I can almost feel your judging eyes even if I don’t know you. However, you might also relate to me, which is why you decided to give this a read. I want to remind you that you don’t have to feel guilty if you are the latter. There is a stigma into admitting the feeling of regret when you become a mother, but know that you are not alone. There are other moms who feel the same.
First of all, I want to take this moment to remind you about postpartum blues or depression. Some mothers can experience these conditions because of the emotions that come with childbirth. You might feel anxious, or you might even find yourself having crying spells during the days after you delivered your baby.
But sometimes, postpartum blues get severe and turn into depression. I strongly recommend that you consult a doctor, and there is nothing wrong if you find yourself relating to either condition.
The Influx of Regrets
It may start as you comparing your life then and to your life now. While I am excited to hold my daughter for the first time in the delivery room, there is a thought at the back of my mind that I am trying to quiet down.
When we came home, and my husband told me he’d take care of our daughter and that I can sleep to rest, I was alone with that thought. I think, “Wow, this is really it; I am now a mother.” I cannot describe if the feeling is completely negative, but it isn’t positive either. It is definitely different from what I anticipated my reaction would be once we come home as a family.
I feel terrible, partly because of the expectations I set for myself, and partly because I compare myself with other mothers. And it is also making me feel guilty because unlike other moms who regretted having a child; I actually do wanted to start a family.
Parenthood is Scary
My husband and I waited for years until we are both ready. And I thought I am, and maybe I really am, it’s just at that moment, I feel confused and overwhelmed. There’s no doubt that I love my daughter, but I will also be lying if I said I don’t imagine some what-ifs. What if my husband and I aren’t ready? What if I won’t be a good mom? What is our life be like if our daughter hasn’t arrived yet? What if I’m going to be happier if I didn’t become a mom?
I remember being so stressed when my baby developed rashes. How did I not check if she needed a changing her diaper? Can I do mommy duties every single day if I fail to do something as trivial like that? After I bought some cloth diapers like these, her rashes subside, and I feel accomplished that I am an environment-conscious mom. But this brief moment of bliss is immediately replaced by feeling scared about what’s yet to come.
I know how silly it is, but while my newborn cannot even sit up straight, I am already thinking about how I’m going to handle a toddler. I am already scared if my cute little angel happens to turn into a brat just because her mom doesn’t read enough books for disciplining children.
I feel so much pressure that I get into a state of comparing how my life used to be so easy when it’s just my husband and I at the house. And now, we are even arguing about the brand of formula that our little one should drink. If someone were to hand me a remote control that can undo some life events, I might go back to the day my husband and I agreed on having a child and say no.
Missing Your Freedom
If you can relate to me so far, I’m glad that I am not alone. However, I know that some of you are probably thinking that I am a bad person. Don’t get me wrong; I will do my best to make sure my daughter grows up in a loving home. It’s just that there are times where I am consumed by the thoughts of “could’ve beens.”
There are times where as much as I enjoy hearing my daughter giggling, I feel like I am also going to be sacrificing my whole life. Yes, I know that is what parenthood is, but there’s so much more than sacrifices, right?
I have let go of the time for my hobbies and leisure in order to accommodate mommy duties. Instead of sleeping when she is sleeping, I use this time to do laundry or prepare her baby food. Over time, I’m starting to see a pattern, and I’m not excited about it.
I feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and regretful, and I hate that I feel those things. I feel like I have no more time for myself. But it’s not like I’m blaming my lovely child, perhaps I am blaming myself for jumping into parenthood.
I have to bid goodbye to hobbies and spontaneous decisions because now I have someone solely independent in me. You start to fantasize what’s it like when you don’t have kids. What’s it like when you pull an all-nighter because of watching cooking shows and not because of your fussy baby?
You Will Cope
Society and our upbringing have a way of making us feel like terrible mothers if we have thoughts like the ones I mentioned. There are no other facets and understandings of why a woman can feel those things other than her being a monster. However, let me tell you this; you have the right to feel that way.
I know that different women have different reasons for why they might regret motherhood. However, you might also be like me, who only had those thoughts momentarily. Over time, you’ll realize that you haven’t lost the potential to be happy and free. You haven’t lost all of your life that you will have opportunities to make yourself feel content.
For me, I can’t let go of my love for pottery, so whenever I have the time; yes, I still have time, I do one. I may not have the same time duration to completely lose myself in pottery, but I still can make one.
And once your little one grows up, you might actually be surprised at how much you miss his/her dependency on you.