This weekend I ran across a blog that features anonymous “mommy confessions,” where mamas can post some of their most cringe-worthy moments or try to help clear their consciences by revealing some terrible thing that they feel guilty about doing. It was certainly an eye opener to read what some of the women wrote. Of course, there was your typical I’m scared to breastfeed type admission. There were quite a few I hate my husband entries. There were some that were along the lines of I never make my child brush his teeth or All my son will eat is chicken nuggets.
And, then there was a whole other category of confessions. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Three children was too many.
It’s 9am and I just sent my five year old back to bed with a movie because I just can’t deal with him right now.
I buy my five year old video games so he can ignore me and I can ignore him.
Honestly, most of the time I don’t care what my kids are doing, just so long as they’re quiet.
Motherhood makes me feel smothered and alone. I miss my freedom.
This is only a handful of the many confessions that seem to ooze regret. I doubt these mothers would consciously admit that they wish they had never had children (although some of them do), but their statements certainly suggest that they wish they were doing something other than being mothers.
I can understand, to a certain extent, why these mamas wrote what they did.
Because motherhood is hard. It’s tiring. It’s never-ending. It’s all giving. It’s true, complete sacrifice.
But, there’s something much deeper going on here than a bunch of mothers who would rather be out drinking margaritas. It’s a mentality that goes much, much further into our psyches, and I dare say that not one of us American mamas is immune to this way of thinking.
Because we were raised in the abortion culture.
We, current mothers of young children, can’t remember a time when abortion wasn’t an “issue” to rail against or to rally for. If you’re like me and you grew up in church, you probably attended your fair share of candle light vigils and Sanctity of Life Sundays. You wore your little baby feet pin in high school to show that you believe in tiny life in the womb and you may even have a pro-life bumper sticker on your car.
But, it doesn’t matter if you have a “My Uterus, My Choice” t-shirt in your closet or if you protest at abortion clinics. You are a victim of the abortion culture’s indoctrination of young women. And, chances are, it shows in your mothering.
The abortion culture has taught us that children stand in the way of things that we want. It has taught us that we deserve more than being at home with children on a Friday night. It has told us that it is possible to “not be ready” for kids. It has instilled in women a lack of confidence in our ability to handle children. It has produced the feeling that it can be a mistake to have a child or a mistake to have more than one.
The abortion culture has lied that it is better for a child to have no mother at all than to have an imperfect one.
And so, even if we feel like we are pro-life to our core, if we really stop and examine the way we think about our children, do we see the abortion culture mindset creeping in? Do we find that we are resenting our children because they ask a lot of us? Are we preoccupied with all of things that we would rather be doing? Do we often view our kids as a nuisance? Do we dream of what life would be like without kids?
Do we feel defeated every morning before our feet even hit the floor?
Are we only giving part of ourselves to our children?
Do we hold back because we are sure we are ruining our children?
Do we often wish that our children would just leave us alone?
I would submit to you, my sweet mama friends, that these feelings are directly related to the abortion culture which has lied to us for our entire lifetime. We must stop now and implore God to change our thinking about our children.
These lies have convinced women that some aren’t capable of being good mothers.
These lies have convinced women that there are more important or fulfilling things than raising children.
These lies have convinced women that children are annoying, inferior, unimportant.
These lies have convinced women that children don’t have feelings or worth.
And, it shows in the things we say about them on social media and in the way that we treat them. It’s apparent in the huge number of mommy blogs that are funny diaries of how miserable motherhood is. With names like Scary Mommy, Bad Mommy, and My Name’s Not Mommy, these blogs have made it fashionable to hate the responsibility of raising children.
And, the underlying current of all of it is: what if I had never had children? Would I be happier?
Before the abortion culture turned motherhood on its head, children were considered a source of great happiness. Now, they are considered nothing more than dream squashers.
I’m convinced we need to examine our hearts and admit that the abortion culture has tainted our thinking. For our kids’ sakes, and so we won’t pass on the lies to our little girls, let’s ask God to change our mindset. Our children are so much more than an “issue.” They are so much more significant than a choice. And they need mothers who refuse to see them as obstacles to happiness.
Instead of being pro-life, I’m pro-cloning. Clone more Melissas so we could get more and more and more of your insights every, every, everyday.
Wow Melissa, you are so prolific
Ha, Robert! This comment made my day! 🙂
Wow, thank you so much for your insight into this tragic byproduct of our society. So much truth in what you speak.
Thanks so much for reading!
So much truth in what you have written here. Time to go do my own reflections on my current heart-status while my little ones nap. <3 Thank you!
Thank you for this comment. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! 🙂
Wonderful thoughts. Thank you! I work in the pro-life movement, and I’ve seen these results, too.
Thank you, Caiah!
Reblogged this on onetuffmama and commented:
Read this today on a fellow blogger’s page. She says it so well.
Great words! I think the abortion culture is partly to blame for these issues. I think there are also many TV shows that portray this kind of mindset as funny (along side one dimensional men to be derided as idiots). Our culture is also saturated with diets, surgeries and other programs to “get back our bodies,” as though they have been stolen, adding to the myriad of input claiming that we are bad and it’s our children’s fault. I too hope we can all examine our hearts for these negative culture concepts, root them out and free ourselves to see our children as doorways to happiness and fulfillment. Thanks for writing!
Good points, londryfairy!
“These lies have convinced women that there are more important or fulfilling things than raising children.”…Yes, and it has also done something to women. Our culture has devalued and marginalized the role of women and has convinced so many that being a mom is a lesser choice.
I agree, madblog!
I can’t comment much on the ‘abortion culture’ you speak of, but I know for myself that I had an awful thought that I didn’t mean toward my youngest child because I was SO. TIRED. And it was YEARS before I forgave myself for that one thought, after a friend repeated it back to me and said “would you judge me if I had that thought?” and my reply was “of course not, you were a tired mama”. It was a lightbulb moment for me.
“The abortion culture has taught us that children stand in the way of things that we want.”
Hate to say it, but they do. There are things that I’d like to do that I can’t do because I have kids. Ultimately the exchange is a net positive, but it seems a little disingenuous to suggest that kids don’t stand in the way of things parents want.
“It has told us that it is possible to “not be ready” for kids.”
It is eminently possible to “not be ready” for kids. I doubt many sixteeen year-olds who have kids are “ready” to be mothers. That’s not to say they can’t figure it out on-the-job, so to speak, but maturity is a real thing. Some people have it; some don’t.
“It has produced the feeling that it can be a mistake to have a child…”
It’s never a mistake to carry a child to term, but if you define “have a child” to include the entire process of becoming pregnant then, yes, I’d say it can be a mistake.
Glad to see, as I scroll down through this very positive comment section, that I am not the only one who is second guessing a few of the comments here. I would say there are many, many aspects of our society that affect the perception of child rearing and while I am whole-heartedly pro-life, anti-birth control, and a devout Catholic SAH mother of four, this perspective seems to be through a narrow lens. How about cost of living, as simply one example? Raising children simply IS NOT as convenient for some mothers as others and while we are called to support those who need it, there is absolutely a wider reality here. Bravo to all of those mothers who make difficult choices and stick by them, but I see a difference in a mother who wishes she didn’t have kids or wishes them I’ll versus a mother who struggles and simply realizes how life might have differed with no or fewer children.
This post is really helpful to me, as a young married man who has grown up with and still has both eagerness and terror at the thought of being a father. I’ve been wondering why parenthood scares me so much, and reading this, I realize that a lot of the fear comes from the lies you mention above… in other words:
These lies have convinced [me] that some aren’t capable of being good [fathers.]
These lies have convinced [me] that there are more [enjoyable, less stressful] things than raising children.
These lies have convinced [me] that children are annoying, inferior, unimportant.
Thank you for sharing this, and for making it so easy to insert myself. 🙂
I agree that the availability of abortion (and contraception, I would add) has changed the way we view motherhood. But I think it’s a bit revisionist to claim that “Before the abortion culture turned motherhood on its head, children were considered a source of great happiness.” For example, my parents were raised in farm families of 10-12 children in the rural Midwest where children were viewed as inevitable (contraception was not available and the knowledge of NFP was nonexistent) and utilitarian (many hands made for lighter work on the farm). Surely the children were loved, but they were not viewed as sources of great happiness. I think it’s only recently that we have looked to our children as means to personal fulfillment or happiness. And I would argue that this view of children can be as toxic as the view of children as dream crushers because it treats children as means to our own self-centered ends rather than as ends in themselves.
Reblogged this on grace abounds in deep waters and commented:
I have definitely been exposed to the exact same “your life will never be the same” mindset, and it was never said in an encouraging, positive way! My life began when I had Lincoln. I encourage every woman who is not a mother to embrace the idea, to not be scared of your inadequacies (you won’t be perfect, and that’s okay!), and to trust that every SINGLE day you have with your children will be a gift. There will be definite hard days, but the hardest day with Lincoln is better, greater, more fulfilling than the BEST day without him. And that’s the truth!
I think you are right that the abortion culture and a low view of motherhood are related, but I think there is more to the negative thoughts of an overwhelmed mom than just that she’s believed the lies of undervaluing children. Motherhood can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining and its demands are very high. Depending on what your husband does, your living situation, your schooling choices and the age of your kids, you may or may not get enough breaks to recover a little energy and reset your mind when you feel like you’re losing it. Unlike a 9-5 job, this one doesn’t come with a punch card. And so it is very easy, even if you love your children to bits, and truly believe them to be a blessing, to have moments when you wish you could just get away from them for a little while. I would rather be mothering my 4 kids right now than working at a high-paying, hugely fulfilling career, and I know that what I’m doing is valuable, but at 5:30 am when you haven’t had enough sleep and a kid runs screaming into your room, it sure doesn’t FEEL like something you should welcome! 🙂 I don’t think we’d say that if my husband woke up one morning and felt a little ill and remembered that his work day involved an intense meeting, difficult counseling situation or imminent deadline, and his first thought was, “Man, I wish I could just stay home today”, that he was believing anti-work lies.
I’m not saying there’s no sin involved in thoughts of regret or even hatred that moms feel; I’m just saying that ever since the curse, motherhood (and all other work) don’t always feel like a blessing. Yes, when we have such negative thoughts, we need to turn to God for the grace to see our children and our work as he sees them. We are called to rejoice, even in our trials (and there are plenty in motherhood!). But this is not new to our abortion culture.
Also, I think that we can joke about the difficulties of motherhood in a way that glorifies moms who pretend not to (or truly don’t) care well for their kids, and I think that’s what you’re hitting on here. But I don’t think it’s wrong to get a laugh out of some of the absurd situations we encounter on this mothering journey, especially with fellow moms who’ve witnessed such insanity themselves. I’ve enjoyed the funny lists and other humorous things here that you post here from time to time. Sometimes being able to laugh about it helps get you out of a mindset that only sees it negatively.
Sarah Livingston Moore
Wow. As a mom of six, pro-life Christian, your words hit hard. I’m a fairly snarky person (those whom I love get the lion’s share of sarcasm), but now I’m examining my heart and seeing that some of what’s in there isn’t very pretty. Thank you for posting.
What a discerning way to show what is happening in our culture. Preach it, sister! Let’s be grateful for the children God has blessed us with. As opposed to feeling entitled. Let thankfulness be what characterizes us as parents.
Here’s another part of the problem – women spend, let’s say, the first 25 years of life studying, learning, honing skills, exploring their world, leading and then all that education and leadership and worldliness must (for a season) be put on hold to care for the babies. No surprise women groomed for a career the first 1/4 of their lives find full time motherhood frustrating.
Wow! Preach it! I needed that!