Redbook Article Gives Voice To Mother Who Dislikes Her Own Child
A mother’s bond with her child is rife with “shoulds,” but a very brave woman recently came forward in an article for Redbook detailing her struggles with disliking her oldest daughter. Her expectations for her daughter to be bright, vivacious, and hit “certain milestones” were thwarted when her baby refused to eat, sleep, or even socialize as she got a little older. When her second daughter was born, the anonymous mother suddenly felt herself feeling the rush of maternal happiness that she did not receive with her first.
When the daughter turned seven years old, the mother began to suspect that her daughter’s inability to pick up certain social norms and complete tasks may be developmental. Sure enough, the little girl was diagnosed with a developmental disorder and so the mother exhales. However, this mother’s willingness to discuss something as controversial as being “repelled” by her child can do nothing but expand perceptions of motherhood beyond Hallmark cards and perfectly-made beds.
Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychologist featured on TODAY Moms, commented:
As women we are socialized to think that we have to be the Uber Mother — it’s unconditional love and always self-sacrificing. But the reality is that there some women who are mothers who in fact have hostility, feel resentment, and fear and disappointment. And it’s not necessarily the failings as a mother but a lack of recognition of the fact that we need to understand what these women are saying so we can break the silence and get rid of the guilt and shame and talk about issues that interrupt the parent and mother/child bond.
Mothers are people with the same range of emotions and flaws as everyone else, and while we live in a culture that seeks to convince us otherwise, there are many women who feel frustrated by their children and by their home life. Pretending that there aren’t stories like these keeps women with children in a box to which the label will always be “deliriously happy mom.”