The blisters of motherhood

2 Dec

A woman I know who never wants to have children recently told me that the biggest reason she doesn’t want kids is because she wouldn’t be able to do her job properly anymore, and she knows that she would resent it.

I am a firm believer that people who don’t want to have children shouldn’t have children… but I do wonder if ever there was a mother who didn’t resent her children.  At some time.

There, I said it: sometimes I resent my children.  It’s true, sometimes this mantle of motherhood isn’t a perfect fit.  Sometimes it chafes.  It has not-so-comfy parts: the pinching you-can’t-go-out bits, the rubbing I-need-my-boob patches, the waking-all-night, crying-all-day, you-can’t-drink-that, do-it-some-other-year spots.  Oooh, especially those do-it-some-other-year spots.

Once I told a (childless) girlfriend that there were nights when Jade was tiny when I would get so frustrated with her I’d tell her, “Baby, if I didn’t love you so much, I’d put you out on the curb with the trash cans.”  “That’s terrible!” she gasped.  And I knew there was no way I could explain to make her understand.

How to explain those times where the gap between what I want and what they want is such a yawning chasm I can’t see way over to the other side?  It is one thing to know those times are coming, and it is quite another to live them.

But then — then! — there are the sweetest moments. 

Today Halia wandered over to Jade and whacked her and Michael said, “Halia!  No!  You don’t hit Jade.  Be gentle with her!”  And Halia looked at Michael, and then looked at Jade, and then she leaned over and gave Jade a huge hug.  And then another one.  And Jade hugged her back and didn’t complain when Halia’s wayward footing took apart some of her puzzle pieces.

And just yesterday Halia started signing “milk” and “out” and I can’t even tell you how so, so wonderful it is to have her communicate with me using words.

And Jade has been nicknamed everyone “Monkey”, and when I put her to bed tonight she told me sleepily as I left her room, “I love you, Mama Monkey.”

And if I had written this post yesterday, it would have been about how stifled I feel and how much I want to get out and sing and see where my voice might take me.  But today I am soothed and calm and (dareIsayit) competent.  And that is this motherhood thing, isn’t it?  It fits like a corset one day, and like your favourite old jeans the next, and it’s hard to tell what kind of day it’s going to be.

Yes, I resent my children.  At times.  But this motherhood thing, it suits me fine.  It looks good on me, dammit.  And it’s certainly worth the occasional blister.


22 Responses to “The blisters of motherhood”

  1. Laurie December 3, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    I have lurked for a long time, and never commented. Your life is fascinating to me, because it is SO different from mine. Mine is so…commonplace, compared to what you live with. At any rate, I am compelled to comment today because the one thing we do have in common is motherhood, even if my children are much older than yours. And I have NEVER heard it described so perfectly as you have done here. In 20+ years of raising children, that is EXACTLY how I feel, have felt. My second child was sick, constantly, and cried, nonstop when she was little, night and day. She never slept, just cried. And my husband and I said that we totally understood why people with less, (less what I don’t know – brains? love? common sense?) abused their children. We never did, but we could understand a bit how someone might be tempted. Like leaving her on the curb. I GET that. I also know how much you love your girls. We want to raise children, we want to do a good job, we love them to death, but we are people, too, and there are times we just want to be recognized as such – a person, with our own interests, desires, etc. separate from being a mom.
    You post is just beautiful.

  2. Tammy December 3, 2009 at 6:13 am #

    See, THIS is the sort of thing new mom’s need to hear! No one ever talks about the days (or nights) when you just can’t remember why you thought a baby would be a good idea. Very nicely done, Fawn.
    I often wondered, and still do at times, what I would be doing if those Terror’s hadn’t come along. This daydream is very popular around 5 am!!!

  3. Vivian Lee December 3, 2009 at 6:19 am #


    I would like to introduce myself: I work on tourism management now.

    I am 25 years old.I have 7 years experience of tourism.

    University major in Electronic Commerce and English, four years of part-time work in a travel agency.

    I am from China.I want to work in Yukon and live there.

    Could u provide me a Employment Letter?

    Can you to help by looking for employers?

    I look forward to your reply.Thank you!

    yours sincerely


  4. Vivian Lee December 3, 2009 at 6:28 am #

    I am sorry, I am also very difficult to find this page, I give you a message on your MSN too, but it has not received a reply. No idea where you can contact with you, I hope to know you. Your children are cute, you are the people of Taiwan do? I like the Yukon, and want to live here. Really hope you can add my MSN. Thanks

  5. Lindsay December 3, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Well written, I think you would be hard pressed to find a mother that hadn’t had similar feelings at some point, yet it seems so taboo to be able to say it…always nice to find out you aren’t alone:)

  6. Jenny Keesee December 3, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    You should try to read I was a really good mom before I had kids. It’s packed full of stuff like this and so funny (easy read)
    When Isaiah was really little a girl I went to school with said “Isn’t being a mommy wonderful” and I have made a point NOT to say that to anyone, especially a new mom! I mean Hell no it’s not wonderful, all the time. No one would say ” I didn’t sleep last night, my nipples are chaffed, my bladder is shot, I love my stretch marks and droopy boobs, my feet grew a full size, I love only eating while standing, cleaning the smell of sour milk out of clothes, isn’t life grand!”

  7. Claire December 3, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    Perfect post! So very true!

  8. christiane December 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    “It fits like a corset one day, and like your favourite old jeans the next” Well put! Its definitely a roller-coaster! 🙂


  9. tanialeclerc December 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Seriously the best written thing I’ve read anywhere in the past month. Perfectly worded!

  10. Cristina December 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    HAHA! So true. 🙂 I just forwarded this to a bunch of my friends–I think this is the dark secret of motherhood!

    Sometimes, I’d tell Bertrand when he was fussy for hours, “Mama needs a time out now.” I’d make sure all of his needs were met, and I’d go sit outside or turn off the baby monitor for 10-15 minutes. I felt AWFUL doing it the first time, but I’d come back and he’d be asleep or playing or happy!

  11. Karyn December 3, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Well…I am not sure if I am that childless girlfriend in question, but I do recall a very similar conversation between you and I , and that my reaction was exactly as you describe! I often think about that conversation, and think that it was the most honest reflection of motherhood that I have ever heard. I am sure that there are many, MANY more parents that feel the same way as you do, they just don’t admit it. Right now I have very idealistic expectations about parenting and the type of mother that I will one day be, but I am positive that the day will come when I feel like putting my child out with the trash as well, and I am thankful that I will have this to reflect on and know that I will not be alone in these feelings! Thanks for always being so honest!! P.S. Sorry for the HORRIBLE reaction-it is definitely not terrible to have those feelings from time to time and I think you are an AMAZING mother!!

  12. Opa December 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    Wonder our Inuit friends had it all figured out back in the old days. There must be SOME advantages to living in an igloo hamlet. Get overwhelmed by it all, just palm’em off to the igloo next door with your sister. Those igloos are pretty soundproof, too. And none of that career against kids dilemma. Making mukluks and nursing don’t conflict with one another….. I mean, any nation that can invent an amautiq must know SOMETHING about parenting.

  13. Heather December 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    You’re a good mama and such a fighter. I think it’s a little more difficult when things aren’t quite ‘right’.

    It does fit us well though, doesn’t it?

    …what am I?

    I am a mother. It is hard…the hardest thing I have ever done. Some days it drains every last bit of energy in my bones. But it has never been clearer as to what my journey in life should be.

    That’s kind of nice. BTW…I’ve had moose meatballs and they rock!

  14. Marie December 3, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Fawn, I can so relate to your post. As so many others said, it is an excellent description of motherhood – or parenthood in general (althought I don’t think too many Dad’s worry about saggy boobs or stretch marks – LOL).

    I love watching my girls together; loving each other. It warms my heart and gives me a sense of rightness with the world.

    All the best!

  15. Vivian Lee December 4, 2009 at 2:05 am #


  16. Bubblybunny December 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Took the words out of my mouth. I’ve been thinking about posting something very similar in the past few weeks but never got around to sitting down and putting those feelings into words. Maybe I should just “re-post” the first 1/2 of your blog entry. Hahah…

  17. Silindile Ntuli December 6, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    This is so honest and true. I’m not a mother but I do have a nephew. He calls me mom and he’s like a son to me really. We have moments that are so perfect and then he’d do something that would make me wanna pack him in a box for a few days, but I never do of course, lol… Our moments are made worse by the fact that I can’t speak but I love that little boy with everything I am.. Your post deserves an award

  18. Captain Momma December 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh Fawn, you put it so eloquently! And so true:)



  19. Kara December 7, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    How did I miss this post!! I absolutely loved it. I have been going through so many ups and downs with these boys lately. I keep threatening to sell them to the gypsies. Now Hunter replies with, “No mum! No jisses!” ahahahahah Once he says that I fall in love with him all over again.

  20. Asheya December 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    Too true! The new country and the old kids have been wearing me down lately, and I start to fantasize about what I could be doing if I didn’t have kids…but then my mind goes blank because I can’t even remember what it was like before. Do you think long term sleep deprivation can affect long term memory, ha ha!

    Thanks for saying it, Fawn. We all want to be good moms, and I think in the end we’ll get there (and then we’ll miss all this, won’t we?).

  21. triciacolemusic April 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Truer words have never been written about motherhood. It really sucks sometimes and othertimes it rocks my world. I think we all need to know that everybody feels this way at times and that it is natural and normal and makes you just a parent…not a bad parent…an imperfect parent maybe…but I have always known that babies were made as cute as they are just so we wouldn’t leave them by the roadside.


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