24 thoughts on “When Motherhood Is A Big Fat Fuck You

  • August 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    You have no idea what this means to me. Thank you.

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  • August 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Wow. Hearing a mother (especially one blessed with seven children) describe motherhood as a big fat f-you is incredibly offensive. Yes, parenting is hard. I know, I’ve been one for nearly a decade. I’m also a child therapist. Guess what’s much, much harder than even the most challenging days of being a parent? NOT having a child to parent. I wonder how different that mother’s perspective would become if her most challenging child died? I assume she would give anything to go back to the simplicity of her biggest problem being that her children were loud, unruly, and intermittently defiant. So hug them, cherish them in all their imperfection. Stop complaining over the mundane and choose gratitude.

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    • August 25, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Do I contradict myself?
      Very well then I contradict myself,
      (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
      – Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

      The heartbreaking beauty of the human condition is that our hearts can be filled with such joy and such pain at the same time. Were pain truly only limited to those suffered the most we might each step up and volunteer to be the Holocaust’s victim so as to spare our fellows. But we can’t. And our response to seeing other people having a hard day shouldn’t be to deny their suffering. Approach the parent of the tantruming child in the supermarket and say, “Treasure this moment – you will give anything to get this back when your child is taken from you,” does a poor job of communicating your point. But, that is just what you did.

      As the author so nicely stated, parenting is difficult because it is important. And, she also states, the first step in acknowledging the presence of suffering in others is to acknowledge the presence of suffering in ourselves.

      I hope you can find peace, comfort, and acknowledgment in your own suffering.

      Reply
    • August 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I am surprised at your response to this blog especially since you say that you are a therapist. I am also a licensed therapist [LCSW] and you sound very judgmental – one thing that we as therapists try very hard not to be. No one can truly know what you have been through just as you cannot truly know what someone else has been through. However, as a therapist, you should try to empathize or at least acknowledge the pain or frustration that someone is sharing with you – without judgment or telling them how they “should” respond and most definitely without making them feel worse for feeling the way that they do. So many of my clients come to me filled with shame and embarrassment over their feelings – as if they are not entitled to feel what they are feeling. I’m sorry to say that I would be terrified of the damage that you as their therapist would create.

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      • September 5, 2013 at 1:34 am

        this seems a bit harsh as a response to lossmom2011. She is after all entitled to express her opinion.

        Reply
  • August 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Dear Carla, I found your response to the story was good but there was one thing you didn’t hit on– this mother is complaining about ungratefulness in her children. Maybe you could write an article about how to inspire kids’ thank-yous without ‘drilling it in’ to your children? Especially hard when the father is mostly not there or doesn’t himself show or say thanks to his partner. What is the emotional basis for gratefulness, anyway? Perspective of a larger world where no one cares if you get your sack lunch at school? There’s an old country song– ‘Motherless children have a hard time, when the mother’s dead. You may ask for a piece of bread, you are told to go to bed… etc.’ But that sentiment seems too heavy to communicate to a kid, like using a hammer to polish a crystal. There must be other ways to inspire kids to appreciate mom.

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  • August 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    It is good to show that things aren’t all perfect in families, we tend to see other people’s highlights in Facebook posts and then feel inadequate when comparing it to our normal routine. Parenting is hard, and parents have their own ups and downs to deal with, alongside the raising of children. It is better to understand this and work on doing the best you can, understand that shame/guilt feeling is a good sign that it means you care, and keep learning (on your own and your children) as we have so many variables to deal with.

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    • August 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Absolutely! I agree 100%

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    • August 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I have long called it Fakebook and saw early on the potential for people to create images on there that weren’t true to what was really going on at all.

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  • August 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    I understand and feel that pain all to well.Being a mother has been my most challenging experience in life and I am two years into recovery. Parenting is a constant and tedious duty that’s never ending. I have taken parenting classes, I have done therapy with my youngest child, and had my oldest seeing one as well. I’ve read articles upon articles about how to be a parent, how does one become a good parent, what a good parent does etc…. The truth is for me is that it’s not done perfectly, the most important thing is that you do your best. I’ve gone off on my children plenty of times after attending therapy and parenting class and I’ve felt bad because I thought that I didn’t use the tools I learned. But each time I went off it was out of love and concern for their well-being and along with frustration with my own personal struggles. From homework to manners all the way to their self-respect and integrity it’s a life long battle, but it’s well worth it. I know parents who don’t teach their children boundaries, let their children jump on furniture, their children are eating junk food all day, basically the child is free to do whatever he/she wants as long as the parent is not disturbed, and they’re always asking me “What’s so hard about being a mom”?

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  • August 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Why on earth have seven children?

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  • August 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    The timing of this piece is so meaningful for me. I’m dealing with a teenager who is struggling with severe episodes of depression, and sometimes, I am the irrational target of her unhappiness, even as I love her beyond measure. And I do lose it sometimes, because I’m the one who’s always there for her at the most painful moments, and yet she will complain about me, or criticize me. Right now she’s depressed over a breakup with a boyfriend, and somehow she’s rationalized that the reason he broke up with is…me. I actually had to spend the night away from home after that, I was so worried about what I would say to her, knowing how vulnerable she was, but also how wrong she was to say that. I was really nice to that boy and treated him like a part of our family, even when he wasn’t so great. So yes, her blame of me felt like a big eff you, and I lost it. I wish I could have stayed and discussed it rationally, but it wasn’t in me at that moment, I had to get away so I didn’t make it worse. After a few hours away from her, I could start to think straight, see her for how she’s hurting, and think of ways to try to help her understand what really happened. But living with a teen who is prone to depression has moments that are stressful, scary AND maddening beyond description.

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    • August 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Francois; My daughter leaves for college tomorrow…overall I’ve been lucky for the most part. She’s a 4.2 student, cheerleader, (virgin – no sex before marriage), she’s wonderful…BUT we have had issues. Cutting was one…hidden and by the time I found out it was over…I KNOW how SCARY it is to parent a child with mental health issues.

      It’s TERRIFYING. I understand. I would suggest that maybe therapy for you – NOT that I’m suggesting you need therapy – but what I am suggesting is you SUPPORT.

      Someone skilled and objective who can help you through this time. Please think about it.

      Reply
  • August 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Seeing as I am not this writer’s therapist, I approached her post not as a therapist but instead as a mother and a general reader. And while I agree it is cathartic for people to share parts of themselves that aren’t all shiny and perfect, I take offense at the idea that being a parent, on even the most maddening of days, is a “big, fat f-you”. The author’s choice of such a provocative title is certainly going to get attention, positive and negative. While I give the author credit for her honesty, I do think that some perspective is in order. Being a parent is not a “big fat, f-you”, it is a privilege that not everyone is afforded. Is it hard? Absolutely! But we signed up for it. Should we talk about how hard it is some days? Absolutely! Should we frame it in such a negative, provocative way? No, because there are millions of people out there who would give anything to experience the challenge of being a parent. That is the myopic, insensitive part with which I take exception.

    In response to Beverly: you have no idea what kind of therapist I am. Your total lack of compassion for what I (and many other loss moms) felt after reading this blog entry is troubling as well. Yes, everyone has challenges. Yes, everyone has pain. But are you seriously saying that if you had two clients and one needed help with a nasty boss and the other was facing a terminal diagnosis, that you would see their problems as equal? You would certainly help both, but hopefully would recognize the distinction between the two situations.

    Having been on both sides of the coin, “normal” parenting and parenting after the loss of one of my children, I would take fighting over the remote and what channels are appropriate any day. Things that used to seem like such a big deal just aren’t anymore. That’s what I want to convey. Don’t let things like that take up so much emotional real estate. At the end of the day, you just want your kids to feel loved and so much of the rest just doesn’t matter.

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    • August 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Also I’d like to add that in your reply you point out that you were approaching this article not as a therapist but as a “mother and a general reader” but you were quick to mention that you are a child therapist. Therefore, you’re letting everyone know that you are also looking at it through that lens. Otherwise, why make that point? I have plenty of compassion for parents who have lost children so your accusation that I don’t is false. I was addressing you as therapist not as a mother who had lost a child.

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  • August 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Okay, so personally, I can see the writers point. Would I have chosen that title, no. Do I agree that it can be? MOST DEFINATELY! Give birth to them, get up 20 times a night when they are babies, love them, cherish them,do EVERYTHING for them, and one day, POOF! They are walking talking crazy people who jump all over your every nerve. This is coming from a mother that has 2 angel babies, whom I never got to see grow up, as well as 2 others that I have been able to love and nurture into the beautiful loving spaziods (lol) that they are today. Have I lost my temper, and blown up at my kids? Ask my 10 year old, it happens. But we have come to a point in our society where we can not say anything without offending someone. Does that mean we should carefully cultivate every word we write, for fear of the backlash? Or should we be able to say what we feel, and realize that EVERYONE has a choice to read it, and seeing that title, should those who would be offended read the blog post, no longer have the right to be offended, when they knew what they were getting into? I love my children, I have lost children, and I still see the raw humor and emotion in what this mother has written. Just my 2 cents.

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  • August 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    As my daughter is packing to leave for college TOMORROW the guilt has been piling on like there’s no tomorrow.

    There is always a “more perfect” parent. (Why does my kid have the friends whose parents are the perfect partners, a pastor at church, give their kids everything in the ‘right’ way seemingly at the ‘right time’. They never have to work on a day when their kid is performing, they never lack the money to go and do and participate) We are always barely eating, hardly have money for ANYTHING…lost our house last year….and of course our kids have suffered for it.

    This is actually my niece and nephew that I am raising…my kids are grown…but I hate not have enough money to help them more.

    My husband and I are not perfect parents…we had no children together…we argue, he has bi polar….I work too much, he doesn’t work at all…and the thought that we’ve lacked giving her anything is so painful to me….I really am depressed about this.

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  • August 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    In response to Lossmom2011, no I have no idea of how you are as a therapist. However, I DO know that as a therapist you have to keep your own “stuff” out of your work with clients. I have no idea of what it must be like to lose a child. But I would definitely work through my own issues of loss so that I am not transferring my stuff into someone in a judgmental manner. To your other point, about having 2 clients with different issues – well, I didn’t really get your point there and how that was even relevant but of course no 2 issues are the same nor would they necessarily receive the same treatment. I mean, I think that’s obvious even to non-therapists.

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  • August 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    While it is frustrating to feel I need to defend myself, that is absolutely what I feel I must do now. Just FYI, I did take a leave of absence from my job so that I could work through my “stuff” as you so glibly described it.. I joined support groups, I sat in the raw pain so that I could work through it. Less than a year after my son died, my father became very sick and died as well. I did more grief and loss work. Also, the reason I mentioned being a children’s therapist in my first post was to illustrate I understand what a challenge kids can be, from both a personal and professional perspective. Not to promote myself as a know-it-all therapist as you seem to be doing, Beverly.

    My question to you, Beverly, is why do you feel so compelled to attack me and question my professionalism? Does that make you feel powerful, or somehow better about yourself? Another person disagreed with my post, but did so in a much more respectful way. I can’t understand why you would take the time to craft such a verbal smackdown to someone that was simply giving her opinion about this provocative blog post? I didn’t say the writer was a bad mother. I didn’t imply she doesn’t love her children, call her names or be otherwise incendiary. I was stating my opinion that I found it offensive. And to share that after losing a child, daily frustrations as described in the post just don’t matter anymore. I have no choice but to be very cognizant to choose gratitude for the emotional health of my family and me. I learned not to “sweat the small stuff” the hard way, and thought I could offer some perspective. Why you felt you needed to put me “in my place” speaks volumes about your character, and of your ability to empathize. Maybe you can only summon empathy if you’re getting paid for it. Regardless, as you’ve so gallantly defended this blogger’s right to express herself, that right also applies to others who might disagree and I certainly should not expect to be attacked professionally for that. This feels like a high school argument, and I’ve already been there, done that. And to that end, I’m done with this conversation as well.

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    • August 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      I disagree with every single point you feel compelled to make. I believe that I was expressing my opinion in a professional manner. You’re entitled to disagree. Not once did I call you a name or disrespect you. You may disagree with my choice of using the word “stuff” and that’s ok. I guess the word “issue” would have pleased you better? In any event, I know very well who I am as a professional and I am very good at what I do. Unlike you, I don’t need to defend myself. Have a great weekend!!

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  • August 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I’m sorry, I don’t really get what you are saying. It sort of sounds like you are saying, “It’s OK, whatever you do, because it’s hard, and you care.”

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  • August 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    You don’t have to use obscene language to get our attention! I guess you have also slipped with the deconstruction of our morals in our society with your use of appropriate language on a website such as this.
    We expect more from you!

    Reply
 

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