A good friend of mine who is the mother of two little ones AND runs her own business just questioned if she is a bad mother- partially due to the glee she feels when dropping said kiddos off at school. (Ummm raise your hand if you’ve never shared that sentiment) Well, hearing about her internal struggle really hit home.
I’ve been thinking about motherhood a lot these days. And here’s what I have to say about it:
There should be in-home support for new mothers and three months paid leave, covered by insurance.
We are severely missing the mark in our current approach to addressing postpartum adjustment (why do we call it depression? Depression is a chronic chemical condition often inherited.) It is an adjustment. An adjustment to the immediate switch from being an individual to being the individual responsible for the most important thing in the world; your child. The transformation into a person who must now inform another before doing anything, even using the bathroom.
Infancy is a precious time you can never get back, time most moms are wrought with exhaustion that feeds confusion and emotional outbursts. A time that would most definitely benefit from maternal support. It should be expected that mothers be well rested and cared for throughout their child’s infancy.
I for one know, had I simply had the opportunity to get the proper amount of sleep, I would have been more tuned in. I would most likely remember those magical moments with detail instead of relying on pictures.
As a society we should be ashamed of our ambivalence. The role of a mother has been completely redefined over the past few decades. We work, at first we worked because we wanted to. We deserved to. NOW-most of us NEED to, whether we want to or not.
With this new all consuming expectation one would think other expectations would naturally adjust. Quite the contrary!!! These days moms are expected to work, cook, run the family home and all that comes with that, take professional pictures every few months, plan birthday parties- not the Betty Crocker have the aunts and uncles over for pizza type of birthday parties. Oh no! That simply will NOT do. Today’s birthday parties have professionally decorated cakes with hand made invitations, favors and decorations. And don’t forget to get those thank you notes out within 48 hours!!!!
Wait, we should also be fashionable, up on political affairs, diet, exercise, and of course planning the activities and coverages for the children so we can actually GO to work.
Is your head spinning?
Now imagine you just went 24 hours without eating, 62 hours without sleeping, were in severe pain from a surgery or delivery and then, in that moment-that’s when you were expected to complete today’s “motherly responsibilities.”
We don’t need sympathy. We don’t want compromise. We deserve change.