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"I love my kids, but I hate motherhood."

As a mother, you’ll never see me on a playdate. I’ll never be down at the park sipping a latté with my mothers’ group and I’ll never ever be a domestic goddess. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids but I will never be a hands-on-mum rocking motherhood like a boss.

I’m not shy about how much I dislike motherhood. I write and speak candidly about my qualms of motherhood because when I had my first daughter, I couldn’t find one article on the internet or one piece of writing that expressed even the tiniest speck of disdain about having kids or not wanting to be a hands-on-mother.

Motherhood truly rocked my world and honestly not in a good way. I couldn’t relate to being a mother at all and it really knocked me for six. I went from a 27-year-old woman with dreams, independence and a career to a tired, worn out mother with lost aspirations and a lack of identity. I had become an empty husk of my past self. After the birth of my first daughter, my husband continued his life like normal, however, my life changed dramatically. From my former life of 9am breakfast meetings, dinner with friends, carefree weekends with my husband, I was thrust into nappy changes, constant screaming and coffee dates with my friends were strategically planned around nap times schedules. I loathed it all.

I felt I couldn’t possibly admit out loud to anyone how I felt, so I thought I would look to the internet for comradeship. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it there either.

What I did encounter were hundreds of articles about being in love with your kids, bonding and breastfeeding. Yet I felt the last place in the universe I wanted to be was sitting on the couch or hiding behind a muslin wrap at my local shopping mall breastfeeding my baby. Not only did It hurt my nipples like hell, my daughter and I literally sucked at the whole breastfeeding thing and I couldn’t find anyone to relate to.

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Why was no one talking about how disgusting and annoying it is to clean up a nappy?

Why was no one talking about how breastfeeding, especially in the early days, felt anything but natural?

Why is no one talking about the loneliness and monotony of motherhood?

The somber, hard-to-look-at side of motherhood wasn't often represented and from this I often felt alone. I had no inclination to join in play dates, bake cookies, or become a stay at home mother. When I mentioned my frustration on a routine visit to my General Practitioner, he immediately referred me to seek professional help for postpartum depression.

Yet, I didn't feel depressed. I wasn’t in tears. I didn't want to hurt myself, or my baby. I was just grieving my old self and my past happiness. Apparently, the moment where I openly admit I didn’t enjoy motherhood, I was automatically labelled with postpartum depression and prescribed an anti-depressant as if it were the astonishing answer to all my problems.

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After 5 months at home with my first baby, I made the decision to go back to work.

My first day back in the office, I felt nothing but relief. I remember drinking my first piping hot coffee with colleagues, enjoying every golden sip without having to leave it to go cold on the coffee table while attending to a poo-nami of epic proportions.

I felt a sense of independence. The freedom to work without my thoughts being interrupted every minute. My mood lifted, I became balanced again and I thrived. This positive change impacted my relationship with my daughter and my husband. I was happier. I was more capable both at work and at home. Even though I wasn’t with my daughter every minute of the day, the pick-ups from daycare were the happiest time of my day and the time we spent together become more valuable and more importantly, memorable.

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Annie's husband and children. Image supplied.

To be real with you, as wonderful as our kids are, our kids are also soul-suckers. Dream-crushers. Snot-blowing, germ-infested little people. They suck my bank account dry. They put my life on hold a lot of the time and they create anxiety. They create mountains upon mountains of mess throughout my house. I have never seen so much washing in my life and nothing in my home is far from chaos.

Frankly, I don't think sentimentally about my kids in their early years at all. I was happy when my daughter took her first steps and stated to talk. It meant my back could finally get a much-needed break and we could communicate to one another.

I was happy when my daughter became more independent. The less she needed me, the better.

I will always have mixed emotions when it comes to motherhood, however, I do love my kids so much and I couldn’t even imagine my life without both of them, so don't think I'm a total barbarian.

Not everyone has to love motherhood.

You just have to love your kids and that’s what matters. Well, to me, anyway.

Annie Gregory is a mother of two daughters, blogger, nerd and founder of The SociaLight Australia.  

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