I don't love my kids. And right now, I'm scared of what you must think of me. My thanks for this is honest and difficult account from an anonymous mom and friend. I encouraged her to share because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of expressing the truth—even and especially when you're afraid to do it. It helps the writer, and my real hope is that it creates a forum for all of us to be real and be loved for who we are.
People may think such things sometimes, especially when they're pissed off at their kids. But who really says this out loud and deeply, truly means it? No one I know. I'm scared of your rejection of me at my honesty.
But, I sense that I can't be the only woman out there who has felt or feels this way.
It's just certainly one of those topics that isn't—or can't be—discussed. So I hope my story begins a little bit to open the path for conversation for other women on this issue, and to perhaps be the start of a community in which women and mothers are supported for their real feelings.
My kids are 13 and 11. There is a complicated history. My ex and I adopted them three and a half years ago. Yes, they were older kids. If we wouldn't have adopted them, their outlook was not good in the country they are from—they'd have an 80% chance of ending up dead by age 18.
They brought lots of baggage to the table, but at the end of the day, it wasn't them who couldn't adjust - it was me.
I never felt like being a mommy was part of my future plans. I just didn't have that ‘thing' that people have for babies and kids. But, everyone says its different when it's your own, right? Before my ex and I got married, we discussed adoption as the right way for us to move forward with our family, and so we did.
When we brought them home, I was excited for our future together as a family. I began to dream of the things we would do together—skiing and hiking and family trips and reading books and playing games together.
For whatever reason though—and I have thought about those reasons a lot—I did not attach to them.
They are beautiful, smart, fun children, and yet, I am not bonded with them and I do not love them.
For three years, I tried everything I could think of short of quitting my job and staying home with them full-time (thought about that a lot) to bond.
And in the end, I was left bitterly frustrated, angry and disappointed in myself and what I thought I should be capable of.
We have two dogs and I love them tremendously. If I can bond with and love dogs, why couldn't I love these children who kept reaching out and loved us and wanted a mommy so badly that they sometimes wouldn't let me go?
How could I be so defective inside? Isn't mommying a natural instinct that women have? What the hell is wrong with me?
All the things I thought about myself—successful, smart, capable, good at most everything I try to do—came crashing down in the biggest ego bust of my life.
It haunts me today, and I suspect will haunt me the rest of my life.
And I've been very, very scared to talk about it openly because I have been judged and rejected by some of the few people I have confided in, including my ex.
And that hurts almost as much—it's a reminder that I'm deficient and there's something wrong with me and I'm not lovable anymore. After all, who wants to be friends with or date a woman who can't love her kids?
I am fortunate to have some very good friends who support me and who are understanding. They have more generosity towards me than I do for myself at the moment.
I don't know how to forgive myself for not being able to love them. I don't know how to even start that process.
I hope these words resonate and provide some sense of comfort to those who are out there who may be going through the same thing.
You are not alone.