After having a conversation with a good friend of mine the other evening, I came to the realization that motherhood, specifically for new or first-time moms, is not discussed nearly enough in contemporary society. Postpartum depression, frustration, loneliness and isolation are things that can impact a woman shortly after she gives birth, yet no one seems to be informed about the issue.
My friend explained to me that despite how overjoyed she is with her new baby, she feels a multitude of other emotions as well. Think about women who work full-time who begin maternity leave after giving birth. Their entire lives and schedules change drastically, and what were busy, stimulating days are now house-bound, isolated days while raising a new baby.
I realize I sound rather callous. Babies and children are precious gifts in our lives, and many people struggle for years to have one of their own. However, I truly believe that life after giving birth is an extremely difficult, frustrating time, and many women endure this period without question or even communication, leaving themselves anxious and burdened by their own emotions.
A double-standard exists towards mothers in today’s society. Because we have been conditioned to believe women are the main caregivers in a familial context, it is expected that the woman will take time off to raise a child, while the man continues to work. In situations where these roles are reversed, though, men are idolized and are seen as incredible fathers for sacrificing their careers for their children.
How is this right, or just? New mothers fail to receive credit or recognition for the work they do and the time they sacrifice for their baby, but men are praised when they choose to take this route. I am unsure if this attitude will ever cease to exist, but it is certainly something that demands more acknowledgement.
Photo credit: <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/author/aeabaf”>kevinq2000</a> on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/614387″>VisualHunt</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”> CC BY-NC</a>