I know children are supposed to be a blessing, but what happens when the joy of parenting becomes more of a curse? What happens when a mother dislikes her own child or is simply unequipped to handle a child that requires “extra parenting”? Honey boom…from where I sit, parenting is hard as hell…even on an easy day.
Have you ever said: “I can’t stand my child?”
“I can’t STAND Tony! I know I sound like a horrible Mom, but it’s true!! He makes me SO fucking sick!” As I listened to my friend sobbing and yelling uncontrollably on the phone, my heart broke into a thousand pieces. Her teenage son was in legal trouble AGAIN. This time he had violated his parole and this would mean jail for sure.
“I never gave my Mother this kind of shit, she would have knocked my teeth out!” Vanessa’s 10 year old daughter Amber, was not only a pathological liar, but also packed an adult sized attitude that rivaled a Reality TV Star. “If I had to do it over again, I would NEVER have had a kid”.
“I’m at the hospital…again, Ashley stopped breathing this morning.” Linda sounded exhausted. In the 3 years since her toddler had entered the world she had been hospitalized at least once a month. Ashley had been born 4 months premature but the doctors had managed to save her life. However, along with that life came endless medical complications. “I feel like I made a mistake by getting pregnant” said Linda sounding totally defeated.
I know, I know…you first inclination is to say “What kind of Mother’s are these?” They are the kind of Mothers that accidentally told the truth about their “not so rosy” parenting experience. It’s entirely possible that these three women aren’t cut out to Moms at all, but at the very least not to these particular children.
I’ve said it a million times. “Everyone is not cut out to be parents”. And folks look at me like I just grew two freaking heads or something. I have never, ever wanted children. I figured that out when I was a teenager saddled with babysitting my little cousins all summer.
As I got older, people expected…dare I say PRESSURED me to change. My parents gave me all sorts of speeches about growing old with no one to care for me. My boyfriend hit me with the “it’s your Godly responsibility”. And friends thought that I just didn’t like kids (so not true, I simply adore the tiny humans *giggles*). But I knew that I just didn’t have what it takes to be a GOOD parent…the key word here being GOOD. I’m 41 now and I don’t have any regrets about my decision. But I wonder just how many women have been pressured into having children that they weren’t equipped to care for.
I’m guessing right now you are thinking “these women never should have had kids”, and you might be right. But I suppose, it’s too late now. So here is my question “What do we do now?”
We have to face the fact that parenting is not sunshine and bluebirds for every Mother. It’s something we just don’t talk about. We don’t allow women to say “I’m not good at this” or “I need some help with this kid”. We tell young expectant Mothers “You will be fine” and “You will figure it out”. We never once stop to consider that Motherly instincts may not be bestowed on someone just because they are female.
It’s irritating to see how all LA-LA land images of parenting make it seem like a breeze. And when a woman totally fails at Mothering, we condemn her without even considering that she might have been doing her best.
I’m wondering why there aren’t more support resources for moms who just haven’t or can’t figure it out. Shux, those support groups should be as prevalent as AA meetings. I bet if more women KNEW that parenting has just as much possibility to be a dream as it does to be a nightmare, they would think twice about embarking on that journey.
It’s really easy to label someone as a “bad Mother” but when it comes to that, I wonder if our society should share more of the blame. Let me know your thoughts?
Jai Stone – The Emotional Nudist
Jai Stone is an entrepreneur, a highly syndicated blogger and the founder of the Emotional Nudity Lifestyle. Jai writes about love, life and the pursuit of authentic joy.