A woman in the UK has sparked controversy with an article in which she calls having a child the ‘biggest mistake of my life’.
Isabella Dutton, now 57-years-old, says she knows that ‘there are millions who will consider me heinously cold-blooded and unnatural’, but believes that there are also other mothers who secretly feel the same.
Dutton wrote for The Daily Mail:
My son Stuart was five days old when the realisation hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life. Even now, 33 years on, I can still picture the scene: Stuart was asleep in his crib. He was due to be fed but hadn’t yet woken.
I heard him stir but as I looked at his round face on the brink of wakefulness, I felt no bond. No warm rush of maternal affection. I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.
Dutton was 22-years-old when her son Stuart was born – quite young by today’s standards – and she was required to give up her career as a typist. While Dutton says that it wasn’t the job she missed after becoming a mother, she did miss other aspects of childless independence; time alone to think, to read, peace and solitude.
Two years and four months later, Dutton gave birth to a baby girl. It might seem wilfully contrary that someone who claims to hate motherhood so much chose to bring a second child into the world, but Dutton explains that she thought it would be cruel not to give her son a sibling.
Dutton’s feelings after having her daughter were much the same. She writes:
Yet I dreaded her dependence; resented the time she would consume, and that like parasites, both my children would continue to take from me and give nothing meaningful back in return.
Whenever I’ve told friends I wished I’d never had them, they’ve gasped with shock. ‘You can’t mean that?’ But, of course, I do.
Despite her aversion to motherhood, and not feeling a natural inclination towards being maternal, Dutton devoted herself to the ‘job’.
She believes that it was her dedication and commitment to being a good mother – to making sure she provided for her children, and fulfilled their needs so conscientiously – that made her resent it all the more.