MAYBE YOU AREN’T CUT OUT TO BE A MOMMY

So yesterday Holden forced me to watch Paw Patrol with him, and after watching it for about .2 seconds I did what I always do. I picked up my phone to check my emails. Pleeeeease let there be just one new email so I have something to read while I’m trapped on this couch watching F’ing Chase and Ryder and the rest of this stupid show. Ding ding ding, a new email!!! And it’s not just from Groupon or Gymboree! It’s from a real live person, and here’s what it said…

“I don’t know where to start with this. I’m not an ooey gooey sniffy wiffy kind of girl. At least I wasn’t until about 5 months ago. My husband & I have been married forever. We never got pregnant and we decided to adopt from foster care. We were blessed with getting a set of brothers, 4yrs & 6 months old. We were ecstatic. They seemed like great kids, no major baggage. Shortly after they came to stay with us, reality set in. I was finding myself bugged at all the feeding issues with the baby, tired of the endless questions from the 4yr old. I thought I was a horrible mother. I wasn’t bonding with these kids, I had been given the foster care lottery & was spitting in the face good fortune. Never mind the newfound tension between the hub & me.

Then I found your blog. And I bought your book. The relief I felt when I found all my frustration, and then some, in those pages was indescribable. I knew I wasn’t alone, and if a woman who carried her children felt that way, then I, an adoptive mom, was just a normal mom.

-Anonymous Mommy

Anyway, I know this isn’t the laugh-out-loud, pee-in-your-pantaloons shit I usually share, but it struck a chord with me, so I asked her whether I could share it anonymously. And she said yes.

You dream about having kiddos your whole life, and then you finally have them, and at some point there’s this tiny little voice that whispers to you.

TINY VOICE: Maybe you aren’t cut out for this.

We all feel it. At least I think we do. When you’re up for the seventh time in a night because you can’t get your newborn to sleep. Or when you make a huge pot of mashed potatoes and your toddler pulls the handle and it all ends up on the floor and you’re trying to figure out how to get mashed potatoes out of every nook and cranny while your kid is riding your back like a surfboard and you think you might literally start screaming. Or when it takes you like 9 hours to load allllllll the kids in the car and when you finally get them in, the car won’t start and you just want to go crawl back into bed and quit this job you signed up to do for the rest of your life. I mean, no, maybe the Michelle Duggars of this world never feel this way, but I think most of us do at least once or twice.

What never occurred to me until I received this email was how parents who adopt must feel. That maybe they feel the same exact way but wonder whether it’s because they adopted. Because their children aren’t biologically connected to them. Maybe not all people who adopt feel this way. But maybe a few.

So if this tiny voice has ever whispered to you, whether your kids came from your hooha or someone else’s, just know that we have all felt this way once or twice. Well, maybe not all of us. Maybe not the Michelle Duggars in the world. Then again, maybe even them.

If you liked this, please don’t forget to press the Facebook like and share buttons. Thank you!!

And if you ever feel like you’re doing a crappy job, you’re not the only one. Me too!! So I wrote a book about it. I Heart My Little A-Holes will hopefully make you feel less alone in the big bad world of parenting.

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There are 34 comments for this article
  1. Jennifer Fick at 10:17 am

    Too bad your kids are so young. I need a book about how to love a 17-year-old who is a great kid but still gets on my last nerve! I know I just need to chill because my one-and-only will be at college in a year and a half, and then I’ll REALLY be wishing I had more time.

    • C Kane at 10:49 am

      Not necessarily. My daughter and I still have a very good relationship but when she went off to College I cried all the way home. However, by the time I got home I realized for the first time in 28 years there were just two of is in the house. It was heaven and glorious and peaceful. She left in Sept and Fall break in Oct found her a my door with bags of laundry? So soon! What the hell is Fall break anyway?

    • Kim at 4:20 pm

      I know that one. My boy it’s 16 and wow! Every once in a while I stare at this sullen grunting monosyllabic nightmare and I think where is my sweet baby? Then out of the blue he hugs me and says “I love you mommy” and I see my baby again.

  2. Laurie at 10:36 am

    As a foster mom, I go through this all the time. I feel bad because I have always wanted children, and we are fighting hard to get these kids to live with us forever. However, there are those days that my 4 year old makes me want to cry and my 8 year old makes me want to crawl back into bed. No matter if you are a bio mom, foster mom, step-mom or any other kind of mom, we have all been there. Prayers and good thoughts to all the mommie who need them! 🙂

  3. Kristine @ MumRevised at 10:40 am

    What a beautiful email! Thank you both for sharing. I think even the Michelle Duggars have moments of WTF am I doing (Ok, her’s might be ‘what the cookie am I doing?’). Even if other mothers don’t, it gets me through the day sometimes to remember I am not alone.

  4. Laura at 10:40 am

    I have always felt that adoptive parents were at a disadvantage to begin with…..bio mom’s in particular get the “benefit” of sleepless nights due to discomfort with the pregnancy plus all the time to prep. Adoptive moms were sleeping like rocks and never got to adjust. We are thrown into it at the last minute (we were blessed with NO WARNING whatsoever for our first child — she had already been born and was in the hospital for about a week before they even called us)…so we didn’t have a crib, car seat, clothes, diapers, ANYTHING – plus we couldn’t call on friends and family for stuff b/c we didn’t know that she would for sure come home with us or someone else (long story). Regardless, it’s now 12 years later and we are blessed with a strong and very strong willed daughter and now I even forget that she was adopted! It takes time to bond, Anonymous Mommy, you will get there and get through it!

    • HA at 12:16 pm

      We went through almost the exact same situation with our son. And we had the same worries about getting a new baby. We even joked about taking him out in the car seat “isn’t anybody going to stop us, we have no idea what we are doing!” And I had those same worries initially, like when I would get upset due to lack of sleep or maybe not be thankful for every little minute. We had just won the baby lottery and I felt like maybe we weren’t the most deserving parents out there. Luckily I had wonderful and honest friends that were also first time bio moms who I could share my fears with and who made me realize that all moms feel like that every once in a while. We all try hard and do our best. I also forget he is adopted sometimes and most of the time I think “d**n I am a GREAT mom what a lucky kid you are!” 😉

      ps- Paw Patrol is not that bad. Pingu or Caillou make me violent. 😛

  5. jodilea21Jodi at 10:41 am

    This is great!
    I am a bio Mommy (2 kids) and an adoptive Mommy (3 kids) and I have felt all kinds of this about all five! It doesn’t matter if they come from your hooha or your heart…kids will make any Mom all kinds of crazy!

  6. Julie R. at 10:44 am

    Totally felt this way about my babies and toddlers! Now I have a 13 yo daughter and fill exactly like Jennifer Fick!

  7. April at 10:48 am

    Thank you. This actually made me cry. I am sure it’s from lack of sleep as my 7 week old cried all night, for no reason. I love him but this morning I actually said out loud, “no, that’s enough! I’m done”! I have always wanted to be a mom, and I love him so much but I am so tired! Thank you for letting me know it’s ok! 🙂

  8. Lorrie at 10:50 am

    Oh how I wish you had been around when I was raising my children! I have four daughters and I felt this way many a day.

  9. C Kane at 10:53 am

    And by the way. It doesn’t end. I have 6 grandchildren and know every character from Frozen, Wild Kratts and Caillou. Must be revenge for something I. screwed up as a Mommu. Sigh.

      • Kristen at 11:45 pm

        I dont know for sure, but Im assuming a child with baggage implies that child has many issues that need resolving, behavioral problems and such. So no, that is not something great. That does not mean those children deserve to be loved any less. It does mean they will require much more work and have many more needs then the child with no “baggage”. Im assuming if someone is granted a child with no behavior problems, learning disabilities, or medical concerns, it is probably greater than being granted a child with such things.
        However, that is just my take on the statement.

        • Kristen at 11:47 pm

          Also, I want to add, I didnt take it to mean children with baggage are not great, but the situation would not be great.

  10. tessamartinuk at 11:24 am

    I remember when my eldest was born, I’d been babysitting my nieces and nephews for years, I could do this. So she’s lying in her crib and I was just sat on the bed thinking wtf do I do now? The Hubster had gone to get my mother, so I knew I had to do something, after holding all my nephews and nieces, I realised I had no effing clue, and not much has changed since! She is now almost 16 and our other daughter is 12 and I’ve pretty much winged it the whole time!

  11. Kas at 11:26 am

    I’ve had that feeling ever since I was pregnant. Shoot, my son is 11 (almost 12) now and sometimes I still hear the I’m not good enough voice in my head. And I think it was only 2 weeks ago when I stopped listening to it, when my son came to me and thanked me for pushing him to be better at everything he does (and it wasn’t Mother’s Day yet LOL).
    What an eye opener that was. Now I say, you can’t be doing as bad as you think if your own child is grateful for being you. At the end of the day your child’s opinion of you is all that matters. And yes sometimes their feeling will be “I hate you mommy” but when you get that hug or kiss after “their anger”, you know the “hate” is not real.

  12. Jenn at 12:21 pm

    THANK YOU!! Seriously, thank you so much for posting this. My husband and I are in the process of adopting from foster care, we’re literally going to meet the kid this afternoon. My husband seems so secure in our decision, while the little voice in my head sometimes screams “what is wrong with you?! You’ve got it made, no schedule to keep to, no homework to help with, no snotty noses, all-nighters (at least not the kind I’m used to, lol), why change this perfect set up?!”. But at the end of the day, the little voice quiets down and I yearn for a little one running around the house, the special moments, the “firsts”. I know the little voice is just my fear of the unknown, but sometimes it makes me question our decision. It’s so refreshing to know that there are other fost/adopt moms out there that are struggling, it makes me and my little voice feel somewhat normal. Thank you to the mom who wrote to you and allowed you to share her story, and thank you for sharing it. I so needed to read this. Especially today!

  13. LorinNYC at 12:36 pm

    Oh geeze…where are my tissues? You hit a nerve. Tears here. I always think I’m not mom material…I don’t always like being a mom…there I said it. It’s freakin’ hard – the servitude and ungratefulness that is there. I’m tired. But then, I get those #1 Mom gifts at Mothers’ day that they bought for a $1 from the PTA store at school and well, I think…perhaps, I can go one more day.

  14. Christine at 2:11 pm

    I’m a mom of an autistic child and I’ve thought this myself many times. I thought it was because of the extra challenges my son faces. Now I know it’s a normal part of being a mom and if the rest of you can keep going then so can I. Thank you.

  15. Kelly F at 3:04 pm

    My husband and I are beginning the adoption process and that is one of my biggest fears. I’m happy to know that if I do, I am not alone. Congrats and good luck to that mama and thank you BS for always making me laugh.

  16. Nikki at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing – I love your blog and appreciate you putting yourself out there. You help people feel less alone and also give us much-needed comic relief. Thanks for sharing your gift. Keep up the good work!

  17. Jen at 8:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this and the mother that adopted! Our daughter is adopted and of course you never say those things out loud(b/c you should be thankful you even have them, right?!).
    You’ve helped moms be more open and honest about how tough it is, so thank you. And the kick-a*s humor is always the best 🙂

  18. Megan at 3:37 am

    I wasn’t cut out to be a mom. No one is; mothers are made, not born. Whether your baby comes out of your own body, or someone else’s, earning your mom credentials requires infinite on the job training. The first year of my daughter’s life was the worst year of mine. I hope she doesn’t know that until she has children of her own, and I tell her. Loving and parenting an infant is messy, complicated and really f*****g hard, no matter where they came from. After my daughter was born, I almost lost my mind….I’ll never give birth again. PPD brought me to my knees. Michelle Duggar isn’t sane…I could launch into a tirade about what a disservice making a uterus like a revolving door into a celebrity is, but I won’t. Most mothers question their credibility daily. It sucks, but it’s part of the job. If I can put one foot in front of the other, and manage to keep my kid happy and healthy, the details (I hope) will work themselves out.

  19. Julia Cornell at 11:58 am

    Being both an adoptive mom and a biological mom, I will add that the feeling is completely natural and has more to do with the situation (be it their ages, attitudes, issue of conflict ) and our own state of mental and physical health than on actually loving our childre. As my mom used to say frequently, “I love you always but I may not LIKE you all the time. “

  20. Lorrie Adams at 11:06 pm

    I love your blog and it definitely helps to know I’m not alone with those feelings of not feeling cut out for this. I feel that way with my now three teenage girls. There are days where I feel like I’m not going to make it and desperately wondering if it’s going to come down to me or them. So thank you for the laughs, and the assurance that nope I’m not the only mom that goes through it. 🙂

  21. Helene Smith Gelman at 6:42 am

    I don’t even think Michelle Duggar is even real. I’ve only watched Keeping Up with the Duggars or whatever the hell that show is called a few times and nope – not real. She is too cheerful for it to be real. I can’t handle two kids…19 or however many she has? Nope, nope, nope!!!

    Love your blog – sometimes – it’s what we need to make it all better. Well, that and wine. Wine always makes things better.

  22. Helene Smith Gelman at 6:45 am

    I just reread what I wrote and in my tired haze I realize I wrote I love your blog sometimes. No, I always love your blog! What I meant was sometimes it can make things better. Sorry about that! Darn mommy brain!

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