Saturday, June 25, 2011


I was browsing through a blog recommended to me by an acquaintance (Childfreedom, you may have heard of it) and came across a link to this Secret Confessions page. It's full of women who became mothers for the wrong reasons: because their partner wanted a child, to make their parents happy, because they were under the impression motherhood was universally joyful, because they they were talked into it by friends. These women, by accounts, are not bad mothers; they love their kids and do right by them. But they are so very unhappy.

It's heartbreaking, and a bit frightening - there but for the grace of the gods - and the worst part, in the midst of feeling so bad for these women, is that there is no way out. This is a life decision, and if it's the wrong one it can be a life sentence.

Some bits and pieces really stood out for me, and I'll quote them, and hope the mostly-anonymous women who posted them know I feel for them and wish them the very best, and much strength.

"I love my daughter yes, but I do not like being a mom because I never wanted the title. Now my social life is ruined, my body is ruined and I’m living a life I never wanted. I don’t know if my marriage is going to last and I may just end up packing up and leaving without telling anyone where I am."
"My 6 year old sucks the life blood out of me. When I complain about her people look at me like I’m nuts – like we are all supposed to paste a smile on and pretend motherhood is the best thing on earth."
"It brings tears to my eyes to read this for two reasons: 1) I feel exactly like so many of you do, and 2) I feel we are all trapped in this existance. I love my children, but I so wish I had chosen a different path. Not to say that it would have been easier or even better… but I want more than anything to be able to disappear from my reality."
"I hate life everyday and have to lie to myself to keep going, I feel like my ambitions are faded and when I look in the mirror I don’t know who is looking back at me. Being a mother is not fulfilling like people say it is, maybe it is to them or maybe they’re lying…some people need to be needed and some of us don’t."
"I empathize with every mother here who believed what the media portrayed and others told them about how amazing it was to be a mom. I too fell for it. I am now hating life and everything that comes with being a mom."

One of the things I personally cannot stand is the negative way motherhood can impact on some women, and the lack of social support there is for those who just can't deal with it. It's all tied in to the homogeneous "Motherhood is the best thing a woman can experience" crap peddled by our societies. Even when women do speak up they are told "yes, but it's all worth it, isn't it?"; many are made to think they are not only bad mothers but bad people. Those who have a read through the link posted above will see a supposed mother (possibly a troll - one can but hope) saying these mothers expressing their angst and frustration at a life they did not want should have their children taken away by Child Protective Services. So they're forced to put the mask back on and maintain the lie that motherhood is always rewarding. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I have to truly admire woman who actually have the strength to admit to themselves and even an anonymous site such as the one you shared, that motherhood does not suit them. There is such a social misconception on being a mother from being pregnant to having the child and then who to raise them. Even more so then on how we are supposed to feel about it. I think part of the problem is, as you pointed you sometimes when a person looks at a mother that is all they see; a mother. Forgetting that that mother is still just a person and woman.

  2. Thank you! I may not want children myself but I really appreciate the good parents who do their best to raise the next generation, and have polite children.

    Plus I think it's part of feminism and supporting women's rights as a whole to remember and recognise that being a mother doesn't mean you stop being everything else. You're still a woman, with all that implies, and should be able to express that, especially all the trials and difficulties that come with motherhood. Why is it so taboo to discuss them - particularly given how important the job is? I swear some over-critical supermum bitches spoil it for everyone.

  3. That they do, and there is also something to be said for those such as yourself who do not have children nor want to have a child. I imagine you get some odd looks or snide, demeaning comments yourself when you express your lack of desire to become a mother. And just as with a mother who can admit that they wish they'd chosen a different lifestyle, it takes strength equally to say that you don't regret not having children and don't seek to in the future. It's actually very admirable and responsible to do so and not give into the pressures of society or perhaps disapproving peers or family members only to regret it later.

  4. The biggest issue for me as a CF person is that so many people treat you like you have no idea what you want out of life. It's the patronising people who bother me the most. Everyone tells you you'll change your mind, or that they'll believe you when you're 35. Even doctors will refuse to respect your decision - whereas women younger than me are having kids all the time and no one is judging them for it or (dare I say it) telling them they'll change their minds in the future. I have a lot of CF friends so it doesn't bother me too much but occasionally I get up in arms about it.

  5. I am so sharing this with everyone I can think of. Thank you for posting it.