Why Aren’t You More Positive About Motherhood?

I had a comment on my TikTok over night. It was very politely written so I don’t think it was a troll, but she said “why are you so negative about your children?…Why don’t you enjoy the moments while they’re young and capture the beautiful motherhood moments instead?”. My first reaction was guilt. I love my children and it isn’t a realistic reflection of how I feel if it seems I am only posting negative things. It also made me feel like a failure because honestly a lot of my life is hard work and my children can drive me mad, so what’s wrong with me? Why am I not enjoying all these beautiful moments my everyday life is apparently filled with?

A mother surrounded by children, not really feeling it
I don't love every moment of motherhood and I don't stay quiet


Why Aren't I More Positive About Motherhood?

My TikTok is probably more negative about motherhood than my other social media accounts. It is my rant space where I can share how I feel in that moment. I have less family and friends on there and so I feel able to vent freely, but across all my social media I feel I share an honest reflection of my life. Or at least I thought I did.

I share the negative things I feel and experience because I often find motherhood is hard. I know I am not alone because I have been thanked countless times by people for sharing my reality. People have said it has made them feel less alone, less judged and ultimately feel less like a bad parent.


Everyone’s Motherhood Journey Is Different

I get that everyone’s experiences of motherhood varies. Some children are easier, some people even have siblings that don’t fight! They don’t understand why I feel as I do because their experience is so very different. If my children ignore me, refuse to do as I ask or find it funny to hit me over the head with a toy car then obviously that must be because of my bad parenting, not because their child has a different nature to mine.

Then of course as adults we all have different outlooks on life and personalities. There are people who see the good in everything, they are full of gratitude and love for the world so they gloss over the bad bits. I’m not like that. I have had depression on and off for 30 years. I enjoy the good moments, but if my child gives me a lovely cuddle I don’t feel the need to go online and share that. I enjoy the moment with my child. If my son has shouted at me for 5 minutes that I am taking too long to cook his lunch and then when I give it to him he tells me it’s wrong and throws it on the floor? Well I often pick up my phone, head to a quiet place and tell adults that my son is being difficult. I vent my frustration online or I would probably have an angry outburst at my child. After taking a couple of minutes time out on my phone I am better able to go back to him and calmly work through the problem. 

My eldest started nursery when she was one because I returned to work full time. Juggling a demanding job and motherhood is a challenge, but there are advantages, like that commute where I could read a book or just zone out (I took the train rather than drove before you worry). I got to go to the toilet in private too. My second child was that sort of chilled out toddler who would happily play on her own for long periods, she had a happy, sunny disposition and when she started nursery it was more for her benefit than mine. My third child is relentless. He is a hurricane. He is full on exhausting. And loud. Now that he is three and a bit we can leave him in a room on his own for short periods, but for years he had to constantly be with someone. That has taken it’s toll on us as parents. We are jaded.

As my children get older the challenges change. My younger two fight a lot and it’s not unusual to have to drag them off each other, but they also spend a lot of time playing nicely together. It’s so cute and fills me full of warmth. There have been times at the weekend recently where my partner and I can sit down to enjoy a cup of tea together alone. There are times I can get on with cooking dinner or tidying without constantly having to stop to tend to a child’s needs or investigate what the crash was.


Will I Look Back With Regret?

I can’t help thinking that those people who say treasure what you have now etc had very different experiences to mine. Or they have forgotten reality, because for me there are lots of bad bits about parenting. There is lots that I don’t enjoy and I wont pretend that I do. If in 10 or 20 years time I start saying “I wish I appreciated them more when they were young” then I would like the me of now to challenge future me and say: 

Really? Why were you meant to enjoy holding a baby that cried for hours on end? Why were you meant to enjoy years of being woken up multiple times a night every single night? Why were you meant to enjoy trying to cook a dinner that probably wouldn’t even be eaten while a child rugby tackles you? Why were you meant to enjoy asking your child to put their socks on 17 times? Why were you meant to enjoy having to negotiate, cajole and bribe a small child to leave the house when they didn’t want to so that you could pick their sibling up from school? Why were you meant to enjoy having to share your food, having clothes pulled and ripped, jewellery damaged and anything nice thing you bought yourself broken?”. 


I could go on, but just because there are beautiful moments it doesn’t mean I am loving every minute. 

I get that one day my children will grow up, they wont need or want me anymore and rather than seeing them 24 hours a day I will be lucky to see them 24 hours a year. I will miss them, of course I will, but I doubt I will miss the every day realities of having young children.

At the weekend my partner said that our life at the moment is pretty horrible, it’s just hormones that play tricks on us and make us feel differently. I took offence to what he said, but it’s true: your child can be having a tantrum for an hour, but then they do something cute and instantly you are filled with a warm glow. Parenting isn’t easy and a big chunk of the time it isn’t enjoyable.

But it’s not acceptable to say you don’t enjoy it is it? You have to be grateful because not everyone can have children, because some people’s children die and ultimately a child that makes you happy even 1% of the time is better than not having a child. Apparently. I wouldn’t give up my children for the world, but I’m pretty sure those who are happily child free would say you can have a great life without children. And anyone who accuses me of being ungrateful is probably unaware of how hard it was for me to get the children I have. I am grateful, but I do not enjoy every moment of motherhood and I don’t want to pretend I do.

2 comments

  1. I love this post and I love how honest you are about everything. Motherhood is bloody hard. On a daily basis I swear, get angry, resent my other half for his lack of assistance, and other things that many could comment on as being negative. That's not to say I'm not treasuring the good things, or that I find motherhood a negative experience. It's reality. Posts and content like yours that show all sides of motherhood are the best posts because it's the truth. And yes not all kids are the same, and parents and kids are different in different families. I love your content and I love your honesty.

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    1. Thanks Lisa, I really appreciate your feedback. Sometimes I doubt myself and I get that I'm not everyone's cup of tea, but it is lovely to hear that it resonates with others.

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