Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts while driving around, which is a good thing to do to stimulate my brain and prevent me from going nuts. Sometimes it feels like an intelligent conversation with a grown-up, albeit a bit one-sided one (with me being the silent one, which is rare). So Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond are the great minds behind Dear Sugar, which I have been listening to and enjoying.
This episode hit me in all the feels: Dear Sugar: Moms who Hate Motherhood. I admire and respect the letter writers from this episode of Dear Sugar, not because I hate motherhood, but because the letter writers speak from their deepest story to reveal their ambivalence about motherhood. This admission is an act of bravery, because it is so taboo in our culture to challenge the archetype of the Self-Sacrificing Mother.
I think the Dear Sugars did a great job of unpacking some of the letter-writers issues. Each of the letter writers expresses discomfort with the drudgery of being a mom, which includes piles and piles of laundry; cooking meals that are not loved; being climbed on; not being able to go the bathroom by yourself; and guilt about wanting to be away from your kids, and guilt about not being a good enough parent. I think each of the letter writers has gone through some level of postpartum mood disorder, which is something I’ve gone through. I think this problem is more widespread than we let on as women, and I think there might be a lot of reasons why.
but I want to talk more about postpartum here, and why it is so difficult to be a mom in our culture right now.