Anonymous Mom: I Hate Pretending To Enjoy Being A Working Mom

working woman 1900sAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

In this era of non-judgement, it’s the mother of all crimes to question a mother’s choices about her family. But what about when you question those choices yourself? Or, more importantly, what if they were never really choices to begin with?

I don’t like being a working mother. I don’t want to be a working mother. And if I had any alternative, I would take it. I work because I have to. My dear husband has a good and noble (read: modestly paid) career, and that is one of the things I always loved about him. Although I lack his passion, through average intelligence and perhaps too much education, I somehow ended up in a well paid career I care little about.

I do like my job, but I am by no means passionate about it. Before I was a mother, it was fulfilling enough, but now it is just this beast that keeps me from being the mom I want to be.

When my son was born, I took took three months of semi-paid maternity leave and psyched myself up for being a working mother. I picked up some new clothes and heels and got to know my pump. But as the days of my leave ticked down, I realized that nothing about going back to work excited me. Not the work itself – boring and relatively unimportant. Not the people – mere acquaintances. As I approached the big day, I started hatching escape plans in my mind. In the end, running away with my baby to live off the land did not seem reasonable, so I packed up a cooler full of empty bottles and some extra nursing pads and shuffled off to work.

Now that I am back at work, it is everything I expected. Exhausting, unfulfilling, and sad. I work hard. And instead of taking breaks, I am hooked up to a breast pump. The baby is still up several times at night, and I cry each day from loneliness and exhaustion behind my closed office door. By the time I get home, my son is hungry and tired. I feed him, put him to bed, and if I’m lucky, I have enough time to read the notes his caregiver left about what he did that day in an attempt to feel more involved. During the week, I exist in the outskirts of his life.

I’m just the woman who makes the milk.

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  • Sarah

    I’m sorry for your experience with not being where you want to be right now. Personally, I’m mostly enjoying being back at work. I returned a couple weeks ago when my baby was not quite four months old. I also don’t work in a “fulfilling” career and I don’t have any bffs at work. But I was getting lonely at home with my baby. I like having a reason to get up and get dressed every day, it gives me some purpose. The time I do have with my baby is all the more meaningful. I even kind of enjoy my pumping breaks twice a day – it gives me an excuse to sit down and gather my thoughts. I wouldn’t have those breaks otherwise, though. I honestly thought going back to work would be more difficult for me than it is, and that makes me feel guilty about not wanting to be at home more!

    Regardless, we’re all different. I wish you the best in finding the right path for you. I wish the US had better options for parents, because three months is too short of time to stay at home with your baby, for a lot of us.

  • Luisa

    Hi. I see where you’re coming. I always knew that I would have to be a working mom, whether I liked it or not, for the same reasons you are. One income is not enough for our household. I guess that I just prepared myself for it, cause there is no choice, that is what it has to be, so be it. I returned to work 43 days after giving birth (which is the law in Mexico) but got laid off a week after and our world just crushed because of the uncertainty of finding a well paid job, that wasn’t to far, or with longer hours, and thinking about in the process of adapting to the job while going through the process of adapting your pre-baby brain and body to your new reality as a mom and all that comes with it. It was just so overwhelming. But I got through it with the help of my husband and parents and the support of my friends.

    It took me three months to find another job, three months in which I enjoyed being a stay at home mom and being all day with my baby. But still I knew I had to be back to work sooner or later, better sooner cause money was tight. I do enjoy my job but I also sometimes I wish I had a choice of not working. Both being a working mom and a stay at home mom are hard tasks, because we are moms, just in different circumstances. I guess my point is just try to accept your reality, it’ll make it easier trust me. Sometimes is not what we think is best, or what we dreamed we would be doing, but it is what it is. Might not have been your choice, but you never know what the future has for you. Kids will know that they are loved and cared for in spite of the amount of time you spend with them, and it sounds cheesy, but you do have to make the most of it, for you and for the kid. My advice as a fellow working mom who also didn’t have a choice, is just don’t dwell so much in it and make amends with your reality, it’ll make your life so much easier. All the best for you and your family.

  • mern

    This story breaks my heart. I’m also a working mom; working because we need both incomes. But I live in Canada and I received a 52 week maternity leave. The government benefits weren’t as great as my salary, but we managed for that year and my job was safe until I returned. Somehow it seems easier to go back and be excited about going back after a whole year. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like having to go back to work after 3 months or less in many cases.

    My son is now in a great daycare that he loves going to. It makes me sad that I’m still missing out on a huge part of his week, but I’m happy that I got to spend that year with him and be present for so many firsts. I’ll be the first to admit that if I had a choice, I’d choose staying home over my career any day.

    My heart goes out to all the moms who don’t have the benefit of an extended maternity leave. I wish it were different for you in the US.

    Thanks for sharing your story and highlighting that some of us don’t have a choice when it comes to working or staying home.

    • MammaSweetpea

      I’m in Can too, and I think we are so very lucky to have the mat leave that we do. In my mom’s day there wasn’t much if any. When I had my son in ’98, we got 6 months. That was hard, leaving him at 6 months old, I felt like I was abandoning him. By the time I was pregs again in 2001, we got one year. That was so much better….

    • American

      Wow. I hate reading this. You think it was hard leaving a 6 month old? I would have done anything to have stayed home with my son. In the US, they aren’t required to pay us for maternity leave and we are only granted a 6 week break. That’s right. I worked my butt off during my last trimester to create a savings, then had to go back to work at that 6 week mark. It was terrible. You felt like you abandoned your 6 month old? Imagine a baby barely a month old. I still cry about it.

    • emmam34

      What’s the population of your country? 35 mils? We have over 320 million, probably closer to 340. In this country, we would have to have a totalitarian gov’t to afford to pay women to be out of work for a year – they would have to garnish wages of a whole lot of people to pay for it, especially since in US, people have a lot of kids and at this point, women are becoming the driving force of our economy.

      China’s doing it (a large country) – but they only let you have one kid, you live with few freedoms, make low wages and of course, they employ young children.

      Basically, nothing is free, you have to find funding somewhere. Larger countries can’t do the universal healthcare, paying people for doing nothing (like early retirements and countless vacation time). When they try, they eventually bankrupt the economy.

      Even smaller countries eventually start crumbling under the weight of their social programs. And Canada’s population has been growing faster than most. That’s gonna be a problem.

      It works best in nations like Denmark or Sweden, where you have 4-5 million people. That’s not even half of New York City. And then it works fine, although the wealthy still escape because no one wants to see 95% of their income being taken away -what’s the point of working then?

  • JustmeToo

    Great post! I think that it is important for everyone to understand that whether working or staying at home, that every woman isn’t doing either by choice, even though choice is always where the conversation is focused. My situation was the opposite. I became an SAHM due to a layoff and hated it. I always thought it was something I would enjoy, and spent that time feeling incredibly guilty that I didn’t enjoy it– and couldn’t find support because most SAHMs that I came in contact with were doing it by choice, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. There is nothing wrong with wishing you were home with your baby, just like there’s nothing wrong with the desire to work outside the home. You shouldn’t have to pretend either way.

  • pontificatrix

    It is incredibly hard to go back to work with a very young baby. I do love my job but I really hated it when my first baby was under a year. Which was a shock to me because I loved it before and I love it again now (I have a 4 y/o and a 1.5 y/o, with the second I was savvier and arranged to work mostly from home for the first year after her birth.)

    It doesn’t make any sense to me that in the US we expect mothers of young babies to march back to work after just a few weeks or a couple of months. Six months or a year of maternity leave would be so much better from every perspective. Hang in there.

    • Véronique Houde

      I think it’s up to you all as citizens to harass your representatives in order to create a fund for maternity leave like we have here in Canada – everyone contributes, and when you leave for parental leave it doesn’t discriminate against men, which means that either or can take the leave. We pay it directly out of our paycheck every month.

    • Andrea

      The sad truth is that most people here have a philosophy that basically is summarized by: “every man for himself”. No one wants to help out anyone else. No one wants to be part of a “village”.

    • Véronique Houde

      then how do you explain the school systems? social security? disability? the thing is that american’s don’t necessarily have that mentality – once they have rights they hold firm to them. People just need to stand up and say that it’s important to them.

    • kiti

      We have those things but people are complaining about having to contribute to them,” I’m not using them so why should I have to pay for them?” that is the mentality that they have here. Very very few people don’t complain about contributing to social security and welfare, and we have a surprising number of people who complain about contributing to public schools because they have “no children, are not going to have children and why should I pay for your children to be educated” reasoning. Trying to get a government funded maternity leave would be like pulling teeth people who are single and can’t see themselves having children will throw a hissy fit if they have to pay for maternity leave in addition to public education and government subsidized student loans for college and all my gosh I have to work extra hours to cover the parents had to go pick up their sick kids from school. we’re so focused on ourselves that they are trying to pass the working families flexibility act so that people who aren’t parents stop feeling “taking advantage of” by parents who have to leave work early or miss a day because of their children.

    • Véronique Houde

      you do realize it’s like 8$ a paycheck on a 50,000$ a year salary

    • Véronique Houde

      either way, there are MORE citizens that are having children that there are that are not. The power resides in parents to put pressure on the government. The rest have less power, no? At the end of the day, always remember that you would be doing this more for your children than for yourselves, so that they have the choice of staying at home or working, instead of being forced into a situation for financial reasons.

      Or… Move to Canada ;). But be prepared to pay higher taxes lol

    • kiti

      okay responding to part one of your response. I realize that it’s eight dollars a paycheck I’m sure there are others to realize it’s just eight dollars a pay check. However, the people who make the most noise don’t care that it’s just eight dollars paycheck daycare that that’s eight dollars that they don’t get to spend on himself. It’s a very selfish society in my people.

      And in response to part two, I honestly don’t believe personally, then enough parents would agree with the government maternity leave to make noise about it. Parents are very confliced here from what I’ve seen generally in response to the idea of creating a more family friendly government support orphan
      Programs, like universal health care or even charter schools, etc.We still have parents who even though they breast-fed find breast-feeding in public disgusting. We still have parents who believe the company shouldn’t be required to pay for maternity. while there’s a good chunk of parents who would support a more family friendly governments concepts I don’t think enough parents are behind the idea to overcome the ones who are my personal observation based on what I’ve seen from comment from website like mommyish.

      To be fair the Internet breeds more judgmental comments. And it is The limits of my personal experience because I have not taken a piece of paper out there and conducted a wide scope survey or study so this opinion is based solely on my personal observations.

    • Andrea

      Power is not the issue. Is the MONEY. And the people with the money, have the power. And they want to keep “their” money. Right now, in the USA, the conservative older people are a HUGE voting bloc. I don’t see a damn thing changing until those people die. They forget that it was THEIR generation that benefited from government funded G-bill that sent them to college, government funded loans that bought their houses, government funded SS and medicare that support them NOW.

    • Véronique Houde

      that’s what people keep repeating to themselves into staying complacent with a power structure where 1% of the population control the other 99%. It’s a shame that history hasn’t taught the American people that this is completely false and that people can rise up and make changes for their communities.

    • TngldBlue

      Even if we all rise up and demand change, our system is setup as such that money talks. Citizens United changed the landscape of American politics. And if you look at the history of social welfare programs in this country (like social security, unemployment benefits, etc), they started at the state level. And it was only when the states as a whole started demanding aid in kind that the federal government became involved. But that was during a time when the states still held the power. That is no longer the case here-power is centralized now in the federal government so change, if it comes at all, comes slowly and at an astronomical cost-basically you must be incredibly wealthy or have an incredibly powerful lobby on your side (and no powerful lobby on the other side) or you are invisible. And if that weren’t enough of a mountain to climb, the majority of people (and yes, even many parents) can’t see that supporting families and providing opportunity benefits the community as a whole-including themselves. So there are many, many people that fight the good fight each and every day but sadly in our country today, rising up and demanding change is the easy part.

    • Blueathena623

      I know (assume?) you’re not trying to be rude here, but as an American, knowing that wealth = power in the U.S isn’t just a belief to keep ourself complacent.
      As for history, if anything, that’s our problem. It is drilled into our heads as American school children we fought for independence from evil, evil, evil Britain, and it was such a righteous revolution, and we succeeded against all the odds because we has right on our side because it totally wasn’t fair that those rich British people were controlling us poor american folk, and blah blah blah, and we did all of this to be INDEPENDENT. Which is why we still, even after implementing some huge social programs, still have this “to each their own, take care of yourself” attitude.
      Finally, and I know you didn’t touch on this directly, but just throwing it out there, as of right now, things are getting so screwy down here, we have to spend our time fighting for more basic rights.

    • Julie

      Are you kidding me? THEIR generation benefitted from government funded G-bill because they put their lives on the life and literally saved the world.

    • Andrea

      *I* do, most people don’t. And even if they did, they wouldn’t want to do it.

    • Julie

      I always find myself irritated by the tax breaks given to families with children. Why on earth is our government subsidizing children? Tax breaks, as a matter of policy, should only be used to encourage things. Why are we encouraging people to have families? If you choose to have children, that’s terrific, but why do I have to subsidize it? I chose not to have children. Are you going to subsidize my extra trips or other things I choose as part of my lifestyle? No way am I kicking in extra for extended maternity leave. I get it, I really do, but enough is enough.

    • Simran

      Because it’s their kids that will be paying for YOUR medicare and social security when you hit retirement age. That is how the system currently works.

    • Andrea

      People complain about those too. And in the current political climate, NONE of those things would exist. My god, there are plenty of people that are objecting to affordable health care. HEALTH CARE FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!

      Look, I want this to happen, don’t get me wrong. But realistically, no one wants to “support” (their words, not mine) other people’s “choices”. And having children is, apparently, a choice. Because fuck the future right? No one needs the future generation to support them right?

    • meteor_echo

      Okay, so there’re two things you say that piss me off.

      1) I’m all for a lengthy paid maternal leave with included safety of the workplace. When I was employed, I paid my taxes and never complained, because I understand that they’re necessary.
      However, having children IS a choice. With the population climbing towards 8 billion, procreation is not a biological necessity anymore. There are children who are not supported at all, and yet people mostly keep thinking about having their own mini-mes. Having children is. A. Choice.

      2) No, children aren’t your future. You are your own future, and any children you (might) have are their own future. If more people understood it, they would actually give a fuck about living their lives the way THEY want to, not ~for the better future of their kids~. Your future depends on you – maybe, when you’re old or need help, you’ll be supported by your friends, not by your kids.

    • Andrea

      Thank you so much for totally missing the point.

    • meteor_echo

      Thank you so much for spouting breeder bingos. They make a great point when it comes to telling why exactly a paid maternity leave is needed. They also make you sound totally nuts.

    • Leigha7

      There are 7 billion people and growing on the planet, yes, but not in this (or any) COUNTRY. There are several countries who are incentivizing their citizens to have children because their population is declining, and if things continue as they are, they won’t have enough of a workforce in a couple generations to keep the country running.

      If half the population of the US decided to stop having kids, we’d be in the same position very quickly. There’s already a strain because the baby boomers are aging out of the workforce, and they’re a huge percentage of the population. The last thing we need is to have half as many people working.

    • meteor_echo

      Sorry, but you forget one tiny thing: the whole “more senior than younger citizens” problem is actually temporary – trying to procreate with the idea behind it to increase the population, however, isn’t. It just puts more strain on the next generation, then on the next one, and so on.

    • JLH1986

      I agree with your mat. leave. But the future? For the first time in modern history, more children isn’t a necessity to ensure our species survives, we have plenty. Now more QUALITY children (i.e. no assholes who judge others based on race, gender, sexual preference, name) that’s something I am sad to say we will likely be lacking. :(

    • Andrea

      Here you go Veronique, read meteor’s response for the prevalent attitude here in the good ole USA about maternity leave and supporting working parents.

    • meteor_echo

      I see you never really learned to read, didn’t you? Yes, having children is a choice, and yes, I will help support your (the general you) choices by making them easier to pursue. But if you spout shit about “having kids is not a choice” or “but what about the fuuuuuutuuuuure”, don’t expect anyone to actually be willing to stand by your cause, because you sound utterly condescending, like someone’s great-grandmother from the 50s who never got out of the “women are created to be mothers in the first place” phase.

    • Jessie

      No, the sad truth is that most women that have to work right after having a baby are too busy trying to work and take care of their families. Not much time left for “harassing your representatives.”

    • Rachel Sea

      People who have too much on their plate already, between work and home responsibilities, have a really hard time becoming activists – especially over an issue that has no traction. It’s a battle already to get the bare minimum of currently “guaranteed” social services. Keeping women’s health clinics open is nearly impossible, and passing legislation to prevent discrimination against mothers in the workplace is an uphill battle, which we are losing. I want Canadian-style maternity leave more than most (I think it would make a huge difference to underemployment rates) but getting a majority of legislators behind it is impossible.

    • Véronique Houde

      WOW I understand your issues guys, but really, using the excuse that you’re too busy to care is kind of sad… What about African-Americans during the civil rights movement? What if they had said the same thing (which was totally plausible)? What about women’s right? Women were way too busy and overloaded taking care of the household. What if they had said that the cards were completely stacked against them since all people in power were men and they were too busy? That argument just makes me really sad.

    • Rachel Sea

      The cost of living has changed. A person on my salary in 1970s dollars could single-handedly support a middle class family of four while saving for retirement. I have to supplement my salary from my full-time job with two part-time jobs, in addition to what my wife makes, to make ends meet for two people, and savings is out of the question. By the time I’m done with work (which I generally do for 19 or 26 days in a row before I have a day or two off) I have just enough energy to almost maintain my home, and beg assorted members of government, and government agencies to recognize basic human rights for oppressed groups of people. A luxury like paid maternity leave, when much of the country doesn’t even qualify for the unpaid leave currently available, is a priority for exactly zero legislators.

      The Occupy movement couldn’t even get the government to prosecute actual proven criminals, or maintain voting rights for non-whites, how on earth do you expect that moms (who don’t even have the right to basic medical services) are going to get big business (because that’s who has to be convinced, before the legislature, especially now that businesses are campaign-contributing people under the law) to agree to give them paid leave? Because it’s the right thing to do? Please.

      In this country everyone is supposed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, and if you don’t have bootstraps, you’re supposed to get off your lazy ass and make them yourself.

    • Simran

      That’s because the Occupy movement didn’t know what they wanted. They didn’t have an agenda that benefited people who you think should have benefited from their actions. they tried to make it global but hello? why would someone in China support made in USA goods? People give the occupy movement too much credit, both people who were for it and against it. Had they stuck to their guns about some key issues they would have made some headway.

    • Leigha7

      It’s not about being too busy to care, it’s about literally not having the time and/or resources to go out and do something about it. I agree that part of that is a matter of priorities, but if you’re working 2-3 jobs and raising kids, do you really have the ability to go to protests and draft petitions?

      Moreover, the majority of politicians are old men. A large percentage of these men have wives who don’t work, so they often have no understanding of why any woman would want to or have to do so (and, obviously, maternity leave hinges on having a job to begin with). A lot of the rest are women with law degrees, who’ve spent their lives working long hours and frequently have fought hard to get where they are. There’s a stigma in prestigious jobs (like senators or CEOs) against women taking maternity leave, and many of those women would be reluctant to take on the issue because they feel it would make them look weak, for demanding special privileges that men don’t.

      There’s not a lot of incentive for politicians to care about maternity leave, so it would take a lot for people to push the issue.

  • Amber

    Why pretend? Lots of people only work at their jobs because they like eating food and living indoors anyways. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    • Terri

      hahaha, I totally agree. I like money so I work. I hate my job though.

  • heather

    your article is so honest and made me cry, I am in Canada and was fortunate to have a 52 week mat leave, then returned only part-time. Thanks for sharing your story. I thought we couldn’t afford for me to stay home either but I work 2 very part-time jobs with some hours from home, so at home 80% of the time. We changed a lot about our finances in order to do this (cancelled cable, cell phones, alarm system, vacations) shop at the farmers market and changed up our mortgage slightly. its tight and no money for extras now (like no more than $15 on a haircut every 6 months) but honestly its worth it too me and I felt the same way as you facing the year back. Maybe something like this could work for your family? Either way if financially there is no wiggle room and you need to work full-time it will get better mama! He will start sleeping less and they’ll be more time for bonding and fun at night, hang in there.

  • ann

    I believe that being a SAHM is a valuable choice. But from this story I get the impression that there is much more going on than just the desire for SAHM-hood. The daily crying is definitely not normal, and neither is the dark mood with which the author describes every possible aspect of her daily life and of her chosen profession and career.
    Are you very sure that this isn`t postnatal depression? Please get an evaluation from a health care professional before making any life-changing decisions!

    • Diana

      Sounds like situational depression to me. Perfectly understandable if you’re in a job you hate.

    • Sherre

      Having to go to work and be away from your children every day is very depressing. Obviously you have never experienced this!

    • paidtoplay

      I’m a single father raising my sons on my own and I don’t whine about it. I put on my big boy pants and do what I have to do to provide for my family and save for college educations. Parenting isn’t meant to be easy.

    • Rebecca Rice

      Whine? Seriously? This woman is going through depression because she wants to be able to take care of a child that she has. Not expect everyone else to do it so she can bring home money. She wants to PHYSICALLY be there for her kiddo. That is not whining. That is being a good mother. She is doing what she has to do. It doesn’t mean she has to like it. You handle it the way you want to but don’t down others who voice their concerns.

  • LiteBrite

    I can’t comment much on this piece because I can’t totally relate. I’m one of the fortunate ones who works because she can, not because she has to. However, I still think this whole article is well-written and thought-provoking. Too often you see articles that only show the polar opposites: the SAHM and working mother who each love their choices and can’t imagine themselves any other way. This article shows a different side to the working mom, one that I think we need to see.

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Chantelle

    Wow, this could have been written by me. My son is two now so its easier. At first when I went back to work when he was three months, I would have to excuse myself to the bathroom to cry or fight the tears on the subway on my way home. There are so many “firsts” the first year and I felt incredibly sad that I missed some of them because I was at work.

    I don’t make a lot of money and I am bored with what I do, but I also don’t know what I can do with my basic admin experience and liberal arts college degree except what I’m doing now somewhere else. I think if I were happy in my career and made more money so we aren’t just getting by I’d feel better, like my working and making more money or doing something meaningful would set a great example and help us live comfortably but that’s not the case.

    Would I want to be at home full-time? No, but I’d like the option to not have my son in daycare 50 hours a week either.

  • MammaSweetpea

    I get it. I went back to work because I had to. Hubby’s job is good, but like all big companies, his is also outsourcing and downsizing, so that one income isn’t a guarantee. Also, we have 3 kids, the oldest just starting high school. There is post-secondary education to save for, we have a new car because our 10 year old mini van was on the outs…and a whole slew of real life stuff that has to be taken care of. I don’t like to work outside. Although my kids are bigger, and no longer at home, I preferred to be at home after school. I could plan my days around the housework or shopping, not try to squeeze it in at the end of a day. Meal planning was easier and better because I had time to sort stuff out. Plus I have medical issues that leave me drained and dragging after a full day, which includes getting up an hour before I leave for work to get stuff done, and doing housework and helping with homework until 8 or 9 at night.
    Sorry….didn’t mean to make this about me….but this post hit a tender spot. I feel for you.

    • Ann

      I could have wrote this. I feel totally like you. I wished i could have been home with my son, who is now 14, and my daughter who is now 6. It has become wors in the last year or two. My mom and passed away in 2012. I became depressed. It was my moms death that triggered it but ib was.already unhappy about my situation. I have asked find a better job. He says he has looked and can’t find one. No degree or skilled training.. .. I think he.jus doesn’t want to because he has so much freedom and his boss doesn’t bother him muche has no benefits and my job doe. I am looking for part time work in my field and am having a hard time finding any. He is not at all sympathetic to my feelings. He is afraid we won’t have enough money. He spends a lot o n fast food etc. i think if we budgeted better we could do it

  • Diana

    Most… Scratch that… ALL the working parents that I know only work to put food on the table. They would rather be home with their kids. I think an ideal situation is if both parents work part time. However this is usually only possible in countries where a family can live on a single salary. I think this was a brave article to write. You are not alone and you have voiced what a lot of working parents are feeling. I hope you can find a way to a more fulfilling lifestyle for you and your kids. Maybe work from home somehow?

  • M00

    I feel sad for you but as women it is our choice to become pregnant – there are many ways in which to avoid being pregnant and they do work when used properly.
    A little forethought could have meant saving each week untill you had enough in savings to take 6-12 months months maternity leave. It might have meant putting off your baby plans for a year but it would have been worth it.
    You described having a good career in your post so surely between you and your husband you could have managed this financially. It may have meant less latte’s and hadbags but at the end of the day which is more important?
    The problem with women these days is they don’t plan their children properly. They plan their careers, their houses, what car they want etc etc yet they don’t have enough sense to make the same plans and goals when it comes to reproducing.
    There is nothing wrong with being a working mother, but once again it requires planning and forethought.
    How about we start fitting out lives around our baby plans a bit more instead of expecting our babies to fit into our careers and then complaining when it doesn’t work out how we want it to?

    • sasareta

      I completely agree.

    • The Author

      It’s not about finances. The law won’t protect your job of you take more than 3 months. Your employer won’t have to take you back and it’s not easy finding a new one…

    • Dictator

      Do you have an update on your story? Am interested to see if things have gotten better, if you’ve changed anything, etc…

    • Anya77

      As stated by some others, it is difficult to plan for something like having a child. Do you have children? Before I had mine I thought daycare and going back to work would be easy breezy. I had no idea I would love my child so much and would want to be a SAHM. Awfully judgey there lady. And what is that crap about birth control? I don’t remember reading anything about her getting knocked up accidentally.

    • Dictator

      P.S. – this comment was obviously left by a man. “Lattes + handbags”? Must be one of those assholes that thinks maternity leave for women is unfair….whenever men can incubate human life and give birth, come back with your opinions.

    • Leigha7

      You think it would take a year to save enough to take 6-12 months off of work? That doesn’t even make mathematical sense. They probably can’t afford to put more than 10-25% in savings, at best, so saving up a year’s worth would take 3-9 years. Depending on their age, putting off having a child for 9 years may not be biologically possible.

      Also, as the author already stated, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get a job after that time. Not every place offers even unpaid maternity leave, and if they do, it’s frequently only 6 weeks. If you want to stay home for 6-12 months, you’ll probably have to quit your job. Of course, this means you could get unemployment, but it also means that 1. you’ll have to try to find a job when you want to go back to work, and 2. you’ll have to do so with a gap in your resume and a year behind in your field (which could be a career death sentence in some fields).

      Also…lattes and handbags? Really? There was absolutely zero indication that she has to work so she can buy frivolous things. It seemed pretty clear that she has to work for things like, you know, food and electricity.

    • Simran

      What country do you live in ( or should I say lalaland) where you think you can take time off for a year and get back to the same job again?

  • sasareta

    Becoming a parent is a choice with unpredictable consequences. Having children makes life 20 times harder, and that’s why I refuse to have children. People really need to think twice before having kids.

    • meteor_echo


    • kim

      This comment is stupid, and not relevant to the topic, really. Being a parent is a gazillion times over wonderful and rewarding, and exactly the reason why this mom – and I – would rather be home to enjoy it. You, my friend, are missing out.

    • sasareta

      “A gazillion times over wonderful and rewarding.”

      I beg to differ. There are far more rewarding things in my opinion. Nature, art, peace, quiet, traveling, my significant other, literature, privacy, freedom to do whatever I want, meditation, etc.

      What you have failed to understand about “missing out” is that the people you feel who are “missing out” on something you like, aren’t missing out on anything, because this thing you feel these people are missing out on incites no interest or pleasure in them. Simple logic.

    • Leigha7

      To you. You don’t want kids, that’s fine. But some people (like the author) DO, and to them, being a parent is rewarding. She never said, “Man, I really wish I didn’t have a kid because I don’t enjoy my job anymore,” she said “I wish I didn’t have to work so I could spend more time with my child.” That doesn’t even remotely sound like someone who would be more fulfilled by not having kids.

      I know you were responding to kim’s statement that you’re missing out, and I’m okay with that because you’re entitled to your own opinion of what is and isn’t rewarding, but your initial premise sounded like you were saying the author shouldn’t have had kids.

    • Anya77

      This mother is lamenting having children, she is lamenting not being able to spend more time with her child. What does not having children have to do with anything? Go look at some art and nature and stop trolling a website called “mommyish”, asshole. You would think in your perfect childless world you would have something better to do.

  • Gangle

    I think disliking your work situation relates to everyone, with or without children. I freaking HATE my job. The ONLY reason why I stick with it is because it pays well, keeps a roof over my head and every now and then I can save up enough money to buy a holiday away from it. I would totally rather be doing something that isn’t my job, but, like everyone else, it is just a part of life.

  • momofplenty

    I’m a single mom of 5 from two failed marriages. I’ve longed to be a stay at home mom for years, but i can’t afford it. I work two jobs to be able to provide for my family, and still try to live frugally. i would love to be able to be at home and have dinner around the table, and to help with homework.

  • Jessie

    I remember feeling like this when my first son was a baby. I did enjoy my work, but I desperately wanted to be home with him. I think you may have some post partum depression, and while you are still breastfeeding your hormones are out of whack. I can tell you, from my experience, that it gets easier. Try pumping a bottle on Saturday before you go to sleep and see if you can get 6-8 hours of un-interrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation will kill you.

    It’s easy for people to say this is a choice you made, however I don’t think we are aware of just how much we will love these little people until they come into our lives. It’s easy for others to judge when they haven’t walked the walk.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Yves

    Ugh. I am 17 weeks pregnant with my 1st child. I am a nurse, but don’t like where I work. I was just offered another job doing something I actually want to do, with a LOT of vacation time (school nurse). But I still feel like I will HATE having to work once the baby is born. And I really have to. My fiance is currently laid off and even when he’s not, I am still very much the bread winner. It sucks. If I had a CHOICE, i would stay home with my child. There is no choice here, I must work and earn money. You are so right, no one really talks about this. That working for many woman isn’t a choice. Simply put, many women do not have a significant other who can cover all the bills on 1 paycheck. It’s not really a choice for a father to work, and for most woman, it’s not really a choice for them to work either.

  • kim

    I HATE having to work and leave my baby, and I didn’t start working until she was a year old. I am grateful for the time I did stay with her, but I would stay home all the time, given a choice.

  • Elle

    There are loads of adults, both women and men, who would prefer not to work. Only a very small portion of the population works for the pure joy of it and not out of economic reality. Becoming a parent doesn’t change that nor is it unique to parents.

    • Leigha7

      I don’t know how small of a percentage it is, really. I know plenty of people who work low-wage, unskilled jobs who still love working, because they feel it gives them purpose, and they take great pride in what they do. There are tons of retirees who go back to work because they find they can’t stand not working and really need to do SOMETHING.

      I think there are a lot of people who hate their specific job and think they’d love to stay home and do nothing, but in reality would tire of it very quickly. Of course, there are also lots of people who would be perfectly happy not working. I just don’t think the percentage is as large as you may think.

    • Rebekah

      “…stay home and do nothing…” Are you serious? Do you even have kids? I stay home with my four and we do tons of stuff! And what did you mean, people work to give the, purpose? You don’t think raising good kids gives purpose?

    • Leigha7

      I realize this is an old comment, but I just saw your response. No, I wasn’t saying that stay at home parents don’t do anything.

      Elle stated that only a very small percentage of people actually work because they enjoy it, rather than because they need the money. Her point was that most people would jump at the chance to not have to work.

      I stated that I disagreed about how large of a percentage would want that. Most people I know, including people with what demanding low-wage jobs, enjoy the fulfillment they get from working. I know quite a few people who, if they didn’t have a job, would get restless and bored very quickly. I imagine a lot of people who think they’d love to never have to work again would find not working significantly less fun than they thought it would be.

      Nothing I said had anything to do with parents in any way. There are both parents and non-parents who love/hate/tolerate their jobs. As for purpose, of course raising kids can give people purpose. So can working. For many people, they need both to feel truly fulfilled. There’s nothing wrong with that in any case. But considering how many people discuss careers right off the bat when meeting someone, clearly people do feel that their jobs are an important part of who they are, not just something they do for money.

    • Trixie

      I have purpose and no job. I made the decision not to work anymore before the kids came along. I love doing what I want when I want. I work out and was with my kids until school started full time for them know I’m taking time to catch up on classic movies and lit in my free time. Some of us like not working we are free spirits.

  • martha

    Don’t know if this is a possibility for you, but my husband quit his “noble” (low-paying) job for a year to stay home with the baby. Compared to paying daycare/nanny it really isn’t that much less income to have him stay at home. The plus: he brings the baby for lunch so I can nurse. Just knowing that I get to see him that little bit extra makes life much more bearable. Is this an option for you? I can’t imagine not seeing my baby for 8 hours straight…

  • Whitney

    I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say except that my heart breaks for you and your family.

  • Michael MacIntire

    I agree this might be post natal depression and it is hard I am sure to deal with breast feeding, getting up at night and working. I have had a couple kids and always tried to help at night and with what I could, of course not able to in case of breast issue. However, keep in mind it is about making an income so that in the future this child will have things they want and things they need. Also I believe it is fair for a mother to stay home at the cost of the father not getting home till 7 or 8 or working a second job and almost never seeing the child. You may need a job change but keep in mind a job is just that a job, if it were fun they would not pay you and they would call it play? I also think all new mothers and fathers go through a six or so month period where all life is sort of in a blur from lack of sleep and lack of much personal or couple time. None of it is easy for anyone and you are certainly not alone in not “enjoying” this however it is for the greater good of your family and child.

  • Jen

    I agree wholeheartedly. I think it sounds like your noble husband should be a stay-at-home dad! And let dad formula feed. Really, it’s o.k. (I BF my twins for 15 mos. so I claim immunity from any BFing flamers!)

  • Marian P

    I cried my heart out when I had to go to work 8 weeks after my first and 4 weeks after my second-there was “no one to cover”. My husband was a teacher and I so envied him for being able to home more than I was, yet I recognized that I felt much better about the children knowing he was often there when I was not. Some I my child care providers were a little iffy, which only made me feel worse. The kids did turn out OK and now say they never felt neglected-but I still feel the pain, 20 plus years later, of my own loss-I missed the first words, the first steps, and many other things. But in order to have a good house in a safe neighborhood with good schools we needed my income, simple as that.

  • bookaday19

    I never had to work until I got divorced – none of my friends worked when they had little kids. I never knew it was a secret to hate your job and want to be a SAHM. I figured most women who worked full time did so because they had to! Yes, there are some career women out there who could never manage to stay home, not their thing – I’ve read articles like this one but about a woman who is staying at home and hates it (I get that – some of baby/toddlerhood is mind-numbingly boring – and I never made at home crafts w/my kids; that’s what preschool at 2 years old and up was for!). But I loved being home w/my kids, and have always felt incredibly sorry for anyone who wanted to do that but was unable to. Working now is blech – hate it – never understood why anyone WANTS to work – has to, sure, but wants to, full time, 5 days/wk?! Blech!

    • Leigha7

      Some people really like what they do. If you’re passionate about you’re job, why wouldn’t you want to work?

  • beth

    I am lucky that I was able to stop working outside the home 16 years ago. Parenting my now almost 16 and almost 14 year old daughters is the best job I ever had, although I enjoyed my last one and wouldn’t mind having one similar after my eldest starts driving. I admire work-outside-the-home Moms. They work away from home for 8+ hours, go home and work more. I have friends with multiple children and after they pay someone to get their kids to school and take care of them afterwards, the only pay they actually receive is health insurance.

  • Bianca

    Oh. My. God. Oh boo hoo, I have to woooork cos my inadequate husband doesn’t make enough for me to sit on my bum crafting all day! :c
    Get a grip!

  • MAB

    Your children don’t have to be young for you to hate being a working mom. I’ve hated being a working mom for at least the last 10 years, but I’ve been one for at least 25 year. I have an 18 year old w/ mental health issues and I hate like sin not being able to be home to help guide and direct him. I am very blessed that my husband supports the family and that I’m able to work mostly part time, so I try and keep things in perspective. Especially since so many folks are struggling.

  • Rebecca Rice

    I am so glad to have read this. I am so sorry you are having to go through it. I know from experience it is extremely hard to do. And my daughter isn’t a little baby. She is 8 years old and I swear with time it hasn’t gotten any easier. It’s gotten harder. Those working mothers out there that like doing both I envy lol. They get to do what they like and there is nothing wrong with WANTING to be a working mother. I am just not one of them. I wish in the OPs situation and in the other people who commented their heartfelt agreements that there was something better we could all do so we could enjoy our baby’s (infant or not lol) every day to day life. In my situation I want to be a part of her homework, school activities, take her out for icecream after school as a surprise. All those little things. I know the work us mothers do IS very important even if the job itself is tedious because those jobs are putting food in our children’s mouth, a roof over their heads, that new toy they were jumping up and down over. I would never say what we do isn’t worth it because it is supporting our kids. However, Doesn’t change the fact that it would be wonderful to be able to physically be with them. I’m sorry to those mothers out there that are going through this. It is not an easy thing to go through.

  • elizabeth Moods

    if you are having issues in life, please contact prophet dibia, he helped me with issues in my life and now i am the happiest woman in the world. He can help you with whatever issue you might be facing. Here is his email:

  • Richard Vandiamondsworth

    Instead of the patriarchy dictating your life condition before you were even born, the feminists did. ENJOY LIBERATION.

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  • ALmommy

    This breaks my heart. I feel the exact same way, but we need to incomes. My husband’s job doesn’t have health insurance so I carry our family’s insurance plans. I despise my job more than anything.

    • ALmommy

      Two incomes not to.

  • Lindz

    You just wrote my story, and I’m so glad to find I’m not alone.
    I have a good job …. A great job even, and I know i should be grateful for that.

    My son just took his first steps – with his primary weekday cared, not me. It breaks my heart. I feel I need to be there for him, but finances and me being the main income in my little family mean I’m not there for him :(

    I’ll hate this ‘choice’ for the rest of my life.

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  • yep!

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Being a working mom and trying to do all the stay at home mom responsibilities are exhausting. It’s simply awful. Every day is a stretch of a two jobs squeezed into one. Simply awful.

  • Jessica Walter

    I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation to prophet salifu for bringing my husband back to me,I was married to my husband for 4 years and all of a sudden he started seeing another lady (his mistress).he started hailing at me and he was abusive.. and he hated me , but I still loved him with all my heart . the situation made me unsettle and not to focus at work .so a friend told me about trying (prophet salifu )spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to him ? i did not listen to her and hoped that my husband will come back home . after 9 month of seperation and depression , it got out of hand and my husband came back home to break the news to me that he want a divorce that he is getting married to his mistress .Hmmm it was so shocking to me ,i felt sad and more depressed ,so i contacted my friend again and decieded to try to use spiritual means reluctantly..although I didn’t believe in all those things? I never thought in a million years that i will get my husband back to me a again. but I was proved wrong.after 24 hours, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it that we are back together. I am deeply satisfied and thankful with prophet salifu work .if you also want to fix you marriage or relationship email him at or , his work is for a better life .

  • Mandy

    It is so comforting to know others feel the same way. I could have written this article. Since going back to work after my third, I am completely depressed and dread work in every way. I want to cry every time someone asks me “so how’s work going?” I only work part time but it feels like full time. I work evenings as a nurse and I dread the shift, the energy it takes from me, and the exhaustion I feel the next day. I often think how I could be a better mother and wife, ultimately a happier person, if I just didn’t have this dread. It’s depressing but at least I’m not alone.

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