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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

World's Worst Mom?

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This is the story we talked about this morning... from the Daily Mail.

 

 

My son Stuart was five days old when the realisation hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life.

 

Even now, 33 years on, I can still picture the scene: Stuart was asleep in his crib. He was due to be fed but hadn't yet woken. 

 

I heard him stir but as I looked at his round face on the brink of wakefulness, I felt no bond. No warm rush of maternal affection.

 

I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.

 

 

I was 22 when I had Stuart, who was a placid and biddable baby. So, no, my feelings were not sparked by tiredness, nor by post-natal depression or even a passing spell of baby blues.

Quite simply, I had always hated the idea of motherhood. In that instant, any lingering hope that becoming a mum would cure me of my antipathy was dispelled. 

 

I remember asking myself, 'Is he really mine?' He could, quite literally, have been anyone's baby. Had a kind stranger offered to adopt him at that moment, I would not have objected. 

 

Still, I wished no harm on Stuart and invested every ounce of my energy in caring for him. Even so, I know my life would have been much happier and more fulfilled without children.

Two years and four months after Stuart was born, I had my daughter Jo. It may seem perverse that I had a second child in view of my aversion to them, but I believe it is utterly selfish to have an only one. 

 

Isabella Dutton would have been happier not having children

Isabella Dutton would have been happier not having children

I felt precisely the same indifference towards her as I had to Stuart, but I knew I would care for Jo to the best of my ability, and love her as I'd grown to love him.

 

Yet I dreaded her dependence; resented the time she would consume, and that like parasites, both my children would continue to take from me and give nothing meaningful back in return.

 

Whenever I've told friends I wished I'd never had them, they've gasped with shock. 'You can't mean that?' But, of course, I do.

 

To some, my life before I had the children may have seemed humdrum and my job as a typist was, it's true, not much of a career. So what was the great sacrifice, you might think? 

 

What I valued most in my life was time on my own; to reflect, read and enjoy my own company and peace of mind. And suddenly that peace and solitude wasn't there any more. There were two small interlopers intruding on it. And I've never got that peace back.

 

I don't know why I feel as I do. I'm one of five siblings and was raised in a happy family by loving parents. Dad was in the Army; Mum, whom he met while posted in Germany, brought us up in the West Midlands. 

 

Mum and I were close; even as an adult I could always confide in her. My childhood was very happy and conventional. Like most little girls I played with dolls. But I never recall a time when I wanted those make-believe games of motherhood to become a reality.

 

I know there are millions who will consider me heinously cold-blooded and unnatural, but I believe there will also be those who secretly feel the same.

It's just that I have been honest - some may contend brutally so - and admitted to my true feelings. In doing so I have broken a supposedly inviolable law of nature. What kind of mother, after all, wishes she hadn't had children?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2303588/The-mother-says-having-children-biggest-regret-life.html#ixzz2QCECJ6au 


 

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