6 reasons why you aren’t enjoying motherhood, real and 100% unapologetic.
A word from me before we begin
I think we could all agree that motherhood is never like we imagine or prepare for and while the world isn’t about the “stay-at-home” motherhood lifestyle anymore.
That doesn’t mean that a mother who invests fully in raising children is any less important both in the home and in society.
And so when the question arises why can’t I enjoy motherhood?
It’s often more about the mentality behind your mothering, and the choices you make for your lifestyle that will affect how you enjoy your time as a mother.
I am a stay-at-home mum. I believe that when a woman has children to raise, she should be in the home exclusively.
It’s by far no longer popular opinion but I feel that the prominence of women being unhappy in the home, and struggling to find joy in the mundane of raising children, stems from the stress of working in or out of the home or wanting to return to work.
Now, if you work, that is up to you, but it doesn’t change the fact that you will add many more hurdles to your mothering, and you will find it harder to enjoy it, not impossible but harder.
my approach to this topic is more...hard-hitting because honestly, it's the best 'advice' I could think of if I really wanted to help even one person. I see joy in parenthood as being mindset to some extent, but mostly I see it as the mindset to sacrifice, to endure, and to diligently show up to create joy in you mind, and in raising your child with physical child training.
1. YOU HAVE CONFUSED “RAISING CHILDREN” WITH “CARING FOR CHILDREN”
There is a steep learning curve when you become a parent for the first time.
It’s hard to comprehend just how much time you need to invest into raising a human, the on and on of it, there is no break, no one to come and take away the workload and the knowledge that only you can finish what you started.
Adults aren’t used to this, especially if you are having your first child in your mid-thirties, That is a long time to be your own master, to have weekends, to have alone time and me time, and control of your environment.
Suddenly a baby arrives, and your ideas on how this was going to be are challenged, maybe even thrown out all together and you have to face the mental strain of the complete overturn of your life as well as the physical demands of raising a child.
Here is where it gets blurry, you find yourself dealing with a toddler, and it starts getting hard. But it’s fine, everyone warned about the terrible two’s.
but the truth is, those terrible twos aren’t going anywhere, very soon you’ll be living your life around an obstinate four-year-old, who won’t eat the food unless it’s cut right, who won’t sit still, who will tell you No! whenever they please, they scream, they won’t stay in bed, they won’t behave in public and you dread waking every morning to face the child you love but who you cannot live in harmony with.
Is it a phase?
Or is it a disobedient child?
Who fixes it?
Can it be fixed?
Absolutely, but only by you. There is no mindset, there is no phase to outgrow or communication to try, this is it, this is raising a child.
The very good news is, is that the earlier you start the easier it is, and if you remain consistent in your efforts the rewards are great.
the reward is Joy in motherhood.
You will enjoy your child’s company, as they grow and they change so will the hurdles of raising them, and while it’s not one size fits all it is, it is true that discipline of some form fits all, even if you don’t want to believe it.
Why am I ranting about child raising when you’re here to find joy in motherhood?
As much as I will address mindset, the true cause of a mother who does not enjoy motherhood is almost always having a child/ren they struggle to be around.
You love your children immensely, but they are humans, and humans are born with behaviours, learned behaviours and natural behaviours that need to be corrected, it’s the point of parents, if this weren’t the case then I am sure by now children would be delivered by storks and would raise themselves to be good people.
until that happens, it’s a mothers job to ensure her children are being moulded into adults that share her values, that work hard, are respectful of others, that are kind.
Adults who will have friends and family of their own, and if you want your children to enjoy this future, you need to put in the effort now.
THERE IS REWARD IN THE NOW WHEN YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN
MOTHERHOOD should not be spent in the trenches awaiting the reward for your hard work in the years to come.
Raising children or training children is rewarding almost immediately, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes, the better you get and the better the child/ren respond.
2. YOU LOOK FOR AN “OUT” FOR A SHORT-TERM FIX
If you are committed to raising your kids successfully in order to find and experience joy in motherhood, it means you aren’t going to look for an out.
Work, daycare, grandparents, husband.
These are all fine to have in your life but not as an OUT.
If you are going back to work because you prefer that to being at home then you have a problem and it starts with you.
The mentality that mothers cannot deal with their children is plain sad, I hear the mothers all around me during the school holidays.
“I just can’t wait till they go back to school!”
- If you are using daycare more than once a week, because you NEED a break from your children, again, Problem.
- Grandparents are there to help you, for sure I believe that, but they aren’t there to raise your kids.
- If your husband is being used as a crutch for you to dump the children, on weekends or after work because you have lost control, and you are constantly reaching your limit with raising your children, then you have a problem.
- Daycare, your parents or other family members, and even your husband, while all able to help you, you need to know that help is not passing the load without fixing it. Raising children is not and should not be a juggling act of passing little people about because you feel like you can’t have them on your own.
There is a difference between being a mother and needing a break as a human which is healthy and then needing a break because you can’t handle your children which is unhealthy.
Everyone needs a break, and I am right with you on the fact that motherhood is tiring!
I ask my husband to take the children, it is rare and I don’t get more than a few hours, but It’s refreshing, and the reason a rare few hours is refreshing is that I have systems in place that help me raise children, and not care for children.
I love a break, an afternoon to go and have coffee, but I am not escaping.
My children are obedient, and if they aren’t they are taught to be.
My boys who are 8 and 9 can clean and cook breakfast, they help with the younger children, I have taken the time to teach them, as I train them in life skills it helps me now as well as setting them up for their own lives as adults, and so my life isn’t chaos and stress, it’s tiring yes, but it’s tiring for the right reasons, I am creating a legacy, not existing in chaos.
If you want joy in the home, you cannot seek it outside the home
Motherhood is being emotional, it’s guiding, disciplining and teaching your children every day, you are creating the next generation, and succeeding generations have good attitudes towards hard work, they have respect for those around them and are able to critically think most importantly they have shared family values.
Who has that job to create adults who are good and dependable, hardworking and respectful?
It’s not the women at daycare or the favourite teacher at school who is invested in these things, who is going to do the absolute best at raising your child.
And in the midst of raising your children, you will find joy, as a mother committed to this cause who is going to find joy without seeking others to relieve her in order to experience it.
So you are committed, you aren’t going to rely on an out in order to try and fix your lack of joy for the short term.
To attain true joy as a mother requires work and diligence in the home but it pays off a million times over.
Good well-behaved children are created, they aren’t a lucky dip, if you want that life, if you want to have days that are busy but full of joy, then you need to start creating obedient children and that starts with child training. (sorry to burst the mindset bubble but that will only get you so far)
3. YOU CONFUSE PERFECTION WITH SUCCESS
Perfection is another word for control when it comes to motherhood. If you are after perfection is means you are after complete control of your environment.
control as a parent is a good thing in a healthy measure, but don’t strive for perfection.
to be honest with you what even is perfection in motherhood? Is it a perfect child? a perfect home? a perfect moment? A perfect family?
Perfection in day to day motherhood is only seen in Hollywood, you often see the working mother breeze out of a clean home, into her clean car, ( did I mention she is slim, fit and wearing heels) She hands her children perfectly made lunches with only healthy food, as she kisses them goodbye on the dropoff to their private school, before she leaves off to work, later in a mad rush she retrieves her children takes them home to watch tv as she removes the heels she has been wearing all day and pours herself a glass of wine.
Isn’t it lovely?
Of course, we know it doesn’t exist that it’s a veneer that will peel and crack as time passes, but thanks to social media for now allowing us to see the partial realities of others’ lives, we have begun to judge others compared to ourselves and perceive their perfection with mere images.
No one has a perfect family, a perfect husband or a perfect child.
Instead of trying to create people of perfection ( your idea of perfection) which is really just trying to have control over your life in more than a healthy way, you need to understand that life is messy and the fact is, so many good things come from losing control, from making mistakes.
There are commitments that need to be made in motherhood, big ones, but they pay off, and if you are very unhappy in your current lifestyle you are not alone, whether you are a stay-at-home mum looking for a way to enjoy motherhood, or a working mother looking to find joy in balance and home life, one thing that many mothers lack is the commitment to working hard to raise their children, to create structure, routine, to connect and discipline, all this goes into raising a child.
If you are a mother and you feel the above is too harsh, and unnecessary for raising children then you aren’t committed to raising them, you are committed to caring for them.
Not the same thing and they have a very different home life and outcomes for your children in the years to come.
Now that more and more women are juggling childraising with other demands the lifestyle in the home is deteriorating, there is no peace, no joy there is chaos with children calling the shots, and while this might be normal to you it creates many problems when parents essentially don’t like their lives because of their children.
how many times have you seen on Instagram and Facebook, the ideals that mothers don’t sleep? the husband is on the back burner, the house is a mess, and the mum bun and the rioting children force the parents to spend every waking minute tending to their ever-growing demands.
We are supposed to live like this?
to want this?
divorce rates are now sky-high, women are drinking more than ever, and relying on medication to ease depression, and while there are the few that will struggle with different hurdles, the majority of women today who seek out these things to take the pressure off of them often could find the solutions to their anxieties if they would stop the juggling act and commit to their families and did it well, whether you are a stay at home mother or a working mother, the workload of parenting is often underestimated, and now that it is seen as second best to a career, many don’t feel able to communicate the hardships they face.
while mocked and seen as outdated and that we must move on from such ridiculous ideals that promote women to be keepers at home because we are modern women, who can do it all.
Achieving joy is pushed to the backburner. No one talks about striving for joy in motherhood.
Yet we all desire it and when you have it, there is nothing you would trade it up for.
MOTHERHOOD IS ANYTHING BUT PERFECTION
Motherhood is hard. Hard is not the same as bad. But hard doesn’t look perfect.
It’s always challenging, always changing, and if you want to succeed, and raise good children you have to put in EFFORT!
How many times have we said it ourselves and heard from other mothers, “this is harder than I thought”
As a stay at home mother, when the question does arise about what I do, I usually answer with a smile. “I am a stay at home mum”
Sometimes people even say, “oh, that’s okay”
It makes me want to laugh.
Sure there is a price to staying home, my furniture is second hand, my car isn’t new, I save for everything, We don’t go on holidays every year.
I don’t think things will always be this way, but even if they are, when my children are grown, and just me and my husband are left, would I ever look back at the years I spent with my children and wish I drove a nicer car? had nicer holidays, would I think I should have nicer things in my home?
Instead, I will remember the many slow mornings spent cuddling my babies, the morning tea’s we baked together in the kitchen, the quiet afternoons we always spent together.
I watched them play together, I watched them teach each other, I was there to teach them every life lesson and every value I wanted them to have.
Don’t strive for perfection, strive to be there every day and some days you feel like complete crap, but that’s life, you can choose to let the imperfect moments overcome the actual living of your life or you can understand that life is not, and should not be perfect.
4. YOU ASSOCIATE ‘MUNDANE’ WITH ‘UNIMPORTANT’
Motherhood is mundane.
Mundane is not unimportant.
When you are cooking breakfast for the 1,640th time, it can make you want to just do something else, anything ELSE!
It’s pretty normal to feel that way, to be doing the same dishes, cooking every day, making the same beds, clean up the same toys.
Seriously, I feel you, I really get tired of the mundane.
But have you ever had a memory every now and then of your childhood? and you have this image, or maybe a smell takes you back or a song, something that registers in your mind, from your own childhood and it’s nice.
The crazy thing is, we have all these memories, and they are special to us, but I am sure, that day was filled with everything mundane thing that you do today and I bet your mother was doing them and not thinking much of it, and yet it was important to you as a child.
The small moments, the shared conversation over wiping dishes, the little life lessons taught in imperfect moments have slowly shaped who you are.
If you ask your parents though, I bet they thought it wasn’t so important at the time, It was boring, it was day to day life, it was mundane.
Your children are there, right now, making memories, listening to you, connecting with you, to them it’s life, it’s learning, it’s everything they will recall as they raise children of their own.
Don’t associate this wonderful time as being unimportant.
So many older people, well past having children in their home, have said to me in the street when I am holding hands with a chubby just walking toddler when I am tired, still, a little bit fat from having said toddler and not feeling at all like the moment is special.
“This is the best time of your life!” they say smiling.
I decided to believe it and you should too.
5. YOU HAVE LOST CONTROL OF YOUR CHILDREN
Ever seen someone walking their dog, only you can see right away, they aren’t walking their dog, the dog is ahead, pulling the lead and in their little doggy mind they are walking their human.
That can happen in motherhood.
Your kids get used to ruling the roost and to being a parent, dictated to by little people who have no consideration, no reason for their requests half the time and have no intention of handing over the reigns, I can tell you now, it is absolutely exhausting.
To be honest with you I don’t think I have seen yet parents who aren’t ruled by their children.
In this age where child training is seen as taboo, where discipline is not considered necessary, you have a generation of parents who have lost control and it hurts to watch it happen.
Now, don’t get me wrong I am not sitting here claiming to be a perfect mother, I currently have two children, the youngest two, who quite frankly, right now is terrible! they won’t eat what I give them, they fight and bite each other and they won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
I am sitting here, with my planner and in it is written all the things I need to correct in them, not to be a horrible mother, or because I wasn’t to create perfect children, but if I want to enjoy my time with them, and improve our family life, I need to take the situation and correct it.
I want toddlers who will eat what is set in front of them.
I want toddlers who will play without screaming and fighting.
I don’t want to be followed for half the day by crying faces because I said no to letting them eat sugar from the tub.
It’s up to me to set the standard, to set the behaviour I want, and trust me, it’s hard physically for a few days, but no harder than it is to live like I am now, for the foreseeable future, and it will probably get worse.
Parents sometimes think they are in control, but really …no, the child is.
The child allows the parent to say what they have to say to apply pressure to the child, then the child either ignores them, cries or will ask for something else, and the parent who has figured they won the battle for the first request will allow the second.
That is a child who just won control over the adult.
If you allow a child to scream after being told no, screaming that disrupts the home and others in it, and they don’t stop, they know what they are doing and if you don’t put your foot down and say NO to the screaming then they are in control, they will make you feel their anger, and everyone else in the home.
If your child won’t stop asking you for the same item or request, even after you have said no, and you do not stop them and it is normal behaviour for the child, then you need to assess how many times you are giving in, probably very, very often. The child knows this, it’s why they don’t give up. They are in control.
DO you have to count to three every time you want your child to do something?
you created that, you created the pattern, if you are a parent that follows through and disciplines on three, then the child will react on three. If you are a parent who does not then tell me, how many times do you count to three, and how loud do you get?
Behaviour patterns in adults are easy to detect, so easy, that children are masters. They live their lives, watching you, comparing what you say with what you do.
9 times out of 10 parents do not follow through with their threats.
children know this, they learn it and they adapt behaviour to it.
If you want to stop screaming, stop feeling frustrated, stop feeling like you cant coexist in your home with your children peacefully, you need to take back control and raise your children.
Follow through every time.
It’s harder to get up and discipline your child than it is to stay doing what you’re doing and yell at them. It’s harder to not allow them to scream the house down every time you say no than it is to give in when you are tired.
I get it, but you need to think of the big picture.
Once your children know, once they relearn your patterns, they won’t try and push you as much, they know you won’t give in.
Now you have control.
YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE KEEPING TABS ON YOUR CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOUR
Keeping control is something you need to monitor, and as I said, I need to regain mine with my two youngest children, life is busy and little behaviours sneak in, that’s okay but I will deal with it, and by next week we will all like being with them again as they will understand my rules and my patterns to achieving them, it takes diligence from me to be always changing and keeping up with the new behaviours of growing and learning children.
6. YOU AREN’T CREATING SUSTAINABLE TIME FOR YOURSELF
like I mentioned in the second point, if you are looking for an out, for a short-term fix to your lack of joy.
A way to give yourself time in the day away from your children is crucial for the sustainability of your emotional wellbeing in motherhood.
I am not one of those mothers that think that my every waking moment needs to be dedicated to my kids.
I am not their slave, I am a woman who has feelings and needs and I cannot be joyful with them if I feel drained both emotionally and physically.
ME TIME is whatever you want it to be, and I suggest a little of it, daily to improve your emotional well-being, it can be time for you to sleep, to clean, to work out to do a hobby, something just for you that make you feel good.
occasionally I will ask my husband for more time, perhaps half a day to go out, or a dinner out with him staying home with the children, very rare and I don’t feel that I need these times in order to stay sane, but I do enjoy them.
My time is found in the afternoons and early mornings, the early mornings are a sacrifice on my part, I wake at 4:30 am, to be able to work on these blog posts.
I haven’t done this for very long, and with my workload physically and the mental strain of raising five children, I can only do 4-5 times weekly, the other morning I sleep till 7:30, and I find this a manageable use of my time without being burnt out.
5 tips for effective quiet time with young children is a must-read if you want to have time to yourself every day.
having time for yourself takes training and guidelines for your children, it can be done at any age, from 6 months to the teen years and is beneficial for everyone in the home.
FROM THE SIMPLE MAMMA
In closing, these 6 reasons I have listed I think are the core reasons why we don’t always enjoy motherhood.
It’s hard, it’s imperfect, mundane and often thankless, you have to place yourself in the mindset yourself, a mindset that is hard to keep up all the time, and no one expects you to, it’s okay to have a bad day, to have a week that is just ‘off’.
Days, weeks, they are nothing in the scheme of the many years you will be doing this, and so with a healthy approach to knowing when it becomes too much when your bad days become bitter days, you need to find someone to talk to, someone to vent too, it’s nice to get things off your chest.
Sometimes as mothers when we get “advice” it can not feel good, sometimes my husband will tell me something or give a harmless comment, or I can tell from his behaviour that he wants to say something, but knowing how I am capable of biting his head off if I’m in a mood he won’t.
This isn’t healthy, A husband or a close family member or friend (who has good intentions and spends time with your family regularly) can see things you cannot when it comes to whats going on in your parenting and home life, and it can be very helpful to you, and your growth as a mother and to you overall enjoyment in the home. so occasionally if you can truly open yourself up to someone saying something, even if at the time you really don’t want to hear it! (it seems to always come on a bad day!)
hello! I’m shenaede, aka thesimplemamma!
Wife, mother, and homeschooler
My goal is to encourage mothers!
Be the best you can be, and enjoy the brief years of motherhood! with practical steps you can take towards creating the home life you desire.
Have a question?