21 years ago I applied for a job that I was so desperate for.
My dream job, the job that would be the becoming of me.
I didn’t even care that the job came with no wage, I didn’t care that it was for 24 hours a day 7 days a week ,and I didn’t care that I would be in the same low level position FOREVER. No promotion, no appraisal, no recognition.
I didn’t care that it would mean me coming last in my own life, I didn’t care that it meant that my main purpose in life would be to serve others.
With every inch of my being I wanted that job; I wanted to be a mum.
Nature was cruel by offering me the job and then making me redundant after 13 weeks, no explanation just took my title and left me too it.
My world stopped for a short time, but my determination to get this job stayed firm and I forgave nature when I fell pregnant pretty swiftly after my miscarriage.
I was back in the job.
My world was complete.
Fast forward 21 years and 4 kids, I hate my job!
It’s relentless, it’s overwhelming, I feel defeated, cheated and invisable.
Please, before casting judgment and reminding me how grateful I should be to have the opportunity to be a mother, let me explain.
The job was not as it was sold. Motherhood didn’t come naturally to me, it still doesn’t. I became mechanical and duty bound, resentful and hateful towards myself, for getting me into this position.
It was meant to be the dream job? Everyone portrayed it as the dream job, yet I felt like I was trapped in a nightmare that never ends.
Often when mothers speak out openly about their negative feelings towards motherhood (although I’m sure many stay quiet for fear of judgment) it’s ALWAYS followed up with ‘but I love my kids’ or ‘I couldn’t be without them’, it’s said instinctively, already on the defensive, adding on more guilt about not loving their blessed position as mother. Of course they really do love their kids; that should never be up for debate but it’s OK to not love the job.
None of what I was feeling was about not loving my kids, I wasn’t blaming my kids, I wasn’t being ungrateful for my kids. I love my kids fiercely; it’s the job that I hate.
The hardest part has been trying to figure out why I didn’t love it. How could I love my kids if I hated motherhood so much? My confusion at how much I loved my kids vs how much I hated motherhood was playing on my mind ALL THE TIME and the same answer kept coming back to me I FUCKING LOVE MY KIDS just not the mundane, the repetition, the responsibility and the emotional angst that comes with the job.
When they were younger and it was really tough, I would often fantasize about going out for a pint of milk alone and never coming home. Starting a new life where nobody knew me, where I didn’t have to ‘mum’ anymore, one where I could just be me and spend my time doing what I wanted to do instead of what everyone else needed me to do.
So, why did I never do it?
Because of the love I have for my kids. There was no way I could be without them, I had to keep going, I had to stick in the job that I hated.
Of course me banging on changes nothing, I am a mother, that job is attached to me having my kids, and for that reason, please god may this job be mine until the day I die.
I make the most of my motherhood, I do mum stuff, I nurture, I play (not lego, I have my limits), I ensure their well-being. My kid’s happiness is paramount to me and far outranks my own, so I mother to the best of my ability and just keep on keeping on.
I’m at a place where I forgive myself for not loving it and with that comes some ease and some peace. It’s ok to admit that motherhood is not what you thought it would be and to find a way to make it work best for you and your kids regardless.
I’ve stopped equating how I feel about motherhood with how I feel about my kids. I don’t need to say the words ‘I love my kids’ every time I share an admission to hating motherhood. I have raised 4 incredible people, I’ve kept them all alive, feed, watered, educated, loved (I’ve loved them a little too much if I’m honest, over compensating maybe?), I’ve taken them on incredible holidays, made memorable childhoods full of fun life experiences and lots of laughter, I’ve supported them through the tough teen years and continue to support them as young adults.
I am still, and always will be mothering, my ‘job’ is ongoing.
My actions prove my love.