Lack of spousal support

Time and time again, I am reminded of how grateful I am to have a husband who has been incredibly supportive of my struggles with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. As I talk to other Warrior Moms, the lack of understanding and compassion from spouses is appalling. “Suck it up” is not an appropriate response. That was an actual response from a husband to his wife who struggled mightily not only with postpartum depression, but also with postpartum psychosis. When I heard that response come out of his mouth, I glared at him. He understood after the fact that his response lacked compassion and empathy.

I am fuming after yet another local case of infanticide that was incorrectly reported as depression.  Why do we shame mamas into silence?  When mamas reach out for help, they are dismissed.  They are seen as “too emotional”, “too sleep deprived”, and “too sensitive”.  The majority of the household managing and child raising falls largely on mamas regardless of whether they stay at home, work from home, or work outside the home.  We do not have the family or social support that we used to.  We live in ever-increasing isolation.  As the lovely Lauren Hale stated so eloquently in this post, “Our village is in peril. Our village? FELL THE FUCK APART AND NO ONE GIVES A DAMN.”

Depression feeds on this isolation.  When I was depressed, I could not even think about reaching out to anyone.  I could not manage the strength to keep up any friendships.  I just put my shoulder to the grindstone and soldiered through each day until  I hit my wall.  I waited too long to get help.  I struggled through my entire pregnancy with severe anxiety.  I was not diagnosed until seven months postpartum with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.  I struggled for over a year.

What has to happen before we stand up and take action? My husband has suggested that partners and dads (not the mama who just gave birth or adopted a baby) be given a sheet of signs to watch out for.  Everyone needs to be educated on perinatal mood disorders.  Oftentimes, a mama is so sick that she does not have the energy or the strength to advocate for herself.  Dads, partners, friends and parents, educate yourselves.  Let’s start a national conversation about the disgraceful state of maternal mental health ins this country.  Here is a place to start:  I support this petition whole-heartedly.  The village needs to assist.  This is not just a women’s issue; it is a family issue.  Families are in crisis, and it is time that we stand up and do something about it.


About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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4 Responses to Lack of spousal support

  1. dyane says:

    Thank you so much for writing this…for some reason I didn’t see it come up on Monday, which was my husband’s birthday! I don’t want to miss a single one of your posts.

    Like your husband, Craig has been supportive with my mood disorder: postpartum bipolar disorder. Your husband sounds amazing, and I am so happy you have him in your life. Thank you also for supporting the petition! take good care, Dyane

  2. jess says:

    I completely agree. There should be screenings at the postpartum appointments. There should be sheets for mom and dad handed out at the hospital. There needs to be more education so that you won’t feel shamed and people won’t be so dumb as to think it’s just being tired or not being able to handle being a mom.

    Before I knew all of this I thought infanticide was just a mom being out of control or “crazy.” It’s amazing how different your views are. It’s a mom crying out for help and not getting it. So sad.

    • Yes. The lack of education out there is stunning to me. I also thought that infanticide was a mom being “crazy”, and now I react to those cases with so much compassion and love. We all need love, compassion, and understanding.

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