I Don’t Love Every Minute of Motherhood

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The other day I saw a friend for the first time since having my baby. After the obligatory congratulating and cooing, he asked, “So how’s motherhood? Loving every minute of it?”

For the past nine and a half months, whenever I’ve been asked that question (which, for the record, has been entirely too much), I’ve smiled and vaguely nodded. I’m not sure what came over me that day, but I decided to tell the truth: “Well, not EVERY minute.”

You would have thought, by the look on his face, that I had just confessed to committing a heinous crime. He then proceeded to tell me that through the crying and sleeplessness and spells of sickness, he “Loved. Every. Minute.”

Instead of responding how I really wanted to — “Easy for you to say now that your child is an adult!” — I found myself rationalizing my previous statement: “I mean, I don’t always love it when he spits a mouthful of oatmeal at me. But, of course, his hugs and kisses five minutes later make up for it.”

Why did I feel the need to justify myself? Maybe it’s because up until recently I couldn’t admit, even to myself, that there were minutes — many of them, in fact — that I didn’t love. There were women struggling to conceive who would give anything to be in my shoes, even if that meant being up all night with a sick baby. I know; I was one of them.

I easily equated minutes of frustration (that I’m sure, by now, have added up to days) with being ungrateful. Whenever someone asked if I was “loving every minute” of being a mom, I felt increasingly guilty that I didn’t. And so, I lied to myself and to others: “I’m loving it!” I became a fast-food jingle.

When posed with The Question the other day, I realized that by continuing to lie I was perpetuating this vicious, unhealthy circle of “mommy guilt.” Perhaps hearing the truth will cause my friend to think twice before asking another new mom the same question.

It’s impossible to love every minute of parenthood. Admitting it doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. It doesn’t mean you don’t want your child. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother or father. It means that you understand that, as with any job, there are ups and downs.

Do I love every minute of being a mom? No. But is my child worth every one of those minutes I don’t love? Absolutely. And would I go through every minute I don’t love all over again for him? Of course. But that doesn’t mean I have to love it.

How do you respond when you’re asked The Question? 

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The new mom of a baby boy, Cheryl Glantz Nail started her blogging and freelance writing career in 2008. She has written articles for several blogs and websites, including 24/Savvy and InterfaithFamily.com. Shortly after moving to Columbia, she turned her love of content writing and social media into a career in communications, currently serving as the Community Relations Director for a local non-profit. Prior to this career change, she enjoyed 10 years in education, both in the classroom and as a curriculum developer. When she isn't in front of her computer or wiping up baby drool, Cheryl can be found curled up with a young adult novel and a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, looking at cats on Instagram, or attempting to be artsy. She blogs at Take a Second Glantz (www.secondglantz.com/blog), trolls Pinterest for recipes she'll probably never cook, and sleep tweets during late-night feedings.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hey lady! 😉 I wish you were closer, because I know how you feel. I could tell just weeks from your text reply many months ago. I had two within 14 months of each other. There were many days I downright hated motherhood. And my husband didn’t get it. Neither did my stepmom and mother in law. My daughter didn’t help because she openly admitted to hating being a sister to two brothers. Sigh. I wish we had been closer so you had someone to talk to. To be honest with. To vent and listen. I know how isolating it can be. I’m glad you wrote this article and I hope others see there are two sides to everything. Not everyone “loves” every minute of being a mom, and society, especially when you’re a stay at home mom like I was, makes us think we have everyone’s dream. Hugs from Florida. We miss you down here.

  2. This is so important. Not loving the work/pain/headache/heartache involved with child rearing has no correlation to how much we love and appreciate our kids. I feel like the pressure to idealize parenthood leads to MORE heartache later when reality doesn’t meet our expectations. Kids are a pain! But they’re also a blessing. Thanks for being honest with yourself AND with us.

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