Is it ever okay to admit that you don’t want to be a parent?
To reveal that, if you had the chance, you’d go back in time and do it all differently – preferably without any kids?
It’s a thought-provoking question, and one I’ve been pondering since reading an article with a number of women who are not enjoying their lot in life.
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Specifically: they’re regretful that they’ve become mothers.
One mum says that after her baby was born, “instead of that grand rush of love everyone talks about, I became aware that I was no longer free, and that quite possibly I had ruined a life that had been pretty great.”
It makes for infinitely sad reading.
Not just because the mothers feel helpless and trapped, but because their children are also trapped – in families where they’re not truly, 100% wanted.
It’s a polarising topic and one that the women in the article admit that they don’t talk about with their friends (one hasn’t even shared her feelings with her husband).
I can understand their reluctance, as it’s a difficult topic to traverse. In our society, we’re encouraged to speak up when we’re struggling. But to admit that we made the wrong choice? An unfixable choice? That there is no solution to our problem?
Well, that’s the kind of problem that we struggle with.
The thing is, some people take to motherhood like a duck to water. I’m in that category; I really love being a parent (even though I don’t love every moment of it!) and in a perfect world, I’d have a tribe of 10.
But the reality is that not every woman has the same experience. So many things impact your enjoyment and satisfaction as a parent: your marriage/partnership, your support network, your career, your finances, your sense of identity.
All of the above (and more) can impact your experiences as a mother.
Plus, it’s not a job everyone is cut out for, as it’s not always as fulfilling or satisfying as the Huggies commercials would have you believe. It can be hard and relentless and challenging and exhausting.
So how do you get on with life, if you’re not happy with the path you’ve chosen?
For that, I don’t have any answers. Except to say that when you’re pondering the ‘what ifs’ in life, it pays to remember that the grass is always greener…