Childrearing

‘Being A Mother Bores Me,’ Admits Journalist Julie Cook – Let’s Thank This Woman For Her Honesty

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“I didn’t know until I had my son — and found myself forcibly immersed in this world of play dates and parenting talk — how much I actively dislike children.”

This candid admission comes from 31-year-old journalist Julie Cook – mother to a boy named Alex – who has written a just-published piece for the Daily Mail called “I Love My Son, But Being A Mother Bores Me.” If we’ve learned anything from TIME magazine’s scandalous breastfeeding cover or The Atlantic‘s bold-faced assertion that women can’t have it all, it’s that publishers love a good Mommy War. Cook’s latest piece will stir up yet another controversy – mark my words.

I can see it now: the legions of critics who will devour Cook for admitting she’s uninterested in motherhood (some will say she doesn’t deserve to be a mom) vs. the supporters who will praise this woman for her brazen honesty. Personally, I fall into the latter camp. That’s because I believe her sentiments are way more common than you’d think. Actually, the only difference between Cook and probably 50 percent of mothers out there is that Cook had the nerve to share her thoughts in a national newspaper.

For those who haven’t read the piece, here’s a little sampling of what’s in store:

“I vowed I would not have another child: not because I feared birth or the first three horrific months where the tiredness could drive me to tears standing in a supermarket queue, but because it was only through experiencing it that I was made aware of how uninterested I am in motherhood.”

“I suddenly realized…I’d joined a club I didn’t really want to be a part of.”

“If I saw ‘mum friends’ coming towards me with their buggies, I’d turn mine 180 degrees quick smart and head in the other direction, desperate not to spend another mindless hour talking about the inanities of having a child. I didn’t feel the need to bill and coo over their offspring — having a child was exhausting enough without having to further exhaust myself pretending to be interested in a subject I found, frankly, dull.”

Many of Cook’s feelings are foreign to me personally; others are so bang on, it’s as if she’s read the secret diary in my head. It seems her friends feel the same way (some of them do, anyway). Cook describes how she confided in some girlfriends, telling them she finds motherhood to be a bore. Their eyes would widen in shock, she explains, until they’d have a couple glasses of wine and nod their heads in agreement, “guilt streaking their faces.”

“I miss my old life, the office, my colleagues. I’ve got no interest in kids at all — except my own, of course, but even that bores me sometimes,” admitted one friend. Others weren’t so understanding. As Cook describes, “[They’d] look at me with utter contempt or horror. Their lives seemed to revolve around little Jacob’s swimming lessons or Harriet’s art classes.”

Whether or not we agree with Cook, I think we should be thanking this woman for telling it like it is. The only part that irks me is that her little boy, Alex, will grow up and read this piece one day. That said, there is no question that he is very much wanted and loved. In fact, Cook sounds like a really good mom, which just goes to show that loving your child and feeling bored by motherhood aren’t mutually exclusive.

(Photo: dailymail.co.uk)

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