Most of the time I can't stand being a mother either. I ruined everything by having a second child. With one, I could focus on her and feel pretty good about the connection we had, and the amount of attention she was getting. There was time for me, time for her, time for my husband (who is very busy as it is). But with two, I never feel like I'm giving *either* enough. I always feel guilty! And this second time around, I find I can't stand reading the same boring books over and over again, answering the same ridiculous questions while trying to take them seriously, correcting the bad behavior that won't seem to go away. Everyone says I'm so patient, but inside I'm screaming and tearing out my hair. And I'm not patient when I'm alone with them. I can't *stand* the ingratitude, the thoughtlessness, the disrespect, presumptions, and defiance. My connection with the older is in tatters - at the end of the day I don't have energy to give her some special one-on-one attention after number two is asleep, and I can tell she needs it, but I just want to go hide somewhere and cry. Every night is a struggle for something, every pleasant interaction is marred by their tyrannical impulses to quarrel, make demands, or complain. The worst part is, when I'm low on energy or feeling out of sorts, they can detect it, and they're worse than ever. And then when I finally get some time to myself I feel too rattled by everything and too resentful of my enslavement to enjoy it. Or by the time I start feeling relaxed and centered again, time's up, or it's three in the morning and I've just ensured my morning is going to be impossible.

There's really nothing I can do but keep muddling on. But I feel so terrible, my thoughts are so ugly. And it's true - kids can detect it. So really, my thoughts are not my own: I have no privacy. And it's unfair. It's when I feel the most unloving that they act the most atrociously, and I know it's because they're trying to provoke me into getting angry so that when they've apologized we'll be close again. It's a terrible pattern. And I feel so guilty. I don't want them to feel unloved. And I don't want to see myself as an unloving person. But I never miss them when they're gone and I feel like I come alive as soon as I know they're asleep. And I often fantasize about faking my own death so I could vanish out of their lives without making them feel intentionally abandoned.

I never even hint at this with other mothers I meet in person. I don't feel like it would be socially acceptable. I'm just writing this now because tonight I really needed to read about other mothers feeling this way, and reading this thread helped me feel more human.