Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Tell Me About It: Two months in, 'I hate being a mom'

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Question: Had a baby two months ago. I'd never do anything to harm him or myself, and I do love him, but I hate being a mom. I stay at home with him after a decade as a high school teacher, a job I loved. When he screams, I wish I were wrangling surly teenagers because at least that's something I understand and am good at.

I'm tired of getting up all night, of never having time to myself, of the house never being clean. Husband is helpful but doesn't understand how I feel like a failure. I get lots of support from my mom and mother-in-law. But overall, I'm not thrilled that my future is full of nothing but him.

I don't think I'm depressed, as I can look at all this without passion. How do I learn to like my new role and "career"?

Answer: Please get screened for postpartum depression anyway; "I don't think I'm depressed" doesn't rule it out.

Just about every new parent feels desperate, because it's relentless, new, and scary, and walking away is unthinkable.

You have many possible lifelines. You can decide you'd be a better mom working than not; or accept that you feel stymied and frustrated by babies but will get better with toddlers, tweens, teens (most parents like one age best). You can lean more on others without guilt; or be patient till your love kicks in, since it's not instantaneous for everyone; or see for yourself that nobody's house is clean! Connect with other parents, through an organized group if needed.

But, again - doc first. It'll get better.

Chat with Carolyn Hax online at noon Fridays at


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