A blog where families who love and live the Catholic Faith can share, encourage and support each other.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unhappy with Motherhood

Written by Kari

I had an interesting conversation today.  I was standing at the counter checking out, for once all alone with no children in tow, when I mentioned that I had 5 children.  I cannot even remember how the subject came up but the woman behind the counter immediately responded with, “You have 5 children?  Do they drive you nuts?”

Now, as anyone with more than two children will tell you, it is not at all unusual to get surprising and varied reactions to the subject of children and family planning.  Nonetheless, I was thrown off by her question.  “No,” I answered quickly, “I love my children.”  But then, as I thought about it for a second, I had to admit, “Well, there are moments they drive me nuts, but overall I enjoy my children.”  I wanted to be completely honest.

She looked at me quizzically and maybe I should have let it drop at that but I continued, “My children know their limits.” I told her. 

“Oh, so you rule with an iron fist,” she said knowingly, nodding her head like she got it now. 
But as I thought about that, I felt the need to speak up yet again.  “Not really.  I don’t have to most of the time.  They are just pretty good kids,” I told her.

“Well, I guess you do look like you’ve got it altogether,” the woman conceded (an interesting comment on its own considering I did not have the children with me), “Lots of people these days are not too happy with motherhood though.”

Since that conversation this morning, I have thought about her observation.  She is right, of course.  A lot of people are unhappy with motherhood.  Children are seen as burdens, not blessings and having 5 (or more) of them sounds like torture to some people, I guess.  None of this is really news to me, but hearing someone admit it so casually as if it is no big deal was upsetting.  It has really caused me to pause and think about this world we live in, and the negative attitudes that pervade it.  

There is SO much I could say about it all.  I could go on and on about how people are so misguided, how their priorities are skewed, and about how worldly wisdom has ruined family values in this country.  I think I will try to keep my mouth shut about all that this time though……  

Instead I will just pray.  I will pray that my example and witness, and that of other strong Christian mothers, might be enough to convince others to take a closer look at their own attitudes and priorities.  I will pray that God will enlighten the minds of those mothers who are not too happy with motherhood and help them to see the gift that their children, and their responsibility towards them, is.  

Maybe, while I am at it, I will also say a prayer of thanksgiving.  It is such a privilege and a blessing to be a mother.  Though it is not always easy and my children do drive me nuts occasionally, I am grateful to God for the gift of motherhood.  Unusual as it may sound, it is a something I really am very happy with.

About Kari: 

I am a Catholic wife and home schooling mother of 5. I willingly admit that I define myself by my vocation. I do not feel at all diminished as a person to be “only” a wife and mother. I am proud to have a wonderful family to serve and care for. It is enough for me. It is what I've always wanted. It is where I serve God and come to know Him better each and everyday. In addition to my family and my faith, I am also passionate about writing. The blogging world has allowed me the privilege and blessing of bringing together all my passions.

Kari blogs at Overflow. Please visit and share more of her posts.


  1. Kari
    I SO get this, and it saddens me to have conversations with those who don't seem to understand what a precious gift Motherhood is, and really their years under our roof are so fleeting.

    1. Erin- You are right. Our time with our children is so special and such a blessing, and it does fly by so quickly. Hopefully our example of embracing motherhood will open the eyes of those who are struggling so much with the challenges of parenting, that they miss the blessings that are surely there too.

      God Bless :)

  2. Children are a gift from God. The way we bring them up is our gift to Him.

    God bless.

    1. A very wise and profound statement. I may have to copy that and hang it on my refrigerator to remind me on those especially challenging days! :)

  3. I love what you've written and I totally agree. It makes me sad too, not only that mothering is not valued but that so many (including mothers) are indifferent. So many people ask what is wrong with teenagers these days when it's glaringly obvious that most children are not parented properly.
    Personally, I feel that being a mother has defined me and that I was often just drifting before I had children. Thanks for reminding me to be more grateful too :)

    1. I have often heard that indifference is the real opposite of love- not hate as many people think. It is indifference that leaves our hearts empty, and our lives meaningless. I cannot imagine having such an attitude towards motherhood but sadly so many women do....

      Blessings to you and your family.