I swear I thought this was just me.
Until I’ve heard it many other times.
The other night a friend admitted what no mom ever says out loud, but I bet 75% of us have thought at least one time before our child was 8. It’s beyond self-doubt, or just a rough day, or maybe I’ll get over this. It’s a visceral acknowledgement that motherhood is not in us like we see it’s in others. Period. It comes in one of these forms….
I’m not good with kids.
I struggle with my own.
I don’t even like them right now.
I want to not be “mom” sometimes.
I resent them and I feel awful.
They stole the life I knew.
My husband and I were fine before they came along.
When We Don’t Want to Be Mom…
Culturally, women are not socialized to focus on house and home anymore. We take the same classes the men take. We don’t have to babysit if we don’t want to. We may have grown up hundreds of miles from extended family and haven’t been part of our village in raising kids. In short, we don’t know what to do when we have kids. We don’t know what’s expected, what we do as nurturers (vs. workers or students ourselves), and we don’t know child development and how kids grow. It’s just cultural shifts.
When I home schooled 2nd grade to help Jordan through OCD and Tourette’s tics, I – with my Master’s Degree in Education and High School teaching certificate- felt out of body and useless. One night, I remember everyone was in bed except me, because I was online determined to find the one thing every scientist missed out on to help OCD/ Tourettes. Until it was 11:45pm and realized it would be another night without an answer. And I just broke down and became very honest with God…
It’s not fair. I’d like to not be mom. I’m not good at this. I didn’t sign up for this. He’s a great kid, it’s me, I don’t fit, I don’t belong, I’m too strong/ too much/ not patient and nurturing enough. Did I mention I don’t want to be mom right now and I can think of 3 other women who would be amazing with him. (somewhere in here I wanted a mom whisperer – for someone to tell me against all hope that I was made for this in some insane way). God, please please help me see how I’m made for him, for this family. If it’s better that I leave, show me that too. I’m at my end.
Immediately I remembered some of the work I did with a coach before OCD entered our home. I dug the files out where we sussed out my passion for advocacy, for teaching, my strengths for being intuitive and yet intellectual all at once. Somewhere in the core of my being I felt the answer:
You are the ONLY one who can help him through this time. You ARE made for this. Yes you need to learn a few things, but the core of who you are is what’s saving everyone right now.
What if the core of who you are is the very thing that your family most needs?
What if you aren’t deficient, but need to remember who you are so you can offer that to our family?
If we aren’t deficient, then we might have to show up as ourselves and trust it’s enough until we learn whatever the other parts are that we need.
And in so doing, we’ll set a new foundation of love and acceptance – for ourselves, and our families that who everyone is – is enough.
How can you and I possibly be enough when we don’t even want to be with our kids or family at times? Because of this:
— We work hard at learning how to be a mom.
— We watch other moms to figure it out.
— We are finding our own way that doesn’t drive us crazy, even when it’s unconventional.
— We bond with our child and let them child bond with us even if we doesn’t “understand” it.
— We allow ourselves to expand in ways we might not have considered (learn how to nurture, not control, child development, etc.).
— We grow with the child, and continue to be an amazing mom especially as the child gets older.
And we do all this in the face of not exactly wanting to —that takes courage and commitment. It takes heart and soul of a warrior who isn’t a martyr but knows when to sacrifice while somehow trusting that every sacrifice is expanding her own life.
But how do we save ourselves and when do we get help? That’s over here.
With great respect for the process of becoming,
Mom coach, speaker and author of Momifesto: 9 Practices for Phenomenal Moms. Buy your copy from Amazon HERE.
Join us for a FREE 30 day trial of online creativity courses at Brave Girls University (use coupon code “vikkispencer”) HERE.
Sign up HERE for the Ezine and receive a FREE audio on Mom Anger from