10 Things I Hate About Motherhood (And One That I Love)

April 20, 2010

A writer at Newsweek wrote last week about how her son – and the general state of being that is motherhood – is torturing her. Then a writer at Jezebel responded to the story with something very close to exasperation: “I was left, as I often am by pieces on parenting, at sea. Nowadays, there is such a dichotomy at work: the hazy romanticizing of baby culture wars with the it’s-a-nightmare/I-don’t-love-my-child/I-wanted-another-sex” backlash and while one is surely designed to remedy the other, those of us who haven’t had a baby are left, ironically, with no very clear idea of the reality.” A consequence of this, apparently, is that childless women – unconvinced by the hazy romanticism of some stories and horrified by the ‘it’s-a-nightmare’ confessions of others – become terrified by the Unknowable But Very Probably Sort Of Horrible condition of motherhood and are put off having children. Population control!

The reality is, none of us can paint an entirely clear picture of the reality of motherhood, because the reality of motherhood defies tidy characterization. Which is why, arguably, we see so much cultural discourse about motherhood that skews strongly in one direction or the other: we are constantly trying to get our bearings, and sometimes it’s just easier to do so by telling ourselves that motherhood is just so undeniably all-around awesome or that holy hell this shit is HARD and sticking to those stories. And yes, those stories that skew dark are frightening, but then, so much of motherhood is frightening, notwithstanding the moments – and there are many – of awesome, so.

My stories skew in the latter direction, obviously, although I like to think that my love for my children and my love of being their mother comes through despite – or even because – those stories skew dark. In any case, I wouldn’t know how to tell those stories differently, because, although I have moments of hazy romanticism about motherhood, for the most I find mothering to be an extraordinarily tough gig, one that leaves me, at times, feeling – yes – tortured. But that’s mothering – the work of motherhood – and it’s something of a different beast than is the condition of motherhood, or the experience of being mother to one’s own children. The former can be tortuous. The latter can be sublime.

My own experience, broken down:

1.) Lack of sleep. The work of motherhood requires being on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and some – nay, if you are me, many – of the hours in which you can expect to be called will be between the hours of 12am and 6am. I have not slept a full night through in over four years. FOUR YEARS. I am exhausted. Yes, I have sleep-trained. I have even worked with a sleep doula. There is nothing, nothing, that keeps my children from waking in the night, and as I draw the line at drugging them or gagging them and taping them to their beds, I fully expect to die of sleep deprivation sometime in the next few years.

2.) Pregnancy. I loved my first pregnancy, for about three months in the second trimester. The rest of it, and the entirety of my second pregnancy, was a hell of vomiting and anxiety and back pain and heartburn and amniocentesis terror and belly itching and sleeplessness and vomiting and anxiety ETC. And then, of course, childbirth.

3.) Recovering from pregnancy and childbirth. Torn nethers. Breastfeeding-ravaged boobies. Bigger feet. Bigger ass. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can probably never put your body back together exactly the way that it was before you had children, especially if you have your kids in your thirties and do not employ a personal trainer and plastic surgeon.

4.) Postpartum depression. It’s depression. It sucks. A lot.

5.) Childrens’ television. This was referenced in the Newsweek article, and rightly so. With a few notable exceptions (Sesame Street; much of what airs on PBS Kids), much of what passes for childrens’ television programming seems designed for the express purpose of driving you to grab fistfuls of well-sharpened pencils and jab yourself relentlessly in the ears. The Wonderpets are the reason that I hide sharp objects when the television comes on.

6.) Child maintenance. Children need to be fed and clothed. It is easier to feed and clothe wild animals than it is to feed and clothe some children – my children, specifically, who live on a diet of carbohydrates, mangos, bananas, pickles and candy and who have more particular and eccentric clothing tastes than Lady Gaga, to the extent that one refuses to wear anything other than three layers of Disney t-shirts under a tutu. To wit:

budge style

7.) Diapers. Also, potty training. The work of motherhood involves a lot of shit work, I’ll just say that. And, if you have a boy, expect to get peed on. A lot. Also: tub shits. TUB SHITS.

8.) Laundry/housekeeping. (This one, like ‘diapers,’ above, could probably be rolled into ‘child maintenance,’ but I loathe it so much that it deserves a category of its own.) Children make messes. Big messes. And they generate mounds of laundry and you spend hours and hours washing and drying and sorting and folding and putting-into-drawers but they will still refuse to wear anything other than that one Cars t-shirt, that other Cars t-shirt and the black sparkled tutu. (See above re: Lady Gaga, tub shits.)

9.) Mommy brain. Sleep deprivation, over-exposure to the Wonderpets and the near-constant hum of why-why-why-why-Mommy-why fries your brain. It just does. That’s why there are mommy blogs – we need to constantly poke at our mushified brain matter with popsicle sticks and pablum spoons and deflated binkies to remind ourselves that some of our synapses are still firing. Maybe.

10.) Fear. Loving a child means spending countless hours, days, weeks, years fearing for that child. You fear that they will be hurt, that they will become sick, that they will die, you fear that you will die and they will be orphaned, you fear that they will ask you about death and you won’t have an answer; you fear that they will be the one kid in their kindergarten class that isn’t invited to that one girl’s birthday party; you fear that they will never love books as much as you do; you fear that they will worry about their looks; you fear that their heart will someday be broken. You lay awake at night worrying about the fact that their heart will someday be broken. You lay awake at night, worrying. Which is why, on those rare nights when the children sleep right through? You’re still not sleeping.

But, then – and at risk of sounding unbearably, banally romantic – there is this:

1.) My children. Who are amazing, inspiring creatures and who fill my life with such light and love as to nearly, at times, overwhelm me. Who make me laugh and who make me cry and who make me laugh until I cry, every single day. Who make me grateful for my soft belly and squishy boobs and for my messy hair and my undereye circles and my scars, because these are the markers of this work that I do – this tiring, often frustrating work – and of the miracles that I have produced and that I am, every day, producing, through this work; these miracles, my children, without whom I would not know love as completely as I do. My children, for whom I do this work, if not gladly, then without regret. My children, who make it possible for me to bitch tirelessly about motherhood while still feeling, deeply, to the very tips of my toes and possibly even further, that this motherhood thing is the most beautiful – the most hazily, gauzily, barefoot-in-a-field-of-daisies romantic – thing in the world.

And if I’m clutching a bottle of tequila and an Ativan prescription while spinning through that field of daisies… well, as I said: it’s complicated. Wonderfully, terribly, delightfully so.

Quick: what’s the number one thing that you hate about motherhood? And then, what do you love? (Your kids, no doubt, but feel free to say “I get to spend rainy afternoons watching cartoons and eating cookies” or “three-martini playdates.” I won’t judge.)

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    Frugan Amy April 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I hate how parenting takes energy from my marriage. I love hanging out with this Pappa guy but I miss my husband, you know?

    I hate how I can’t do ANYTHING from boiling pasta water to cutting my toenails without expecting to get interrupted.

    I hate the baby comparisons, the competing schools of thoughts, the anxiety about every parenting choice.

    I love her face, her legs, her warm body pushing against me in bed. I love
    watching her run and hearing her try to put sounŸds together into words. I love
    learning her likes and dislikes. As much as I’d like some alone time, I love her companionship.
    .-= Frugan Amy´s last blog ..Night Owls in a Sleepy City =-.

    Assertagirl April 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Well, I am relatively new to this game, but yesterday Nate laughed. Like, a real, hearty “THIS IS FUNNY” laugh while I tickled him. In that moment I knew so much love intimately in my heart and was completely taken aback by that emotion. It was the most wonderful moment of my experience of motherhood so far.

    As for what I like least? Gotta be the lack of sleep. It’s what motivates me to just get kid #2 out of the way. Might as well do it before I get the chance to sleep full nights again.
    .-= Assertagirl´s last blog ..Solid. =-.

    agirlandaboy April 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I…actually kind of love Wonderpets. Especially Ming Ming.

    Motherhood Uncensored April 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    The thing, I think, that is missing off most of these lists (though funny as they are) and shows about moms coughTHEMOTHERHOODcough is that they’re all based on THE LIST and not on the other list you have started there, and all the other wonderful parts of mothering that, let’s face it, aren’t as romantic or interesting.

    The snark is cool and funny and compelling. But that alone, well, just doesn’t describe the awesomely amazing awesomeness that is mothering.

    Now off to go wipe some asses.

    Her Bad Mother April 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    That other list will need to be written in full, I think. It’s a longer list, but a harder one, for sure, because in a way it always comes back to TEH LOVE. Articulating what is awesome about motherhood beyond TEH LOVE is a tricky thing. But, you’re right, a worthy one.

    Dani April 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I hate worrying whether they’ll be okay. Will the other kids make fun of him because he can’t run like they can? Will he be okay if he can’t really jump? When will he realize that physical therapy is not just an extra fun class just for him? Do I spend enough attention and time on his sister? She’s younger, less intense, but am I less focused on her? I hate lying awake at night worrying about them. I hate feeling the tension in my neck and shoulders and knowing that if I could “just relax” I wouldn’t suffer from a migraine tomorrow. Ugh.

    But… I love them. The look on the boys face when you (just because) put on his favorite song in the car (Eye of the Tiger). That grin, his whole body gleams from it and I am so proud, so overjoyed, so blessed to be on the receiving end of it so often. And the girl? I love that she needs me and wants me more than anyone else on the planet. Even if she refuses to say Mama, I love that she’ll choose me over anyone else. Her face lights up when she sees me and that can lift me out of just about any bad mood.

    Karianna April 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I hate all of the above… but that a childless person or someone who hasn’t experienced it in awhile (*cough*mymom*cough*) doesn’t understand to the point that I look weak.

    Motherhood is demanding, but the perception of it is that we just sit around with smiles on our faces, clapping with glee every time Junior makes a block tower. If I show any sort of frustration or disappointment, I get that tongue-clicking “Well, you aren’t trying hard enough.” (One shrink told me, “Well, maybe you aren’t cut out to be a mother,” when I cried over my son’s autism diagnosis.) Meanwhile, my husband can play catch outside for a half hour and he’s The Greatest Parent Ever.

    What I love about motherhood is that I have two beings that I can grab and snuggle with… at least until they decide I’m uncool.
    .-= Karianna´s last blog ..People with Gross Habits, Unite! =-.

    Jennifer April 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    What I hate is that my son doesn’t do what I ask/say (unlike the adults I work with).

    But I love that he often has a lot more sense than some of the people I work with. And he’s funnier. And he finds me interesting.

    L April 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Hate the fact that I remember my old life so clearly and I miss it, damn it. I miss going out on the weekends, or even on a week night. I miss traveling. I miss being able to get a pedicure without two week’s planning. I miss being able to vacuum the house on a regular basis (and I can’t believe I miss that). I miss the body I had when I was able to go to regular pilates classes.

    Love my son. Amazed I helped create a little person with thought and ideas and oh my god opinions. Love watching my husband with my son becoming an even more amazing father than I knew he would be. Love having a kid I can talk about with my other mom friends.

    Love this post to. Thanks.

    Erin April 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I am on the other end of parenting, my kids are older. My “baby boy” turns 13 on Saturday. I hate the guilt, the not knowing if I am doing the right thing or enough, the second guessing, and the helplessness. Oh, the helplessness! When they are little you can fix their problems, you can comfort them, they start to get older and you know how to fix things, but they don’t want your help, advice, and most days they resent your existence. (I remember feeling that way as a teenager, and I still phone my mom up and apologize).

    The best? I’ll be honnest, it has been a rough few months, I don’t know anymore. The best is those rare times when you connect and laugh, laying in the trailer giggling in the dark. That is the best.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Help! =-.

    Jennifer April 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I hate sibling rivalry. I have two Bigs (12 and 8) and two Littles (2 and just-turned-one), so I’m experiencing a wide array of sibling torment. There’s the that’s-my-toy-and-I-WILL-poke-your-eye/pull-your-hair variety. There’s torturing your older sister by telling fart and booger jokes. And relentlessly calling your little brother stupid/lame/whatever, regardless of the punishment. It all sucks.

    I love when they love each other. When the two babies get tangled in a slobbery, kissy-huggy mess and giggle about it. When the Bigs actually hang out and enjoy each others’ company and *gasp* TALK to each other. It’s awesome. They (we) are a family, and I created that, and that is the best feeling ever.

    Jennifer April 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    That was supposed to be 8, not 8) Although, he is that, too, but aren’t they all? :)
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Why, Yes, I *Would* Like Some Cries With My Wah-burger =-.

    Jessica April 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    What I hate most is the horrible sinking makes-me-want-to-puke feeling that my daughter may die before she’s a wrinkled old woman, and/or that I may die before she’d be OK without a mom (she’s only 9 months now, so add onto that the fear I might die before she’s even old enough to remember me.)

    What I love most – what can sustain me through anything life throws at me – is making my daughter laugh. There is no sound more pure or beautiful in my world.

    Maile April 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    My girls are 20 months and 3 months, so one of my biggest complaints is that I don’t often get a chance to shower… I sit in the big tub with them so I am clean, but shaving and washing my hair is a luxury. Also, I am sure I smell like milk…

    There are the occasional toddler meltdowns that I could do without and some broken buttons on my otherwise perfect laptop(can’t justify getting a new one)

    The gummy smiles from the little one make up for all the fussing.

    And my older girl has the best laugh and even though she doesn’t have too many words I can understand she almost always says “pees” and “dankoo”
    .-= Maile´s last blog ..A Purple Kind of Day =-.

    Lauren April 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I hate that when I need ME time the most is when my daughter is the most clingy. I love, well, EVERYTHING. She runs up to me and gives me a big hug for no reason. It melts me.

    Jae April 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    My heart and spirit really goes out to you all. Well I remember the joys and perils of being a mom. The best part: The absolute joy in their eyes brought about by almost anything. The worst part: Fear.

    However, darlin’ the really true, terribly full of angst part of parenthood or being a Mom, is when they hit middle school then on to high school and then, OH YES, wait for it: University Years. No sleep for half-a-decade…less sleep even later!

    That’s when the true hard-core parenting begins and it goes on longer than one can even imagine.

    Rewards: Well, in our case, we had two National Scholars, scholarships galore, great handsome young men that went on to seriously effect change in this country that are also funny, terribly handsome, bright, funny, and well-paid.

    Downside:Fourteen years of penny-scrimping, worry about things we had no control over, learning how to balance a marriage and our almost-adult children needs, wants and pressing concerns as time, never to be recovered flew by.

    Looking back, pregnancy and delivery (horrid and scary and dangerous for me, our babies), no sleep, toddler-hood, kindergarten-to-grade five were a breeze, a walk in the park, totally lovely.

    When the little children begin to become their own selves, caught between need and desire to grow, to stand up to, to test, to try things and risk and sleep and study and stay out and deal with sexual issues and girls and money and jobs and mean adults….

    Well, as they used to say, when you truly want to know what lies ahead, ask someone on the way back!

    I wouldn’t change anything about being a parent, (more money would have been nice) and the best thing anyone can do is help raise nice, bright, good human beings.

    They all turn into tweens, teens and young adults. And that’s ironic, for that is when they truly seriously need good parenting. And the whole role of parenting is to work yourself out of a job…to get them where they find themselves, feed themselves, free themselves and hopefully find love and connection as fine young adults.

    Good luck to you all.

    Barefoot Gardener April 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Perfect post! This totally covers all the bases with motherhood.

    So, to join in…

    Thing I hate most: The constant chatter when you don’t want it, and the absolute silence whenever you ask a tough question like “Who broke Great-Grandma’s priceless antique lamp???”

    Thing I love the most: I have an excuse to chill out with the old animated films that I loved as a kid, and company when I want to go see kids films as new releases in the theatre.

    Val April 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    One thing that I hate about motherhood is the way that it has made me feel about myself. I am an introspective second-guesser by nature, but the new heights motherhood took those tendencies too has been upsetting. I will never again feel ‘enough,’ even though somewhere in my depths I know that if I was given these children I *am* their enough.

    One thing I love is seeing these amazing little persons unfolding before my very eyes day by day.
    .-= Val´s last blog ..Krystal =-.

    Christy April 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Oh my god the tub shits. Touch wood, that hasn’t happened in awhile, but oh my god. The biggest thing/adjustment to motherhood for me was the being responsible for another human being 24/7. That alone is exhausting, an exhaustion in a completely different category all together from the actual lack of sleep that goes with having kids. Does that make sense?

    I love seeing all three of my kids talking or playing together. Love it. Over the weekend, I watched my girls sit on the back steps, deep in conversation about something, and I just love seeing them together like that.

    Jan April 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Is it OK to say I don’t hate anything about motherhood? Because I can’t think of anything I hate or hated. Peace.
    .-= Jan´s last blog ..I Laugh Nearly Every Day =-.

    carrien (she laughs at the days) April 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    The thing I hate:

    Knowing that no matter what I do they will still be a little screwed up in the end. Because I’m not perfect, no one is, and it’s inescapable. I’m waiting for the day when they start telling me all my faults. Like, when they are teenagers.

    One of the best parts I think, though I didn’t at first, is that this work of mothering has forced me to grow and mature in ways I didn’t even know I could or needed to. I like myself a whole lot better 9 years into this mothering journey. I’m stronger, I’m more like the kind of woman I would like to be than I was before.
    .-= carrien (she laughs at the days)´s last blog ..One Thousand Gifts-Week 47 =-.

    corasmom April 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    The potty-training is killing me (and the laundry mountains that go with it), but most of all I too have to go with The Fear.

    Today I am loving that my 4yo has her own imaginary land and that this morning she declared me Queen of the Mommies. Her imagination thrills me.
    .-= corasmom´s last blog ..Turn here for Memory Lane =-.

    Karen April 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    So many comments! I want to read them all but there simply are too many! LOL

    I hate: Now my husband hates when I say this but my kids are constantly up my ass. So damn needy requiring 24/7 attention from me and me alone. They don’t demand this from their father. I don’t mind playing. Actually I’m really bad at playing. I simply don’t know what to do with toys. But I don’t mind trying. I love reading to me kids. I could do that forever. Though if you’re going to have me read to you don’t constantly turn the pages back and forward. Let me read. Whole other rant. I don’t mind giving attention. But give me breaks! My sanity needs it!

    I love: My 2-year-old is learning how to give kisses. Nuff.Said.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Rat Pics! =-.

    Angel Smith April 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    My favorite thing is watching their personalities develop. It is quite literally akin to watching a tree grow up and out and seeing it’s branches thicken and tangle as they reach for the sun. And they are *so* different.

    Faith is fierce and headstrong and so resilient, and she brings me flowers from the yard every single day and she takes off all her clothes every chance she gets and she says things like “my butt’s been cracking up all day” when we tell her for the hundredth time to pull up her pants.

    Emily is sensitive and passionate and has such a thirst for knowledge. She love science and she gets straight A’s in gifted classes and she tells me every day that I’m a wonderful Mommy. She loves to read and she rides her bike like she is on Falcor, soaring above Fantasia.

    Christian is loyal and street-smart. He’s highly intelligent, but has trouble with traditional educational methods. He learns best by doing..even without instruction, he will figure it out best by getting his hands dirty and working it out on his own. He’s intensely protective of his sisters and, yes, even me, and his friends mean as much to him as family..much like mine still do to me.

    My least favorite thing about mothering is how the mere act of becoming a mother seems to put you up for inspection and judgment by other mothers. We all torture ourselves with self-doubts…why do some women feel justified in quieting those inner voices by pointing fingers and throwing tomatoes at other mothers? We know it’s the most hurtful thing you can hurl at another mother, and yet that is the exact soft spot many go for, because they know it wields the most influence over the spirit.
    .-= Angel Smith´s last blog ..But sometimes it *is* all rainbows and butterflies. =-.

    Jodee April 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    What I hate about Motherhood is the constant whinying oh the continual whinying makes me want to shove sharp objects in my ears. The same thing beig said 5 times in a row .. I heard you the first time. I hate how they are up my ass all the time.. I hate how when one sits in my lap the other wants to I only have one lap. I HATE Dora. I will not say what should be done to her.

    What I love is the hugs and the kisses and all the snuggling. I love lying in bed with them and reading a story before lights out. My heart melts when my 4 year old tells me that I am ” the best mommy in the whole world” when I have totally not kept my temper that day. They are so loving an so forgiving when I fail as a mother. I love them and they complete me.:)
    .-= Jodee ´s last blog ..Maddie =-.

    Julie Pippert April 20, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Hate: Where is my personal space and my first person (I)? I have become an all-too-frequent third person (Mom) with inadequate boundaries.

    Love: the growth, oh the growth and oh the humanity. They become their very own people and discover things as if they are the first ones ever and then one day they develop a true sense of humor (and sarcasm) and nothing goes over their heads anymore and you glory in it, even as you wonder whether you are perhaps slightly demented to do so because probably other parents love laughs or sparkling eyes or something poetic but you, you appreciate their wit and how your oldest is TOTALLY UNAFRAID to sass 14 year old boys at the park and call them chauvinists and your youngest has no idea there is anything she can’t do…
    .-= Julie Pippert´s last blog ..It’s more of a preference, you see, than so much of a more/manners issue =-.

    Erin April 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I know you will probably all throw things at me for this but right now, I don’t hate anything about motherhood. I have a 14 month old. We are currently in the golden age of babyhood. She sleeps 12 hours at night and 4 during the day. She is snuggly but gaining her independence, scootch by scootch. She just weaned so I’ve got my independence back too.

    That being said, I know there are so many difficulties ahead….and I’m not ready to do the pregnancy/newborn thing again ANYTIME SOON.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Sunday Night Cry =-.

    Rebecca (Playground Confidential) April 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Afternoons in the park: I both love and hate them. Sometimes — often, usually — I take my kids to the park to air them out and am making mental checklists of all the things I need to get done, that I should be doing. It can be infuriating to feel like you are doing so little (ie. pushing a swing, hanging out at the sandbox) when you have so much that NEEDS to get done.
    But then again, hanging out at the park is part of the job description, right? And that’s pretty cool.
    .-= Rebecca (Playground Confidential)´s last blog ..Am Moving, Cannot Blog … sorry. =-.

    Katherine from Postpartum Progress April 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Hate continuously feeling like I’m not doing everything that all the other mothers are doing and therefore I must suck. Particularly when it comes to little crafty things. I don’t do little crafty things — nothing with pipe cleaners, or homemade playdoh, etc.

    I do cook from scratch, however, and never from out of a box, so can I get points for that?

    As for what I love, I just adore being their mother. Listening to the silly things they say. (“Momma, I don’t want to go to Europe. They have foxes there that will eat me.”) Laying in their beds with them at night and smelling their hair and kissing their cushy, smushy cheeks.
    .-= Katherine from Postpartum Progress´s last blog ..The Best Alternative Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression =-.

    cheesefairy April 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    The bad: I miss my old life. I can still see it, it hasn’t faded completely from view, and I miss it. I kind of want it back sometimes. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about my body but my life? That I want.

    The good: That said, I appreciate every second that is mine anymore. half an hour of unexpected babysitting? Is enough to fill my “me” bank for a day. Which is sad, in a way, but not, in others.

    And I love the weirdness of children. My son decided yesterday he would be a fireman. He is wearing slippers (fireman boots) and a pair of swim shorts (fireman shorts) and a hoodie (yep, fireman jacket) and sunglasses, to protect his eyes from the flame. WTF? It is so enjoyable to watch imaginations at work.

    Also, at 4 years post-partum I still have not forgotten the HOLY FUCK incredibleness of growing a human being in my body FROM SCRATCH and then birthing it. Wow. I rule.

    The bad again: Of course that’s this week. Throw any sleep deprivation into the mix and I am ready to hire a nanny and move to anywhere. Alone. Forever.

    The pettiest thing I hate: children are little germ monsters and the snot is neverending and I hate it. Tub shits I can deal with. back to back colds followed by a stomach virus with 2 under 4 makes me catatonic with anger.

    A neighbour of mine who has a 14 year old and a 5 year old said to me the other day, we’re so glad we had the 5 year old. Because now we never see the older one, he’s in his room all the time or out with friends. What would we be doing if the 5 y/o wasn’t around? My first thought: ENJOYING IT. My second: well, it does sound kind of lonely. I am trying to keep that in mind, lately, that this is so intense and so all consuming but soon it will not be and I am sure I will miss it, the way I currently miss getting drunk and listening to jukeboxes and flirting with assholes, even though at the time I felt like I was just marking time.
    .-= cheesefairy´s last blog ..Thoughts on His 2nd Birthday =-.

    kelly (@kblogger) April 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm


    Not being okay with just responding to a parenting situation instinctually. Instead analyzing my every move as a parent. Asking myself all the time: Is this is what my mother or father would do (and if the answer is yes, swinging as quickly as possible in the opposite direction). And, wondering if my kids will hate me. Yeah, that’s the worst.


    My kids loving me just the same, regardless. And forgiving me effortlessly for my mistakes, without a thought.
    .-= kelly (@kblogger)´s last blog ..The Whys and Hows of A Vegetarian’s Journey =-.

    Kathy April 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Phenomenal post and amazing comments.

    For me motherhood and childbirth are much the same. In childbirth there is the unknown, the uncomfortable, the mess and pain of labour then, finally you feel a relief that fills every cell of your being with an absolute and infinite love as you hold your child for the first time. That relief almost (almost!) erases the pain. In motherhood it’s just that the messiness and pain is spread out over years. Fortunately there are many, many great moments along the way that remind you of that infinite love you always carry. You don’t forget the frustration and irritation that children inevitably bring with them but the moments of bliss peppered throughout the day make everything more bearable.

    My favourite thing about motherhood right now (to a 3 and a 5 year old) is that there is no judgement. They don’t care that my ass is too big, my hair is greying or that I haven’t had time to get my eyebrows waxed. They just want my attention – that’s all. I am their world and I love that. I find it stressful but I love it. What a beautiful world it would be if everyone looked at you with the innocence and simplicity of a child.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Hello BlogHoppers =-.

    Libby April 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    My husband and I have old pictures of our skinny selves hung up as inspiration to keep up our diets. My 5-year-old son took a look at me and said, “Wow, Momma. I bet the boys were REALLY chasing after you!”

    Damn, I love that kid!

    Kaye April 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I hate that they grow up too quick and leave home before you’re ready (he’s 19), because somewhere along the way you discovered that you really are a nurterer and now there’s no one to nurture and what the hell are you supposed to do with yourself now? Empty nest syndrome is real and it sucks.

    When he was little, I hated having to get up at 6:00am on Saturday and Sunday because he had had 10 hours of sleep and now it was time to play. I am NOT a morning person.

    When he started driving he became the world’s worst back seat driver. I’ve been driving for 30 years, but still apparently know NOTHING. It makes me crazy…just sit over there and shut up already.

    I love the unconditional love on both sides; that he confides in me and is open about what’s going on in his life; the bedtime stories-snuggling together while I read the same books over and over and how, when he was trying to wheedle one more story, he would pick “Guess How Much I Love You, because he knew it was my favorite and trying to top each other over who loved who more; and, of course, the laughter. So many things to love.

    Neen April 21, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Hate – My 19 month old has worked himself into a dandy case of functional constipation. You know, when there is absolutely no reason for him not to poop, he just doesn’t like to and has decided NOT TO! (I’d have a tub-shit bronzed at this point) Arrgh. So, tommorrow morning, I get to, for the first time in 18 years of parenting, stick a suppository up one of my kids asses. And, I’ve turned into one of those women who talk about nothing but their kids shit. Has he taken a shit lately, is he fighting taking a shit, what have I been feeding him to make it impossible for him not to take a shit. SHIT.

    Love – I love having 16 and 18 year old proto-men, they’re smart, they’re funny and they have adult senses of humour and adult goals and dreams that they’re working toward making happen without needing me to do anything but encourage them. And I love having a 3 year old daughter and the 19 month old boy too, (except for the shitting part). 3 year olds are so bright and accepting and full of wonder, the baby loves me with all his wee heart. I love watching my older boys playing with the little ones, I love that you can see the type of Dad’s they’ll be when they are older. (I love that playing and caring for their little brother and sister has convinced them beyond a doubt that they will wait until they are MUCH OLDER to become Dads!)
    But then, I’ve always loved toddlers and pre-schoolers, when the boys were 9, 10 years old, I’d have happily fostered them out for a year or 2.

    Kristen April 21, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I hate the whole monotony of it. The same thing, every day. It’s like groundhog’s day. There is never a finished project. You turn your back to do some laundry and they’ve destroyed the playroom. You get that cleaned up only to have them rip through it after a nap. It just keeps going. And I often find myself thinking, with a load of laundry in one hand and a diaper in the other, “Really? All that schooling for THIS?”

    But I do love the squeals and the belly laughs and the cuddles before bed.

    But yeah, not the tub shit.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..RIP, mouse in the house =-.

    bea April 21, 2010 at 9:12 am

    The things I hated are mostly over now, and they all have to do with the way motherhood forces us back into our bodies. After a lifetime of convincing myself that I lived mostly in my brain, I discovered that hormones and sleep-deprivation have the power to affect everything I think of as ME. I am not patient, creative, smart, analytical, thoughtful, or wise. What I am (sometimes) is healthy and well-rested. When my body is broken from a forceps delivery and coursing with hormones regulating milk-supply and I haven’t slept for more than two hours at a time in weeks – I find out that the cerebral represents so very small a portion of who I am.

    What I love? Everything else in life grows stale, decays, loses its freshness. But children? They get bigger and smarter and more themselves all the time.
    .-= bea´s last blog ..Good Writer, Bad Person =-.

    cagey April 21, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hate? I miss being alone. God, I miss being ALONE. I would love to have an afternoon to luxuriate in my house ALONE.

    Love? I truly enjoy just hanging out with my kids, taking them places and seeing their reactions. Sure, I love my kids, but I also LIKE them. Important distinction.
    .-= cagey´s last blog ..He probably thinks this post is about him. =-.

    cagey April 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Also? I am near the end of a mystery novel and I could really use that afternoon alone right about NOW. Like, TODAY. Sigh.
    .-= cagey´s last blog ..He probably thinks this post is about him. =-.

    Sheri Bheri April 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

    There’s nothing I hate about Motherhood. I wish I could spend MORE time doing it. I wish I could have another baby (maybe if I had two kids, there would be parts I hate). My daughter is remarkably easy, and a joy to me. Sure we argue and she has tantrums (she *is* 5), but generally we have a blast together (mostly because I don’t mind playing Barbies).

    I actually think I’m doing a good job of it too.

    Keeping house – not good.
    My job – just okay.
    As a wife – could do better.
    Mom – keep up the good work!

    I think this just goes to show you that everyone’s experience of motherhood is different, that’s why it can’t be nailed down.

    Bec April 21, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I don’t hate anything about motherhood. I wonder, though, if stay-at-homes feel more exasperated about motherhood than those who work outside the home. I don’t spend a lot of time with my 2-year-old son during the week (maybe 2 hours at most) and I cherish every minute of it. Also, my husband and I have a pretty fair division of “labour,” since we both work.

    selena April 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

    hate: The whining. Good Lord, the whining.

    love:my incredible luck. it’s the only way I can explain the privilege of raising my boys.
    .-= selena´s last blog ..then and now =-.

    Libby April 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I’m TOTALLY with you on the pregnancy thing. I often tell people, “If I could only be pregnant for the second trimester and give birth to a 6-month-old, I’d have more children.”

    Hate: The endless abyss of want. “Momma, I want…Momma, I want…Momma, I want…”

    Love: When they look at you and from out of the blue declare, “Momma, I love you!”

    Tania Thompson April 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    #1 think I hate: watching things I’ve worked hard for be destroyed by the children, be it a cherished little object that I’ll never be able to replace or my career, or friendships…

    #1 thing I love: learning to master my emotions and be better than I ever thought I’d have to be – than I ever even knew was possible.

    Tania Thompson April 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    #2 thing I hate: not being able to type better so that when I mean to type ‘thing’ I don’t type ‘think’. But that has very little to do with my children :)

    dale April 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    oh, how to narrow (either) down? The good: “licky icky sticky yum yum kisses” (know the quote? The bad: feeling like I’m never enough for their needs.

    Bella April 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Hate: I had lots of things I hated when my twin boys were 0 – 2.5 years old (sleep deprivation, eating challenges, whining, etc.). Now there’s one thing: The GUILT. The guilt when I work that I’m away from my boys and the guilt when I’m at home that I didn’t get enough done at work. The guilt the one time I left the office an hour early so that I could have some time to myself BEFORE I see the kids. The guilt of not cooking for my kids every single night. The guilt goes on and on.

    Love: For the first year since having twin boys, I can say I love almost every part of motherhood now (they’re 4); Holding their hands on our walk to school (NOTHING tops that part of my day) — the feel of the 3 of us linked in chatter and laughter and glee and feeling the same spring fever is INSANELY good; their laughter; the way they LIKE to share now, to play together, to pretend in whatever worlds they create for themselves for long stretches of time; cooking in our open kitchen and the boys playing at my feet (without worrying they’re going to burn themselves or otherwise kill themselves); watching them learn new physical skills seemingly all at the same time — biking, scootering, climbing, whatever; watching their intellect grow and change and explode every day; hearing their ever-whacky exclamations of just how much they love me; watching them learn to sound out words and GETTING that it’s a code they want to break; watching a new movie that I loved as a child, curled up on the couch with them and their father…
    .-= Bella´s last blog ..Can we think together about kids and the internet? =-.

    red pen mama April 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    The age 3 and/or potty training. As they often go hand in hand, I wish I could sleep through this year.

    Otherwise, your list encapsulates so much of what is hard about being a mom for me too.

    My favorite thing about being a mom (aside from the kids) is watching them become little people. The 5yo is learning to read. She asks a TON of questions. The 3yo is wearing big girl underpants (not always without incident yet). She is a big giant goof, and she knows it. I love that they are little, separate people, so much of myself and my husband. That part (and the LOVE), that rocks.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..Tanks So Much =-.

    Ewokmama April 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Yeah, your whole list is the same as mine.
    .-= Ewokmama´s last blog ..Caught in a Lie =-.

    Tina C. April 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    i seem to remember talking about other things, besides our kids, with my friends and i miss those days.

    i do like being in charge with the final word!!!

    Twin Strollers April 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

    It’s proud to be a mother but it is not easy too. You have to take a lot of pains and care of yourself. Once a child is born you have to take care of the child and your husband. Congratulations!!! You are a proud mother.

    ame i. April 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Fear is my #1. I am so glad my mind has started blocking the nightmares about something happening to one of my daughters. I would go insane if my nighmares took that route too often.

    Ashley April 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    This isn’t your typical “I Hate”, but it is my “hate” and has been for almost 2 years now.

    I hate when it is time for her to go to Daddy’s for a week. I hate every day for the 7 days when she is at Daddy’s. I hate when she screams and cried for me because she doesn’t want to go to Daddy’s. I hate how my heart aches for the entire 7 days when she is gone.

    I love when she comes home. I love when she tears herself from Daddy’s arms and runs into mine. I love when she randomly looks at me and says things like “Mommy, I love you.”, “Mommy, you’re the best cooker ever.”, “Mommy, did you know you’re the prettiest Mommy ever?”. And I love when after she says those things (even it’s after she just painted the wall with nail polish) I scoop her up with hugs, kisses and tickles and forget about when she has to go to Daddy’s.

    **My angel will be 4 in the fall…. and the older she gets, the scarrier I get.**

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