“I Hate Being A Mom!” How To Deal When Parenting Is Hard
Parenting is arguably the hardest job in the world. It's thankless, it's endless, and it's incredibly heavy. It's easy to feel weighed down by the pressure, burdened by failure, and unappreciated for all the unseen things you do to keep things running smoothly in your house. Combined with just a general sense of fatigue and lack of free time, you're not the only one who's ever thought, "I hate being a mom."
Reasons for Unhappiness in Motherhood
There are many reasons you may be feeling unhappy.
Fatigue - When you're tired, everything is exacerbated. A lack of sleep has a significant effect on brain functioning and is even linked to clinical depression. Restorative sleep is necessary for brain health, and if you're not able to get good and solid sleep it may be messing with your mind.
Relationship Problems - No matter how good a relationship is, children make things more complex. No two people have the exact same opinions on every matter and the addition of children brings more opportunities for disagreements on things like child-rearing and the division of household labor. Couple that with the intense pressure to properly raise up a child, and it's a perfect recipe for relationship discord.
Reduced Sense of Purpose or Identity - If you gave up a meaningful activity in order to make room for motherhood duties - be it a job, volunteer projects, time with friends, or your regular workout routine - part of your sense of self may have been stripped away.
Pressure to Be Perfect - Raising children can feel like a heavy burden. For many of us, it's the most important thing we've ever done so we run ourselves into the ground trying to be perfect lest we accidentally make an irreversible mistake that will somehow harm our child's development. This is intense, unrelenting pressure you're living under.
Solutions to Improve Well-Being
Be Honest - Choose some safe people in your life and be honest about how you are feeling. You may be surprised at how understanding they are. Keeping your thoughts inside increases your shame which leads to further self-loathing.
Carve Out Self-Care - Identify some small things you would like to do that would make you feel better. Would you like to start exercising? Go to happy hour once a month with your friends? Do you just want to sit and read a book? Craft a plan of how you can make that happen.
Let Go of Perfection - Accept that perfection is impossible and that you will need to let some things go in order to preserve your personal happiness and mental health. Let the house be a little messier than you'd normally accept. Allow your kids to watch an extra show so you can drink your coffee in peace on your porch.
Communicate Your Needs Clearly - Your partner is not a mind-reader; choose your words carefully and express how you are feeling and be specific about what you need from them. Say something like, "I'm really struggling right now and I want to feel better. "Do you think you could cook dinner every Thursday to help me?" Then, remind them gently as the day approaches - don't just expect them to remember.
I Hate Being a Mom
Whether you're a first-time mom or a seasoned parent, everyone goes through transitional struggles and hard times. But if you can't seem to come out of the fog or continue to wrestle with unhappiness, consider seeking support from a professional; they can help you get your joy back. Betterhelp.com offers counseling in a convenient online format - allowing you to get the help you need without even needing to find childcare.