Ahh, motherhood, given such an elevation and so much expectation, is not at all the dream job ( unless you count nightmares ) it is promoted as being. Any mother , if she’s honest with herself has grief for that non-mother self who no longer exists. She has to come to terms with the fact that her child/ children may or may not like her and are completely alien creatures at times. From babyhood there are impulses to abandon the job ( it is thankless most of the time) and some women do end up destroying their families. Recognizing your emotions and establishing an identity separate from the others in your life is helpful for mental health. Loving yourself and all you are can help. Sometimes a break from a particularly onerous part of your life will help:

Once, when I had three small children and a less than helpful husband, there were complains about dinner not being ready at 5:00 pm. I resigned from cooking for an entire year and let them fend for themselves. I believe that they are stronger and certainly better cooks because of the experience.

Another time, when my oldest daughter was 15, she expressed that she wanted to live somewhere else. We had been fighting over her behavior towards me. I told her to go. She moved in with a neighbor who needed free child care and I had a summer free of her. After three months, the neighbor , who was not my friend, had enough. My daughter returned to new rules and somewhat improved behavior.

My children are grown and now have their own families. I have long considered myself a successful mother because they seem to have good dental hygiene and no criminal records. Two have college degrees and I hope that all three are doing what they love.

I refused to blame them for my life and loved them the best I could. There were bright moments and some real struggles. A divorce and hardship added a bit of extra for my youngest . Hang in there and at times think of it as a brief incarceration with time off for good behavior. Take a vacation.

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