The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood: Coping with Stress, Depression, and Burnout
Title: The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood: Coping with Stress, Depression, and Burnout
Author: Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett
Discusses ways to cope with the stress, depression, anger, and relationship changes that can afflict new mothers and addresses special problems faced by mothers who have survived abuse or who have lost a child.
In the popular imagination, motherhood is supposed to evoke fresh-faced kisses, moments of sweet connection, and indescribably powerful feelings of love and devotion. But motherhood can also mean laser-hot rage and feelings of powerlessness and frustration. Mothering is a job with awesome responsibilities, very low pay, and not a lot of respect or support. It’s work that can push women to their limits, and a more-than-full-time job that demands they be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for year after year. In fact, depression is such a normal occurrence in new mothers that the American Psychological Association identifies being a young mother as an independent risk factor for depression. For some, depression is a condition that begins with a case of postpartum blues and drags on, unacknowledged, into a child’s teens. For others, often the most motivated, unrelenting stress builds into a state of total exhaustion and burnout when the basic support and encouragement that could get life back on track go unasked for and never quite materialize. In The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood, a psychologist and postpartum depression expert takes on the dark side of being a mother and helps mothers come to terms with negative feelings and learn how to cope more effectively. She explores the often unspoken factors that lead to stress, depression, and burnout, and covers coming to terms with a negative birth experience, postpartum depression, loss of intimacy with a partner, anger, and feeling trapped. Chapters on alternative work options outside the home and housework offer a variety of thoughtful suggestions to help make the burden of the “second shift” less draining. Additional chapters cover the special challenges of mothers who are survivors of child abuse, mothering after loss of child, and parenting fussy, difficult, or differently abled children.