"Think before you breed"

I know, kinda sensational for a blog title but it's a direct quote taken from one of the many comments on this article.  Quite a variety of perspectives going on over there.

The article itself isn't surprising to me but it appears that it is to some of the people commenting which is why I wanted to mention it. I've talked about postpartum depression and very normal, less than storybook maternal feelings and reactions to motherhood here before. How myths place unrealistic expectations on females, how the myths themselves create standards and judgments that prevent a mom from telling someone she feels overwhelmed, nothing, or even homicidal.

We don't do ourselves or our children any favors by building each other up to automatically be perfect mommies just by the virtue of giving birth. Hormones, the sound of our heartbeats and voices in utero, and eye and skin contact upon birth aren't enough to carry us through the day to day realities of parenting and life.

In the article they talk about isolation being one of the factors linking cases of mothers murdering their children together.

What could be more isolating than being pregnant or parenting and not having the expected, supposedly natural and always present, conception and birth induced, perfect, sweet, protective, maternal feelings being perpetuated by motherhood myths?

I mean seriously, just who exactly are you going to tell? Sadly, sometimes tragically, probably nobody.


  1. I do not think that biology alone makes someone a perfect parent. Especially when someone has no desire to parent to begin with. I don't think it's a good thing to be in a home where you aren't wanted, no matter whom in that home one is biologically related to or not.

    But I do think that encouraging someone who wants to parent and wants to be in their child's life to see their worth to their child is a good thing :-)

  2. I never thought about this before but it's totally true that mothers are not allowed to have anything but "good" feelings toward their children. It's never okay for a mom to say that they can't handle motherhood or are having difficult feelings about their children. Sad. :(

  3. It is the most difficult thing in the world, knowing when to say "HELP" particularly when you are having negative or "unacceptable" feelings towards your own child. And no, biology doesn't always make you the ideal parent, but it is a good start.

  4. I had post-partum depression after the birth of my first child (now 12 years old). It was very a very shameful time for me because I did not feel happy like I was supposed to. Luckily I asked for help and got it in spades - especially from my dad who had an aunt who jumped out a 20-story window shortly after giving birth. I believe new mothers should be "looked after" no matter who they are as PPD is very real.

  5. Thank Kris, very much. You're one of the most dedicated moms I 'know' and I think it's extremely important for those of us who are feeling ok as moms to support and have compassion for the women who are not.

    "It was a very shameful time for me because I did not feel happy like I was SUPPOSED TO.

    This is what I'm trying to get at. The post wasn't intended to be about biology alone not making people perfect parents although I appreciate you reiterating that point Amanda. This isn't about wanting to parent and not being encouraged to.

    Thank you too Lori for acknowledging that having negative or unacceptable feelings toward your own child makes asking for help one of the most difficult things in the world.

    Campbell B, not sure if society being more realistic about motherhood would have had any impact on your mom and then as a result you, but you never know. I'm glad you read and commented here. Maybe you or a friend will find yourself in this situation and you'll know enough to help or get help. Thanks : )


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