Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to say, MomsPaula.

The other thing I wanted to say is that I think some of us go through a process that is very similar to grieving upon the huge, life altering changes involved in taking on the responsiblity of a baby or child that now relies on us 24/7. The emotional process I've been through seems very similar to what I went through after my best friend and companion died of cancer when we were 39 (hence me adopting solo). But the anger, the desire to escape (I've gained 20 lbs since my daughter came along--and I didn't even give birth!) through food and late night tv, the depression, the anger, the sorrow for what was lost--all what I went through with Jim's illness and after he died.

My daughter is now 2 1/2 years old, and though I still have trying times (every parent does), I'm now in an acceptace phase, and rather than dwelling in my self-pity and sorrow for what I've given up in my life, I'm trying to find solutions for the situations and behaviors that have been a struggle, and appreciate the amazing process of seeing that helpless little baby talk, learn potty, take care of her babydolls, try to read me a story, sing, dance and laugh.

And it's okay for parents to travel and take trips without their little kids--my parents are thrilled to get to come help and watch my daughter for a few days when I have to travel for work, and I am usually able to schedule in a day or 2 at the end to do some sightseeing or relaxing--it's not a hike down the grand canyon, but it's a break and get to see new places. I have had to adjust what might constitute a 'get away'--sometimes it's taking a hike (free except for gas) for the day, or going on an overnight trip locally. I had no idea how expense a child would be, and right now, I'm living paycheck to paycheck. But we have a roof over our heads, a working car, food in the cupboards and the bills are relatively caught up. I believe that this will change over time too--but for the first 2 years with my daughter I was in denial about my financial situation, and made it worse. Now I am facing it and accepting it is what it is, and the challenge of budgeting and menu planning is kind of fun.

I have had a hard time asking other people to watch my daughter except for meetings for work or something; my mental twist is that she's at daycare 5 days a week while I work--it's not fair for her to be at a babysitters or friends in the evenings or weekends for a few hours--but it's more unfair for her to be with a mom (me) who doesn't make some time to do other things and get refreshed.

One last thing and then I will shut up, but I agree that being a parent isn't for everyone. But, the thing I'm finding out is that even for some of us that think that we aren't up to it can find a way to give our children love, bond with them, and get through [censored] times and come to embrace the life we've been given. It feels strange to say that, after the difficulties I've been through, but I would not want my daughter out of my life--she's become a part of who I am, and what my life is about, and I think she'd be far more messed up with abandonment issues that she would be with a mom that is off-kilter sometimes.

Speaking as someone who was adopted as an infant, the sort of self-esteem issues that a kid who's parents gave them up because they just didn't feel like being parents is also scarring.

Sorry to go on so long--it's just so refreshing to be able to discuss this. I agree that it's been taboo for a mom to admit that sometimes she hates having her kids and wishes they weren't there, which is very isolating!