Why Do I Hate Being A Mom?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by being a parent? At one point or another, most parents do. However, if you feel like you are struggling too much, there might be something you can do to address and mitigate the feeling.
If I Hate Being A Mom, What Does It Say About Me?
There are days when a parent might think, I hate being a mom. This does not mean, however, that they hate their children. They might hate that they do not have more support or hate how their child is acting that day. Even that, though, doesn’t mean that they really hate being a mom. And even if you are feeling like you hate being a parent, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have tremendous love for your kids.
Most days of raising children are not merely about enjoying motherhood. And, while all parents experience it differently, not everyone has an easy time financially, emotionally, socially, or otherwise. If you experience guilt for feeling the way that you do, understand that you’re not alone in feeling this way. If everything doesn’t feel like sunshine and rainbows, you are not a bad parent for that, and it doesn’t say anything negative about you as a human being.
If you are a new mom, there may be many times that you do not enjoy raising a newborn. When you are up at 2 a.m. for the seventh time that night and have an inconsolable child, this is not generally a fun experience. While you may have very warm feelings for the overall joys of parenthood, you may simultaneously dislike a lot of the difficult moments that arise.
However, most people understand that these challenges will not last forever. Your baby will eventually sleep through the night, and so will you. When your child goes to school for the first day, you will most likely cry and not know what you will do with them gone all day.
These experiences are all quite common and summarize what a mom looks like in the beginning. You may be tired, stressed, and in need of some alone time. You may ask whether you were really cut out for motherhood. The answer is yes—and many moms ask themselves the same question.
However, when you are in distress, it’s vital to take care of yourself. It can be a big emotional challenge to have thoughts like, I don’t like being a parent. One thing that can be helpful is to look at what the root of your difficult experience with motherhood could be.
What Are Some Reasons That You May Say, “I Hate Being A Mom”?
What is making you feel the way you do? Here are some of the most common reasons why you may feel like you hate being a mom.
I Feel Like I Have To Be Perfect At It
If you feel that you need to be the perfect parent, you can throw that idea out with the dirty diapers. No parent is perfect, and anyone who tells you they can do everything 100% perfectly all the time is lying.
The truth is that babies do not come with rule books, and you will almost certainly make mistakes. Sure, there will be times that, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to console your crying baby, and that can be exhausting. This does not mean that you’re not doing a good job, though. Just do your best. Having unrealistic expectations about parenthood could be causing you to feel inadequate when you don’t live up to them.
I’m Exhausted All The Time
No one can adequately prepare you for how tired you will be after having a baby. Even if you have help, getting enough sleep at night will likely be challenging until your baby starts sleeping through the night.
Experts recommend that you sleep when the baby sleeps so that you don’t become so fatigued you cannot function. Naps can also help to ward off postpartum depression symptoms.
However, many new moms feel like they need to get work done around the house when their new baby is sleeping. While getting laundry, dishes, and cleaning done may be pressing, you need to make sure that you take at least one nap while your baby is napping. Even if you cannot sleep, resting your eyes and body are essential. Remember, your body is still recovering from being a human incubator, and it needs adequate rest to heal properly.
I Have Postpartum Depression
If you often cry, are extremely tired, or lack the motivation to do everyday tasks, you may have postpartum depression. You may also have strong feelings that you are not cut out for motherhood. These feelings are not facts, and it is very common to have them.
After having a baby, your body goes through significant changes. Your hormone levels are different than they were before your pregnancy and while you were pregnant. This dramatic fluctuation can make you feel sad or mad. If you find that you are struggling significantly to function, consider talking to your doctor.
Postpartum depression is common and very treatable—and it does not make you a bad mom. However, if left untreated, it may lead to more uncomfortable feelings. Should feelings like hating being a mother arise, consider talking to your doctor. You may also benefit from speaking with a mental health provider.
I Don’t Like Asking For Help
It’s not infrequent that parents, or people in general, have difficulty asking for help.
When people offer to help, it’s okay to say yes. Some people will refuse help from family and friends because they want to prove to others that they can handle raising their babies independently. You do not need to prove anything to anyone. If someone offers to help, it’s okay to say yes.
Whether people offer to make you a meal or stop by the house so that you can rest or shower, saying yes does not make you inadequate. Your friends and family genuinely want to help you, especially if they have children of their own and know what you are going through. Let them come and get some cuddle time with your baby while you attend to your needs for a little while.
Remember, it can be difficult to take care of others if you do not take care of yourself. Additionally, if you can’t seem to shake the feeling that you hate being a parent, or if you need someone to talk to and find solutions with, a therapist can help. No matter how you build your support system, it’s vital that you do. Parents are people, and people often need support.
Online therapy is a great option for parents who know that they need support but don’t know how they’ll find the time. Online therapy through a platform like ReGain means that you don’t have to make a long commute to see your therapist, and it can be more affordable, too. The counselors at ReGain are all licensed, independent, and have experience in various areas. You can find couples or individual therapy on ReGain at any point in time. A therapist will help you work through your feelings, make a stronger connection with your baby, improve your mental health, or work toward any other goal you might have. Don't wait until your kids say "I hate my mom" before you ask for help. Even if things are difficult right now, don’t give up—and know that reaching out for care can help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Is it normal to feel hatred when raising your child?
It can be normal to feel some amount of frustration toward your child or to hate the way they are behaving, but hating your child is generally not indicative of a healthy relationship with your children. Although there is never an excuse that legitimizes hating your children, there are many reasons that a person might experience feelings of hatred when raising children. If you’re feeling hatred toward parenthood, consider reaching out to a mental health provider who can help you better understand those emotions and their source.
Parents are supposed to be a source of trust and support for their children, while children teach parents invaluable traits like unconditional love and acceptance. Ill feelings can damage this incredibly important relationship between parents and children.
What is the hardest part of being a new mom?
Adjustment is typically the most difficult part of being a new mom. Although there are plenty of ways to prepare yourself for becoming a mom, many moms feel as though they are underprepared for the challenges of parenthood. This may be due to the fact that someone else’s well-being is now a higher priority than many other things that may have been important in the past. This can run counter to the priorities you’ve long had.
In keeping with the idea of adjustment, the hardest part of being a mom may be the requirement that you be “on” as much as possible. Before having children, many seemingly urgent things were not life or death. You may not have ever had a responsibility that requires such consistent effort and focus. Failing to respond to a child’s cries or failing to adhere to a specific feeding and eating schedule can make a huge difference, which makes many moms feel as though they are required to be on a constant high alert. Over time—even a short period of time, like several weeks—that feeling of being on high alert can quickly become overwhelming.
What makes a good parent?
A good parent can usually be determined by the level of kindness, support, and love they offer their child. In a healthy parent-child relationship, parents provide their children with a solid sense of love, belonging, and comfort. Parents are the first people children learn how to develop attachments to. If parents are not available for healthy attachment, children may develop unhealthy attachment behaviors and may struggle to learn how to construct appropriate relationships in all areas of their lives. Although being a good parent is subjective, you could say that good parents provide their children with adequate love, support, and comfort.
Is being a mom stressful?
Being a mom can be stressful. Lots of moms experience far more stress as parents than they felt before having children. There are several reasons for this, but the most common reasons being a mom is stressful include:
- Acting as a child’s primary advocate. As a mom, you are often your child’s first (and potentially only) advocate. If your child needs specific interventions early in life, requires additional help in school, or is having trouble in any aspect of their life, your job as a mother is to be a voice for them and fight for their interests. Although being an advocate is a wonderful responsibility, it can be a stressful one as well; and being in charge of a child’s well-being can feel overwhelming.
- Financial burdens. Raising a child can be an expensive undertaking. Between the diapers, the seemingly always-rotating parade of new clothing, and the school supplies, raising children can seem like having a constant stream of money leaving your bank account.
- Time constraints. Being a mom means letting go of a significant amount of downtime and alone time, both of which can be challenging to lose. Many women feel the need to have plenty of time to themselves to decompress and deal with their lives, and many times having children limits the availability of alone time. Not having enough time to yourself can cause feelings of stress or anxiety.
- Changes to relationship dynamics. Mothers who had strong relationships with their partners, filled with dates and time spent together, may feel overwhelmed by the demands of child-rearing and the sudden loss of alone time spent together. Mothers who were frequently out with friends or family may feel similarly challenged. Bringing children into the picture can change relationship dynamics of all types, and these changing dynamics can cause stress in mothers.
Although it is certainly not a prerequisite that people must be stressed to be good mothers, motherhood and stress often go hand in hand. Being a mom is stressful, which means that it is essential to develop effective stress management tools. From meditation to therapy to prioritizing a regular exercise or unwinding routine, many mothers feel they are at their best when they can take time to manage stress effectively.
How can parents’ stress hurt a child?
Parents are often stressed for many reasons. Despite the common refrain that stress is simply a part of being a parent, parental stress can actually harm children, including teaching them negative habits, contributing to their stress, and interrupting healthy communication and solid attachments.
Parents being overwhelmed by stress may not initially seem too problematic. Still, if children see their parents constantly overwhelmed, they are liable to learn that stress management techniques are not important or are unnecessary—two things that can prove problematic later in life. Negative habits might also include turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage stress, such as using alcohol or excessive shopping to calm nerves. To ensure children are not adversely affected by the stress, parents may employ effective and consistent stress management techniques.
Parents’ stress often contributes to a child’s stress. Although parents may think they effectively hide their stress responses or feelings of anxiety, children are highly perceptive. They are likely to take on their parents’ unmanaged stress as their own. Because stress has been linked to a higher incidence of sleep issues, blood pressure problems, and decreased immunity, parents should bear in mind that their stress impacts their children’s health, regardless of how well they believe they are hiding it.
Finally, parents’ stress can interrupt healthy communication and attachment habits because stress can cause a number of negative effects to affect the family. If, for instance, a parent is constantly stressed and scared, they may find themselves snapping at their children frequently or feeling too overwhelmed to give their children their full attention. If this is the primary characterization of parent-child interactions, children may come to learn that their wants, thoughts, and needs do not matter to their parents and may struggle to develop healthy, appropriate attachments to their parents and others.