Hi Jenny,

I just wanted to tell you something I was told in prenatal classes that I thought was rather odd at the time: If you think of your lifespan as a pie, the slice of pie that will be you as a parent of a dependent child will be very small.

Also, in Mommy and Me classes I remember being told: Your baby is not 'out to get you.'

In some book somewhere I read something like ~ actions lead to feelings, so if you do not feel all the love for your child that you think you should, act as though you enjoy every moment with that child. Feelings follow action.

When my daughter was born, I was surprised at how my place in the world changed. At parties where in earlier days I would talk about whatever topic was at hand with people who saw me as a peer, I became A Baby's Mom ~ with no identity, education, experience or interests before the birth of my child, and only my baby as my interest and identity afterward.

I enrolled in Mommy and Me classes and met a variety of women, some who had their own business, others who were on a serious career path, travelers and athletes, musicians and students. Every so often, I suspect, each one would have identified with you enough to respond to your subject line: Need Support. I Hate Being A Mom.

It sounds like you are the one doing the defining - you may not be the unique and extraordinary mom that you were meant to be, just because you run out of time to reinvent yourself.

It is harder now, with so little time left in a week for us to have personal time, date time, and other vacations from your 'mom' identity. It would be so much better for families, and every individual in a family unit, if we had a month or six weeks of vacation every year, and our weekends were not so filled with what we did not have time to do during the week.

I'm glad that you have found ways to make your time as the mother of a very young child more satisfying and happy. It does make a difference to write down the wonderful things that happen, and to keep in mind what we are thankful for rather than what we might be missing out on.

Some winters when I watch the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" I am shocked at the attitude of the main character, George Bailey. But it would not be as popular a movie as it is if audiences did not see themselves in him. This was a movie that was popular when our parents and grandparents were raising children. That feeling of missed opportunities is not something we invented.

And in those days, it was not uncommon for mothers to leave their children with their grandmothers, aunts or others for a weekend, a vacation, and while at school or work.

I wish that every mom who felt as you did when you wrote your original post would find a way to reach out for comfort and support from other women who understand how complicated we can be, whether we feel fortunate every day to have our children in our lives or we have a desperate certainty that we have made a mistake in changing our identities and responsibilities so dramatically by becoming mothers.

When my daughter was small and our parent ed instructor told us our babies were not 'out to get us,' I laughed. But many times since then I have remembered that and been reassured. My daughter's age-appropriate, developmentally perfect, attitudes and behaviors were something no one warned me about. Although my mother did sometimes say she hoped I would have a daughter just like me someday. At the time, I thought that was a lovely sentiment, not a terrible threat hanging over my head.

Children grow up and fly away from your nest. Enjoy your young life and theirs during the years they anchor your hearts and hands, and make plans so that you are moving toward the goals you feel would give you the greatest happiness and security. Don't forget your romance! You are showing your daughter how she can be happy when she grows up, and you want her to really work at it to keep up with the parents.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Originally Posted By: Jennyt
Hi I just wanted to know if there are others who are like me so I don't feel alone here. Ever since I have my baby, I just felt so regreted of that decision. I love her as a person, but I hate being her mom. I felt like I missed out my life, my freedom. My life was perfect without her. My hubby and I were madly in love and we travel a lot. We still wanted to do so much adventure together, but now we are trapped in this parenting world. Anyway I know I have no way out but try to be a good mom. But talking to someone who understand would really help.

p.s., we've gone through some conceling but doesn't help. Because basically we just made a big mistake..

Originally Posted By: Jennyt
I think I'm doing better and better now. Actually both me and my husband spend as much time as possible with our daugther, we sing, we tell stories, we laugh. We started to enjoy her a lot more, maybe because she is not yet the terrible 2. But we used to talk a lot, about investment, about our own business, about everything in life. But now we spend all the time with a baby, and by the time she goes to sleep, I am already very tired. So you are right, I need to come up with a plan to make sure we still have "us" time. I keep telling myself, I'm already a very lucky person, I should just enjoy what I have and appreciate them...

Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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