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This article is a beautiful example of the need for self-expression no matter if it is aligned with the idea of societal norms. I gotta say, thanks for writing it. Like many other commentators, I also believe this is more common than you think. You have the self-awareness to hone in on this issue rather than have it manifest in symptoms of nonspecific nature.

Emilie Mitcham wrote a wonderful response to this article, and I agree with many points she made especially since my mother also fell in the same category. The difference is, you recognize this issue is from within and as long as you are taking the steps to mitigate the effect it can have on your kids, I doubt anyone would criticize you as the worst mother to ever exist. We often don’t know whether we want something/an experience until we have it. I encourage you to find a supportive environment where you can express these feelings, instead of bottling them inside and having it corrode your feelings for your kids. The more you try to hide it (assuming you aren’t so forthcoming with your own children), the more the kids will feel it and they can imagine that they are flawed creatures and bleed inside out. I always knew my mom wasn’t cut out to be one. She took out her anger on me and I’ve been dealing with the aftermath my entire life (still ongoing). The voice of hate resonates in an endless loop in my mind. I think, though, if you make sure that your kids know one way, or another that it is you, not them…it will lower the impact tremendously.

Another item is to find the space that you need to disconnect. It might require some creative thinking and a new take on tradition. You said you were always great with other people’s children because you have the space to disconnect, on all levels. I think with some creative thinking with the kids father, you can come up with a solution. Perhaps have separate home residence that are located in the same neighbourhood so you can disconnect. It is important to respect and prioritize your own well-being to the top of the list…it teaches your children that self-love is important. Actually, taking the time for yourself will also teach your kids to respect you rather than always putting them at the top of the pole (which will just breed internal resentment that they will be completely aware of anyway).

Good luck on everything — should you want additional perspectives or even someone to express your feelings to, I am available. :)