Human Interest

Why Some Millennial Moms Are Regretting Motherhood

If you start pursuing your college degree and realize you didn’t pick the right school, you can transfer.

If you take on a position at work that is no longer aligned with your purpose, you can find a new job.

If you end up in a miserable marriage, you can separate. But what do you do when the source of your misery is motherhood?

This uncomfortable question is one that our society simply does not want to address. We’ve read countless articles and come across tons of social media videos where women have ended their own lives and neglected or harmed their children because they simply didn’t have any help. Based on the commentary online, “You can’t complain; you CHOSE to have a kid,” a mother’s mental health comes secondary to her kids.

Motherhood is undeniably one of the most challenging positions you’ll ever be put in - and one that doesn’t come with a playbook.

So what happens when you succumb to society’s pressure of becoming a parent only to feel like you played yourself? **Cues DJ Khaled**

When I became a mother at the tender age of 35, I still felt extremely unprepared. Couple that with a traumatic birth experience, a lack of emotional support, and a lot of anxiety - and mama was an emotional wreck!

In a recent social media poll, 57% of moms said if they had a choice to do it all over again, they would not choose to have children in the same circumstances.

FG Trade/ Getty Images

I spoke with millennial mom Alechia Reese about her story and struggles with motherhood. Alechia had a beautiful baby girl within the confines of her marriage, which later ended in divorce. Given her current circumstances, she says she is resentful of the full-time sole parenting responsibility. And rightfully so… After all, nobody walks down the aisle with the expectation of ending up in divorce court. She says, “If I had made better choices, I may have enjoyed motherhood. Protecting our wombs is incredibly important, and not giving babies to men who don’t deserve them.”

“If I had made better choices, I may have enjoyed motherhood. Protecting our wombs is incredibly important, and not giving babies to men who don’t deserve them.”

Unfortunately, Alechia’s story isn’t that unique. When I asked a few other millennial moms to share their regrets regarding motherhood, here’s what they said:

“I love my children, but I regret putting myself in this position. I am constantly overwhelmed, and I am left to make every decision by myself. I am drained and hardly ever had any time for myself or to myself. I do not enjoy being a mother, and there’s nobody I can say that to.” - Chelsea F., 34

“I never expected to feel this way about being a mom. I have always wanted to have kids, but I did not expect that it would be this hard. I thought my maternal instinct would kick in, but I am two kids in and still feel like I am struggling. I don’t have a village, and I am stuck doing it all alone. Don’t even get me started on daycare costs, diapers, and everything else I have to figure out now. If I complain to anyone about my kids, they make me feel guilty. So I suck it up and keep going.” - Madeline H., 32

“There are amazing days as a mom, and there are days that I wish I could get somebody else to do it! Nobody talks about how hard it can be to manage multiple kids and try to manage yourself, too. I think my experience as a mom would be completely different if I had a better co-parenting situation.” - Nicole W., 32

“I really wish I would have waited to get married before I had my baby. I love her to death but I am always tired, I can’t think straight half the time, and I have very little help. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely wait until I had a solid partner to parent with.” - Faith D., 40

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of women wouldn’t trade their children for the world, but there are quite a few who would do things differently if given the chance. Some of the reasons so many women find their mental health compromised with motherhood are:

fotostorm/ Getty Images

Lack of Support

We’ve all heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but it also takes a village to support a mother. Millennials are known for packing up and moving away from home, so instead of our babies spending the weekend at granny's house, granny more than likely lives in another city and sees the baby on social media.

The village that we once counted on no longer exists within our community, let alone our country. The U.S. simply is not a family-friendly country and that keeps moms feeling left out and forgotten about.

Solution: Support might be closer than you think. Even if you don’t naturally have a village (family), you can get intentional about finding your tribe. From your local YMCA or Lifetime Fitness, which offers free childcare, to finding a church home or social group - there’s someone right in your city to support you, sis!

Lack of Preparation

Most of us were led to believe that our maternal instincts would kick in the moment we became mothers, and that’s just not the case for everyone. Some women experience a disconnect with themselves, with their baby, and with their sanity during postpartum. Imagine coming home from the hospital alone and feeling clueless about what to do. The majority of online resources for moms are related to pregnancy, not parenting. So in the midst of what could be a mental health crisis, you’re left to figure out how to best care for your child.

For most moms, it’s even tougher to put your pride aside and admit you need help parenting.

Solution: You would be surprised how many helpful women you can find who are willing to share with you and support you on social media - specifically Facebook. There are hundreds of mom-based groups that you can join where you can find relevant resources and connect with like-spirited women in similar situations. You can find groups based on the age of your child, your city, your lifestyle, your beliefs, etc.

Plus, you can post anonymously in the groups to ask your questions without feeling any judgment or pressure to appear to be a perfect parent. These groups are also great to show you that nobody has it all figured out. Don’t let your pride keep you from becoming the best parent possible.

Lack of Financial Resources

We all know the economy is trash, and childcare costs were ridiculous even before this recession. Grocery prices have gotten out of control, people are paying upwards of $500/week for daycare, and moms are struggling to keep up. If your income doesn’t allow you to qualify for assistance of any sort, you’re often stuck in between ‘making enough but not having enough.’ So it’s up to us to get smart about how we are spending, saving, and managing our money.

Solution: There are women like @bitchimbudgeting who share practical budgeting tips and tricks to help you better manage your finances by doing simple things like canceling subscriptions, eating out less, actively setting aside for savings, and more. And there are TONS of coupon/deal accounts that post daily sales for things you are probably purchasing anyway.

One little-known money-saver I recently found out about was app-based cell phone service. Visible is a service that is owned by Verizon, and uses their towers but costs $25/month. Making this one change saved me $300/month! T-Mobile has Mint Wireless for $25/month, and there are other options that may be available in your area as well.

Regardless of how much our babies are a blessing, they can absolutely feel like a burden at times. It’s important that millennial moms intentionally invest in self-care and seek the support that they need to become the parents their babies deserve.

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Feature image by Andrey Popov/ Getty Images



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