I was not one of those people who dreamt of having kids my whole life. I never liked children that much. I've never been around kids since my brother and sister don't live in state and I never see my niece and nephews. It certainly wasn't my game plan but I do admit I thought about it from time to time. People always told me I'd regret not having one and I guess part of me believed them. Ha ha. Anyways, life wasn't perfect but it was going along okay and then I found out I was pregnant. I was 40 years old and not married to the father. In fact, I had just recently found out the bastard was married to someone else and I'd ended it. Then a week later those two lines appeared and my world has been forever changed. He wanted me to have an abortion and in the beginning I thought I would. After all I'd be a single mom with no friends. I didn't feel I had the support I needed to have a child but I didn't want to have another abortion. I had one in my twenties. I was a mess back then so I had good reason to. This time I struggled with the decision throughout the entire first trimester. I even scheduled an abortion but I didn't go. Instead of following my gut instinct I started listening to other people in my family. My mom told me I should go for it and that I might regret not since this was kind of my last chance. My sister told me I should keep her and that it would give my life a sense of purpose. She said I wouldn't be alone all the time anymore. What a bunch of crap that all was. This sucks royally. Can someone please tell me what's good about this? Now, I understand there's women out there who can't have children and they get very upset when a woman who can complains about it. I'm very sorry to those women who struggle with infertility and I cannot imagine feeling like I was meant to do the one thing I can't do. That being said, do I not have the right to hate motherhood just because I can do it and someone else can't? That theory doesn't hold water. Why can't we regret becoming parents but we can regret every other life decision we make? This is certainly the biggest decision anyone could make in their life and I think we should be allowed to regret it. We can regret husbands, career choices, drug use, and basically everything under the sun besides becoming parents. That makes no sense to me so I am admitting it: I absolutely regret becoming a mom. This was supposed to give my life some sort of purpose? As far as I can see the only purpose I have from 6 a.m. until 8 at night is keeping a tiny human from screaming. Whether it's that she's wet, hungry, tired, bored or just gassy it doesn't matter because the entire day is focused on just keeping her from screeching like a stuck pig. And I do it. I'm not laying here while she's in her own filth in the other room screaming her head off. No she's right here doing tummy time on the play mat in front of me. Too bad it gives me zero satisfaction compared to the work it takes. Yeah she's starting to smile but half the time you don't know if it's gas and she doesn't do it enough to make this worth it anyway. My days and weeks are one big blur of laundry, spit up, shit, puke, bath time, storytime, tummy time, and whatever else it takes to keep her from screaming. Wow. What purpose. Suddenly life has so much meaning. Anyone out there who isn't sure if they want to become a mom my advice is don't do it. Just don't do it. You lose every ounce of freedom you ever had. Even running to the store for what should take a minute becomes an hour-long chore. Need milk? Get ready to pack up that baby, after feeding and changing of course, the diaper bag, and whatever you do, do not forget the pacifier. I did that once and that will be the last time. Now you get to drag that heavy ass car seat into the car and baby is usually freaking out by now. After you're sure she's safe you hurriedly run around to the driver's door jump in and start rocking that car no matter if it means you drive into a wall. Anything to keep her from screaming. But that's just the beginning because now you actually have to go into the store. I never knew what hell shopping could be until I had a newborn. Now I'm that person in the checkout line with a screamin-demon in my cart. I never wanted to be that person. Why did I do this? I wake up everyday and cry my eyes out. I've never been as depressed as I am now and I've never felt so trapped. When you become a mom you lose yourself completely. Suddenly your only purpose is to keep another person alive and your own needs become neglected. Soon you look in the mirror and wonder how long has it been since I showered? Anytime I sit down to eat she starts screaming so I've given up on eating. On the upside I've lost my pregnancy weight and more. On the downside I have a baby. I'm not sure this scale is balancing out. Being with a baby is like being alone so all that "you're not going to be alone all the time anymore" is bullshit. In fact, being home with a newborn is more lonely than not. I feel completely cut off from the world. Out of pure exhaustion I've stopped even leaving the house unless it's completely and utterly necessary. Meaning the cupboards have to be bare and the fridge empty for me to get the strength to go out. Even then it's a struggle. Luckily she's not eating solid food yet so my cupboards being bare doesn't mean I'm not feeding my child for anyone thinking that. And do I love her? I guess so. I certainly know it's my responsibility to care for her and I do. However, I worry that I don't have the mental capability to do this for the next...well umm... forever. Forever. Just think of that when considering motherhood. I know people will think I'm a pariah for being honest about my feelings but feelings aren't something one can control. Feelings just are. I hear it gets better. I'm not so sure about that. For some women it's instant love and gratification and for others I don't think that ever happens but we just can't admit it. I'm accepting my new fate and letting go of who I once was or could have been. Now all I am is Mom.
Re: Disappointed by motherhood
Second, I mean this in the kindest way possible. Please talk to whoever is providing postpartum care or your GP if you're past your six week appointment. It sounds like you may have some postpartum depression going on.
Third, some practical advice. I know you're not feeling connected to your baby right now and may not be super keen on this, but have you tried baby wearing? I baby wore most of the time going to the store and other stuff like getting stuff done around the house. You can be hands free, and the baby still feels held. This might be a good way you can get something to eat without your baby screaming.
Finally, is your family close around? Anyone who can come over and help you for awhile? Take the baby for a bit or just hold her while you eat? I know you don't have a high opinion of the father, but you're likely entitled to financial assistance from him.
This is a choice you made, whether you regret it or not. I think that you need to talk to your doctor and give it some time. Motherhood is a huge adjustment and it’s ok to mourn your lost freedom. But if/when that turns to resentment, it becomes an unhealthy and potentially unsafe environment for your child and you need to make some even harder decisions. Find a support system. That might not look like the Leave it to Beaver family. Friends and family, even trusted paid caretakers are vital, especially if the father is not in the picture. Get some of those people that were so eager to talk you into this to come and let you eat, take a shower and a nap. And it might not seem so now, but it is possible to not lose yourself entirely in motherhood. Get a sitter and take a break. Go have a drink with a friend, go get your hair done, go read a book in a coffee shop somewhere.
Our situations are very different, but I did not necessarily love my daughter at first sight. I felt a similar sense of obligation and found myself crying on many occasions. The newborn stage has easily been the hardest part of this motherhood thing, and I had a relatively easy baby. I’ve heard it called the 100 days of darkness. Between the all encompassing need for mom (even if dad IS around), hormones, sleep deprivation, and your own recovery, it is overwhelming. But you shouldn’t be drowning in it, which this post makes it seem like. Ask for help if you need it. Your doctor may have resources in addition to post partum mental health care. Like mom’s groups, lactation consultants, financial assistance if needed...
I hope that it gets better for you and your child.
I don’t know what you situation is but you need to enlist friends and family to babysit for you even if for 2 hours so you can get a break. If there is no one around then you can hire a babysitter from a website like care.com to watch baby for a few hours every week.
If all else fails and you decide this is really not for you then please consider adoption. There are many families out there who would love to give your baby a good, loving home. At some point she will be old enough to sense your resentment which can’t be good for her emotional health.