It’s important that women get to be honest about their experiences with all stages of their reproductive lives. That includes infertility as well as the stressors of pregnancy and parenting. One Redditor who was speaking candidly about not loving being pregnant or the baby stage of motherhood was accused by friends of being insensitive—and also of having postpartum depression. The OP says she was just trying to be honest about her feelings and didn’t intend to hurt anyone, but her comments have upset her friends and family.
“Background: I have always been career-driven. I have a good job (think executive level) and take pride in it. My husband also has a good job but nothing he is passionate about. I was ambivalent about having children to begin with but I was open to the idea as long as I didn’t have to give up my career or most of my lifestyle. Before my son was born, my husband and I had many conversations about this and ultimately decided that he would be the one to step back from his career if and when the time came. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son and will love the new baby too but I really have no interest in staying home with my children.”
“I (31F) have a 1.5-year-old son, ‘Connor’ and I am pregnant with my 2nd, due in Sept. My husband, ‘Adam’ and I recently announced this pregnancy to our family and a few friends. We moved across the country for my job right before the pandemic so during my first pregnancy I was not around any of my husband’s family and friends. On Sunday we got together at a friend’s house. Most of these people are friends of my husband who are nice but I’m not very close with them. Most of them knew I was pregnant but a few did not including, ‘Amy’ (30s) who got very quiet when others were congratulating us. I thanked everyone but just sort of moved on from it.”
Later, the OP was spending time with the other women outside, when Amy started talking about how wonderful it must be to be pregnant and a mom. Amy then asked the OP specifically, and the OP said that she honestly does not like being pregnant and has a tough time with the baby stage. Some of the women said that the OP must have PPD and needs therapy because she “doesn’t love” her children. The OP said she was fine, she doesn’t need to love being pregnant to be a good mom.
“These women were horrified and Amy started crying because she has struggled with infertility and there is no justice since ‘people like me’ get to have 2 kids while she has none. I told her I was sorry about her struggle and I did not mean to offend her but was just speaking honestly about motherhood.”
“Well, word got back to my in-laws (one of the guests is my husband’s cousin and wife) and all hell has broken loose. They are horrified that I do not plan to take more than a few weeks off and that I am “forcing my husband” to do most of the childcare. They are now convinced that I have PPD. They also think that saying what I said at the party makes me TA. I feel like I was asked a question and gave an honest answer.”
What did Redditors have to say?
“Loving your children and loving being pregnant are two different things!! Don’t listen to them, they are not in your marriage. Do what works for YOUR family,” said cleo4546.
“Pregnancy sucked. If I could have gestated them in a tank, I 100% would have. And while I love my kids, I don’t miss the sleepless nights, midnight nursing, endless diaper changes, and so on. Now that they’re older, they can actually tell me what they’re thinking and feeling, and I get to know who they are as people, and it’s honestly my favorite bit of parenting so far. Not liking the drudgery of the baby stage doesn’t make you a bad parent anymore that loving it does,” explained merrycat.
“As a woman who DESPERATELY tried for years (over 10 years) for a child NTA. You can hate being pregnant and the baby stage and that doesn’t make you a bad mom,” said Ash1693.
“NTA – most people there sound really judgmental, you don’t have to like being pregnant or the baby stage at all, and anyone who tells you otherwise needs a reality check. That doesn’t sound anything like PPD or being a bad parent at all,” said EvocativeEnigma.
“NTA. This only came up because you’re a woman. If your husband said he didn’t like the baby stage he’d get nothing but understanding. I LOVED being pregnant and I LOVED having a baby. But I also LOVE my job and went back fairly early because, despite being a parent, I am not only a parent. You are a mom but you’re also still a whole person. Motherhood is a whole identity for some women, and that’s ok, but for most women I think it’s one aspect of their identity. You don’t stop being everything else you are simply because you made another human,” said CaptainBeverlyPicard.
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