Can you still be a good mother if you don’t like children?

That was the headline of a story I cut from a now defunct (I think) British magazine, Options, years ago.

It looked at the stages children go through and the relevant skills they required from mothers. (This was more than 25 years ago, and didn’t mention fathers).

Each stage was different, required different skills and the writer said most mothers coped better with some stages than others.

The mother who is bored rigid by the first few weeks/months when babies don’t do a lot might enjoy the next stage. Others who love that first, totally dependent stage might not be so enamoured by the doing lots and making mess stage which comes later.

The story concluded by saying that no-one gets it right, nor enjoys it, all the time. There are some days when you really don’t like your children, or at least what they’re doing/saying but as long as you still love them you, and they, will generally get through the tough times.

I was reminded of this when I read Do I look like this is the best job ever? by Eleanor Black at Pundit.

It’s easy once your child is an adult to forget quite how challenging those sleep-deprived days when you were on call for 24 hours a day could be.

When the baby whose early arrival cut short my employment on a radio station was 18 months old I went back to work to relieve my successor for a couple of weeks. A friend who saw me thought I was pregnant because I looked so serene.

I was as it happened, but that wasn’t the cause of my serenity. It was just the enjoyment and ease of being back at a job I loved, where I was never required to do more than two or three things at once and wasn’t threatened with constant interuptions from a little someone who needed me RIGHT NOW.

One Response to Can you still be a good mother if you don’t like children?

  1. Colin Lucas says:

    The mess making stage. mmm thats we are at the moment. It’s fun.

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