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How to Survive the “I Hate Being a Mom” Phase: Tips for Tired Moms

Exhausted mom in the “I hate being a mom” phase

I’m so tired. I hate being a mom. Is there any way out?

These are just some of the things that I find myself saying in my head more and more as time goes by. But hey, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my kids. Soooo much. I’m also in love with motherhood in many ways, but that doesn’t mean that I’m always enthusiastic about it. I’m just saying that, like a lot of moms like me, there are days when all I ever feel is tired and all over the place. And if you’ve ever felt like that, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you are not a bad mom for feeling the way you do.   Content Overview: Is It Normal to Hate Being a Mom? Is It Normal to Hate Your Child? Why We Get Tired of Being a Mom How to Survive the “I Hate Being a Mom” Phase When to Seek Help  

Is It Normal to Hate Being a Mom?

It’s absolutely normal to hate being a mom sometimes. After all, being a mom is probably the most thankless and difficult job there is. You have to mold a little person into a healthy, conscientious human being. You have to feed them, bathe them, clean up after them. And you have to stay sane through it all! I’m not saying that we should be given an award for doing what we do (although a pat on the back or a spa day every now and then is a good idea). What I’m getting at is that being a mom is hard, and it’s okay to feel negative about it from time to time.  

Is It Normal to Hate Your Child?

We’re prone to losing our calm when we’re exhausted. Worse, we also become irritable or even resentful. This is why some moms may feel like they hate their children sometimes. In fact, there’s a study that reveals that some moms have a love-hate relationship with their infants! Hate is a strong word, of course. Most mommas don’t really hate their children, but their frustrations can make them feel exactly that. Especially for moms who just had their first child, the challenges of their postpartum recovery may feel like the most difficult part of their lives. [bctt tweet="Mommas don’t really hate their children, but their frustrations can make them feel like they #hatebeingamom." username="getmilksta"]   RELATED: Postpartum Recovery & How to Not Sabotage Your Healing  

Why We Get Tired of Being a Mom

Any stressed-out mommy knows that our exhaustion is rarely just physical. Entering motherhood comes with giving up a part (or many parts) of ourselves and our former lives, so it’s normal to feel tired mentally and emotionally as well. Here are some of the common reasons why many moms feel extremely tired:  

1. You can’t seem to adjust to being a mom

While some women gain a deep sense of purpose after having a child, there are some of us who feel like fish out of water. You might be having thoughts like you don’t really know what you’re doing or why you even considered having a kid. This then manifests as a sense of inadequacythat you’re not cut out for motherhood, no matter how hard you try. Naturally, prolonged feelings of inadequacy lead to resentment and some kind of hate. And if you’ve been a go-getter or an achiever before your parenting life, then your frustrations now can easily lead you into the “I hate being a mom” mindset.  

2. You feel like your relationship with your partner is getting messed up

Moms may struggle to keep their relationship with their partner (and with other people in their life, for that matter) on an even keel after having a kid. This isn’t because they don’t value these other people in their lives. It’s simply because, after the arrival of the baby, they have so much more on their plate than they realized and this takes a huge toll on them. If you feel like your new role as a mom is straining your relationship with your partner, it’s best to be honest about it and talk to your partner. Don’t hesitate to talk about how you’re feeling or what you’re worried about. Additionally, both of you must know that your postpartum hormones will affect your libido. Your sex drive may fall or peak on certain days, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Your partner is adjusting too, and knowing that both of you are trying to make things work will make you feel less alone. It’ll probably take your relationship to the next level as well! [bctt tweet="If you feel like #beingamom is straining your relationship with your partner, be honest about it and talk to your partner." username="getmilksta"]  

3. There’s this nagging feeling that you’re not doing things right

Thinking that you’re not parenting your child the right way can also bring about the “I hate being a mom” feeling. A survey published by the Frontiers in Psychology journal reveals that the pressure of being the perfect mother is positively linked to parental burnout and lower work-life balance. And what’s the result of mixing pressure and burnout and a poor work-life balance? Yep. Total chaos and extreme stress.  Social media, parenting magazines, and even the people close to you can also make you feel like you’re not taking care of your kids the way you should (or believe you should)especially when you focus on how put-together they seem to be compared to you. Additionally, forgetting things (hello, mom brain) and seeing that your house is a mess can trigger negative feelings.    RELATED: Working Mom Guilt: Tips for When You Don’t Feel Good Enough  

4. You didn’t expect motherhood to be a challenging job

Being a mom is a challenging job. Without pay, without vacations, and you’re on-call 24/7. You probably had an idea that it was going to be like this even before you gave birth. But can anyone really prepare for how overwhelming things could get? Mommahood will test your physical, mental, and emotional limits. You will find that some of the things that your child does will stretch you beyond breaking. This can prove too much for some, hence the intense feeling of being tired of being a mom.   

5. You didn’t really want kids

Some mommas have kids not because they want them but because of other reasons. Some moms have kids due to peer pressure (My best friend already has one, so I should have one too), due to nagging parents (I want a grandkid, now!), and to try and keep a marriage together. Sadly, these very same reasons can also be the cause of your resentment towards your mom-life. Now, in some cases, moms who go this route (have a kid for other reasons besides wanting one) end up actually loving being a mom, which is great! But if you’re really having a hard time, then try to apply the following survival tips and be honest enough to admit when you need professional help.  

How to Survive the “I Hate Being a Mom” Phase

A tired mom trying to rest with her baby There are no such things as “returnsies” when it comes to babies. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to cope with your negative feelings about being a mom. These feelings may (or more accurately, will) return every once in a while, but you’ll also be better at dealing with them for sure.   

1. Accept that there’s no such thing as a perfect mom

Hating yourself for not being the perfect parent is pretty normal. It happens to a lot of moms, but you should learn to move past it. When you start to hate yourself because you feel you’re not a paragon of mommahood, try to remind yourself that there’s really no such thing. And as Jill Churchill once said: “There’s no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.” Don’t strive for perfection. Accept the fact that a perfect mother doesn’t exist, but there are lots of ways for you to be a good mom for your little one.    [bctt tweet="“There’s no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.” - Jill Churchill" username="getmilksta"]  

2. Try to get enough rest

Resting can do wonders. Once in a while, try not to think about the dishes in the sink or the pile of laundry you want to tackle. When your baby sleeps, go and sleep too! Getting enough rest is essential, not only for your mental and emotional wellbeing but for your physical wellness too. Try to snooze whenever your baby nods off. Also, if possible, get someone to help with the laundry, the cleaning, and the dishes (I’m looking at you, hubbies) until your baby develops a pattern of sleep that lets you get ample rest.  

3. Practice self-love

While parental stress and burnout could make you feel disconnected from your sense of self, having some me-time and self-love time could elevate your mood and renew your perspective. Even better, it could make you feel like yourself again—which is very refreshing for tired moms. Find out what lights you up and do more of it. You might need to ask your partner for help or hire a sitter to free up at least a few hours for yourself, but it will be totally worth it for sure.   [bctt tweet="Parental stress and burnout could make you feel disconnected so some me-time & #selflove can help renew your perspective." username="getmilksta"]    If you’re uncertain about what could make you feel better, some self-care ideas for moms that you can try are reading a good book (maybe the kind you used to enjoy pre-parenthood), going on a spa day (hubbies, I’m still looking at you), taking a long leisurely bubble bath, ordering food you’ve been craving for, shopping (on a budget), or enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend or two.  It might also be a good idea to hang out with mom friends who’ve been through the same struggles you’re experiencing. Invite them over for an intimate, no-filter conversation while you enjoy a cup of mom-safe tea or coffee. Bonus: Milksta Boobie Latte would be great, even if you’re breastfeeding.  

Mom- and baby-safe coffee? 

BIG YES! Plus, it’s guilt- and jitters-free!

Check It Out Now

 

4. Have a talk with your partner

If you find that you’re tired of being a mom because you seem to be doing everything on your own, a talk with your partner might be a good thing. Remember, your partner may care for you but may not know that you’re struggling with mommahood until you tell them. They aren’t mind-readers, and talking to them could be the key to getting the support you need. If that doesn’t work out, maybe counseling should be considered.  

5. Get professional help when needed

If you think that your tiredness and feelings of hate aren’t just due to lack of sleep or not knowing what to do, you should seek help from a professional. Postpartum depression (PPD) is real, and the addition of mommahood stress will make it worse. So, when you realize that the “I hate being a mom” feeling isn’t going away, please talk to a trusted professional right away. You can contact your OB-GYN to help get you in touch with someone who can help you through your condition. You can also call your state’s or your local mental health support office. If you feel that you need immediate help, here are some hotlines that you can contact:
  • Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741
  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI
  • The Samaritans: 1-212-673-3000
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP
  RELATED: Postpartum Period: How Life Will Be Like After Pregnancy (Puerperium)  

When to Seek Help

A tired mom looking for professional help online   DIY coping mechanisms will sometimes fail to get the job done. And if that is your situation and you’re experiencing any of the things listed below, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. 
  • You look at your child and don’t feel any connection.
  • You don’t find any joy in taking care of your baby.
  • You see your child as nothing but an obligation and an inconvenience.
  • You keep on wishing you had your old childless life back.
  • You’re constantly depressed and miserable about your situation.
 

These are just some of the things that I find myself saying in my head more and more as time goes by. But hey, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my kids. Soooo much. I’m also in love with motherhood in many ways, but that doesn’t mean that I’m always enthusiastic about it.

I’m just saying that, like a lot of moms like me, there are days when all I ever feel is tired and all over the place. And if you’ve ever felt like that, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you are not a bad mom for feeling the way you do.

 

Content Overview:

Is It Normal to Hate Being a Mom?

Is It Normal to Hate Your Child?

Why We Get Tired of Being a Mom

How to Survive the “I Hate Being a Mom” Phase

When to Seek Help

 

Is It Normal to Hate Being a Mom?

It’s absolutely normal to hate being a mom sometimes. After all, being a mom is probably the most thankless and difficult job there is. You have to mold a little person into a healthy, conscientious human being. You have to feed them, bathe them, clean up after them. And you have to stay sane through it all!

I’m not saying that we should be given an award for doing what we do (although a pat on the back or a spa day every now and then is a good idea). What I’m getting at is that being a mom is hard, and it’s okay to feel negative about it from time to time.

 

Is It Normal to Hate Your Child?

We’re prone to losing our calm when we’re exhausted. Worse, we also become irritable or even resentful. This is why some moms may feel like they hate their children sometimes. In fact, there’s a study that reveals that some moms have a love-hate relationship with their infants!

Hate is a strong word, of course. Most mommas don’t really hate their children, but their frustrations can make them feel exactly that. Especially for moms who just had their first child, the challenges of their postpartum recovery may feel like the most difficult part of their lives.

Mommas don’t really hate their children, but their frustrations can make them feel like they #hatebeingamom. Click To Tweet

 

RELATED: Postpartum Recovery & How to Not Sabotage Your Healing

 

Why We Get Tired of Being a Mom

Any stressed-out mommy knows that our exhaustion is rarely just physical. Entering motherhood comes with giving up a part (or many parts) of ourselves and our former lives, so it’s normal to feel tired mentally and emotionally as well. Here are some of the common reasons why many moms feel extremely tired:

 

1. You can’t seem to adjust to being a mom

While some women gain a deep sense of purpose after having a child, there are some of us who feel like fish out of water. You might be having thoughts like you don’t really know what you’re doing or why you even considered having a kid. This then manifests as a sense of inadequacythat you’re not cut out for motherhood, no matter how hard you try.

Naturally, prolonged feelings of inadequacy lead to resentment and some kind of hate. And if you’ve been a go-getter or an achiever before your parenting life, then your frustrations now can easily lead you into the “I hate being a mom” mindset.

 

2. You feel like your relationship with your partner is getting messed up

Moms may struggle to keep their relationship with their partner (and with other people in their life, for that matter) on an even keel after having a kid. This isn’t because they don’t value these other people in their lives. It’s simply because, after the arrival of the baby, they have so much more on their plate than they realized and this takes a huge toll on them.

If you feel like your new role as a mom is straining your relationship with your partner, it’s best to be honest about it and talk to your partner. Don’t hesitate to talk about how you’re feeling or what you’re worried about. Additionally, both of you must know that your postpartum hormones will affect your libido. Your sex drive may fall or peak on certain days, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Your partner is adjusting too, and knowing that both of you are trying to make things work will make you feel less alone. It’ll probably take your relationship to the next level as well!

If you feel like #beingamom is straining your relationship with your partner, be honest about it and talk to your partner. Click To Tweet

 

3. There’s this nagging feeling that you’re not doing things right

Thinking that you’re not parenting your child the right way can also bring about the “I hate being a mom” feeling. A survey published by the Frontiers in Psychology journal reveals that the pressure of being the perfect mother is positively linked to parental burnout and lower work-life balance. And what’s the result of mixing pressure and burnout and a poor work-life balance? Yep. Total chaos and extreme stress. 

Social media, parenting magazines, and even the people close to you can also make you feel like you’re not taking care of your kids the way you should (or believe you should)especially when you focus on how put-together they seem to be compared to you. Additionally, forgetting things (hello, mom brain) and seeing that your house is a mess can trigger negative feelings. 

 

RELATED: Working Mom Guilt: Tips for When You Don’t Feel Good Enough

 

4. You didn’t expect motherhood to be a challenging job

Being a mom is a challenging job. Without pay, without vacations, and you’re on-call 24/7. You probably had an idea that it was going to be like this even before you gave birth. But can anyone really prepare for how overwhelming things could get?

Mommahood will test your physical, mental, and emotional limits. You will find that some of the things that your child does will stretch you beyond breaking. This can prove too much for some, hence the intense feeling of being tired of being a mom. 

 

5. You didn’t really want kids

Some mommas have kids not because they want them but because of other reasons. Some moms have kids due to peer pressure (My best friend already has one, so I should have one too), due to nagging parents (I want a grandkid, now!), and to try and keep a marriage together. Sadly, these very same reasons can also be the cause of your resentment towards your mom-life.

Now, in some cases, moms who go this route (have a kid for other reasons besides wanting one) end up actually loving being a mom, which is great! But if you’re really having a hard time, then try to apply the following survival tips and be honest enough to admit when you need professional help.

 

How to Survive the “I Hate Being a Mom” Phase

A tired mom trying to rest with her baby

There are no such things as “returnsies” when it comes to babies. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to cope with your negative feelings about being a mom. These feelings may (or more accurately, will) return every once in a while, but you’ll also be better at dealing with them for sure. 

 

1. Accept that there’s no such thing as a perfect mom

Hating yourself for not being the perfect parent is pretty normal. It happens to a lot of moms, but you should learn to move past it. When you start to hate yourself because you feel you’re not a paragon of mommahood, try to remind yourself that there’s really no such thing. And as Jill Churchill once said: “There’s no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.”

Don’t strive for perfection. Accept the fact that a perfect mother doesn’t exist, but there are lots of ways for you to be a good mom for your little one. 

 

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.” - Jill Churchill Click To Tweet

 

2. Try to get enough rest

Resting can do wonders. Once in a while, try not to think about the dishes in the sink or the pile of laundry you want to tackle. When your baby sleeps, go and sleep too!

Getting enough rest is essential, not only for your mental and emotional wellbeing but for your physical wellness too. Try to snooze whenever your baby nods off. Also, if possible, get someone to help with the laundry, the cleaning, and the dishes (I’m looking at you, hubbies) until your baby develops a pattern of sleep that lets you get ample rest.

 

3. Practice self-love

While parental stress and burnout could make you feel disconnected from your sense of self, having some me-time and self-love time could elevate your mood and renew your perspective. Even better, it could make you feel like yourself again—which is very refreshing for tired moms.

Find out what lights you up and do more of it. You might need to ask your partner for help or hire a sitter to free up at least a few hours for yourself, but it will be totally worth it for sure.

 

Parental stress and burnout could make you feel disconnected so some me-time & #selflove can help renew your perspective. Click To Tweet

 

 If you’re uncertain about what could make you feel better, some self-care ideas for moms that you can try are reading a good book (maybe the kind you used to enjoy pre-parenthood), going on a spa day (hubbies, I’m still looking at you), taking a long leisurely bubble bath, ordering food you’ve been craving for, shopping (on a budget), or enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend or two. 

It might also be a good idea to hang out with mom friends who’ve been through the same struggles you’re experiencing. Invite them over for an intimate, no-filter conversation while you enjoy a cup of mom-safe tea or coffee. Bonus: Milksta Boobie Latte would be great, even if you’re breastfeeding.

 

Mom- and baby-safe coffee? 

BIG YES! Plus, it’s guilt- and jitters-free!

Check It Out Now

 

4. Have a talk with your partner

If you find that you’re tired of being a mom because you seem to be doing everything on your own, a talk with your partner might be a good thing. Remember, your partner may care for you but may not know that you’re struggling with mommahood until you tell them. They aren’t mind-readers, and talking to them could be the key to getting the support you need.

If that doesn’t work out, maybe counseling should be considered.

 

5. Get professional help when needed

If you think that your tiredness and feelings of hate aren’t just due to lack of sleep or not knowing what to do, you should seek help from a professional. Postpartum depression (PPD) is real, and the addition of mommahood stress will make it worse. So, when you realize that the “I hate being a mom” feeling isn’t going away, please talk to a trusted professional right away.

You can contact your OB-GYN to help get you in touch with someone who can help you through your condition. You can also call your state’s or your local mental health support office.

If you feel that you need immediate help, here are some hotlines that you can contact:

  • Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741
  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI
  • The Samaritans: 1-212-673-3000
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP

 

RELATED: Postpartum Period: How Life Will Be Like After Pregnancy (Puerperium)

 

When to Seek Help

A tired mom looking for professional help online

 

DIY coping mechanisms will sometimes fail to get the job done. And if that is your situation and you’re experiencing any of the things listed below, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

  • You look at your child and don’t feel any connection.
  • You don’t find any joy in taking care of your baby.
  • You see your child as nothing but an obligation and an inconvenience.
  • You keep on wishing you had your old childless life back.
  • You’re constantly depressed and miserable about your situation.

 

Key Takeaway: There’s No Shame in Feeling Tired of Being a Mom

Tired mom falling asleep while breastfeeding   Feeling tired of being a mom is absolutely normal. I feel it, other moms feel it, and we’re most likely going to feel it again and again throughout our entire lives as moms. It’s the toughest job in the world, so please don’t be too hard on yourself. [bctt tweet="Feeling #tiredofbeingamom is perfectly normal. It’s the toughest job in the world so try not to be too hard on yourself." username="getmilksta"]   Take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed, find which survival tip works best for you, and have a go at it! Oh, and if you want to talk to other moms just like you, there are online communities (like the Milksta Mommy Crew) where you can hang out, share your stories, share tips, or ask any questions you might have. Be ready to show up vulnerable, and welcome the support that awaits you. You got this, momma!

Key Takeaway: There’s No Shame in Feeling Tired of Being a Mom

Tired mom falling asleep while breastfeeding

 

Feeling tired of being a mom is absolutely normal. I feel it, other moms feel it, and we’re most likely going to feel it again and again throughout our entire lives as moms. It’s the toughest job in the world, so please don’t be too hard on yourself.

Feeling #tiredofbeingamom is perfectly normal. It’s the toughest job in the world so try not to be too hard on yourself. Click To Tweet

 

Take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed, find which survival tip works best for you, and have a go at it! Oh, and if you want to talk to other moms just like you, there are online communities (like the Milksta Mommy Crew) where you can hang out, share your stories, share tips, or ask any questions you might have. Be ready to show up vulnerable, and welcome the support that awaits you. You got this, momma!

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