Maria Lally writes a rather sad article in this week’s Grazia about feeling that she doesn’t love motherhood.
She describes motherhood as a chore and how she feels she was happier before she had her daughter. Apparently there are some incredibly happy moments but by and large she seems to begrudge motherhood and feel her marriage has suffered as a result. She is jealous of her baby-less friends and feels other mothers who appear happy on Facebook might be trying to pretend to the world they’re enjoying motherhood more than they like to let on.
She describes a wedding, where she is looking after the child, of not going out, of a babysitter being too much hassle, conversation that revolves constantly around their daughter. And the whole way through I couldn’t help but feel that of course you feel trapped. But the trapped is not because you’re now a mother and you weren’t before. You feel trapped like anyone would if they had one topic of conversation and never left their house, ultimately through their own choice. If you were only allowed to talk about your job and you had to stay at work all evening every evening, you’d feel trapped. And probably try and do something about it.
I think it’s like anything in life; you can’t just do nothing and then bemoan your lot. I know motherhood is exhausting and takes a lot of organisation but I’m sure it’s possible to discuss all sorts of things, especially once the baby is asleep; that every so often a baby sitter must be possible.
I see my brother in law and his new little family and whilst their life has changed, there is still time to talk of art and politics and music. Going out is still possible, that family may travel to help out, that everything can be enjoyable.
I also think Lally misses the point. Life always seems better in the past. You grow up, get responsibility, stresses, a job, maybe a partner. At 29, I look back fondly at 25. And at 25, I still wanted to be 21. That isn’t going to change just because you don’t have a baby. It seems sad she doesn’t think she’ll regret having the baby when she looks back when her daughter gets married. She might not regret choosing to have a baby, but she might regret wishing away 18 years of her life on unhappily wishing she was in another situation.
I’m not saying you can’t admit when life is hard and you’re struggling. Of course not. But wishing that your holidays, social life and finances could go back to the way they used to be pre-baby doesn’t seem insurmountable. Or, a problem any different to most other 30 year olds, with or without children.
Did anyone else read this? Or is it only me that picks up Grazia when it’s a £1.