Is Motherhood What You Signed Up For?


Yesterday at the airport, my son got up to chase my husband to the food area.  My heart jumped a step as I lost sight of him.  My older child saw where him and told me he was in view.   The man next to me said kindly, “When are you ever not working as a mom?”

At first, I didn’t know what he meant.  I thought he was asking me if I work.  I wasn’t in the best of moods.  We had left the house for the airport without our two guidebooks and G.P.S., two items of great importance to me when traveling.  Even though the man was amused by the situation, by my nearly losing my child, I wasn’t really in the mood for chit chat.  But I thought about it and answered, “No one told me it’d be like this when I signed up.”

Of course, he laughed.

It’s true.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my kids.  But I also feel a lot like Jessicca Gottlieb in her recent post I Don’t Actually Like Kids in which she wrote that she doesn’t love little kids.  I’m not saying I don’t dislike little kids.  It’s fascinating to see them change, learn new things, reach milestones.  But the truth is that I relish my freedom and I’m gaining more of my freedom now …as well as my identity…as they get older.  My kids are ages 6 and 8 now, and I’m finally at the point where I don’t feel guilty about everything.  Now I can now go away for short periods.  I know they’re in good hands with my sitter or husband.  For the first 5 years, it was virtually impossible to have any kind of life that didn’t involve kids. While my life is still kid-focused, there is time for me now.  There wasn’t before.

I think I prefer motherhood as they get older (I just don’t like the fact that I, too, am getting older).

I know that this is not nice for a mom to say.   I’m just being honest.  It’s funny, my husband has never felt this way.  I think that’s because he’s always worked 40+ hours a week since they were born and relishes his time at home — even when my son runs up and down the stairs like a nutter at night. I, on the other hand, declare nightly that I am done at 9pm.  It’s my cut-off.

But you know what, with motherhood getting better and better, this is what I signed up for.  Great kids who are more independent and letting me fly. Personally, I don’t think that’s selfish…to be a great mom and a great individual.  Nothing wrong with that.

How about you, is motherhood what you signed up for?

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  1. Hi ladies. I think I’m the opposite. I’d much rather have a younger child to deal with. My son is 10. It’s 9:30 and he just went to bed an hour later than he usually does because he was still doing homework. It buggers me to no end that he doesn’t do his work in after-school where he gets enough time to do it. And to this the backtalking, the attitude, the teeth-sucking – well, you get the picture. Even worse is that he’s picking up some of these habits from his father’s/grandmother’s house where kiddo seems to be very spoiled. And I’m the only one on this end, so it seems to be me against kiddo (and his father/grandmother) and whoever else is influencing my child. Today was the first time I really wanted to pull my hair out of frustration. Where’s my time machine??

  2. When I signed up, I went in totally blind. I had never baby sat or changed a diaper. All of the sudden my husband and I brought this baby home and we were totally clueless.
    We celebrated each day we kept him alive. Then to our surprise, came son #2 just 16 months later. I think I was sleep deprived for 4 years straight and don’t remember much about the early years. But like you say, as the kids get older, you start to reap the benefits of all of your hard work and sleepless nights. I’m so glad the infant toddler stage is over. But I am proud to say I survived. And there is nothing better in the world than hearing “I love you, mommy!”

  3. It’s oddly comforting to know that so many people have so many of the same feelings, even if they’re fleeting, they’re there and they are uncomfortable.

  4. I had no idea it would this heart-string-tugging or just plain difficult at times! I also didn’t really get how altering it would be.

    I’m glad that things worked themselves out in the airport- so busy, so scary to lose site of a little one there!

  5. I can’t imagine what when through your mind when your son ran off! I also like that my kids are growing up, but not that I’m aging. Great post. I completely relate!

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