Mothers Mental Health#2
As an expat living Down Under , I can tell through experience that quiet a number of us are missing the much needed family support. Being in charge of a family entails a need for handling never-ending responsibilities and laborious tasks. If it was only about you , it would be really easy to take a break at times. However it isn’t. When you are a mother you are always on the go whether its feeding, bathing and cleaning after the little ones. One is always on their toes. Besides home management is no mean feat. It takes a lot of organizing, planning and not to forget loads of laborious tasks once again related to cooking laundry and what not.
Recently , around the time when my daughters pre- school was about to come to a close. I vividly remember feeling that I was on the edge of my tethers. There was a certain feeling of having reached an end, of having lost all feelings of doing any work or even thinking about it. However sitting and pondering over it was not a luxury I could afford. This was accompanied by a few other things like-
- Excessive fatigue
- not feeling or being productive
- feeling the urge to escape
- feeling a desperate need to be away from the kids; not to deny a growing sense of irritability
- a heightened sense of emotions
- mostly waiting for the holidays rather than living in the present
- All I wanted to do was to do nothing. Neither did I have the sense to take myself to the doctor. It was the lowest point That I could reach even though I could not tell the exact reason for it. All I knew was that I needed to escape somewhere.
This was very real and I assumed then it was a burnout which had overcome me like no other and I could go on to make the assumption that It could be bordering on depression. Depression I can confidently say is very real as a lot of people will tell you. Thankfully today a lot of awareness exists today courtesy social media. What I know about it is that it takes upon you almost like any other illness and don’t even let any spiritual or moralistic brigade tell you otherwise. When you are not doing well every aspect of your life suffer . It can happen to anyone anytime. Its a part of life and has nothing to do with not being religious or strong enough, whoever tells you that needs to be educated. As a mother you are your first care-taker. A lot is dependent on you. Do not brush your personal well-being under the carpet.
The person who is sometimes taken for granted the most is the mother in the family. In certain cultures like the Indian culture as well their is an absence of ‘shared’ work load where there is an existence of stereotyping, where women are solely carrying out the tasks and day to day duties of the home. At times our women are buried under huge responsibilities of managing not only her own responsibilities but also her extended family. Thankfully my mother in law back home was co-operative and not to count out the additional help available there but I am aware that a lot of women back home are caught in a rut of immense labour and strain both mental and physical.
As a society we are quick to look down upon women for nagging their husbands and being irritable in general. At the same time all that we do is readily take her for granted. As children or as a husband we expect the women to put our meal on the table in time, do our laundry and keep our clothes ready for our school or office ready. Not to forget those cooking and making arrangements for those weekend social get-togethers. However how ready we are to judge the women for being complaining and negative as soon all the hard work and responsibilities start taking a toll over her and her personality begins to suffer completely not to forget her physical appearance , to sum up her mental health. I am fortunate enough to have the liberty if I want those social get-togethers. Personally, we usually enjoy our get togethers away from home where I am not the one arranging the food. However not all women have the privilege of that ‘choice’.
However it is becoming of those other members in the family to take some time to evaluate and provide assistance to those suffering through this distress in the best possible way because the mother’s well being is related to the well being of everyone around her. Not every time is she going to ask for this help !