parent opinion

'I was desperate to have a child. Now there are days I wish I wasn't a mother.'

Just writing that title makes me feel immensely guilty. What kind of a mother feels like that?

Only a bad mother, right?

How many mothers have lost their children and are walking around with gaping holes in their heart which will never heal?

How many women long to hold a child of their own in their arms but are unable to?

Side note: Here’s how the horoscopes do self-care. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

I myself had kids after a lot of infertility struggles.

For years I constantly chased the stork, pleading it to drop its soft bundle into my womb.

We endured a lot to see those elusive double lines on a pregnancy test: years of invasive testing, 200 plus injections, crazy hormones, failed procedures, down payment-sized bills, not to mention the insensitivity of family members and acquaintances.

If you told me swallowing raw eggs with milk while standing upside down would do the trick, I would have done it.

Once a lady on a fertility message board proclaimed that if we emailed a spiritual person, she would work her mystical powers to help the person get pregnant. And I, of course, did email a total stranger. That’s how desperate I was.

I would do whatever it would take to scale that unsurmountable wall and become a mum.

Many moons later, I did become a mum.

I found great honour in this role that christened me ‘Mummy’ and called me to serve another life, that humbled me like no other, that made me swell up with pride like no other.

But there was the flip side too.

This role made me question myself like no other. Was I really mother material?

This role overwhelmed me like no other both mentally and physically, until I felt empty and numb inside.


This role hurt me like no other when my kid yelled, “ I hate you so much.”

This role filled me with panic and guilt like no other. Had I irreversibly damaged my child?

Motherhood is not just about the love you feel for your child, it also about the pain that comes with having a child.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia’s podcast with what women are talking about this week. Post continues below.

I’m not talking about the pain of labour or breastfeeding or sleepless nights. That’s the easy stuff. I’m talking about:

The pain that comes when you have to parent the child you have and not the child you wish you had.

The pain when your child doesn’t have the ability to understand where you come from.

The pain when your child will hate you for your tough love.

The pain when your child will make bad decisions and you will have to watch that car crash in slow motion.

The pain when your child’s potential remains unrealised and you weep over all that could have been.

The pain when you feel like an absolute failure for not doing better for your child.

The pain when the world tramples your naive child, and the mama bear in you just wants to pounce on them.

The pain when your child is in pain and you cannot fix it.

The pain when you have caused your child’s pain and the guilt eats you alive.

The pain when there’s no one to help you with the challenges of motherhood but countless to judge you on your missteps.

The pain when your child will not think of you one day.

The biggest pain of all, losing your child physically or emotionally forever.

Motherhood will take you to the edge of pain and beyond.

Maybe the pain is a reflection of that deep bond where one soul must emerge from the other and be set free whole.

Motherhood is an oxymoron. It is painfully beautiful.

The good thing is that the bad days are intermittent. My wintry days turn into spring.

I slowly get back to the days I do want to be a mother.

This post originally appeared on Medium and has been republished with full permission.