I Don’t Like Being A Mom and That’s OK
I have always felt kind of lackluster in my mom jeans. Maybe it’s because I was unprepared when I first joined the club, or perhaps because it was unplanned and “mommy life” didn’t fit into my newly sober five-year plan. Possibly, the love for motherhood really isn’t in me as it seems to be in other mamas—I do all the things good mothers do; I feed, bathe and dress them, brush their teeth, and love them deeply. But I don’t like being a mom—though truly—the why of it all is unimportant.
I don’t believe these feelings make me a bad mother, I’m a great mom, especially for boys; I can joke about wieners, boogers don’t bother me, and girl clothes are puzzling.
However, while I cherish my children, I don’t like being a mom. Maybe this was a self-discovery made too late, but either way it revealed itself to me.
A few months after I had my second son I began to uncover a new passion for my life—a passion that didn’t include sleepless nights, arguments with a three-year-old, endless cleaning and having not a minute alone. But when it comes to motherhood, my passions don’t matter, my boys are more important.
Somewhere between finding my passion and potty training my toddler, I’ve lost sight of motherhood.
I found myself a mother of two, not wanting to be a mom at all. I had taken the first four years of my sobriety to build up this woman, and now I wanted to live as her, I wanted to be her, yet being her seemed impossible.
As I uncovered these feelings I quickly understood it wasn’t a phase and I began to cradle this unhappiness. I wholeheartedly believe that as mothers we don’t have to like motherhood, but I overlooked my ability to choose how I react to this disdain and I began to wallow in it.
Then one night, I glanced over at my sleeping toddler and it was it as if time stopped. I watched him suck his tiny fingers and observed my little baby, who had found his hand and blankie as a way to self-soothe almost three years ago. Eventually, the finger sucking will stop and he will forgo his blankie. Ultimately, time will take it all. And like a brick to the face, I was hit with remorse—I am wasting a significant amount of time.
It doesn’t matter if I don’t love motherhood, I do love my boys, and that is enough.
By focusing on all the things I might be missing, I was wasting what is right in front of me. I was missing sticky faces and dirty feet. I was missing the way their a little eyes gaze up at me with love because I am their whole world. I was wasting games of make-believe and opportunities to create giggles. I was passing up chances to teach, to build core values and strong character traits. I wasn’t observing their excitement, I was merely noticing their messes. I wasn’t listening to their stories, I was patiently waiting for them to move on. And there’s nothing more heartbreaking than that.
So here I sit, a mother disliking motherhood but loving my boys more. For the first time in months, I am seeing my boys, truly seeing them in the way they deserve.
I’m not going to throw away my new found passion and strongly built self—I will find a way to be her.
No longer will I throw pity-parties and wallow in the stress of motherhood—I will allow myself to live in its presence. We can coexist—this new woman I’ve built—and the mother I am.
Mamas if you’re like me, caught between two worlds, remember—we can do it all and be it all—for we are women and we are mothers.
Melissa is a fulltime working mama to her two young boys; Watson and Emerson. She is married to a wonderful sober man and they have created a blessed life in Southern California.
Melissa has been sober since 11.6.13 and is active in 12 step fellowships and the online sober community and . She understands there are no sober blueprints, and different things work for different people. Along with addiction, Melissa struggles with mental health issues, addiction to self-harm, and has a habit of self-loathing. Through recovery, she has begun to overcome those obstacles.
She works at a non-profit, men’s recovery home and spends her free time podcasting with her husband and recycling old clothes.