“We can opt for hatred of hatred…or instead we can take as a model for our social as well as psychological well-being the complex, often painful reality of motherhood.”
Dark Side of the Mum is an Instagram community, an upcoming podcast and ultimately my next book – about the dark side of motherhood.
Currently, many mothers who are evidently struggling beyond the two weeks post-partum ‘baby blues’ can raise alarm bells with health visitors and midwives and are at risk of being given a diagnosis of a post-partum illness. This can contribute to the repression and shaming of the shadow side of mothering, making the true nature of motherhood, and all its messiness, forbidden and unmentionable. We are split between mothers with, and mothers without a post-partum disorder.
I am researching our current understanding of post-partum illnesses and in particular how mothers relate to their diagnosis – to what extent it serves and limits their experience of motherhood when their symptoms are diagnosed as ‘abnormal’ in some way.
Did you ever suspect you had post partum depression? Did you want a diagnosis or fear it? If you received one, how did it shape/impact your experience? What type of support was received? What type of support was lacking/wanted/needed? If you are willing to share your experience of motherhood, confidentially, please take part in my survey here.
My mission with my podcast and book is two-fold – to destigmatise the dark side of motherhood, and to raise awareness of the normality of negative thoughts and feelings towards ourselves and our babies during this phenomenal transition women go through. I also want to unpack and uncover the impact of the current medicalisation of maternal mental health on mothers and on society as a whole.
Dark Side of the Mum is currently a growing Instagram community which you can join at @dark_side_of_the_mum.
The podcast and book will be a collection of mother-mother dialogues sharing stories about the messy side of motherhood, so we can re-frame what it means to ‘not cope’, reduce shame, and make space for the heavenly parts of motherhood in a more authentic and realistic way.
To take part in my survey on motherhood, click here.
Details about the book and podcast will be published shortly. If you are interested in hearing more, or contributing to either book or podcast please do get in touch.