To the mother who never wanted children

Being a mother has always been on my list of things to do in life. I never thought I’d get married, although I’m so glad I did, but being a mother was one thing that I knew I would do. And I knew that I would be awesome at it. Maybe that’s my leo pride talking, but, as a child who viewed life with long-term lenses, that was going to be my truth. Fast forward 20 years or so and I’d have to say that awesome I am not, but I’m working on it. That’s no slight to myself, it’s just my review of my almost seven years of mamahood. It doesn’t matter how much someone tells you or how much you believe you have it together, being a parent, especially a mother, is tough. Anyone who has done it will attest to that. You hope to have more good days than bad, but, in the end, you hope to have done your best.

Today, I read this article and all of these thoughts about my motherhood journey so far bubbled up. Please take a moment to read the article before you continue reading here.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the writer’s tone got to me. While I don’t want to negate her feelings, I also don’t want to encourage them either. Motherhood is hard. Heck, being a responsible, functional adult is hard. No one who’s in either (or both) role(s) will dispute that fact. However, to this mama and any others who feel like her (I’m about to go all Shonda Rhimes’ main character via any show she’s done),

“You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to fall apart. If you need to cry, scream, kick something, have a drink, or punch something, you do that and then you get yourself together and go and live your life. You don’t get to fall apart and stay that way. That’s not ok. Now, fix your face and get your ass back out there.”

Being a mother (or father) isn’t easy, but as parents, it’s not right for any of us to put all of our business on the internet just hoping for others to join the pity party. It’s not good for us, and especially not for our children – hello! If help is needed, get it. If a good venting session is required, talk to a trusted friend or see a therapist. We all feel overwhelmed at times, but if it’s a constant struggle to accept life as it is, especially the role as mom or dad, then it’s not enough to own that, help must be sought because there is something deeper going on.

It sounds cliche, but parenting is really a gift. It offers the opportunity for our rebirth. Our children are mirrors that show us the things that need a-healin’, as well as give us glimpses into our future selves. Parenting should be hard because anything that’s worth it will challenge us in ways we’d never anticipate. But, we will get through it. We will grow from it. We will be harder, tougher, faster, stronger. *in my Kanye voice* We have to believe that. Have faith, and the occasional meltdown if need be, then parent on.

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8 thoughts on “To the mother who never wanted children

  1. Thanks so much for reading my post over at Scary Mommy, Camille. While I can definitely see how you read it as me asking for others to join a pity party, I can assure you that was not my intention. I merely wanted other parents to know they were not alone. I can also assure you that I love my children more than I ever thought possible and that they are two of the best things to have ever happened to me. I encourage you to read the link below which is a post from my own site. While you may not like the honesty in the first half, I hope you read it until the end to understand that I do love my children and am thankful for them every day.

    http://www.tonihammer.com/honest/a-letter-to-my-children-whom-i-never-wanted/

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    • Hi, Toni! First, thanks so much for taking the time to not only read my post, but to comment. As you know, your post stirred up a lot of emotion and conversation on the internets. I did read the post you linked and wanted to express my opinion, mama to mama. After reading your initial post I never once doubted your love for your children. That never came to mind. I believe you came from a place of vulnerability and of love for your children when you wrote the initial post I read, as well as the post you referred me to. What threw me off with the first post (and this second one) is there doesn’t seem to be a resolution. It seems like you’re just accepting your feelings and that’s it. To me, if that’s true and that’s how you want to handle things, that’s totally fine. My concern comes from being on such a popular site and not really offering anything further for mamas who feel the same as you do. And for that reason I felt like it was a pity party forming. And, maybe pity party is harsh. If that offends you, I apologize. I commend you for having the courage to put your real feelings out there and for being a voice for a lot of other mamas. However I would’ve liked to know that you were working towards grieving the life you thought you would’ve had and that you are trying to actively accept your current life and move forward. Maybe that’s projecting my thoughts onto you. Maybe you are and I haven’t read those posts. I don’t know. But from first impressions, it doesn’t seem that way. When we have an opportunity, basically in front of the world, I’d love to see other mamas sharing their unedited stories, but also showing other mamas how to get through and overcome their obstacles. I just didn’t and haven’t seen that in these two posts. Again, I appreciate your candor and wish you all the best with your future endeavors. Much love from one mama to another. šŸ™‚

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      • Great thoughts, Camille. Seriously. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I think it’s a matter of the types of blogs we’re putting out there. For me, I just wanna say, “This is me. This is my story. This is where I’m at.” I think you’re more of the motivational “This is HOW I’m getting through it” and I think that is awesome. I really, really do. We;re just doing two different things and thankfully the internet is big enough for both of us.

        Thanks so much for this conversation. I’ve taken what you said to heart and will keep it in mind in the future. Mom to Mom, love to you as well.

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  2. So, parents shouldn’t put all our “business” up on the internet in an attempt to help others who may be struggling know they are not alone–the worst feeling there is, but it is totally okay to criticize other people, their role as a parent and their personal (and very brave, especially considering the back lash) work? Got it. I think you’re a great writer and easy to follow, but writing about other people in this way, it’s not a good look. Also, if you really feel someone should “get help”, do you think writing something like this would help them or make it worse? I did not get the same “tone” as you did, but if I did I certainly would not post something to make her feel worse just because I had the platform to do so. This is the example you want to be? If you’re 100% okay with everything you wrote and Toni Hammer is 100% okay with what she wrote, who is wrong?

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    • Hi, Brook. First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I appreciate it. Second, thank you very much for your compliment. I’m a new writer so receiving your compliment means a lot. As for the post itself, your comment made me re-read what I wrote to make sure I expressed exactly what I was trying to convey, and I have. I’m someone who loves when people can be vulnerable, admit ugly truths, talk candidly about their experiences and help others not feel so alone. I have actually done that on my blog and reached people around the world. ( http://gobreathego.com/2013/06/30/punishments-begone/)
      However once I admitted how I felt I also made sure to let others know that I wanted to do things differently and that we can do that together. I even started a Facebook group for parents like me who wanted to be better for their kids. After a year, the group is still going strong.

      With Toni’s post, and like I’ve personally told her at this point, I appreciated her honesty however felt like there was no resolution offered on that post or another one similar to it. It’s great to be honest and say what others won’t or can’t, but in that lies a responsibility to try to help yourself and others let go of the past and move forward together, if possible. I didn’t get that at all of Toni’s posts. In the end, who is right or wrong is irrelevant. It’s only one mama’s opinion versus anothers, and that’s ok. I do take my platform, no matter how small it is šŸ™‚ , very seriously and genuinely want to help others, just like Toni. We may go about it in different ways, but I believe it all comes from a place of love and wanting to help others. That’s what it’s all about.

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  3. Parenting is hard. Thanks for your thoughts–it’s nice to know we’re not alone in the struggle. I can’t access the post you’re responding to–maybe it has been taken down?

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