Secrets of “The Reluctant Mother”

This is the fifth entry of “The Chip On My Shoulder Is A Boulder,” a series on the complex relationships between black women and their mothers. The series will run over the next two weeks. Previous entries include “The Adoptee,” “The Rebel,” “The Gypsy” and “She Did Her Best.”

It’s verboten.

Mothers aren’t supposed to admit they should have never been mothers. That what some see as a blessing others see as a burden. But it’s not acceptable to talk about it, let alone admit it like today’s letter writer, “The Reluctant Mother.”

She delivers a different point-of-view in this mothers and daughters series. The view of every mother who feels apprehension instead of joy. Who feels hollow where the child was supposed to fill. Who looks forward to the day she is released from her “motherly” prison and returns to a life all their own.

Many would accuse a mother like this of being selfish. But that accusation doesn’t make it any less true.

Not everyone is mother material.

Migrant Mother Holds Her Baby, Maricopa County, Arizona, 1940 (Library of Congress)

THE RELUCTANT MOTHER

While I am anything but a die hard feminist, I recognize that mammary glands and ovaries do not make you a mother. There is something in a mother that manifests itself over time and stays there for the rest of her life. My mother has it. She is the best mother this side of creation; however, it doesn’t manifest in every woman. It never manifested in me.

While reading your post I realized that one day my child may feel the same way about me when she is older as Alice Walker’s daughter feels about her mother. I’m saddened by that, but the truth is the truth.

I am not a “good” mother.

I am not touchy feely, I am not affectionate and I am a bit of a hard nose. I thought it was bad when she was a toddler, but each stage of life replaced one strain on my nerves with an even larger one. My daughter is now 13 years old and I am daily amazed I haven’t killed one of us. Now that she is old enough to do things without me I encourage it. I pay what needs to be paid, I feed her, clothe her and I grudgingly attend those events that require my attendance, but if the truth is told — I find motherhood a burden more than a joy. This is why I only have one child.

Shortly after I married her father we found out I was pregnant, and while pregnancy did not agree with me, I was looking forward to her arrival. However, her father and I fought constantly, as immature people will do, so when she came along after my 22nd birthday I was in the process of filing for divorce. She lived with both parents in the home all of 30 days. Prior to my decision to end the marriage, it never occurred to me that one day I may be a single parent. I felt, at the time, I had sacrificed myself and my stability (financial and familial) because of his drinking and my body for her so there was very little left for me.

I didn’t mind the 2 am feedings or the constant diaper changes. However, I learned I was not cut out for motherhood when I realized that as she grew so would the demands on my space and peace of mind.

I had to work, take care of her, take care of myself and try to have a life in the midst of it all. That is a near impossible feat. Something is always sacrificed and I feel that every sacrifice made came at my expense. I have only recently been able to carve out some semblance of a life for myself. Her father has a severe alcohol problem that prevents me from trusting her into his care without supervision.

The constant pull to mold a young person into a capable adult is tiresome and most times results in frustration and anger. Some days I wish her father were the more responsible of the two of us so I could send her to him, but regardless of my personal dislike of motherhood I don’t shirk my responsibilities. So I go along day after day, counting down to graduation when I can put this era of my life behind me and move on to something that hasn’t felt like 18 years of labor and delivery.

24 thoughts on “Secrets of “The Reluctant Mother”

  1. I actually understand where this mother is coming from. While I differ slightly because overall I do enjoy motherhood, I also feel very overwhelmed at times with all of the things I have to do. I am married, but at times I still feel like I’m the one doing everything and I just want a break. I want to leave my daughter with my husband for a week or more and just enjoy myself and pamper myself. It doesn’t help that I am pregnant with a second child right now. I feel guilty because instead of feeling joy, I’m feeling resentful. I pray daily that this feeling will go away and that when this baby is born I’ll love him the way I loved my daughter when she was born. Motherhood is probably one of the hardest jobs because you sacrifice so much of yourself for your children. But I look forward to the day when I look up and my child is no longer a toddler, but a responsible, intelligent young lady! When you see that, that’s when the reward has come!

  2. Hmm… I think more women feel this way then can admit because it somehow deems them as less of a woman if nurturing another human being is not their greatest joy in life.Now, I don’t know her daughter’s side of this or if she can feel her mother’s resentment through her actions (she probably can) but I’d like to point out what this woman is doing right for her daughter:1. Because she’s not over-bearing, her daughter will likely grow up very strong-minded and independent.2. She didn’t send her to live with some alcoholic just because she would rather not have the responsibility.3. By maintaining some things for herself, her daughter will grow up with the understanding that your life should not end when motherhood begins.I just wanted to point out some positives because I don’t know what kind of reactions this one will get. I loved her honesty though and like I said, I am sure many mothers feel this way and even if they don’t feel this way all the time I’m willing to bet they have before.

  3. You know Lisa, I can’t even get down with your desire to justify (find positives) in this woman’s appalling letter. I simply have no respect. None. I can’t even muster up enough to feel sympathy. I’m overflowing with sympathy for the teenager, but the “mom” gets nothing from me. What she feels is some cold-blooded s.h.i.t., and I don’t like to curse. But this warrants that mess. I can’t begin to imagine the deep psychological problems that this child may have already developed. If I ever found out either of my parents didn’t love or want me, I don’t know how I’d react. I would probably respond with a “screw you,” in all honestly. Because the glaring fact remains that this child–no child– requests being put on this earth. This woman appears to be another account of a child having a child. Motherhood is somewhat innate, but it’s also learned and developed. It is sacrifice. It is pain. But now, it’s nothing to complain about. I’d tell this chick to buckle down and woman up! So what you can’t go out and act motherless! So what your body changed! So what…so the freak what! Because this child, now teenager, deserves more than an uninvolved, reluctant, and impersonal financial provider. I see nothing of the semblance of a mother in this letter. In fact, I see a little child complaining about the situation she wrought for herself. She needs parenting 101. And not just to pick on her, a lot of people now-a-days needs it as well! Too many hott females running around believing that a child will fill a void of much needed love and security, and when it doesn’t, they then stop mothering. Too many young boys getting their bones jumped to even care about their seed. And closes to none of these children have the needed example of parenthood played out before them. I can say all of this because I see it all day, everyday. It’s in my family. It’s in my “hood.” And it’s sad. I just feel sorry for the child that is apparently growing up parentless. The same generation that reduced fatherhood to a child-support check has now reduced motherhood to convenience. Mother when you want to–for the cute stuff…taking pictures…buying little clothes…and the attention. But when you wanna act like a child yourself, dump the baby off with mama (which is probably grandma). The father? Probably out fathering more soon to be unwanted children. Lather, Rinse, Repeat

  4. @ intellibrotha,With all due respect to you and your opinion I’m going to guess from your name that you are a man so I have to be honest when I say I can only put so much value in that opinion because you will never know what it means to be a single-MOTHER. Yes, I do know that there are some men out there doing it alone but it is not the norm.Now, taking into consideration everything that you said and I said I did not necessarily try to give her the mother of the year award I just decided to have a LESS OBVIOUS reaction to what she said. I don’t think she doesn’t love her daughter. Nothing in the letter suggested that pawns her responsibility off on other people (grandma) or anything like that. You are jumping to conclusions. Yes, well all know those type of people but she has not suggested that she is that type. I didn’t suggest her daughter will grow up problem-less… I said I don’t know her side so I can’t say for sure how this has affected her. What I’m saying is there are far worse things a woman can do than become a mother and raise her child even if she is somewhat resentful of the fact. People may say she could have given her up for adoption but how many adoption stories have we all heard? And I have to disagree with that motherhood is innate theory… If that were the case more people would be better mothers.I could go on forever but what I’m saying is owning your feelings about anything (especially something as taboo as this) takes courage. I can’t knock that and I can’t knock her at least TRYING to be a parent, no matter how flawed.

  5. I wish that people wouldn’t condescend or devalue the principal of what I’m saying simply because of my gender. Again, men get no respect when it comes to parenting–even the ones that are good! Single motherhood, in my eyes, would be nearly identical to single fatherhood, and I can imagine how hard it would be. That’s why I don’t have kids just yet. But I want a few very soon. In fact, my close friends tell me all the time that I have a male biological clock. I love children, but I love family more. So when a case like this comes up, I get immediately on the offensive. Now, I did not jump to conclusions about the writer of this letter in particular. I placed her within the larger context of a generation that believes and behaves in the manner I stated. The writer may not throw her child at ‘grandma,’ but from what’s apparent in her letter, she belongs to that mindset. It’s the mindset that says I want to be motherless again, and I have no problem or hesitation in calling it what it is: selfishness. I also did not say that motherhood was 100% innate, because, then as you said, more people would be better parents. However, it’s definitely somewhat innate–even if a tiny percent. But it’s much more learned and developed, with the emphasis on developed. Can the writer of this letter become a better mom? Absolutely! But she’ll have to work on it…just like a marriage needs work…just like every other thing that’s worth having. When you said that there are worse things for a mother to do than resentfully raise her children, a shiver went down my spine. My mom is a social worker, so I grew up around this mess. My family, as I’ve stated above, is deep within this mindset. And there are fewer things worse than a mother who’s negligent. Screw finances. Screw materialisms. This child–from what I can tell from the letter–is growing up without a mother or father, while having the mother there! Every parent will be flawed, but sometimes those flaws cause our government to intervene. So there’s no “A” for effort here. That’s for elementary school, not raising children. So screw that a well.Have you ever heard the saying that “if you think loneliness is bad as a single person, you haven’t seen anything yet. There’s nothing worse than being married and lonely?” And emotionally absent parent is just as worse if not more than an absent one. Part of me wishes that the child had been put up for adoption. She should’ve done it when her daughter was a baby–they go faster when they’re young. And then maybe the poor girl would’ve had a parent. Let’s not forget who the victim is here, and just because she’s voiceless doesn’t make her any less of that. Imagine if that girl read this letter! Again, this is some vile s.h.i.t.

  6. Okay, I wasn’t trying to devalue your opinion because of your gender I was merely touching on the fact that you are not a single mother and I guessed (correctly) that you are not a single father. I wasn’t trying to ignore there are single fathers out there doing the tough job that many woman (disproportionately) do everyday… THAT’S WHY I ACKNOWLEDGED THEM.Perhaps you don’t know what jumping to conclusions means but I’m not discounting her daughter’s feelings, I’m saying I don’t know her daughter’s feelings to speak on them. You don’t know that her mother is negligent… Again, a negligent mother wouldn’t care that her father is an alcoholic, she’d still pawn her off on him anyway. A negligent mother wouldn’t say that her daughter may grow up resentful of her and just knowing that is a possibility makes her sad. A negligent mother wouldn’t even notice her shortcomings or care enough to think about them and compose a letter. I’m just saying, she has to have some sort of love and devotion invested in her child. You want to bring up your mom is a social worker and I will bring up my mother was negligent. I’m not going to run you over with details of my disturbing childhood but I will say that I know there are WORSE things. Would she be a better mother without carrying this bitterness and resentment that probably spills over into her parenting, WITHOUT A DOUBT! I just happen to believe the fact that she sincerely seems to be trying to do right by her child does not put her into the lump of triflin’ women letting whoever raise their babies.As for the government intervening on women like her… Just based off of what we read we have no way of knowing that anything she does causes for social services to be called. I don’t like to make serious inferences and accusations when I don’t know any of the facts. In essence, all this woman has said is she is not one of those women who’s life “began” (as they like to say) when she became a mother and she looks forward to the day when her job is done. Harsh? Yes. Blunt? Yes. Does it make her a terrible mother? Not necessarily….And you can think motherhood is a little innate all you want but look at all the motherless children out there and tell me how you hold that belief? Also… At least she didn’t have more babies like so many of them do when they know they’re not taking care of the ones they got! Ugh!

  7. Intellibrotha: I couldn’t help but comment on what you said. From what I read it seems like you missed a lot of what the author wrote and meant. I could understand as a woman and a mother what she is saying. It is HARD working, taking care of your child by yourself, never having a real break, never having any real time to yourself and constantly worry about everything being taken care of. It sounded to me like the author is like MANY women out there whether married or single, trying to be superwoman whether we want to or not. We can’t worry about how tired we are, if it needs to be done, it needs to be done and more than likely we’ll suck it up and do it. Other than not being the most affectionate mother in the world, it seems like the author is doing a good job raising her child to be independent. I would much rather see an independent child that can make his/her way in the world than a child that is so dependent on his/her parents that it’s crippling. For you to say for her to WOMAN UP, it makes no sense, because that’s what she’s doing despite feeling the way she feels. If she were less of a mother, that child would be with someone else most or all of time and you would not hear her “complaining” about the trials of motherhood, because she would be doing what she wanted to do. Let’s see you take her place and raise a child from birth to adulthood by yourself while working full time to support the two of you and giving up your life for this child without “complaining” at some point in time. You say this was something she put herself in, but I don’t think when she got married she would have thought she would end up being a single mom with an unreliable father for her daughter. We don’t know the daughter’s perspective! Who knows the daughter may think her mom is doing the best that she can and loves her enough to teach her how to take care of herself.

  8. Because I wrote the letter, it was my intent to stay quiet and allow the chips fall where they may. Everyone who has posted comments here have very valid points and I think they are all somewhat right. Would I be characterized as someone who is selfish. In terms of parenthood I would say most definitely. Materialism a healthy child does not make. We all know this, but if I only thought of myself I would have dumped her in someone’s lap 12 years ago. But honesty is important. I was far from a child in age when I got married and pregnant later. Emotionally, I was still naive. I married my first boyfriend at 20. Good bad or indifferent, there is alot to be said for not living before you settle down and I don’t recommend it. Nonetheless, it was my choice. So, when I made the choice to leave an abusive/substance filled relationship because I thought enough of myself and my child not to stay with a man that spent more time drunk than working, it was because I thought it was the responsible thing to do. So yes she does have an absent father, but she has a mother still goes to games and makes recitals even if I hate doing it. When I took my first job after she was 6 months old, wiping white folks asses in a nursing home, rather than be on public assistance it was because I knew this child did not request to be born, but rather that was a decision I made. So at the very least I had an obligation to care for her. When I aborted the next pregnancy and swiftly had my tubes tied at the unprecedented age of 24 it was because I was responsible enough to know I didn’t need anymore children. Now, intellibrotha may say what he pleases and express whatever opinions he chooses about my letter, but the fact of the matter is not everyone is parent material. Not everyone knows this before its too late, and when you discover this about yourself you have a choice to make. You can own your flaws and be honest about who and what you are or you can hide it and pretend to be something different. Either way eventually the truth rears it head. Life is never as neat and clean as Leave it to Beaver. Intellibrotha is both right and wrong about me. He is correct in saying that I am not a model parent. On my best days I am a woman who loves her daughter, and wishes she didn’t feel the way she did. On my worst days I am distant. I do not think you can teach parenting 101. And there is no guarantee you be warm and fuzzy about it. Everything I dreamed for myself was put on hold the second that strip turned to a blue plus sign. I made tons of mistakes, and to my way of thinking I could just pawn my child off to someone else and walk away, but at the end of the day this is yet another instance where real parenthood takes away my options. I cannot do that because I know how adoption feels. I know what it feels like to know your parents just dumped their responsibilities off on someone else because they were too weak to deal with it them themselves. I know because that is also my story.Coldblooded feeling are no less valid ones. They are not what you want to hear from a parent, but men feel that way all the time. The problem is that women are scorned if they feel anything less than motherly. I never said i didn’t love my daughter, what I said is that I am not motherhood material. Not only was i not a teen mother, but I was aslo no an unwed one. I did this the “right” way because in my home there was no other way to do it. I wish i could be a mother when I feel like it, but unfortunately once they are here you can’t turn it on and off. Its always on and the truth of the matter is cute baby clothes and cuddly pictures don’t float my boat. I agree with you intellibrotha on one very key point, my daughter would be devastated if she read how I really feel which is why it is written anonymously. That does not change the very real fact sometimes women feel the very real burdens of parent hood as just that… burdens. And maybe if I am honest about how I feel it will give some other woman who doesn’t have a child enough pause to think about their life and get to know themselves before they get pregnant. I sure as hell wish someone had done that for me.

  9. Lisa, I’m not going to get into an all out caps and exlam war with you. Apparently we’re both passionate about our views, and we BOTH have experience with this touchy subject. Our problem: we simply believe different about how well she’s doing as a mother. What I see as negligent–and I do mean negligent–you see as decent. When I read that she grudgingly mothers, I get pissed. When I see that she puts food on the table, and encourages the teenager to stay our of her way, I get pissed. You, apparently don’t get as pissed as I do about it. I also disagree with the whole a negligent person is oblivious to their shortcomings. Negligent people can be aware and simply not care! Or! care more about themselves than the needs of a dependent. What you see is her “trying” to do right by her child. I do not see it, and I will put her into that lump, if only partially. Trying to do right would be more than paying bills and grudgingly parenting (which by the way we all know crosses over and becomes obvious). I see a child’s emotional needs as primary, and here, it appears that there’s something deficient in their relationship. Perhaps you should re read what I wrote. I didn’t say that the government NEEDS to get involved here. I wanted to tear down the premise that simply trying to parent is good enough, because it is not, Lisa. And SOMETIMES the government does have to intervene because mommy ain’t get no free “A” for trying. But in this case, perhaps they should come anyways and take the load of the writer’s back. Then she wouldn’t have to suffer for the next few years. You did say something that I agreed with, however. This whole situation is sad. Also, the last statement, are you mad at me or those women? Cause I can assure you that I didn’t impregnate any of them. “UGH!” indeed.

  10. To the letter writer: I will address what you posted. But I must leave. This is good.And do recognize that I may come off as harsh, but I do it because I feel the child–your child–deserves better, and I’m not afraid to say it directly to you. I helped raise my cousins because of well-to-do moms (I’m not accusing you of that), and I know what it’s like. But! There’s something bigger here than the struggles.

  11. I’m with the Reluctant Mother and LMT on this one. I’m a a married man with no children, so I can’t say I know much about parenthood. But I do know that in general our culture puts too much pressure on women (married or not) to be great mothers. I think that pressure is unfair, and I think it stems from the all-knowing paternalistic dominance of men.The standard is far lower for fathers: bring in a paycheck, don’t abuse the kids, show up to the odd kiddie event – dad gets a medal. But women have to do all the heavy lifting of child rearing, like the bathing, clothing, feeding, and transporting. And she is supposed to act like she relishes it, like she absolutely loves to do all of this labor for her children, as if the very act of pushing a life in this world has transformed her into Claire Huxtable.Would it be better for her daughter if Reluctant Mother was a doting mother? Maybe. Could she do much worse as a mother? Definitely. Does she get my respect for carrying on a tough job that she admittedly doesn’t feel suited for and could easily quit? Absolutely.

  12. Intellibrotha,You seem to have a way of picking bits and pieces of what people say to form your argument. I don’t even know why I respond other than I hate having my words and thoughts misconstrued. I don’t believe nothing I have written in the defense of the mother made her sound like mother of the year material I just don’t think that anything she has written makes her unfit in raising her child. I don’t disagree that the emotional needs of a child are very important but you are wrong if you think they are the most important when raising a child. My mother showered me with all the love that you and anyone else would consider that loving motherly nature but didn’t provide me with something as basic as PROTECTION. This woman says she goes through the motions… To be honest, I’d take a mother who didn’t let people abuse but was emotionally distant over the hand I was dealt. I promise you, there are worse things than a distant parent. Emotional distance =/= negligence.And no, I’m not mad at you. I didn’t suggest you impregnated anyone. I was just illustrating what this woman obviously is not! And after reading her response I feel even more validated in my reaction to her original letter.

  13. I was at a loss as to why I was so freakin’ angry at the woman that wrote this post. The more I read the angrier I became.Then I read the comments and saw the comment from the woman that wrote the post. While reading her comment I realized I was angry because her post was about my mother as well.My mom did as the poster did and had me just as my parents were divorcing. My father moved to another state and we had no family in the state we were living.My mom worked and did the PTA stuff and all that but she seemed to be doing it in spite of me rather than for me.I’m not going to go on. But thanks for writing this because it’s making me think about some things that I haven’t really wanted to think about but really need to think about.Monie

  14. One more thing; in case the woman that wrote the post is wondering. I understood clearly by age five that my mother didn’t want to be my mother. Of course she never said it but even at five I knew.Monie

  15. ooooh baby !! (no pun intended..)intellibrotha. Sorry, but you strike me as rigid and unknowing regarding the unending tasks of parenthood in general, and motherhood, in particular. The letter writer is doing no more or less than zillions of men and women have done thru the ages. The only difference is that she is honest about it. Then, you slam LMturle for looking for positive outcomes.Y’know, just because you disagree with something doesn’t make it any less valid. There are plenty of parents, both mothers and fathers, who ‘go thru the motions’ with their kids. It’s just that, according to supposed societal norms, mothers aren’t supposed to admit it.Sometimes, instead of admitting being resentful, they beat the hell out of their kids. I love, love, LOVE my child, but given the opportunity for a do-over, I wouldn’t do it again. As my momma used to say ‘it’s more than a notion.’ So, let’s not act as if having a child isn’t a complete ‘game-changer’ because it most definitely is. Plenty of folk like the new game, in fact, they look forward to it.But there are many who, for whatever reason, have no desire to play the game. That is why birth control and sex ed ought to be taught in every school, from 4th grade on!!!Some -fathers mostly, but mothers too- simply leave. And leaving can be played out in many forms. Physically leave, emotionally check out, drink, drug or smoke their way out.Still others reluctantly stay and play the new game. There is not a parenting class in the world that can impart the desire to raise children. You either have it or you don’t. Some folks just don’t have it.

  16. and another thing…This issue is an example of where the ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ concept comes into play. I can’t remember where I read it, but there is research that shows healthy children require 6 (SIX!)caring adults to gain a well-rounded upbringing and worldview.Mommy, daddy, uncles, aunties, g-mom, g-pop, Miss Betty next door, etc, etc.It also helps when women who are mothers have sister-friends and other family members or neighbors to talk about issues and concerns.If auntie can take a girl-child for the summer, or g-pop can take a boy-child for a weekend, or unc can have his niece or nephew help him wash the car, everybody is a little better off, all the way around… And for me, a good overnight summer camp has been a godsend! And I love my kid and I like being a mother. But again, if I knew then, what I know now, I would not have had a child.

  17. Usually I’m a lurker.But I’ve got to put my 0.02 cents in!First.Black Snob…You need to post this letter on WAOD.Stat! It’s original, truthful, authentic, and needs to be heard.Second.I applaud the reluctant mother’s ability to connect with the truth of her life. As I read her submssion all I could think about was how freeing it was to hear the other side of motherhood’s tracks: gloom, regret, remorse, depression and suck-it-upness.Black women wear the cape and for the most part if we tell the truth about how we really feel we are community a crime against humanity. The truth of the matter is that we’re tired and no matter how strong we are perceived to be we pay the price for not being our authentic truthful selves.Third.I’m gonna go on a limb and just say that intellibrotha isn’t malicious; but hella self-righteous and just a smidgen judgmental. I bet that his life is picture perfect. Crossed all his T’s and dotted his i’s before he was four years old. Graduated from the top of his class and never caught an STD.I for one know that I’ve made choices in my life that weren’t a good look for me. But I guess he’s the world’s only perfect human being. Intellibrotha…let the sister be. She feels how she feels and being reactionary to the truth of her life makes you seem small-minded and petty. Of which I’m sure you’re not.

  18. blacksnob,Do you have the name of the first portrait on the post (the mother looking at her baby in a cradle)?Thanks.

  19. I know I have found this way after its’ orginial posting but…This letter struck me deeply because I was (and still am) the joy of my mother’s life. Our relationship has gotten me through times when I thought life was not worth living.Let me say that your daughter knows how you feel. She knows that she is a burden to you and that she is unwanted. She may not be able to articulate it but she feels it in the same way I felt my mother’s unswerving devotion. I’m sorry that you have the burden of motherhood without the joy. You do have some sympathy from me because I have no idea what I would have done in your shoes. I hope that I would have had the strength to try and find a good adoptive home for my child, knowing that she deserved more than I could give her. But I don’t know if I could.What disturbs me most about this entire thing is that it is SUPPOSED to be hard. Motherhood and Fatherhood. You sacrifice and you cry, you lose sleep, money, body and your mind and you are doing it with no reward except seeing that child grow. You are no longer the most important thing in your life. If you can’t make that kind of commitment then I really don’t think you should be having children. I wish there was something that I could do to help you and your daughter. Some way to comfort you both. I really do hope that someone who is thinking about parenthood (or not thinking about it)reads your post and pauses.You are still her mother when she turns 18. You will be her mother her entire life. She will have to learn to live with the things you cannot give her and it will hurt every day. That I know from my life with my father. I doubt that your pain and regret will ease when she turns 18 either but I do hope that you will be able to have an honest relationship with her as she gets older. If you truly love her my only advice would be to make sure she knows that the failing is with you and there is nothing unlovable about her. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, you’ve given up a lot for your daughter and for her mental health you might need to give up some more pride.It will save her a lot of money in either therapy or big mistakes later in life. Thank you for being so honest. I have tried to reply in kind.

  20. Anonymous 2:33 p.m.: The photo comes from a series of photographs of Eliza Benson owned by the <A HREF="http://www.mdhs.org/library/fotofind/PP0092lnk.html“ REL=”nofollow”>Maryland Historical Society Library.They’re part of the Emily Hayden Collection. Hayden took the pictures and Eliza, aka “Mammy,” worked and lived with Hayden’s family for years. I have a series of photos of Eliza with the children of Hayden’s family. I believe in this photo she is caring for one of the Hayden children, Kitty.

  21. I’m sorry but this woman doesn’t deserve to be a mother in my book. That girl didn’t ask to be here. You choose to have a baby when you knew you weren’t ready. I don’t care what you guys might say thinking well she’s doing the best she can. Motherhood is not a chore and to think you can’t wait for them to leave is heartbreaking. If I was her daughter I would never forgive her. That child will be scared emotionally for life. This woman needs help. Go to a therapist or something because your daughter will suffer from this greater than you will if you don’t do something to change your ways. Thank God you aren’t my mother and I pray I will never be this way to my children as you are to your daughter. Don’t reply me because my mind is made up.

  22. Man. You woulda thought my mother wrote that.I know what poor girl is going through. She knows her mom’s not all that interested in her.I really appreciate the honesty though. Motherhood is not a walk in the park. Especially when you haven’t lived your own life.

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