Do You Hate Being A Mom? How To Deal When Being A Parent Is Hard
By: Tanisha Herrin
Updated August 18, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Fawley
Do You Find Yourself Hating Being A Mom?
Being a mom is arguably the hardest job in the world. Sometimes it's a thankless and endless job. The responsibility of being a mom leaves many moms feeling overwhelmed. It's easy to feel weighed down by the pressure, burdened by fear of failure, and unappreciated for all of the unseen things you do to keep things running smoothly at home. Combine that with a general sense of fatigue and a lack of free time, it's normal for a mom to occasionally hate being a mom.
Acknowledging How Parenting Affects You
Different aspects of being a mom bring up unpleasant feelings such as frustration, confusion, and unwanted pressure. Whether you're a first-time mom or a seasoned mom, every mom goes through transitional struggles and hard times. But if you can't seem to come out of a fog or if you continue to wrestle with unhappiness, consider exploring your feelings further. Assess your situation, take notes on things you can change or improve, and get help from outside resources to manage your emotions while working through rough patches.
You're Not the Only Mom Feeling This Way
There is no shame in expressing your emotions, even if they're unpleasant. It is not uncommon to hate being a mom. If you're a mom struggling with persistent low mood, tearfulness, feelings of being overwhelmed and inadequate, extreme fatigue, low motivation, or other concerning symptoms, you can and will get better. You have options for support, including parenting support groups, online counseling, in-person therapy, and connecting with family and friends who care, can support you, and can relate to what you're going through. Even though it doesn't feel like it, being a mom makes you an everyday superhero. Who else besides a superhero could deal with a bunch of nonstop energy, messes, and opportunities to save the day, every day? You got this!
Common Reasons Behind An Unhappy Parenthood And Why Many Feel They Hate Being A Mom
There are many reasons why moms may feel unhappy from time to time. Here are five things that often make being a mom difficult.
- Fatigue. When you're tired, everything is exacerbated. A lack of sleep has a significant effect on brain functioning and is even a catalyst for clinical depression. Restorative sleep is a necessity for a healthy brain, and if you're not able to get adequate sleep, it could affect the way you function, both physically and mentally.
Relationship problems. No matter how good a relationship is, children make things more complicated. No two people have the same opinions on every situation, and adding children to the mix creates more opportunities for disagreements on topics like childrearing and the division of household labor. Thanks to the added stress, the daily pressures of being a mom can be a perfect recipe for relational discord. With a child around, especially a small child that is dependent on you, there is less time and energy to focus on your partner. It may lead to resentment when your own emotional or physical needs feel unmet by your partner. Adjusting to being a mom means adjusting your relationship, too.
- Reduced sense of purpose or identity. If you gave up a meaningful activity to make room for being a mom, you may miss your job, volunteer projects, time with friends, or your regular workout routine. A part of your sense of self may have been stripped away for the time being. You have a new identity–you're a mom–but often it can feel like the other parts of your life get lost for a while.
- The pressure to be perfect. Raising children can feel like a heavy burden. For many of us, it is the most important thing we have ever done, so we run ourselves into the ground trying to be perfect. We don't want to accidentally make an irreversible mistake that will somehow harm our child's development. In the pursuit of being a perfect mom, you add an intense, unrelenting amount of pressure to your job as a mom. Our society also perpetuates many unhelpful myths about what it means to be a "good mom" or "perfect mom." These myths aren't based in reality, but if you feel like you're not measuring up, that feeling can contribute to a bunch of self-defeating thoughts and beliefs that make things even harder for you.
The job is more challenging than many realize. Being a mom is a round-the-clock job with little or no vacation time. There is always work to be done. Like every job, there are unpleasant and hated tasks that must be completed. Your children naturally cry and throw tantrums, and it sometimes feels like, despite your best efforts, your children aren't happy. It's normal for children to exhibit challenging behavior as they grow and develop, but it can be difficult to know what to do when they're acting out and testing limits.
It's easy to blame yourself. It's important to note that if your child displays certain disruptive behaviors (such as consistently refusing to follow rules), it is not your fault. In fact, one of the most common mental health issues affecting young children are disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs). If your child is struggling with symptoms of DBDs, it is not a reflection on you as a mom. Instead, it is an opportunity for you to be a nurturing mom by seeking appropriate treatment. Research shows that online therapy can help reduce symptoms of DBDs in children. Not all online therapy platforms will treat children, so you should make sure that your child's age group is accepted. If your child is in between the ages of 13-18 years old, you may want to consider BetterHelp's sister platform, TeenCounseling, which is dedicated to serving this age group.
What You Can Do to Make Things Easier?
Being a mom doesn't have to be painful, but it does require you to be aware of your feelings and to pinpoint actions you can take to make the difficult things easier for yourself. Sometimes taking a step back and assessing the situation may help you to see things you didn't notice before or at least give you another perspective to consider. Here are a few suggestions other moms have found helpful.
Be honest. Choose a small group of safe people in your life, and share your thoughts with them. Be honest about how you're feeling. You may be surprised by how understanding they are; you will likely find that many relate to your experiences personally.
Make time to take care of yourself. Identify small things you would like to do to make yourself feel better. Would you like to start exercising? Do you want to have coffee with your friends once a month? Do you just want to sit and read a book? Craft a plan to make that happen. If you cannot get out of the house, it is important to find a short amount of time for yourself every day. Take a long shower, have a cup of tea by yourself, or take a walk around the block to clear your head.
Let go of perfection. Accept that perfection is impossible and that you will need to let some things slide in order to preserve your personal happiness and mental health. Let the house be a little messier than you might normally accept. Allow your kids to watch an extra show, so you can drink your coffee in peace if this will make you feel more capable of being a mom overall. Let go of the guilt you feel when you cannot be a perfect mom. You're doing the best you can.
Communicate your needs clearly. Your partner is not a mind-reader. Choose your words carefully, and express how you're feeling. Be specific about what you need from them. Say something like, "I'm 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 -- do not just expect them to remember.
How BetterHelp Can Support You
Coping with the ups and downs of being a mom can be easier with expert guidance from BetterHelp online counselors. They know being a mom is a stressful job and want to help you gain useful tools and resources to make things better. These counselors understand that moms need an outlet to express their emotions and sort out their feelings, so they can focus on providing for their families. Experiencing frustration as a mom is common, and you don't have to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Sharing your feelings with an expert is a productive way of dealing with them. You'll also set an example for your family on how to manage emotions in a healthy way. With BetterHelp, you can discuss your situation in confidence when it is convenient for you. Learn how others have benefited from working with an online counselor by reading the following reviews, from people experiencing similar issues.
While meeting the needs of your children is a priority, taking care of your personal needs and getting adequate emotional support is also a priority. If you hate being a mom at times, you're not alone. The advice and suggestions in this article show that you don't have to go through the difficulties of being a mom alone. Strengthen your parenting abilities by applying these valuable tools and resources, so you can fully enjoy your role as a mom. Take the first step today.
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