For my Counselling class this week I read an article by Winnicott who said that mothers hate their babies. And I agree. OK, hate is a strong word so perhaps before I begin I should suggest some softer words-maybe dislike, annoyance and frustration are more palatable. But COME ON, vocabulary aside of courseeeee mothers loathe their babies at times. That’s NORMAL. Unless suffering from masochism, I suggest it is humanly impossible to listen to a relentless high-pitched scream from a creation (albeit an admittedly adorable one) who selfishly & utterly ignorantly demands your constant effort, time & attention without feeling extreme dislike, frustration, and annoyance-what Winnicott calls Hate.
Why is that so bad to say?
New parents deserve STANDING OVATIONS for simply brushing their teeth. Hmm, actually there has been the very odd occasion lazy or low day when, I confess, I skip this myself so maybe I should set a lower bar… they deserve a salute for not grabbing their passports and running away from the screaming. Every parent who pops into the chemist for nipple cream deserves applause! And the respect of us creating a space for parents – but because of unrealistic & oppressive societal expectations, especially mothers – to express how bloody hard & horrid it can be. That does NOT detract from how beautiful, special, life-enhancing & heart-swelling having a baby is. But yes, mums, it’s OK to admit that there are times when along with the beauty, joy, gratitude and sheer LOVE you feel, there are also feelings of anger, fear, frustration, dejection and loss. ETC. That is normal. So us talking about it should be too.
I’m not a mum but I felt both amused and relieved watching this hilarious but oh so truthful Scrubs clip. Maybe if more of us are encouraged to talk about the lows of parenthood without fear of seeming like a ‘bad mother’ (WHATEVER that is) we’ll have fewer Carlas.
Please comment but, as ever, be polite.