Honestly, Sometimes I Wish I Wasn't A Mom

Ad failed to load

I'm sitting on my couch, typing laboriously and trying to finish an article that requires my focus, my undivided attention and a steady stream of thought. I've already worked 11 hours and just finished making dinner and I'm too exhausted to even guess how many hours of work I have left. As I pour through the mental scroll in my head, my son is climbing on top of me and yelling in my ear and tugging at my sleeve, all in an attempt to show me the latest toy in his new room. It is in this moment, this seemingly adorable yet somewhat frustrating moment, that I wish I wasn't a mom.

These moments come and go, usually when my son wants more than I feel I'm able to give. When things are made more difficult by his presence — because yes, having a child does make things more difficult — I all but throw my hands up in utter defeat. When my son is doing nothing but being a toddler, which means he's throwing a tantrum about something minuscule to my life but catastrophic in his, I contemplate how easy it would be to sit on my couch, write my latest article, cook dinner, or do one of the many things I do in a day without him. On nights like these, I resent my son's presence. And even though I can rationalize these very valid, very undeniable feelings, they have the power to throw me down a spiral of guilt, embarrassment, and overwhelming shame.

Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor
Ad failed to load

I wish feeling this way didn't make me feel such overwhelming shame. I wish that I could talk about the fact that motherhood is exhausting or say that motherhood isn't the only life-defining part of who I am without worrying about the reaction or the repercussions. Even typing this, I know there will be people who automatically assume I spend all day, every day, wishing I wasn't a parent. Some will think I feel like I made a mistake by becoming a parent, or, worst of all, they'll believe my son isn't loved or an important, vital part of my life. I wish that, like almost anything else, this admission that life would be easier without a kid would serve as nothing more than a statement of how I feel rather than a intimate glimpse inside my most private thoughts.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't a mother, but I'd never dream of giving my son "back" or want to live in a world where he didn't exist and I wasn't his mother.

In college, on late nights, during last-minute study sessions, and when I'd feverishly write papers I'd procrastinated over for much too long, I'd often wish I wasn't in college anymore. But looking back, I loved being in college and wouldn't change my experience there for the world. When working three jobs, I often wished I was back in high school when I had parents to pay for damn near everything. But clearly, going back to high school would be the absolute worst. When I moved, especially when I was knee-deep in an endless sea of boxes, sleep deprived, and cleaning dust bunnies that should have been cleaned up years earlier, I wished I wasn't moving. Turns out, moving across the country is one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Ad failed to load

And in my romantic relationships, whenever we had passionate disagreements, I'd often wish I was single again. Of course, I'm so very thankful for my partner and would never want our relationship to end. Motherhood is no different. Sometimes I wish I wasn't a mother, but I'd never dream of giving my son "back" or want to live in a world where he didn't exist and I wasn't his mother.

Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor
It's nice to have a break and take care of myself — and only myself — and it's sometimes necessary for me to imagine how easy things would be if I wasn't a mom, but if I could go back and do it all over again, I know I'd never decide not be his mother.
Ad failed to load

Which is why I should be able to say that, yes, sometimes I wish I wasn't a mother. Sometimes caring for someone who needs me constantly isn't enough to make me feel fulfilled and accomplished. Sometimes, when my son is throwing himself on the ground and screaming and we're in a public place and I'm powerless to harness his energy in a way that doesn't make me look like a terrible parent, I wish I wasn't a mother. Sometimes, when we're walking down the street carrying multiple bags of groceries while also trying to hold my son's hand as he lunges after a pigeon, I wish I wasn't a mother. Sometimes, when I realize I'd have more options or an easier time or that I wouldn't struggle so hard to maintain such a particular life for my child, I wish I wasn't a mother.

But would I ever run away and leave my family behind? Absolutely not. Would I ever take back my choice to have a baby? No way. Would I want to live my life without my son? Not even for a second. It's nice to have a break and take care of myself — and only myself — and it's sometimes necessary for me to imagine how easy things would be if I wasn't a mom, but if I could go back and do it all over again, I know I'd never decide not be his mother. My son has changed my life for the better, even if "better" sometimes means exhausting, frustrating, and difficult. My son is a part of the world that gives me such complete joy, even when that "joy" comes with tantrums, outbursts, and ineffectual, flying fists.

Courtesy of Danielle Campoamor
Ad failed to load

The fleeting moments where I wonder why I ever decided to become a mother do nothing to change the fact that I am one and that I love being one and that my son is one of the best things to ever happen to me. When my frustration and exhaustion and lack of patience culminate into a guilt-ridden moment of resentment, there's always a part of me that's still thankful for being frustrated and exhausted and impatient.

I can't pretend I don't experience moments when I wish I wasn't a mother, but I know these moments won't ever define the kind of mother I am. I might have fleeting thoughts of unabashed freedom from time to time, especially when parenthood tests me most, but there's no way I would ever give up being a mother.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills