Thursday, February 5, 2009

Motherhood Crazies

This wasn't at all what I was going to write about today, but I really wanted to share something, or I should say someone, I stumbled upon today while listening to NPR.

On Wednesday's broadcast of The State of Things on our local affiliate WUNC, the discussion was about Postpartum Depression (PPD) and it's effects on both mother and child's health as well as how it is treated and responded to in our current society. According to the show at least 15% of new mothers experience PPD, but most experts believe that number is low as many mothers simply do not seek help.

It was a very interesting discussion and wonderful to learn that some of the greatest advances in helping PPD moms are being made right here in the Triangle. (Click here to listen.)

However, the most exciting thing to me was one of the panelists they had participating. Faulkner Fox is a local author and mother who has written a book about her experiences with new motherhood called, Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life: or How I Learned to Love the House, the Man, the Child. I was very intrigued simply by the title but also her contributions to the discussion. She was speaking about the pressures to be the 'perfect' mother that society places on mothers. To say I was doing my best bobble-head impression would be underestimating my reaction. I found myself identifying with so much of what she was saying.

After listening to the discussion on my drive home from playgroup, I quickly logged on to the library site to see if her book was available. I intend to check it out as soon as possible and devour as time allows. Want to join me?

In the meantime, I also found myself nodding in agreement while reading an article she has written about mommies judging other mommies and the harmful effects of this kind of behavior. In all honesty, I've found the constant judgments from other parents to be one of the greatest challenges of being a new parent. And, I'm guilty of it myself. I've found my network of mommy bloggers to be one of mostly support but occasionally there are lurkers out there waiting to spew their ugliness (see anonymous commenter on this post of Steph's or Razzle on Kristen's fabulous post).

For my part, I try to be honest in my writing about the challenges, emotional ups and downs, and stresses of motherhood. I try not to hide it. I prefer not to just write about the happiness that my son and family bring me but also my struggles. I want other mothers to know that being a mother is not easy... not for me anyway.

So, I guess what I want to know from you is how can we change it? How do we stop with the ridiculous judgments and move forward to form a community of mommies? How will you yourself make an effort to change?

Crossposted at My Sweet Babboo. An avid listener of WUNC, Abby usually hears less than half of the each article because her toddler is loudly demanding more food. Read more about her life with Linus at My Sweet Babboo.

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