Karabo Mokoena
3 minute read
19 May 2021
2:55 pm

Motherhood resentment is a thing – here’s what you should know

Karabo Mokoena

Many mothers go through the journey of hating motherhood, but some don't know what it is, or that it's normal.

Mothers can often feel resentful in their motherhood journeys. Picture: iStock

Have you ever felt like you are trapped by your role as a mother, or that you just need some time away from your children?

Well, you are not alone. Motherhood is one of the most life-changing experiences any woman can ever go through.

For some, the pregnancy does not happen by choice, but many choose to embrace it anyway. These mother-child relationships become complex as women put their dreams and goals on hold to tend to the children they weren’t ready for.

And in a country with a high rate of absent fathers, many moms are forced to figure things out on their own.

Mothers on Twitter have been having open and honest conversations about hating motherhood and resenting their children.

South African mommy blogger Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile is known for sharing motherhood truths that many shy away from. In one of her blogs, I resented my child, she openly shares about how the birth of her first child turned her world upside down.

She had dreams of being an academic philosopher or political sciences researcher with a loving family. Instead, circumstances led her to become a single mother, living in a student residence with a child surviving on a stipend.

Her honesty has opened up a safe space for mothers to talk about how exhausting and overwhelming motherhood can be.

Space has not always been safe for moms. Mothers are not allowed to see beyond the blessing that children are. Neither are they allowed to complain about how tired they are because they woke up five times in the night to tend to a sick baby.

Some mothers even felt guilty for wanting to be alone on Mother’s Day.

Complaining about how tiring motherhood is usually equated with hating your child.

When mothers are not aware that what they are experiencing is resentment, it can usually be misdirected, usually towards the child. Gaopalelwe says: “I started to be rather nasty to my child. I would shout, scream and often be very annoyed at him.”

“I don’t wanna do this any more” is an emotion felt by many moms at some point in their motherhood journey, silently saying this to themselves for fear of being judged.

Now, a different generation of mothers is openly sharing that at some point, motherhood is not their most favourite job in the world, but it does not mean they love their children any less.