monty bax
Parenting, Toddlers

I love my kids but I don’t always love being a mum

Monty by Monty
May 10th, 2017
monty bax

Last night in a packed restaurant I cried. Not just a couple of tears either, I’m talking the ugly girl cry. I was sitting with Sam my boyfriend, munching on our Mexican and just generally chatting about our boys. I could feel the tears starting to well and tried to fight them back. Rookie mistake. Always makes the river worse when you try to suck it up.

I’m sure to the fellow refried bean eaters it looked like Sam was breaking up with me. What a jerk crushing my heart while I was crunching on corn chips. It was nothing that dramatic though. Sam was not asking me to pack my bags and leave our home, instead he was sitting opposite me, holding my hand and reassuring me that I am not the world’s worst mum.

I felt like I’d been carrying a big dirty secret and needed to get it off my chest. So, last night over a bowel of gauc I told Sam, the father of our mini men, that I sometimes seriously hate being a mum. Even as I write that I feel the guilt tighten in my chest.

It was the first time I had said those words out loud. I felt ashamed saying it, but also some relief.

guI love my kids more than anything, that goes without saying, but sometimes every part of me wants to bolt for the hills. Gump style, run run run and never bloody look back.

I have a  3-year-old and a 6 year-old and I feel broken daily. Sometimes it makes me feel like I am failing miserably at this mum caper when such tiny humans makes me stand in the bathroom and cry alone.

I have buttons I didn’t know existed until they came along. Just when I think there is no more buttons to be pushed, they will find one.

Honesty time (as if it wasn’t already). Sometimes when my 5-year-old has got me to a point of sheer exhaustion and frustration, I grab his little hand and squeeze it way harder than I know I should. I want to Chinese burn the shit out of it, somehow I manage to stop short of that. I am not personally partial to smacking but this hand squeezing is done often, mainly for my own satisfaction.

shoI am also faced daily with the  guilt of not wanting to be with my boys full time and I often don’t even want to be with them part time. The groundhogness of trying to get shoes on little feet, wiping bums, making bottles, negotiating dinner Every. Effing. Night, drives me beyond crazy.

Some days I feel like I am losing it, like I am too selfish to be a mum. I want my cake and damn right I want to eat it too… and no I don’t often want to share it.

I try not to compare myself to other mums but I often do. I feel like everyone around me has a firm grip on everything while I feel like I’m usually hanging on by a thread that often snaps.

It had been a bad day that bought on the nacho howling. Nothing that out of the norm; a tantrum, a leaked nappy, running out of wet ones and not even a small taste of the dinner I prepared, not even a taste. JUST TASTE IT. It was a normal day, one mirrored in a million homes. But it made me hate being a mum. That happens often. Sometimes it is just for fleeting minutes and other times it gets to the end of the day and I have loathed the whole bloody thing.

Then my boys will do something undeniably cute that melts the ice around my heart, like nuzzle into me on the couch or offer me a sip of a milk bottle.

I love them, but I can admit I don’t always love being a mum though.

 Do you feel like this too?

Check out some of the women we have had On The Couch chatting about being a mum.

  • August

    Thank you for being real x

  • mumafit

    Omg yes… I have felt like that on soooo many occasions. I’ll admit it is happening less and less now, the longer I’ve been a mum. Not sure whether that means I’m becoming more accepting of the groundhog or whether its because I’m genuinely enjoying it more and its getting easier (easier in some ways and harder in others…). But…I know I’m a better mum for having breaks from them, and I know that not enjoying their company 24/7 doesnt mean I love them any less. All of this is normal..I hope!!

  • Roozee

    Yep the groundhog part of it kills me, literally kills me as well. All I can say, school is a beautiful thing!

  • leah

    Hope you’re having a better day today Monts and no you are definitely not alone! Xxx

  • Urban Fringe

    Do you know I reckon the hardest time to parent is the 3 year-old and baby combo? It was for me, anyway. There were so many emotional demands made by the 3 year-old and so many physical demands made by the baby that I felt really exhausted and stretched most of the time. But both my children have turned from being really demanding (sometimes quite horrible little buggers – yes, I’ve done my share of hand squeezing too as I firmly guide my child out of the park after they have thrown a massive tantrum) to being really far more manageable and enjoyable kids to parent once they turned 4. Now that the youngest is 4 himself, I feel like we are out of the trenches. It does get easier but I think we all need to give ourselves permission to have a crappy day once in a while and a good cry. (PS – loved your interview with Amy Schumer – you seem to be one of the few people that she enjoyed chatting to!!)

  • Josephine Giaouris

    I remember the “winter of 2012″ my kids were 3 & 1 1/2 – I would get into a nice warm shower and not want to get out EVER… It’s hard but nothing worthwhile is easy….it gets easier / well it changes – the exhaustion of having the baby goes away and they do start to wipe their own bums. I high five myself every birthday….yay – survived another year

  • Kim

    We’re not meant to live like this – small family units of 4. We’re meant to be in a family group of 150, sharing everything, cooking, cleaning, child rearing, hunting, gathering etc. I’m constantly surprised how we pretend to be normal and hold it together all the time while going slowly insane… BTW I live in a family of 4 and I can’t remember much, it was too traumatic. Both children are at school now 6&8. Can’t wait until they’re 16&18. Well done for saying out loud the silent pain we all feel/suffer.

  • Leah wiseman

    Love you. Xx

  • Guest

    I loved reading this Monty. I feel like this all the time

  • Monty

    Thank you SO much. Glad you loved it. We are SO not alone it appears. M xx

  • Monty

    Back at you lady xx

  • Monty

    I SOOOOO agree. Why did we get rid of our fucking VILLAGE!?!
    Thank you for your message. Loved it. M xx

  • Monty

    Haha Love that. I so hear you. Most days are the winter of 2012 at the moment BUT i hear it gets easier. RIGHT? Ha.
    Love M xxx

  • Monty

    SO great to hear. I hear four is the age it gets a little bit easier so great you said that too. I feel like I am deep deep down in the trenches with little glimmers of light here and there that i cling to for dear life. Ha.
    And thank you SO much for your Amy compliment- I have seen some tough interviews with her so was So thrilled ours was a goody. <M xxxx

  • Monty

    Thank you- makes it that much easier knowing so many awesome mum’s feel the same M xxxx

  • Monty


  • Monty

    More accepting or it getting easier- either is ace. Hope to join you soon. Ha. M xxxx

  • Monty

    Thank YOU for taking the time to write that. Love it. M xxx

  • Kate Ritchie

    You poor sausage, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time. I promise you it gets easier Monty. I think part of the problem is the pressure to pretend it’s all rainbows and unicorns and cute tiny pastel clothes when it’s often really hard physical and emotional yakka. And it can be lonely as hell too. Good on for you being willing to put how you’re feeling out there. It wasn’t like this for me but it was tough in other ways. We all have our struggles and our self doubt. We all have parts of motherhood we’re good at and other parts that do our head in. You might be awesome at dealing with teenagers and another mum who was great in the early years really struggles with it. Just be good to yourself, as good as you can. Take a break. Go for a staycation, even a night away just on your own in a hotel room can be so replenishing. Do whatever you need to, to stay in the best mental state you can, because that’s not only best for you, it’s best for your family too xxx

  • Sue

    Thanks for sharing Monty, I have felt the same way many times. My boys are now 2 and 4 and it does get easier although when you are in the middle of the chaos it is hard to believe that. I have returned to work part-time which has helped me immensely. It gives me time away from my boys being an adult and makes me appreciate my boys more when I am with them and thankfully my boys love their time in childcare. Hang in there, don’t put pressure on yourself and know it’s ok to feel this way at the moment, it won’t last forever. x

  • Lulu

    Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for this Monty, I feel EXACTLY, the same! I have had a very similar ugly crying session as I told my husband that sometimes I really don’t like our son (I always love him), and how guilty I feel about it. My son’s name is Baxter and he’s almost the same age as yours – maybe it’s in the name?! I also have an 11 month old, and I much prefer the days when it’s just her and I and her brother’s at day care!
    I just wish that there was a way to take time off from being a mother. Even when you get an hour or two off, you’re still ultimately responsible for them, and that pressure is exhausting!
    Thanks again Monty, it really does help to know some other mums feel the same.

  • Louise

    This is ME, this is so me!! Thank you Jesus I’m not the only mum out there that feels this way. Thanks Monty for having the balls to write this and make a gazillion mums out there not feel so guilty feeling this way!!

  • Katie

    YEP 100% I love the fact that we are having babies later, clearing the 20’s and 30’s for parties, careers and life all about us. BUT that’s why I recon a lot of us can relate to your story. We are use to being us. Babies change that in a great way BUT we are not just us anymore.
    Bless ya cotton socks xx

  • Bianca

    I don’t have kids yet but these illustrations come to mind

  • Sarah.

    Hmmmm I can relate 100% my youngest two girls are 13 months apart and I have an 8 year old girl and two stepsons… Yes 5 children when we are all together we are a family of 7… I am 26 my husband is 25 I really really have my hard days but in honesty it’s my bubba my beautiful last child, the straw that broke the camels back, she has broken the mould, doesn’t like to sleep, eat or really play by any of the rules… I love them all more than anything but I crave sleep, quiet, freedom and a degree of sanity…. People always say to me things like oh you’re so calm or you handle it so well etc etc if my babies are in meltdown mode and I’m standing there smiling thinking in my head. F*** Yeah I am fooling them lol but in reality I’m in public so I can hardly go into meltdown mode myself almost every day is a struggle and sometimes I think to myself that I wish I wasn’t a stay at home mum and should I go back to work so I can do things like pee and poop alone or get tea and coffee breaks and wait for it… A lunch break… My babies tag team with their sleeping so there is always one who is awake and don’t even get me started on the night time… Between them both I see just about every single hour on the clock at night most nights… Then wake up to my almost 2 year old snuggling me one second and smacking me in the face with my phone the next and my bub screaming through the monitor to be picked up from her cot… I could go on and on but basically… I get you I find myself quite often hating being a mum though I love my children to the ends of the earth!

    We are all in this battle together but for those of you who haven’t experienced what it is like to have children who are more self sufficient… Just you wait pretty soon they will be getting up and making their own cereal and turning on cartoons on a Saturday morning, wiping their own butt and dressing themselves… We were already there and went back for more punishment lol!

  • Tawny Spain

    Having come from a Mother who knew without question that she wanted to be a mother, and realizing that right or wrong, I know I have tested her patience, nerves and boundaries at every turn for the sake of my own curiosity and mercurial nature. In adulthood we have had candid conversations about my take on her parenting style, my temperament and the way my growth unfolded. She saw children as an adventure and she knew she would have to navigate her temper and try not lose her marbles along the way but she was fully coommitted from the outset and at no point did she ever act like or feel as though she wanted to abandon her children. We were hers. She called us ‘mine’ in tickle games growing up. We were never afraid she would just up and walk off. And as a result as an adult, not being a part of my family’s life is not an option. I can honestly say that I would make an excellent Mother but I also know I would not be as good a mother as My Mother because I have never possessed her certitude. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to sense a Mother who hated her role and wanted to jump ship but I can tell you that I was an overly sensitive kid who didn’t verbalize complex emotions until much later and I would have sensed that. My Mother and I have had to navigate other neuroses I picked up on besides the notion of wanting to “run for the hills” but if she had ever thought she didn’t want her children I don’t know if I ever would have asked her to be my friend.

  • Nayrha

    I feel/felt the same way. My husband is always telling me that child rearing isn’t suppose to be like it. That it takes a community to raise a child and that when we share child rearing, everyone is less stressed out. I agree with him now and wonder how things arrived to the point that it is at now. Everyone being separated and living alone while wearing a mask of happiness when they frolic through the mall lol. But I fee the same way you feel and I too felt guilty admitting it. It’s good to see people be so open and honest about their feelings! I commend you for sharing this post and being brutally raw!

  • Jade

    Even as I read your story I struggled to hold back the memory of my own tears and the VERY SAME conversation I had with my husband not so very long ago. I love my kids but I often hate being the full time carer of two small people who (it feels) set out to frustrate me at every turn. I sometimes resent my husband’s (perceived) freedom and I take all this with a great big dose of guilt.

    When people tell me to treasure this time I want to punch them in the face. And yet, when my son decided he was too old to hold my hand this week, I felt the first pang of loss.

    I never expected to experience motherhood as every single emotion within an hour (and sometimes significantly less) on reply 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its no wonder we are exhausted.

  • Monty

    Oh Jade. Thank you SO much for writing this. I flinched when I read your son didn’t want to hold your hand. I dread that day even though I find myself sometimes wishing time away at the same time. I hear everything you are saying loud and clear. Loads of love. M xxx

  • Monty

    Thanks so much Sue. Lovely words and I appreciate it. M x

  • Monty

    Lulu- it’s the fucking name!we jinxed ourselves. Ha.
    I hear EVERYWORD you wrote. Loads of love. M x

  • Monty

    You are SO not alone. Can’t believe how many feel the same as us. Loads of love. M xx

  • Monty

    Oh my gosh Sarah. Five kids. Yowsa. Give yourself some serious credit for even writing that. So much love to you and even though I don’t have my hands as full as you I feel and hear you. Loads of love. M x

  • Monty

    Nayrha- seriously we stuffed it along the way. Ha. Loads of love to you and thank you for your words. M x

  • Leigh

    Monty your amazing, for calling it how it is and not being brave enough to say so. We have two girls 22 months and 10 weeks, and tonight over dinner I said to my hubby ‘I don’t think I’m cut out for this Mum business…….’ Can I pack my bags and go away for a few nights? Nope because the littlest peanut needs me for the boobs……or at least that’s what it feels like. I feel like I don’t know my 2 year old anymore she’s SO testing, and my patients at the moment is crap. So yep I’m joining the ‘worst mum ever’ club, I’m wishing months away to get past the newborn phase…… I want me back if that’s even possible?! Or to work out what the new version of me is….
    I get asked all the time if we’re going to have more, as many around us are going back for number 3 or 4, my honest answer would be “I don’t think I’m copping with two, any more might tip me over the edge!!!”

  • Kerry

    Oh Sarah, my two are 13mths apart too (without any older ones) and seriously it’s a daily struggle! I seriously underestimated how hard this would be. Soooooo tired, exhausted all the time. Completely opposite routines during the day now and I liken my days to playing ‘whack a mole’.
    Thanks Monty for sharing. The whole ‘village’ concept is true. My partner and I live remote and isolated so it’s just us but we are in an indigenous community where we see how the children here are raised by extended families and it’s so lovely. Wish we were around family at times.
    I also wish time away and look forward to the day they are both a little older.
    Sad but true.

  • Emma

    My boys are older now, but I clearly remember the early times when the days dragged, but be assured… The years fly by! My 3 boys were born within three years of each other-the youngest two being ten months apart (yes, that can happen!). I remember feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and guilty for feeling that way, but any other details are pretty much just a blur. What you’re feeling is normal. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, hiding, crying. Being Mum is the hardest, most emotional ‘job’ you can have. But it’s also the best, most rewarding. It’s just a shame it’s a 24 hour a day job, especially when they are too little to do much for themselves. Hang in there… It gets easier… Honest! And then they enter the teen years.

  • fatmah

    Being a mum is so wonderful when i look at my 2 girls it give me hope that one day i will give them the life they deserve but what hurts the most is when they ask for some thing several times and you can’t afford it.But still i have given them hope that one day i will be able to put them in good schools,shelter and lots more and they believe because a mother’s love is a true love forever.
    cheers to all mums

  • SS

    I wish I had seen this article 2 years ago when I had given birth to our first baby. From the day our daughter was born something inside of me changed but I didn’t quite understand what. From the outside it looked like I was coping wonderfully, but internally, I was a mess. I cried almost every…single…day and thought I was a terrible person for not being able to love and appreciate every second I had with my beautiful, healthy, happy little girl. It wasn’t until our second baby came along 17 months later that I was diagnosed with severe post natal depression and everything finally made sense. I broke down at that point (as did my husband). Raising children is the hardest (and most incredible) thing you will ever do. It astounds me that in our modern society, the role of a mother is so undervalued. In my experience, working 10 hour days in a relatively full on job was child’s play in comparison to raising children. To the mothers out there who are struggling, please remember, ‘you don’t know how strong you are until strong is the only option you have’.

  • Michelle

    Abso-bloody-lutely! I can totally relate and even though I have so much judgement on myself because of it, I can’t deny my feelings. So just gotta feel the feels, not make them “wrong”, support each other and ask for help. Big love to you, monty, and all the other mums out there!!