“I Love My Daughter But Hate Being a Mother.” A Woman’s Honest Plea Opens a Debate About Regretting Motherhood
Karla Tenório is an actress, writer, and mother to her 10-year-old daughter, Flor. Even though Karla wished to be a mother, she never thought that this decision would turn out to be one of the things she regrets the most.
Being a mother is a tough job that requires 24/7 dedication and hard work. That’s why we at Bright Side believe that everyone should be free to choose whether they want to take part in it or not. And, don’t forget to check out the bonus at the end of the article.
Karla started experiencing symptoms of maternal regret the moment she gave birth to her daughter.
Tenório loves her daughter very much, but she never really enjoyed the responsibilities that came along with stepping into the parenting role. Before giving birth, Karla spent 2 years planning and preparing for it, but she took a beating when she realized that nothing she had read leading up to motherhood really reflected what she was experiencing in the moment.
“I’ve hated being a mother since the moment my daughter’s head came out during childbirth.” Karla had complications in labor and the whole process was very delicate. At that moment, Karla was overcome with feelings of regret but realized that she was already at the point of no return. Over the years, she suffered from postpartum psychosis but tried her best to be the perfect mother.
She felt like she was the only one regretting being a mother.
Tenório stopped doing many things due to guilt. And she wanted to be the perfect mother. But, over the years, Karla started to read more on this subject and felt freer to talk about her feelings. Then is when she realized that there were other women that felt the same way she did.
10 years later, Karla proudly came out of the “closet” as a repentant mother. In one of her posts on Instagram, she wrote: “Understanding my feeling, welcoming my regret, thinking about it, and speaking out loud, ’I am a repentant mother’ freed up space within me for other feelings to arise. With less space occupied by guilt, love grew, happiness grew, and I understood that I have something to offer the world. It may not be perfect, it may not be complete, but that’s what I have! And I think it’s beautiful.”
When people discovered that Karla was a repentant mother, they were concerned about her daughter.
“How come she doesn’t like being a mother?” “How can she be a good mother if she doesn’t like being one?” All kinds of questions were popping up. But Karla tried to explain to them that having a child and being a mother are 2 different relationships and that it is possible to hate motherhood but love your children.
“I don’t like being a mother, I definitely don’t. But I love my daughter. I love her in a way I can’t explain. And I try so hard to give my best to her. We love each other very much. We are mother and daughter, but we are also friends, partners. Our relationship is strong and works for us. It is based on love, truth, and respect.”
People who read Karla’s story believe that you can hate motherhood but love your child at the same time.
- “Being a mother is very complicated, and it changes your life. It brings many satisfactions as well as many complications. I am sure that many think the same way, but don’t talk about it. She says she loves her daughter and for me, that is the important thing because there are people who love being mothers, but in reality, they do not act like mothers. It is better to recognize what it is, but do the best you can for your beloved child.” — Isabel Suta
- “There are women who were born to be mothers and others who were not. That doesn’t mean that those who weren’t can’t be good mothers and love their children. The problem is that they don’t feel complete, and the truth is, having a child is living for them, and you, as a woman, take a back seat.” — Maria Victoria Ruiz Osorio
Karla believes it is necessary to not just show the romantic side of motherhood.
She thinks that romanticizing motherhood can be very harmful, and might cause sadness, depression, and death. Karla also believes that it’s really important to prepare women who have not had children yet and those who plan to have them in the future, about what motherhood is really like.
She also created a movement called “Repentant Mother,” to support women who don’t like motherhood. “I want to hear the stories from other mothers because this movement is about love, so that when my daughter grows up, she can make a real and conscious choice about motherhood.” The movement aims to free the voice of women who are not happy as mothers, who feel guilt, and who suffer.
Bonus: Here’s what other mothers who regret motherhood have to say.
- “I feel like I threw my whole life away to be a parent, and yes, I knew the commitment but if I had known that things would have played out the way they did I would have taken it all back. I am so jealous of women who don’t have children. I always think about how my life would have been without my son. I love him so much and I know I do. I just can’t remember the last time I was actually happy.” — Rio102010
- “It was meant to be this awesome magical experience, but it is 95% a boring, minimum wage job where it is endlessly puke and crying and poop. It was meant to feel so worth it, but it doesn’t feel worth it at all. I feel like my old life was much better and I want it back desperately.” — soldalie_stucknow
- “No one told me how lonely motherhood is, how isolated and alone I might feel in my own family. How invisible my feelings and efforts feel, how hopeless and futile it feels to explain my feelings and why they are important, and how much crushing emotional labor exists not only in childcare but in marriage after kids.” — bump12e
What are your thoughts on motherhood? Do you believe you can love your child but hate being a mother?