Why is it important to talk about maternal mental health? Well, there are obvious reasons and a few less-considered reasons.
The ‘no shit Sherlock’ reason is that if a mother feels overwhelmed, burdened and stressed, life for her is not happy. Not only does this state of mind feel like shit. The ripples of her unhappiness echo through her children, relationships, work, society and even time itself.
A less-considered reason is that a mother is one of the foundational cornerstones of society. In ancient times, the mother figure was revered as the source of life, the beating heart of the home and the font where love and abundance flowed.
In modern times, sad to say, our mother icon has plummeted from goddess to the depths of being taken for granted. Society shames and financially punishes mothers for staying at home with their children while equally shaming and punishing mothers for going to work. It’s a no-win for either option. Add to this judgement, a dearth of empathy and understanding, social media comparisons, isolation, lack of sleep, economic pressures, loss of identity, and adjusting to a new family dynamic. It’s no wonder mothers in our modern society are run down, burnt out, fed up and miserable.
Of course, I am generalising here. But, with soaring statistics of perinatal mental illness. Notably, postnatal depression, and suicide being the leading cause of death for mothers in the first year after birth. These are the lesser-considered reasons why we all need a wake-up call, and the paradox of how your life is affected by maternal mental health comes down to one thing.
Mothers have superpowers.
Along the same lines of creating life, her inner reality determines the future of generations to come. Many mothers equal many babies. All growing into members of our society. On some level, you will undoubtedly have a connection with these members. Through work, socialising, relationships, suppliers for your food, utilities, politics. Or perhaps adverse encounters such as violence, theft, and crime. However you see it and whether you want to see it or not. We are all connected by less than a few degrees. These connections shape your reality. They influence your world experience in either a good, a…