trial (vaccine trial) and now chemo. I feel like I'm trying my best, and we have fun, learning and love, but some days I am just too tired and sick to enjoy him. Between caring for him and trying to keep up with the housework, I am just exhausted. I am often annoyed with him and snap at him. It makes me feel sad and guilty. He does get shuttled around on my sick days to caring relatives but he pretty much wants me, and the "healthy normal" me.
I just finished chemo (yay!) so hopefully now I'll have a long remission so I can concentrate fully on ds and turn off that dang tv that we've grown dependent on!
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#11 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Schnooks View Post
Just wondering if I'm the only one.
Yes, sometimes I feel like someone truly lied to me about what this is all about...but the feeling passes with the issue at hand. My daughter smiles or says something funny and I feel that everything in this world is where it should be and is perfect!
Sometimes its hard when you have someone who tries to butt into your parenting decisions (hubby's ex) but I try to remember that when people are doing that, they are just worried abuot their own insecurities as a parent.
(((hugs)))

Loving Mother to our adoption miracle, Riana :, and our angel baby, Xavier. Trying for baby. Wife to my Hero! BLOG LINK IN PROFILE
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#12 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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Yes. I love my ds with all my heart. I haven't felt well since he was born, though, and after much testing (it must be ppd they said) I found out I had lymphoma. He was a year old then. He is four now and I've been through a clinical trial (vaccine trial) and now chemo. I feel like I'm trying my best, and we have fun, learning and love, but some days I am just too tired and sick to enjoy him. Between caring for him and trying to keep up with the housework, I am just exhausted. I am often annoyed with him and snap at him. It makes me feel sad and guilty. He does get shuttled around on my sick days to caring relatives but he pretty much wants me, and the "healthy normal" me.
I just finished chemo (yay!) so hopefully now I'll have a long remission so I can concentrate fully on ds and turn off that dang tv that we've grown dependent on!
Im going to light a candle for you hun! Im sending lots of prayers and positive thoughts in your direction! I just know that you are going to kick lymphoma's a** and gain FULL remission and live a much healthier and better life for it! You rawk mama! And feel free to vent about this more, its okay to ask for an ear!

Loving Mother to our adoption miracle, Riana :, and our angel baby, Xavier. Trying for baby. Wife to my Hero! BLOG LINK IN PROFILE
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#13 of 42 Old 03-23-2007, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oakberry.. I pray for your complete healing. How hard it must be when you don't feel well. I have a girlfriend who has been in remission for a long time. Hang tough.

To explain myself further for the person who asked.. I mean the feeling of waking up in the morning with anxiety over how to get thru the hours caring for, entertaining, feeding, disciplining, getting impatient with a 2 yr old who often brings out the absolute worst in me and in turn makes me not like myself much. Also, I wish I liked playing more.. but a lot of times I feel myself forcing giddiness or being silly just for his sake. This child is a dream, but mommy can be so selfish in wanting her own space. Gonna work on it tho. Thanks for listening.
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#14 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 12:09 AM
 
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guilt is my wors enemy. There is nothing I would rather do than shaming and motherhood, but honestly trying to be a ap mom, is HARD. And sometimes I question if ap is worth it. I keep hearing and seeing so many example of cio, spanking, both parents working ft, etc and when the kids are teens and adults, all seem as happy as can be. Not saying that I will cio or spank.... but ap mothering would be much easier and enjoyable if I felt concertely that is is BEST way to parent.
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#15 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 07:25 AM
 
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I'm puzzled that anyone would describe motherhood as enjoyable

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#16 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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I find there are aspects of being a mom that I love. And I do not regret for a moment being a mom.

But my days are not filled with unending joy at being a mom. Heck, my days are not filled with undending joy at anything - being a wife (even though I adore my dh with all my heart), owning my business, being a member of my church, living in my neighborhood, even though all these decisions were the absolutely the right ones for me/us. Everything has great elements and sucky elements.

I find I am better at some aspects of mothering than others. I really suck at maintenance work - be it housekeeping, business accounts, or childcaring (the whole routine of feeding, bedtime rituals, bathing, etc etc). They drive me up the wall.

I can wish I weren't or castigate myself for being this way, or I can accept it and do what i can to make it fun or at least efficient.

I suspect part of the problem is the shift of thinking about parenthood from a responsibility/ obligation that most people will have to that of a personal choice.

This shifts the attitude quite significantly - if parenthood is a choice, then:

* no one else should be asked to accomodate that choice

* the only people who should be parents are those who are going to be close to perfect ones

* no one gets to complain about aspects of parenting because "it was your choice!"

I find this way of thinking to be VERY dangerous. Sure, logistically, we as individuals have the choice to reproduce (even if there are moral objections, etc), but societally, someone MUST reproduce in order to have a next generation. In fact, MOST people must reproduce in order for our society to continue to exist.

And parenting is A LOT of work, especially nowadays when we don't use child labor to support the family, and we have to pay for childcare and university education and other expenses that used to never exist. Add onto that the decline in supporting services for parents (lack of family in close proximity, increasing number of women going back to work when children are small), and the increasing targeting of children by corporate advertisers, puts most of the responsibility for children squarely on the parents shoulders.

In addition, our parenting standards are MUCH higher than they have ever been before- did anyone else see the UMD study about how even working mothers spend more time with their children than sahms did in the 60s and 70s? Intensive parenting is the current approach throughout society (not just AP families).

So parenting is our individual choice, we are more isolated, there are higher standards for parenting we are meant to live up to , AND at the same time, we are supposed to be living in a maternal childrearing bliss????

That there is crazy thinking.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#17 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 10:20 AM
 
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I enjoy having dd (just turned 5) and would die or kill to keep her safe, I love her so much. But... I.DO.NOT.LIKE.PLAYING.WITH.HER!!!! When she asks me to color with her, I know I should, as a good mother would, but I simply detest coloring. I hate crafts, and most age-appropriate games put me in a coma. I love reading with her (and she is sight reading on her own, so this is neat to see) and teaching her about things outside in the garden, etc. I love to cook with her. I am her absolute FAVORITE person in the whole wide world, but I am the only one that doesn't play with her (my mom lives with us, too, and she is great about playing with dd... although growing up, she barely had 2 civil words for us as children... she was a horrible mother, but I love her still). I think AP works, but you don't have to like every moment spent with your children to be AP. To me, AP is doing everything in your power to make sure your child's needs and best interests are put first. But that doesn't mean we're slaves to them. An AP mommy has to be a happy mommy, too.
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#18 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 10:37 AM
 
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I think AP works, but you don't have to like every moment spent with your children to be AP. To me, AP is doing everything in your power to make sure your child's needs and best interests are put first. But that doesn't mean we're slaves to them. An AP mommy has to be a happy mommy, too.
Yes, yes, yes
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#19 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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guilt is my wors enemy. There is nothing I would rather do than shaming and motherhood, but honestly trying to be a ap mom, is HARD. And sometimes I question if ap is worth it. I keep hearing and seeing so many example of cio, spanking, both parents working ft, etc and when the kids are teens and adults, all seem as happy as can be. Not saying that I will cio or spank.... but ap mothering would be much easier and enjoyable if I felt concertely that is is BEST way to parent.
IME CIO and spanking are things people do with babies and toddlers. I know people who have spanked their 3 yo FE (I think it's wrong) but don't spank their older kids are are really good parents overall. Same with CIO.

I think parenting differences often even out as the kids get older.

I still believe in AP but I do know many great parents who didn't AP their babies and toddlers.
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#20 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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And sometimes I question if ap is worth it. I keep hearing and seeing so many example of cio, spanking, both parents working ft, etc and when the kids are teens and adults, all seem as happy as can be.
just to jump on you for a sec :

Please do NOT equate CIO and spanking with both parents working full time. It is NOT anti-AP for both parents to work, even by choice.

I am jumping on this because I see this assumption that AP = sahm over and over again, and it bugs the devil out of me.

rant over, thanks for understanding.

Siobhan

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#21 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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I suspect part of the problem is the shift of thinking about parenthood from a responsibility/ obligation that most people will have to that of a personal choice.

This shifts the attitude quite significantly - if parenthood is a choice, then:

* no one else should be asked to accomodate that choice

* the only people who should be parents are those who are going to be close to perfect ones

* no one gets to complain about aspects of parenting because "it was your choice!"

I find this way of thinking to be VERY dangerous. Sure, logistically, we as individuals have the choice to reproduce (even if there are moral objections, etc), but societally, someone MUST reproduce in order to have a next generation. In fact, MOST people must reproduce in order for our society to continue to exist.

And parenting is A LOT of work, especially nowadays when we don't use child labor to support the family, and we have to pay for childcare and university education and other expenses that used to never exist. Add onto that the decline in supporting services for parents (lack of family in close proximity, increasing number of women going back to work when children are small), and the increasing targeting of children by corporate advertisers, puts most of the responsibility for children squarely on the parents shoulders.

In addition, our parenting standards are MUCH higher than they have ever been before- did anyone else see the UMD study about how even working mothers spend more time with their children than sahms did in the 60s and 70s? Intensive parenting is the current approach throughout society (not just AP families).

So parenting is our individual choice, we are more isolated, there are higher standards for parenting we are meant to live up to , AND at the same time, we are supposed to be living in a maternal childrearing bliss????

That there is crazy thinking.
You've put your finger on it, absolutely. This is so smart, and so well-articulated. Thank you.

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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#22 of 42 Old 03-24-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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My god, I could have written this word for word, and I've only been back to work for two weeks. I feel like from the moment I wake till the moment I sleep I'm preparing and readying for the next day and the next--packing the lunches, washing the diapers and pump parts, picking up the toys. I wish I could just sit down and enjoy mothering my little guys.
There's a reason you can relate. We have a strange connection I just noticed...your two children's names are actually my son's first and middle names! (Avery Elliot)
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#23 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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I find there are aspects of being a mom that I love. And I do not regret for a moment being a mom.

But my days are not filled with unending joy at being a mom. Heck, my days are not filled with undending joy at anything - being a wife (even though I adore my dh with all my heart), owning my business, being a member of my church, living in my neighborhood, even though all these decisions were the absolutely the right ones for me/us. Everything has great elements and sucky elements.

I find I am better at some aspects of mothering than others. I really suck at maintenance work - be it housekeeping, business accounts, or childcaring (the whole routine of feeding, bedtime rituals, bathing, etc etc). They drive me up the wall.

I can wish I weren't or castigate myself for being this way, or I can accept it and do what i can to make it fun or at least efficient.

I suspect part of the problem is the shift of thinking about parenthood from a responsibility/ obligation that most people will have to that of a personal choice.

This shifts the attitude quite significantly - if parenthood is a choice, then:

* no one else should be asked to accomodate that choice

* the only people who should be parents are those who are going to be close to perfect ones

* no one gets to complain about aspects of parenting because "it was your choice!"

I find this way of thinking to be VERY dangerous. Sure, logistically, we as individuals have the choice to reproduce (even if there are moral objections, etc), but societally, someone MUST reproduce in order to have a next generation. In fact, MOST people must reproduce in order for our society to continue to exist.

And parenting is A LOT of work, especially nowadays when we don't use child labor to support the family, and we have to pay for childcare and university education and other expenses that used to never exist. Add onto that the decline in supporting services for parents (lack of family in close proximity, increasing number of women going back to work when children are small), and the increasing targeting of children by corporate advertisers, puts most of the responsibility for children squarely on the parents shoulders.

In addition, our parenting standards are MUCH higher than they have ever been before- did anyone else see the UMD study about how even working mothers spend more time with their children than sahms did in the 60s and 70s? Intensive parenting is the current approach throughout society (not just AP families).

So parenting is our individual choice, we are more isolated, there are higher standards for parenting we are meant to live up to , AND at the same time, we are supposed to be living in a maternal childrearing bliss????

That there is crazy thinking.
I think I love you!

I love my son more than I can express with words, but parenting is HARD for me. He is very spirited and never stops. My parents have 5 children and my mother was an early childhood educator for 20 years and they look at DS in wonder and say things like, "I never knew a kid could have that much energy!" or "He never stops, does he?" : Oy.
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#24 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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Well put!

Today was not my best day. I realized at one point I had zoned out for 10 minutes, calculating how many weeks I have to endure until DS starts kindergarten. He is at a very difficult age for me to handle, and I don't enjoy playing with him, listening to him whine or trying to manage his emotional outbursts.
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#25 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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You've put your finger on it, absolutely. This is so smart, and so well-articulated. Thank you.
Thanks!! I am kind of on a rant about this subject right now...

a friend of mine, in a weird "having kids is a choice that I shouldn't support" debate with a rabid anti-child guy we know, put it most bluntly - "if no one has kids, who is going to wipe your ass when you are living in the nursing home?"



Siobhan

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#26 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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"if no one has kids, who is going to wipe your ass when you are living in the nursing home?"
I'd be curious to know what his response to that was?!

I guess I'm a bit stuck on the wording of the question. I mean, how much should I enjoy motherhood? I think, like any other intimate relationship, there will be days when I simply don't enjoy my children. Just as there are days when I don't enjoy my husband

As for feeling guity, I don't. I accept that motherhood evokes ambivalence; and when negative feelings come up, I understand that they are normal, and I don't dwell on them.
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#27 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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I'm so glad I saw this post! I thought I was the only mom out there that really does not enjoy the "joys of motherhood". I'm bored, I'm frumpy, and the only things I'm good at talking about are all things baby and toddler related.
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#28 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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"if no one has kids, who is going to wipe your ass when you are living in the nursing home?"



Siobhan
Too funny! I needed a laugh today, thanks.
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#29 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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I really really really enjoy mothering about 95% of the time. I also had a really great mother to model myself after.

But, there's that 5%, maybe not quite that much even, that I long for the days that I didn't have any children and could come and go as I pleased. Mostly those days are when some or all of the kids are sick or I haven't gotten enough sleep or whatever.

Sometimes I *do* look forward to the day when all of the kids are in school. That way, I can get all the stuff done that I need to do--stuff that I'm always trying to squeeze in here or there--stuff that leaves me frustrated because I can never ever get it quite finished--and then when they come home from school, I can enjoy them wholeheartedly.

(((hugs))) to everyone!

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#30 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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As for feeling guity, I don't. I accept that motherhood evokes ambivalence; and when negative feelings come up, I understand that they are normal, and I don't dwell on them.
Well said

I think we put too much presssure on ourselves as mothers and that society perpetuates the verb of mothering. We feel the need to be 'on' and perfect at all times, which is never going to happen and it leaves us feeling like we've failed.

Parenthood...the days go so slowly, and the years fly by....
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