Can we talk for a minute about resentment and anger? Because postpartum hormones are a real bitch, let me tell ya. Instagram is chock full of those joyful, weepy moments and pleas for time to slow down and I’m guilty of sharing those moments as much as any other mama! But part of the reason those moments are so sweet and we exalt in them so deeply is because they offset the moments when we need to remember why we’re even doing this.
To me it seems like there’s a dark side to parenting emotions that nobody talks about: resentment, anger, exasperation, doubt, emotional fatigue, and omg the GUILT. As complex human beings we obviously have access to just as many negative emotions as positive emotions, so why can’t we talk about those, too? Are they too ugly for Instagram or is there just so much shame attached that we can’t acknowledge it? Or even more terrifying, am I the only one who feels this way sometimes?
I know damn well I’m in the “trenches” phase of motherhood with a fussy newborn and two kids under two, but it just feels as if everyone else’s days with their kids are so easy breezy and I’m weak for struggling where others do not. The motherhood community is so vast but I still feel isolated. I don’t ever want anyone else to feel guilty that they’re not loving every minute of it, so for the sake of total clarity, here are my mom confessions:
In my darkest moments I sometimes feel resentful towards my newborn for not being able to fall asleep on his own. For demanding so much of my energy that I feel utterly depleted at the end of each day (or more often by noon). I feel angry towards my body for not looking or feeling how I want it to. I feel defeated when I don’t have enough hands to make myself lunch. I feel resentful when I know I deserve to shower or sleep but circumstances don’t permit me to. I’m jealous that Tom gets to go to work each day and pursue projects that challenge and refresh him. I feel angry toward people who insinuate that being a stay at home mom is easy or that I “get to play all day”. I feel weak when my back aches from carrying this child all day long, even though I know I’m still recovering from carrying him inside me for even longer. I feel like a bad homemaker when I forget to prep a meal even though I still manage to get all the dishes and laundry clean done most days. I get upset when after all that I do, my daughter chooses her daddy over me over and over and over again, even though she’s a toddler experiencing a natural developmental phase. I feel angry that I have everything I have ever wanted and worked towards but sometimes I just want a day (okay a month) away from it all.
I know, it’s a lot to read, but it’s also a lot to feel all at once. Maybe you can relate or maybe you’re judging me. But because I don’t have a place for the negative emotions and I don’t know what to do with them and I feel so much shame about it that I can’t even talk about it out loud I’m just gonna leave it all here, acknowledge that it exists, and hope that it makes another parent feel a bit less alone in their journey. So if you’re in the trenches too, know you’ve got a friend down here, and there’s always an end to the fussiness, the teething, the regressions, cold and flu season, or whatever is bogging you down. Solidarity ✊🏻