New Study Finds That Being A Mum Can Be Bad For Your Mental Health

Taking care of everyone and everything, while being abysmally exhausted, and feeling like the entire weight of everyone’s life is on your shoulders is a common feeling to many mothers, but this same familiar experience can slowly but surely chip away at your mental and general health according to new findings.

It’s not like moms need research or studies to prove what they live every day of their lives, but two recent studies confirmed it: Mothers are overworked, overtired, overextended, and all of it takes a giant toll on their mental and physical health.

The first study looked at all the “invisible labor” mothers perform and how it affects their mental health. Published in the journal Sex Roles, researchers noted that although men do more of the housework and childcare than in the past, women still take on the managerial tasks of the household. Oh, and they do this while employed.

READ ALSO: Why New Dads May Also Suffer From Postnatal Depression- Study Reveals

For example, 9 out of 10 women say they are the ones responsible for organizing their family’s schedules. And 7 out of 10 are basically the “family nags,” assigning chores to everyone and making sure they get done. Most women claim to take on the role of “family therapist,” helping their kids navigate their emotional lives – which, of course, means that women often feel responsible for everyone’s happiness.

Unsurprisingly, this level of responsibility resulted in “strong, unique links” to distress among moms, as well as lower levels of satisfaction with life, relationships, and marriage. Women also reported feeling totally overwhelmed with parenting, and that they had almost no time for self-care.

Another bit of recently published research, based on a survey by Orlando Health, looked at the experience of moms in their “fourth trimester” (the first three months after giving birth). They found that a whopping 40% of new moms ended up feeling depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed during this time.

And although 63% of moms were just as concerned about their own health after they had babies, only 37% felt they had the time or resources to tend to it. In fact, 1/3 of women were so embarrassed about what their bodies were undergoing since giving birth that they neglected to discuss these things with their doctors. So many of us just think we are supposed to soldier through, no matter how depressed or anxious we feel postpartum.

READ ALSO: US First Daughter, Ivanka Trump Finally Talks About Her Battle With Postnatal Depression After 3 Kids

Again, most moms don’t need studies to tell them that modern motherhood — with its relentless and unattainable expectations and demands — is overwhelming and that our mental and physical health is suffering a major consequence of it all.

However, it’s about time that experts in the field became more cognizant of this fact – and that, hopefully, society as a whole work on helping mothers unburden a little more.

It’s no joke when people say that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t be the mother you want to be if you don’t take care of your own needs too. We don’t really have a choice in the matter – going to therapy, making that appointment with your doctor, and being open about what if bothering you – is so vital.

So many of us are strong AF, and are able to get through this shitshow while also finding little ways to take care of ourselves. But none of us can do it alone. It takes a village — not just to care for a child, but to care for a mother too — and sadly, many of us are lacking this.

I’m hoping that by talking about this all – and having more experts and professionals talk about it too – that eventually mother will be cared for and tended to with all the love and attention they bestow onto others. It’s about damn time.

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