Women who openly admit to not being too keen about motherhood are often met with judgmental looks and made to feel as though even having such thoughts is against the very nature of their stereotypically 'nurturing' gender.
Motherhood has long been portrayed as something that 'completes' a woman. Universally hailed as a blessing and a beautiful experience from childbearing to childrearing, all women are expected to not only welcome it with open arms but consciously strive for it. However, in reality, the whole process of conceiving, birthing, and raising a child is incredibly messy, emotional, and complicated. Hence, it's not quite everyone's cup of tea. And yet, women who openly admit to not being too keen about motherhood are often met with judgmental looks and made to feel as though even having such thoughts is against the very nature of their stereotypically 'nurturing' gender.
A 31-year-old woman recently took to Reddit's AITA community to recount the harsh criticism she faced from others after openly admitting that she doesn't love being pregnant or the baby stage. The Redditor — who goes by the username Ambivalent_Mom12 — explained that she was 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," she wrote.
"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," she clarified. The Reddit user revealed that her firstborn is now one-and-a-half years old and that her second child is due in September.
"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," she wrote. "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' who got very quiet when others were congratulating us. I thanked everyone but just sort of moved on from it."
"Later on, I found myself out on the deck with most of the other wives, including Amy. They started asking me how I was feeling. Then Amy [who has no kids] started commenting about how wonderful it is to be a mom and be pregnant," she continued. "I didn't really say much while some of the other mothers agreed. Amy then turns to me and asked if I disagreed with her. I said that I honestly do not enjoy being pregnant and the baby stage is tough and while I am happy to have another baby I am not really looking forward to taking time off and being stuck at home."
"Some of the other women started to say that I must have [postpartum depression] because I 'don't love' my children and that I should take some time off and get into therapy because I 'won't be any good to my children if I am depressed.' I told them not to worry that I was perfectly fine and I didn't need to love pregnancy or the baby stage to be a good parent," the Redditor recounted. "I said getting back to work after the baby is born will help. 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," she revealed. "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 [postpartum depression]. They also think that saying what I said at the party makes me [an a**hole.] I feel like I was asked a question and gave an honest answer." She also clarified that her husband is not a stay-at-home dad since they do have a nanny. He is merely the one that will have to take time off if/when kids are sick, do homework with them, etc. The woman concluded by asking fellow Redditors if she is in the wrong for feeling this way and candidly expressing her thoughts about pregnancy and motherhood.
Unlike Ambivalent_Mom12's in-laws, the AITA community members almost unanimously agreed that she is not an a**hole for speaking her mind about this matter. Many admitted to feeling the same and shared their own experiences: