Q: Had a baby two months ago. I'd never do anything to harm him or myself, and I do love him, but I hate being a mom. I stay at home with him after a decade as a high school teacher, a job I loved. I'm tired of getting up all night, of never having time to myself, of the house never being clean. Husband is helpful but doesn't understand how I feel like a failure. I get lots of support from my mom and mother-in-law (whose pushiness doesn't help). I get out for walks, errands, and I take the baby to all of these things. But overall, I'm not thrilled that my whole future is full of nothing but him. I don't think I'm depressed, as I can look at all this without passion. How do I learn to like my new role and "career"?
I Hate Being a Mom
A: Please get screened for postpartum depression. Just about every new parent feels desperate, because it's relentless, new and scary, and walking away is unthinkable. Desperation relapses are also common whenever Baby grows into a new stage.
Partly to blame is our culture's ridiculous expectation that at-home parents fit the way we live now — house-centric isolation — instead of requiring what families need and used to have: community.
Also to blame is just the nature of child-rearing. As kids learn and change, parents must learn and change with them, which is rewarding in retrospect but disorienting in the moment.
You have many possible lifelines. You can decide you'd be a better mom working than not; or accept you feel stymied and frustrated by babies but will get progressively better with toddlers, tweens, teens. Connect with other parents, through an organized group if needed. No fear, no shame.
But, again — doc first. It'll get better.