Mommy Ambivalence: You love your kids but not your life. Now what?

This article addresses elements of the Mommy Myth:  “Acknowledging that raising children isn’t all cuddles and cute things they say, or even exactly what you’d imagined it would be, is not the same thing as wishing those children didn’t exist. Complex feelings are normal, in parenthood and in life.”

3 thoughts on “Mommy Ambivalence: You love your kids but not your life. Now what?

  1. Dr. Johnson,
    Being a child myself, obviously an adult child at this point, but none-the-less still a child in my parents eyes I must say that kids are a blessing. If I didn’t think they were a blessing then I would basically be saying that I wasn’t and I shouldn’t have been born. In fact, by anyone making that statement they are saying the exact same thing. With this being said, parenting is the hardest job in the world and is something that changes you forever. I know growing up that I was not the easiest kid in the world. I had my days where I would whine, complain or even refuse to speak. But, that is raising a child: going through the ups and downs. Just yesterday, believe it or not, I was talking to my mom and I said “I can’t wait to have kids and them be the age I am right now. Isn’t this so much better now that I am not whining and we can have adult conversations and drink a beer?” And the answer that I got was not the one my mom expected. My mom looked at me and said: “Raising kids is hard Steed, but looking back I enjoyed you all at every age. Yes there was whining, but thats something that parenting comes with and its something you have to realize and get past and you realize how amazing kids are and spending time with them at every age is.” The answer stunned me and reading this article has made me think about what my mom said once more. I know raising kids is hard, but I really feel like its something you have to embrace everyday and look forward to doing.

  2. This article struck me because it reminded me of my mother. She had two kids by the time she was twenty so motherhood started early for her. I was her second child and when I was ten her and my step-father had two more. I know that my mom loves all of us very much, but she often will make comments to me that make me think that she may have this “Mommy Ambivalence” too. My mother is constantly telling me that she would rather have all of her children go out and live their lives to the fullest than having children and not experiencing life. I kind of like her philosophy because I know that I will never be pressured into giving her grandchildren. Many times she has stated to me that she does not regret having children she just wishes that she had waited. Now my mom stays at home with her two youngest kids. I can tell that she is proud of me for going to college because she knows that I can do whatever I choose to. I do not feel that my mom is wrong for sometimes having feelings of regret. I feel as if women should have a choice about what they want to do with their lives and shouldn’t be pressured into motherhood because society says that’s what women need to do.

  3. I picked this article for a number of reasons. First of all, I am at the age where children are in my near future. When I say near, I mean like 5-6 years, but that’s technically in the five-year-plan. Second of all, I think the gender role of a stay at home mom is way too overdone. The husband goes out and works while the wife stays home to clean the house, cook food, and take care of the babies. My boyfriend and I have actually talked about if we ever have children together that HE would be the stay at home dad! I have big dreams for my future career, and while I would love my children, it would be nice to have my husband stay home while I can work. I get bored easily so I like to be the one out doing things. Obviously I don’t have children, but it did strike me as a little odd that she wishes she could go back to her previous life. In my opinion, children are a blessing. I raised two little brothers and I know that no matter how badly they annoyed me, I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything. I can, however, agree that a lot more women are becoming like that. I think that it’s because women are “supposed” to stay home with children. They aren’t doing it because they want to, they are doing it because they socially have to. I also would never think that a woman was a “bad mom” just because she stuck her children in day care so her and her husband could BOTH work! I grew up with a single mom and she didn’t have the luxury to stay home with us. We grew up in a daycare and my mom defied the gender norm of staying home with her children. This article made me think about what my future plans are. I don’t plan to stay home with my children just because I am a woman. I can only hope that my husband would not expect that of me. Times are changing and people have to learn how to accept that.

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