When I Stopped Enjoying Motherhood

I read somewhere recently that “dirty laundry should not be aired on the internet”. This was from a fellow blogger. I have to say that for me, writing is therapeutic. It is a way to connect with people outside of how I normally would, since I am introverted by nature. So around here, I write about whatever my heart leads me to write about and pray that someone else can relate to it.

Today, that just happens to be when I realized that I stopped enjoying motherhood.

stopped enjoying motherhoodI wish I could say that this is a recent discovery, but it isn’t.

To give you a little back story, for those of you that don’t know, I am a mom of four little ones. I have had all four of those little ones within the last four and a half years.

Yes, really.Β 

After my first daughter was born, I was full of the “first baby joys” and loved everything about motherhood. After our second daughter was born, I was on top of the world because I had an amazing birth experience and now had two beautiful daughters.

It was the second that we found out that I was pregnant with twins where it all changed.

Now please, before you judge, I am not saying that I don’t love my children. I love with all of my heart. I felt so thankful to have been blessed with healthy pregnancies and wonderful babies.

But two at the same time??? When I already had two under two… I was freaking out.

From that moment on, my joyful outlook on motherhood was changed.

I don’t really know why it changed or what triggered in me. All I know is that I went from being a mom of two under two, to a mom of two under two, with two more on the way.

Throughout the pregnancy with the twins, while it was a healthy and normal pregnancy for the most part, my emotional state was waning. Then, I would say I thought it had a lot to do with pure exhaustion and being drained from the inside out. I was still a student, as I am now, and running this blog, and taking care of my home and family.

It is only now that I can look back and say that it probably wasn’t only exhaustion that got to me. It was the point where I had started losing the joy that motherhood had given me for those first years.

At the end of my pregnancy, as a lot of you know, I had a very traumatic birth experience that really just took over my mind. My anxiety overwhelmed me after they were born and I lost ALL of my joy at that point. Words like “postpartum depression”, “PTSD”, and “postpartum anxiety” quickly became the most used in my vocabulary.

It has only been recently that I have come to terms with my birth experience with the twins and have begun to heal from that.

However, it took my husband telling me HE doesn’t see the joy in me anymore, for me to come to the harsh realization that the enjoyment I once had in motherhood is still missing. I didn’t realize that there would be lingering effects that I would still need to deal with. I didn’t know that even after a year, I wouldn’t feel like myself still. While it is increasingly better by leaps and bounds, compared to how it was, it still isn’t the same.

I’ve always known that motherhood is hard, and have never shied away from that. I normally embrace hard times with open arms as I am naturally a hard person anyway, according to some people in my life.

Queen of the RBF over here.Β 

I never knew that it would be this trying. I didn’t know how much postpartum and your birth experience and the day-to-day could truly effect you as a woman and a mother.

I long to be able to find joy in every moment of motherhood. I wish I could see what everyone else does when they say “you’re doing a great job with those kids”… I just don’t.

There is no shame to admit that I am struggling as a mother. I have no shame in saying that I do not have it all together or that it really does take a village, and I need to find mine.

I see a woman who is barely getting by with her sanity. Who wants so badly to find happiness in even the mundane routine of everyday, I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

It hurts my heart to say that. It hurts to admit that a lot of the time, I am not filled with joy around my children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy. I don’t want anything else out of my life. I am thankful for everything I have been given because I am truly lucky to have these amazing children and my husband. I am just in the season where I am desperately seeking joy.

I pray that this season of life for myself and for my family has a beautiful lesson at the end.


joanna at motherhood and merlot

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  1. Please don’t take this as a cliche thanks for sharing comment, but I do truly want to thank you for sharing your heart. Motherhood is hard. That’s all I can really say right now, because I don’t know what else would be of use. I hope you find encouragement in knowing that you are not alone, and also that God would send someone to speak into your life and offer you grace.
    Give yourself grace. One day at a time and every day is new. Hugs momma!!!!

  2. Thank you!!! I needed that just as much as you needed it and the whole world of mothers and maybe even fathers!!

  3. Motherhood isn’t for the faint of heart. I see where you are coming from, I’ve been there and I have just 1 child. I know my limits, my abilities and I know that I couldn’t handle more or enjoy life if I was constantly “mothering”. Having my son, age 3, has given me a bit of relief now that he is older. I feel more comfortable in my motherhood, my confidence has returned.

    I pray that you find the joy in this season, that God using this “hard” time to grow you as person, as well as bring you closer to him.

  4. Girly, I may not be a village and you know that I am afraid of kids but I love you and your family and whatever I can do to bring joy or some help count with me… I am not a mother yet but I have started small businesses from nothing and there are important lesson I have learned along the way, do not be afraid to ask for help and invest in your self first, if you are doing good everything and everyone around you will do better, the kids wilI be fine if you leave them for few hours.

  5. I’m sorry you are going through this. There are seasons where I have felt similar. It’s a lot. And a lot more for you, since all of yours are still so young. You are doing your best, which is all any of us can do. I think most moms, if they are being honest, have felt like this. It’s not a feeling we like to admit, but motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine (only on FB). Sending you love mama!!

  6. You sound completely normal and you have a ton on your plate. Take one day at a time, breath, do things you enjoy, if you need meds please do it.

    You are an amazing mother and I will pray that cloud some how lifts and you find the complete joy again.

    1. Thank you lady! While I am not for medication when it comes to myself, being surrounded by prayer and the support of strong women has helped me so much through these trying times.

  7. I think your feelings can be fairly common and I am sure so many mommas will be so thankful to read this post! Being a mom is HARD and I couldnt imagine juggling 4 under 4 (basically). You are doing an amazing job and I hope this feeling passes for you soon!! xoxoxoxo (until then, BIG hugs and positive vibes!)
    lauren recently posted…Best Concealers for Dark Under Eye CirclesMy Profile

  8. Sorry, but I am there too a lot of the time. I have two not four though. This past year with two 31 months apart has been the hardest of my life and I also have PPD. Yes we love our kids, yes we technically wouldn’t change anything, but let’s not pretend it doesn’t take its toll on us physically AND mentally. Sometimes, things are NOT alright, and we are not happy, and that’s ok.

    I hope things get easier for you soon.
    Hil recently posted…Everything Kids #19My Profile

  9. Ughhh so sorry your feeling this way :-/ I honestly have had these same feelings at times as well so you’re not alone. Motherhood is one of the greatest gifts and has taught me so much, but at the same time I feel like it makes me loose my mind lol… Hang in there loves :):) xoxo

  10. I can definitely relate. My pregnancy and the three months following with my twins was very traumatic. I suffered PTSD and Anxiety, and had to get help for it. Even thought the twins are now four, it’s still hard. I am so happy to have them healthy and active, but I am also exhausted, and feel like a referee more than a mother half the time. Anyways, even though we don’t know each other personally, I’m here for support. Us mom, especially of multiples, have to support each other and stick together.

  11. I look up to you in so many ways. I know you don’t always feel it, but you are strong, mama. Thank you for opening up so that others can know they are not alone. ❀️

  12. Hi Joanna, your blog posts come up on my facebook feed but I never actually clicked on the blog post until now. I think the honesty of your title grabbed me at first glance. First, glad to meet a fellow blogger! Second, I completely sympathize and empathize with you. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant with my third child and I too, have two older daughters. They are now 11 and 9, and things have gotten a lot easier but it’s still difficult in many ways because my oldest daughter has special needs. I completely understand these feelings and I already feel worried thinking about how I can mother three children with all the demands.

    With that said, know that things will get easier! I had bad post partum depression too which was like a wake up call. I realized I need to take care of myself and my soul more. I think this blog does that for you like it does for me, but I know when I feel this way it’s because 1) I forgot to take care of my own needs or 2) I’m spiritually and emotionally empty. Sometimes it’s 3) I simply need it to pass. Whatever it is, I hope you get a glimpse of hope, happiness and joy in motherhood again. I’m sure it’s in there and sometimes it just takes a little longer to discover it. One day when I feel like you, I will come back to this post and know I’m not alone!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! It is really amazing to read how many moms have felt the same way. At times, we can feel really alone in our thoughts about motherhood. Things like postpartum depression and anxiety are such “hush hush” topics.
      I hope that on those days you feel the same, this post helps you like everyone who has supported it has helped me!

  13. This is a wonderful post. As a mom to 4 ( 4 in 5 years.. no twins) I can really relate to this post. My husband said something similar to me, and some days it feels like a struggle to see the ‘joy’, but I hand on to those moments that shine through. I also don’t think we need to find joy in every moment. We are doing the best we can each day, and that is what matters.

  14. Oh honey, my heart hurts for you. I became suicidal shortly after the birth of my only child, and have been recently diagnosed with bi-polar depression, so I do emphasize with your struggles. I can only imagine how amazing yet difficult raising 4 children must be. Just for this alone, you are such an inspiration. Particularly because you’re so open with your thoughts & feelings on motherhood. No matter how you feel, always know that you are not alone. *HUGS*
    Colleen Cadiz recently posted…Happiness Project#77: Cookie Dough Milkshake!My Profile

  15. Your transparency is so encouraging. You are not the only one who feels that way. I know it is difficult (not by my own experience, but what I have seen from others). Praying for you.

  16. Motherhood is one of the best and hardest things! You really don’t understand it until you ‘do it’, but I respect and admire you for sharing this! It’s hard and we all know it, but few rarely say it! Hugs to you friend.

  17. Joanna, you needn’t apologize for how you’re feeling or that you’ve used your beautiful blog as an outlet to express your pain. We fellow mothers understand. My own daughters are now grown, but I remember what a challenge it was to parent two tiny ones. I can’t even begin to imagine four little ones so close together in age. I don’t know how you have enough time to even eat or sleep, let alone have a chance to relax with your thoughts during such hectic days. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. These next five years will fly by, and then all four kiddies will be in school. And you will look back amazed at all that you’ve accomplished, and realize what an amazing motherhood experience those first years have been.

  18. Thank you so much for being honest! Motherhood is a hard (hard) job and while I also love my daughter dearly, I don’t always love being a mom every day all day. It is so wonderful to hear that I am not the only one who doesn’t love it day in and day out. So again, thank you!!

  19. Thank you so much for your honest account of your experience and feelings. It is such an important topic that feels taboo to talk about so it’s refreshing to see you be so candid. All the best as you work towards being in a more balanced place.

  20. Who ever said you shouldn’t air your dirty laundry on the internet must not be a mom! I’m so glad you shared your story. I also had a traumatic birth experience and I know that it lead to some PPD. I felt like I let everyone down by not being able to push my daughter out. It took a long time to realize that it didn’t matter and we were both healthy.

    Keep it up mama! You’re doing a great job!

  21. I feel like I am walking in your shoes. Sitting here with my husband and crying to him saying no one has any idea of what I’m going through, a mom of twin 4yr old boys and a 2 yr old daughter who are constantly whining and fighting with each other all day. I feel like this is a full time 24hr job that I am not enjoying, but I should because these 3 kids are my pride and joy, I live for them, I breathe them, but oh god being a stay at home mom is not easy. I go to lay myself down on the couch tonight and I read an email that my mom sent me and it was by you, not enjoying motherhood blog. Thank you, I want to say thank you because I guess there are a lot more mothers out there who are like me .

  22. Love your honesty. I constantly feel guilty because I no longer enjoy being a mother either. I also have four kids- but they are very spread out -17,13, 8 and 10 months. I look at my baby and think “are you going to slam the door in my face and tell me you hate me too?” Its hard to raise little ones when you see what they are capable of as teenagers. I want to enjoy this time with them-especially the baby-but I feel so jaded.

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