Motherhood: why am I not enjoying it more?
Motherhood: why am I not enjoying it more?
Over the last 12 years I have talked to a lot of women and mothers about motherhood and two of the most common themes I come across are ...
'I am not coping with Motherhood’ and, ‘I feel resentment towards my children' ...
Feeling resentment in motherhood is so very common but at the same time very difficult for women to admit to themselves, let alone talk about to another. Women are often living, suffering in silence, thinking they are a failure and an awful person for not being able to cope, not enjoying motherhood, or having feelings of resentment towards their children. They think they are the only person and everyone else copes so they are just too selfish (wanting to enjoy motherhood more) and need to “toughen up” and “get on with it”. I have even had women tell me that they had been saying to themselves “I was so selfish before having children and that I have to just forget that person and forget any wishes I had for myself and just be there for my children”.
Imagine what this can feel like for women who have had fertility issues and difficulty falling pregnant; in this case it often becomes a deeper level of torture to have feelings of resentment when they have battled so hard to even have children. Often they feel a huge amount of guilt for even having resentful thoughts or feelings.
I understand feeling unable to cope and resenting my children as I have encountered these feelings myself. What I have found is that these feelings come about when I have not asked for the support I have needed, at the time I need it.
So why is it so hard for Women to ask for Support? ...
For the last couple of years I have been on a super sleuth mission to work out why women don’t ask for support and this is what I have found…
Women often have the belief that:
- I should be able to raise children by myself
- I don’t deserve any more support
- Looking after myself is selfish
- Everyone else does it without a problem
- My mother did it
- It’s my responsibility to do it all
- What would others think?
- I am not a good mum if I ask for too much help
- The children need me
- I need to spend as much time with my kids as I can
- What if something happened when I wasn’t there?
- And much, much more ...
What I have realised through my research is that many women are in a state of silent resentment, and often not coping with day-to-day life.
It became clear through speaking with many women that this was a problem of epidemic proportions. In fact, there is nothing wrong with a woman not coping or needing more help and often this can show a willingness to allow a greater amount of honesty, as this need for support was universally expressed... meaning it is actually quite normal to need help.
So, how did I go about asking for support and whom did I ask?
- I first supported myself in areas like healthy eating, sleeping, resting and expressing/sharing my feelings. Read more on healthy eating here
- When I was open to support it came from places I didn’t expect
- I allowed my husband to help more and expressed/shared more honestly with him about how I was feeling
- I realised that I had many friends/family who really wanted a close relationship with my children; the support of allowing them more into our lives was mutual.
- I found a wonderful day care centre
- I formed some lovely friendships with my children’s childcare teachers and they also became regular babysitters – and in many ways part of our family
- I saw the value in my children having relationships with many inspirational adults
- I see how amazing my children are in and of themselves and I am often inspired by their natural ease with themselves – this takes the pressure off me having to grow or mould them into anything
- I saw how all of this support freed me up to have a depth and quality of love and connection with myself, my children and my husband
- I valued this support and therefore prioritised it financially above saving money, sending children to expensive schools or having a more expensive car or house or clothes.
Building true relationships
Jean Gamble has a knack of making us laugh out loud whilst sharing profound and life changing observations. If you have children, a partner, family, friends or anyone else you would like to relate to, then this is a must!
With this we can go about our lives in a way that is true and loving to ourselves as women, and children naturally fit into all of this – it's not really a focus. I know that I want my children to grow up with role models of how to be a healthy, loving and balanced adult, full of vitality and quality of life. And this ultimately starts with me.