Q: It took my husband and myself three and a half years of trying to get pregnant with our first son. There were blood tests, urine tests, invasive procedures and then, finally, shots to take every day at designated times and in specific places on my body. In 2007, we did it again and got lucky and only needed to try the shots for one round and became pregnant with our daughter.
What bothers me is that after all this difficulty, the medicine, the poking and prodding, I feel so guilty when I resent my kids and resent being a mom. I feel that I should appreciate them in a way that other moms can't appreciate their children. I love my kids, but sometimes—and it is happening more frequently now—I resent being a mom. If I have to go to Target one more time and pretend that it is a fun outing, I think that I could lose it.
Should I feel differently about my children because it was a long road to have them? Sometimes when they really bug me I find myself saying that I wish that everyone would just go away (husband included) and let me be. I miss the solitude and the quiet.
Heija: Congratulations on your babies! Do not feel for even one moment that your superhuman effort to become a parent makes you less entitled to be human. In fact, to believe that you should appreciate and love your children more than the moms who have not had your struggles, presumes that we are incapable of loving our kids as much as you love yours.
You do not have to pretend that Target is a fun outing with the kids any more than you have to pretend that you like it when grubby little hands fish the ice out of your Diet Coke. Just because you feel guilty when you long for peace and solitude doesn't make the need for a break any less real. Is it possible for you to schedule (or even sneak) a little down time? Is there someone who could watch the kids while you sneak to a bookstore to read for a while or even just to the bathroom for a long bath accompanied by loud music to drown out the banging at the door? When my kids were younger, there were days when my husband crossed the threshold to find me standing with keys in hand and vague instructions for dinner floating from my mouth. I would put the nearest child into his arms and, with whispered apologies about my fleeting sanity, leave the house for a quick mental health break—a fun outing at Target!