We have different circumstances that lead us to become parents, and though it’s hard to admit – parenthood is not always positive.
Most parents have to deal with negative emotions more than they like. For many, discussing these feelings is a taboo topic. And not having support systems in place during these difficult times can make things worse.
But when should one be alarmed? Do day-to-day annoyances with the kids and not wanting to interact with them count as red flags?
This blog post walks you through why you might hate being a parent, some of the emotions you might be feeling, and how to deal with them.
Why do I hate being a mom?
Here are some common reasons someone might resent motherhood.
-I miss my old life
-My kids don’t listen
-I have a special needs child
-My spouse doesn’t help me
-I never wanted to be a mom
-This was an unplanned child
-I have become an angry mom
-I’m so tired I feel like a zombie
-I don’t have any family to support me
-I sacrificed my career for motherhood
-I have less freedom than I use to have
-Marital stress is making parenting harder
-I experienced a breakup while pregnant
-I don’t have time for things I am passionate about
-I miss social time with friends, my spouse, and family
-I’m a single parent and parenting alone is too difficult
-I started my family at a young age and it was a mistake
-I am a stay at home mom and I don’t get time to myself
-Due to a lack of finances, we can’t afford “the good life”
-I don’t know anyone going through a similar experience
-I don’t have the maternal instinct that other mothers have
-I work full time and have a hard time balancing work and family life
-My spouse is the “good parent” and I’m forced to be the disciplinarian
-Everyone is better at being a mom than me, I don’t feel like a good mom
-We have less money to spend on our kids than other families in our community
-Between work and kids, my husband and I don’t have time to foster a healthy relationship
-Social media and society paint a perfect picture of motherhood, not the reality I’m experiencing
Being a mom is hard. Parenting is hard.
No one told me it was going to be this hard.
There is no manual, no class, and no one that can prepare you for just how difficult being a parent is.
No one tells you about all the hard times, tough days, sleepless nights, tears, and the frustration that await you when you become a parent.
You may feel alone in your hatred or anger but don’t worry—you are not alone!
My kids will never appreciate me.
It’s normal to think that your kids don’t appreciate you.
As a parent, it can be difficult to feel like your children are not responding appropriately to all of the love and care that you give them.
It’s important for new moms to realize that your kids don’t understand how much you do for them. They don’t appreciate it. They probably won’t until they are much older.
While they may not appreciate the hard work you put into raising them, this does not mean that they do not love you. And it doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a good job.
Be prepared to be taken advantage of by your kids in the years ahead. They might take money from you, call you names when their friends are around, or make up stories about how terrible a mother you are. For many, this is a fact of parenting.
Your child will eventually grow up and mature enough so that he or she realizes how lucky they are to have someone like you as their mother (or father). Yes, that will likely be a long time from now. That is a reality of parenting.
I feel like a bad mom.
You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with your role as a new mom. But remember: that’s a normal reaction. It doesn’t make you any less of a mother if you aren’t perfect at it from day one.
Don’t judge yourself for not liking every part of being a momma bear! That doesn’t make you a bad mom.
It’s normal to feel like a complete failure sometimes. No parent is perfect. What is important is that you try your best to take care of your child or children.
So if being a parent makes you angry sometimes. Okay then! Remember, that doesn’t make you a bad mother. Accept it as a reality of parenting. Accept that parenting has its ups and downs.
How to Deal with Hating Being a Parent
Accept that sometimes you may feel this way.
Parenting isn’t a walk in the park. What makes it more difficult is most parents have a hard time talking about the difficulties of parenthood, fearing judgment or lack of support.
Get plenty of rest.
If you’re feeling exhausted from a lack of sleep, the best thing to do is to rest. If you’re not getting enough sleep (for example, if your baby is waking up every hour), it can be hard to feel alert and energized during the day. Try these tips:
-Nap when your baby naps.
-Power Nap. Even if just 15 minutes—just enough so that when you wake up, you feel refreshed!
-Talk with your doctor about your symptoms. His or her advice may include ruling out a medical cause for your symptoms, like low thyroid function.
Take care of yourself first so that you have energy for being a parent later on.
Parenting is impossible if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. Self-care includes eating well, sleeping well, and exercising regularly.
If these things aren’t currently part of your schedule, find an activity that you enjoy. Try going on walks in the evenings, swimming, or running and incorporate it into your daily routine.
Don’t compare yourself to other parents.
Looking around at other parents, it’s easy to assume everyone else is handling parenthood better than you are. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors.
Remind yourself that as long as your kids are safe and happy, you’re doing good work.
Ask for help.
Asking for help is also important. Ask someone else if they’re willing to watch over the kids while you take some much-needed time alone.
Make time for activities that bring you joy.
Finding ways to spend time apart from your kids can help too.
Go see friends or family members who live nearby; join an adult sports league; volunteer at the charity of your choice; or start taking lessons in something new like painting or salsa dancing.
Set aside some alone time.
Set aside some alone time. You can ask your mom, spouse, friend or hire a babysitter to help with the kids.
Take a few hours to be your own person and do whatever it is you want to do.
Build your tribe.
Reach out to other families to spend time together. You will slowly grow a network of supportive families.
You can plan family activities, adult-only time, and alternate babysitting each other’s kids for a couple of hours.
Spend time with your kids in a way that you enjoy.
Setting aside one-on-one time with each child can help you bond and ease some of the pressure you feel.
You might call these “mom and me” dates or simply make a point to spend regular alone time with each child doing things they like to do.
Doing fun things together helps you and your child bond, create good memories, and ease the stress as a parent.
Read a book.
Read books written by other moms who felt similarly at times but found a way to get through it all.
Identify your triggers.
What makes you immediately wish you never became a parent?
Does this happen when your child is extra fussy? Or do you get angry when no one is helping you out with the chores?
Whatever the situation that triggers you to hate being a parent, journal it.
Consider the following:
-When, why, and how it started
-What was your reaction to it
-How do you want to address it next time
-Your feelings (anger, helplessness, rage)
This practice can help you know yourself more and identify the source of your negative feelings towards parenting.
Listen to your inner voice and recognize it.
Once you’ve identified that you’re having a serious bout of parental doubt, listen to those feelings. Recognize them.
Don’t tell yourself that you’re being selfish, wrong, or unlikeable. Be aware of what your body and mind are trying to tell you.
You can try the following to clear your mind and find your inner voice:
-Take a long walk.
-Vent to someone you love and trust (a friend, parent, sibling, partner).
-Journal about your parental experiences helps.
-Seek out someone who feels the same way you do (there are plenty of people who have thought and felt the same things as you have).
-Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary. It will pass with time. It doesn’t mean anything about your character or worth as a human being. It will not last forever.
Most importantly, you are not alone in this feeling.
Find a support group or network of parents who are struggling with parenting.
Finding a support community or group of parents who also struggle with parenting could help you know that other people deal with similar feelings and concerns as you do.
Knowing that others feel this way is sometimes enough to help people cope with their struggles in a healthier manner.
If you don’t have time to meet in person, join an online forum where other moms share similar experiences.
Seek help if needed.
It is probably typical for parents to feel a little hatred from time to time.
But in some cases, the hatred can be a sign of a more serious mental health problem like postpartum depression.
If you experience thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or your child, you should seek professional help immediately.
A doctor can assist you with getting the necessary support as soon as possible.
There are some free mental health resources listed at the end of this article.
Professional support like therapy for yourself or for the entire family may help. There are even online therapy resources if that is more convenient for you.
Being honest about our imperfections, limitations, and flaws helps us be more open-minded about our own lives and situations. We can then be kinder toward ourselves and others.
Parenting can be challenging but fulfilling.
So, you hate being a mom. You aren’t alone.
In fact, there are many moms who feel the same way. It can be hard to admit that you don’t like being a mom when everyone around you is praising the joys and virtues of motherhood.
But it’s important for you to realize that you are not alone in your feelings and experiences. And more importantly, it’s important not to feel ashamed about those feelings either!
Parenting is hard. It’s a tough, thankless job, and it will test your patience and endurance.
For many, it’s worth it, though. The bond you develop with your kids will be unlike anything else in the world. And they’ll give you joy that you never knew was possible.
Feel free to hate being a parent, and when things get rough, vent all you want. Seek professional help if you need to. Just don’t lose sight of what makes parenting worthwhile.
Resources for parents who are struggling
Postpartum Support International
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 24/7 to speak to a counselor now: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor, free 24/7
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How To Stop Being An Angry Mom