Are we thinking about our mothers enough?
Working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, pregnant mothers, single mothers, surrogate mothers, foster mothers, step mothers and so many more – Motherhood comes in different forms. But no matter in what form – the one thing common between all of them is that they prioritize and sacrifice for their families and children without expecting anything in return. From sacrificing their bodies to their happiness to their career, they compromise a whole lot. And sometimes, they don’t get anything in return.
Motherhood, despite being a blessing, can take a toll on mothers. They are humans after all. According to the data published by the World Health Organization, worldwide about 10 percent of pregnant women and 13 percent of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. A recent meta-analysis showed that about 20 percent of mothers in developing countries experience clinical depression after childbirth. These data show that mothers start experiencing mental health problems since the very beginning of their motherhood journey. Apart from this, new mothers may also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to real or perceived trauma during childbirth. Postpartum Support International (PSI) estimates that around 9 percent of women experience PTSD following childbirth.
The problems that start from childbirth continue as her journey of motherhood continues. A mother might also develop obsessive and compulsive behavioral symptoms due to her obsession to take care of her child’s hygiene. Her spouse and/or family members may often not understand her mental and emotional functioning which may lead to her isolating herself and leading to a path of loneliness. Our society doesn’t consider mental problems as important or relevant or physical problems and families don’t discover emotional malfunctioning among each other. The same with mothers. It’s very normal for mothers to develop mood disorders due to the feeling of loneliness.
In the movie The Sky is Pink, the character of Priyanka Chopra goes through a psychotic outburst due to fatigue from looking after her sick daughter. After her daughter dies, she finds herself not having a life beyond her daughter. This too is a common trait in mothers. Having children and taking care of them isolates them from the rest of her life including her husband. Feeling worthless and helpless drives her down to the path of depression.
When we talk about mothers, we can’t run away from the fact that motherhood is experienced in different situations and circumstances. Mothers from abusive households have it even worse. Apart from the aforementioned problems, mothers in such households can develop a subcategory of PTSD called Battered Woman Syndrome where she feels she deserves the abuse and isolation and can not escape the situation. Not having proper emotional support may lead to furthermore problems.
The journey of motherhood continues till old-age wherein she might start feeling insecure and scared. As her physicalities start deteriorating, she depends more and more on her children. And if the same is not reciprocated, she might feel betrayed, and alone, and develop other psychological symptoms.
So, let me ask you all a few questions…
How many of you have seen any of these problems in your mothers?
How many of you have asked your mom if she feels alright?
How many of you think your mom needs therapy?
How many of you have taken your mom for psychological help?
Are we thinking about our mothers enough?
Our mothers have sacrificed their whole world for our benefit. She has worked all her life to make sure our dreams come true and we are happy. Her definition of happiness may vary from ours. We might feel like she doesn’t understand us. Sometimes we might feel like she is a tad bit strict. But what we must understand is that everything she does, she does for us.
A mother’s love is unconditional. Our love for her should be too. Now, go hug your mom and tell her you are here to listen to her problems.
She made sure you get everything. It’s time you reciprocate that for her!