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Karla Tenório: “I’m a repentant mother and I’m not ashamed of it anymore”

Can one regret becoming a mother? Yes, but it cannot be said. Or rather, it is possible, but running the risk of being looked at with perplexity or contempt by the interlocutor on duty.

To expose himself, uncovering the veil of Pandora, he thought about it, in Brazil, Karla Tenório, actress and writer 38-year-old who on Instagram opened the @maearrependida profile, in Portuguese repentant mother, giving life to a real movement of women who, if they could go back, would not give birth to children.

What he says is very clear: “I love my daughter but I hate being a mother.” An undoubtedly strong sentence that seems a paradox but it is not.

On the contrary, however, it poses a complex question to be addressed, especially in Italy, but not only, given that an open debate on motherhood does not exist and the interpretation is unique: being a mother is beautiful and every woman considers this the greatest joy. .

Undoubtedly for many it is so but for the others? For those who do not see the fulfillment of life in having children and do not want children or, worse, makes them pushed by external pressures, but then regrets it?

For them there is no way out, no shoulder to lean on, no forgiveness.

To say enough of this one-way thought he thought about it Karla Tenório, who, unsurprisingly, is receiving conflicting opinions on his work. Those who consider her a horrible person and those who credit her for taking the responsibility of saying things as they are, at least for some women.

Quasi 19,000 followers of the Instagram page so far, women from all over the world who tell her their forced maternity stories every day and who would never do it again.


Karla, how did the idea of ​​creating this group come about?

“What prompted me was the desire to talk about compulsory motherhood and reflect on the cruel social and psychological pressure imposed on women who do not like being mothers, indeed they hate the maternal act, so that they feel welcomed in their pain, transforming motherhood into something that can be exercised in individual, different and plural ways. D.I usually say that the Instagram profile Mãe Arrependida was the green light to address this issue, and personally to be able to absolve myself as a repentant mother. In addition to the social page, Mãe Arrependida is also a theatrical performance which I strongly wanted because I believe in art as a vehicle for social transformation, capable of unhinging ideas rooted in the depths of our moralistic conscience ».


Karla is not the first repentant mom to say this publicly. Before her in 2017 she had addressed the issue Israeli sociologist Orna Donath, in her book Repent of Being a Mothers, in which almost thirty women interviewed, just like the Brazilian actress, they claimed to love their children madly but not to put up with everything else, that is, the social ritual of being a parent, the tasks, the obligations, the things that cannot be done, those that must necessarily be understood, psychological pressures and social expectations.

“The ambivalence between being a repentant mother and loving my daughter is not contradictory. It starts from the awareness that motherhood and the human being are different things. My daughter and I respect and love each other in our individuality. This is the relationship we are building together, based on love and truth, ”explains Karla, who asks why has given birth to a daughter while not wanting her, he replies frankly.


«I was never convinced but at the beginning I let myself be carried away by the enthusiasm of my partner. With hindsight I realized that I had indulged a desire not mine, and this has led to postpartum depression and over time to an almost continuous sense of inadequacy and frustration. I had closed in on myself, I was thinking only of the child, I wanted to be a good mother at all costs but it was no longer me ».

Now, 10 years later, with the acceptance of her own psychological situation and a daughter she adores and defines as an incredible girl, things have improved considerably.

What does it mean to you to be a repentant mom today?

“Struggle every day to move forward, without getting depressed or lowering my head, not giving up on love, having patience and carrying the truth in your voice”.

Do many women write to you who find themselves in your situation?

«Yes, there are many people all over the world who share the same thoughts as me and just as many who live in even more dramatic situations, especially in my land. Unfortunately, Brazil is a sexist country and many women and girls are victims of abuse and violence that society does not care about and to which no one listens “.

What do you feel like saying to a woman who is experiencing motherhood this way and feels guilty?

“Free yourself and know that there are many of us out there. You are not alone, open up to us and you will not be judged. Relax, finally saying what you feel won’t make you a monster. Love comes only when the guilty one goes away ».

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