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Parenting Sucks | Why It’s Okay to Say You Hate Parenthood

PrimeParentsClub Parenting Sucks

Over the weekend I found myself sitting in my dark closet and sobbing uncontrollably. I’ll spare you the details of all that led up to it, but suffice it to say that it’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last. And the “cry locations” vary–sometimes it’s the pantry or laundry room and sometimes it’s the car–basically anywhere my 3-year-old won’t see me hating parenthood.

That’s right, I said it: Being a parent sucks.

I heard the collective intake of air from those of you judging.

How could she say that?

Parenting is such an awesome thing!

Kids are such blessings!

True. All of that is true. Despising parenthood on occasion doesn’t mean that I don’t love my child more than life itself or that I hate being a parent all the time. Sometimes the love for my kid and parenting swells my heart so big that I’m sure it’s going to burst out of my chest. Other times? I end up in the closet sobbing and wondering what happened to my sense of self and my old life.

I Hate Parenting: Why Aren’t We Allowed to Say It?

The thing that I don’t get is why “parenting sucks” are hushed words that we only whisper to another parent over coffee or write to another reluctantly in an email, contemplating over and over before we actually hit send? Why are we ashamed of it?

Here’s why: We’re afraid of the judgement. (Yes, you know who you are. You’re the ones with your finger itching to click away from this post right now.) People judge you if you don’t confess undying love for parenting every single second of the day. But, here’s the thing: It sucks. It consumes you. It takes away your life. In many cases, it takes away the identity of who you are/used to be. If your job–the one that someone pays you to do–made you feel this way, you would talk to everyone who would listen about how awful it is. But because parenting deals with kids and family, we make it a taboo topic, not allowing ourselves permission to speak about it in a derogatory way lest we think ourselves failures (or worse yet, someone else thinks we are a failure).

A few weeks ago a mom emailed me and asked if I liked being a parent. My response was something like, “If you are asking if there are days when I want to bash my head against a mirror and use the shards to carve curse words into my legs, then yes. I have those days. Sometimes everyday.” I didn’t hear back from her so I was afraid my imagery was a little much. When I reached out to her, she let me know just how much it meant to validate exactly what she was feeling. I later had a similar discussion with a dad who said he had been MIA online because “this parenting thing is so much harder than I thought it was going to be.”

What would happen if we all sat around alone, being overwhelmed and never talking about how hard parenting is? We would just continue to spiral, thinking we are awful and guilting ourselves into never-never land

However, I’m here today to tell you that you’re not alone and that you don’t have to be perfect. I’m releasing you from that right now. As a matter of fact, I’m giving you permission to talk about it. It  is possible to feel disdain for parenting, your kids, your spouse, your dog, your [everything] on occasion without it making you a bad person. In fact, it makes you quite normal (even if your friends won’t talk about it).

So the next time you feel guilty for saying how much parenthood sucks, remember this: those parents who seem like they have it all together and will only talk to you about the positive aspects of parenting are secretly crying in the bathroom, too.


Along with being a contributor to, Jacqueline Wilson is: Appalachia Advocate~Supporter of Women~Writer~Accidental Pit Bull Advocate.


  1. Kris

    January 29, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Feel your pain totally. Parenting has been the worst disaster of my life……and my husband and I were so excited to have children and raise a family 24 years ago! Ha, joke was on us. Raising miserable little humans has to be some form of punishment for past life sins! Jk…..but really, I’d do anything for them and so would their father.

  2. Cass

    May 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I was completely obsessed with being a parent until my kid turned one.. she moved into a different room at her daycare and the other one year kids started hitting and biting her. Now she gets violent with me whenever she doesn’t get her way. I have a friend with no kids who keeps telling me she’s not abusive and just wants me to “wake up” and be a stronger, more capable parent. I am one of the strongest people I know. I literally cannot be any stronger right now. The only way to be more assertive with her hitting and biting is to start hitting and biting her back. I am a single parent, so it’s basically impossible for me to even get five minutes alone unless I am working. My love life is non-existent and it seems like any time I am alone with my daughter (which is hours every day) she just cries and throws a fucking fit the entire time and I want to stab myself in the head. The only time I like her lately is when she is sleeping… or when someone else is there to take care of her. I hate parenting… just saying.

    • Jen

      December 27, 2016 at 6:36 am

      You are my hero.

  3. ashleymclellan21

    January 8, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you so much for understanding. I am a stay at home mother of 3 kids. A 3 year old, a 7 year old and an 8 year old. I love them with all my heart, but there are days where I wish I could run away and never look back. Days where I wish I could go back and never have kids. Yes, I admit that I do have those days. I feel guilty for saying this, but I have to speak the truth.

    I want to blog, I have dreams but they are all put on hold because if I dare turn around to even search blogging, my 3 year old has gotten into the fridge and cracked all the eggs on the floor ( Yes this just happened). It is crazy and hard. I yell at my kids, which I am seeking help for, but it is so so stressful. As bad as it may seem, if I had another chance I would not have them. I would have thought more and been more responsible.

    I find myself asking, why could I not have been one of those women that could not have kids? Why do people like me get the gift but these other women that would be perfect moms don’t?

    I am with you, I was sitting down the other day trying to find peace and my 3 year old is screaming, and my other 2 were fighting back and forth. Everything was so loud, and my head felt like it was going to pop! I ran upstairs, into my closet and shut the door and started crying hysterically. Wondering what in gods name have I done to myself. And then thinking of all the years I still have to go, I threw up.

    We have mostly good days, but 2 days or more out of the week are hell! I am glad someone understands and I am so thankful for this article. If I expressed these things to anyone I know, or on Facebook I am pretty sure CPS would be showing up at my door, because like you said, no one can express themselves without judgement.

    If you do not have kids, please reconsider and believe me when I tell you it is just not worth it if you do not have the patience.

    • Jacqueline Wilson

      January 9, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Just know, you are NOT alone. If it makes you feel better, I just yelled at my 6 year old YESTERDAY because I WANT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM FOR 5 MINUTES without a Level 5 emergency in our house with kid+dogs+cats+more. LOL

      I’ve found this helpful: I’ve really tried focusing on the good parts (because they are lots of good parts about parenting and kids) AND finding a supportive, understanding group when I need to vent about the not so good parts.

      Hang in there. Come back here when you need support AND, most important, KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We all go through this–just most won’t say it out loud. :)

  4. Jillian

    July 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I can’t find this author’s email or direct blog site so I’m hoping she sees this. This article seriously made my week. I had a horrible week with my almost two year old. I usually don’t lose my cool but a few points during the week I got so upset I went into my room screamed in my pillow “F**** this week.” I felt so guilty for just wanting to run away and not be a parent for awhile. Why did I feel this way? All my friends that have kids act like parenting is the best thing ever and they just don’t have a bad day . One of my friends just found out she is pregnant and she’s not nervous at all . What????? How can you not be nervous whatsoever? Here I was feeling guilty and feeling like a terrible mom again . I wanted to start a blog called the real mom’s blog and really talk about how it is. I’m so glad I ran by this! Thank you for being real! Some days just suck!

    • Jacqueline Wilson

      July 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      I’m HERE Jillian and I TOTALLY get what you’re saying! Some days DO suck, just like some days are awesome. AND, it’s OK to say both things! It doesn’t make you a bad parent. We all feel this way sometimes. I think the people who say they *NEVER* feel this way are afraid that the world will fall apart if they tell the truth.

      Anytime you need it, come back here and yell F*** into our virtual pillow and we’ll totally get it. NO JUDGMENT. HUGS!

      (PS: Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!) :) /jackie

      • ciska

        August 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

        Why do children exactly drain so much of your energy? Why does it feel youre are gving up your LIFE forthem and it goes totally unappreciated. It never ends. Every day is a challenge and some days so much more than others. I even feel guilty when craving alcohol cause that makes me even a worse parent. Your life will simply never be the same again. So my advice: if you love your life without children, dont have any. Thanks for the article

  5. abby

    October 9, 2013 at 5:37 am

    When are you people going to realize that the people you confess you hate motherhood to, are not judging you. They are simply taken the opportunity to make you feel bad. They hate parenthood too, but since you admitted it first, they will cease that opportunity to make you feel less then, even your own friends will do it. Why? For the ego boost. It’s that simple. The ones who really love parenthood, would never judge you and say “how could you say that??”.

  6. NJ

    September 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    yes it’s the pits…….. I have no opinion,,,,, I’m not allowed to discipline,,,,we as parents are scared if we discipline because of the way the kids may react ,,,,, it’s just stupid. we can’t say outloud how much we despise this job because then we are judged by all,,,,,, like they can do a better job. Sure I love my kids,,,, but they just don’t get it,,, they don’t realize the division they cause in the house when they run to their father for stuff or vice versa,,,,,, fathers and moms need to be on the same page, otherwise parenting is absolute hell. As parents we should go with our gut feeling and not the social media opinion, not the opinion of kids friends, we shouldn’t be afraid to set limits and use the word NO ,,, I’m so angry right now.

    • Jacqueline Wilson

      September 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      TOTALLY get it, NJ. And, then it causes probs between the mom and dad. SIGH. Saying that it sucks OUT LOUD doesn’t make you a bad parent. It makes you … human. It does suck and we all wish we had our “old” lives back sometimes. I’m glad you came here to talk about it! Come back! we’ll support you because we GET IT! :) /jackie

  7. kc

    December 12, 2012 at 4:42 am

    I’m so glad i’m not the only one. I also regret having a child. I love my son and I kept telling myself i need to do my duty. The truth is I never wanted children and my husband pretty much gave me an ultimatum. I swear my mother told me this big lie about a woman is not complete unless she has a child.

    • Prime Parents Club

      January 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      You’re not the only one. I feel sad that others judge by saying that we hate parenthood sometimes. HUGS! /jackie

      • kc

        January 30, 2013 at 2:18 am

        Thank you. Jackie. funny how my best mate at work has the exact same name as yours.

        • Prime Parents Club

          January 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm

          All the cool people have this name. Did we forget to tell you?! ;) /jackie

  8. defeated

    December 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    From the moment i became pregnant i knew it was a mistake. I don’t have a maternal bone in my body. Although i want the absolute best for my 1yr old daughter, i deeply regret having a child every single day. I’ve tried everything esp positive thinking and yet i wish i were dead. It has really destroyed me. I’ve lost everything in my life and feels like there’s no way out. It’s good to hear that others struggle with parenting and im not the only one however i feel that im the only one who really regrets having them and would take it back if i could.

    • Prime Parents Club

      December 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Hey “Defeated”–i TOTALLY get what you are saying. I was in a deep depression and feeling THE EXACT SAME WAY even around the 1 year mark with my daughter. Have you tried talking to someone about maybe going on antidepressants? I finally went on them and after my body adjusted I had a TOTAL turnaround. If you ever need to “talk” COME BACK HERE, because I totally get it. :)

    • Prime Parents Club

      December 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      PS–you are NOT the only one feeling this way … TRUST ME! ((((HUGS)))))

    • Jo

      April 29, 2015 at 7:15 am

      I’m finally done after 27 years and it sucked the life out of me! Now that they are grown one doesn’t speak to me he says I failed but I did my best I had serious chronic medical issues the whole time and was a single mom for over half and yeah it was not fun sorry

  9. Ethan

    December 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Just ran across this. I don’t know if this helps any, but parenting teens is sheer hell. If anyone knew what having teens around the house would like, the human race would be extinct within a generation.

    Parenting does suck and anyone who claims he or she hasn’t thought this at least a time or two is a liar. Still, my wife and I have stuck it out and I’m looking forward to the day I have grandchildren to spoil rotten and then send home to their parents.

    It’s like the old joke — why do grandparents and grandchildren get along so well? They have a common enemy.

    • Wish I had a Time Maching

      July 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      God I hope my kids don’t make the same mistake I did. Grand Children? F that too.

  10. Bill E Bob

    July 18, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Yes, yes it does. Parenting definately sucks. And marriage ain’t no great h3ll either. Welcome to the “Reality Channel”. In 3D.

  11. john

    June 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Yeah, it sucks. Please don’t have children because “they” say so. They WILL consume your life. Unless of course you’re rich or have a mate that will do most of the parenting (like the classic wife from old times)
    I really think the BAD outweighs the GOOD.
    Just my opinion though.

  12. Tonya

    March 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Now, if I can just remember this the next time my patience is wearing and I’ve had it up to here.

    BTW, I’m adding this to my favorites page.

    • Prime Parents Club

      March 31, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      So glad this helped Tonya. We ALL need this reminder on occasion. Be sure to share it with your friends. You know some of them are feeling it, too…


  13. Jackie (WritRams)

    February 22, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Please continue to share this post. As you can see from the comments alone, it is such an important topic to discuss and let other parents know you’re not alone!

  14. Denise K.

    February 22, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Never been so happy to read something in my entire life. I love my children to death but I despise parenthood. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I often sit and wonder what I was thinking. The vast majority of the parenting has been done by me and I have gone through the wringer with their father who was deployed a lot of the time or gone for various courses. It all laid on my shoulders and I discovered those shoulders weren’t as strong as I thought. I have many days when I am just struggling to make it through to bedtime when I can take an hour to watch TV and drink a cup of tea. I advise everyone I know who is thinking of having children to think again!

    Thank you for such an honest and brave (because you are darn right about the finger pointers!) missive!

  15. Patty @littlebytesnews

    January 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Great post and glad someone came out with the truth…I came across this on twitter via @writrams. There are days I feel this way myself…I have written about it,but am glad to know others have these feelings&I’m not the only one.

    It is hard not to feel guilty sometimes when you miss your life before becoming a parent,but as you say I love my kids and would give my life for them but there are always those moments you wish you could just get away from it all. I miss dancing,going&doing things on my own when I feel like it, but I guess it is somewhat selfish to want those things.

    Part of marriage and committing to children is giving up those things…but it doesn’t mean we can’t/won’t still long for those moments. My sister&her husband do many of the things they did before marriage&kids because they are very outdoorsy&active&now their girls are,but my lifestyle is not like theirs so I can’t apply the same to mine. I was one who enjoyed going out on weekends,dancing,movies, dating,etc…now of course all that is different with a husband and kids, but when I think back to those days, while it was fun I also longed for marriage and family.

    So it seems you can never be happy all the time, life is ever changing and growing and learning to accept our choices.

  16. christin

    November 8, 2011 at 6:55 am


    I want to let you know that we discussed parenting techniques via the Love and Logic approach in my MOPS group today. At the end of the discussion I shared some parting words about parenting from my perspective as a mom of “older” children (over 5) and I ended up using this blog post in my closing comments. This was completely off the cuff and unplanned. As I mentioned your blog saying that sometimes you hate being a parent, I saw a fellow American mom gasp and make a horrific face. I really wanted to admonish her right then and there for judging, but I didn’t…I just kept going and shared your words about loving your children more than life does not mean that you “love” parenting EVERYDAY. I could almost feel the collective sigh in the room. After the meeting THREE mothers came up to tell me how much they appreciated my closing statement and how relieved they were to know that we all feel that way sometimes and it is okay.

    So thanks for triggering my brain to give a meaningful speech.

  17. Crystal Paschal

    November 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    THANK YOU! I was just thinking over the weekend (as the time changed totally effed my life) “I just want to sleep through the night without getting up ONCE. Just ONE TIME PLEASE?” But then felt guilty because one day they won’t be little anymore and you will miss this time blah blah…

    No, I won’t. I will miss many things about them being little, but I won’t miss waking up at 2am, then 5am, then 6:30am EVERY DAY.

    /end rant

  18. Jackie

    November 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for writing this honest post describing exactly how I have felt many times over the last 10 years since I became a Mom!


  19. Anja

    November 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I feel so overwhelmed right now, I don’t even know how to make it thru the day… To be a parent to a three year old can be so hard – you know what I mean! Thanks for such an open post! ((HUGS))

  20. Cate

    November 7, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Agreed. I didn’t make it to the closet yesterday and had a world class meltdown with/on/next to my kids. When I was done and had come up for air – I apologized. I told them that there were many things pulling at me right now and I was having a little trouble keeping it all together.
    Thanks for writing about this.

  21. RobbJ

    November 7, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for saying/writing what all the rest of us think. Yes, it DOES suck! (..a lot at times!)

    • Regretful Dad

      July 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Parenthood definitely sucks. It’s the worst decision a person could make in life. You waste a huge chunk of your precious life as someone else’s caretaker with nothing in return. I guess if you look at it from a charitable perspective, you are giving to help others but you created those others intentionally so all that time wasted is really just cleaning up your own mess. I am sure I will get a ton of hisses for this post but I am at least truly aware of my feelings and willing to express them. If I had to do it all over again, a billion out of a billion I would choose to stay childless and stay free.

      The thing that’s criminal is the BS promotion existing parents do to married couple about how awesome being a parent is and all that nonsense. Never a word about endless temper tantrums that go on to 3-4-5-6 who knows maybe forever, behavioral problems, whining, clinginess, the financial expense which is ridiculous, cleaning, cooking, buying clothes, etc. So it’s important for people considering having kids to hear from people like me.I pray I can save at least one soul the burden of parenthood so that they may have a free and happy life.

      And yes, I love my children very much. I just wish I had made different choices as I would have had such a happy life.

      • Jo

        April 29, 2015 at 7:16 am

        Agee totally!

      • Another quietly disappointed parent

        May 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        I’m in the same position. When they become teenagers it just changes the specific problems around a little.

        The costs for them to drive a car is absurd. Fucking college will cost you your retirement. It is 2 decades of thanklessness.

        I’m posting anonymously since I don’t want my kids to ever find this (I started this shit after all, it really has nothing to do with them). I desperately don’t want my kids to have kids (or even to get married) but of course, outside of this website, it’s not proper to tell them that.

    • Chas

      November 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      I hate, hate, hate parenthood. And did I tell you I hated parenthood? I love my boys but it’s not unconditional. Often I just want to throw in the towel, curl up in a corner like a wounded animal and just die in peace. My spouse and me are fully unaligned. She’s a helicopter, professional, by-the-book mother. So what I let my boys watch golf or football with me, that’s what defines me; and I want to share my interests with my sons. Yet, she sees it only as screen time. Go f*** yourself you obsessed mental case. And I’m the one on meds; krikes, I wouldn’t be if you weren’t the Kaiser you are. A marriage on life support dealing with three boys under the age of 9 who suck every little bit of energy out of you. Someone please, just put a bullet in my f’n head.

      • Jo

        April 29, 2015 at 7:18 am


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