What Postnatal Depression Taught Me About Gender Roles.
Kristie De Garis
1006

Oofty, what an amazing bit of writing. I can identify with so much of this, the having to cope, the deep resentment of my husband which endures at times as I realise that yet again, the buck stops with me. I am responsible for everything in our house and if something goes wrong, something is disappointing, doesn’t happen or is forgotten then it is entirely my fault. I organise birthdays, parties, presents, clothes, extracurricular activities, fucking Christmas, school holidays, family holidays, doctors appointments, the dentist, hair appointments, play dates, sleepovers, expectations and emotions.

If my family visit and the house is a mess then it is me that isn’t pulling her weight even though I work a very demanding job that requires I work most weekends. I have been accused of being too busy doing things for myself and that I should concentrate more on my family. I have been told that I am very lucky to have my husband because ‘he loves his kids’. I have been told I am very lucky to have my husband because ‘he doesn’t beat me’.

I do get the occasional bit of praise but it is far outweighed with the criticism I receive for ‘being lazy’, ‘not being available enough’ for ‘not organising my time properly’. I often feel exhausted by it all. My house gives me the fear it is so out of control and money is a constant worry because although I would get paid more than my husband pro rata, I decided (!) to work part time so that I can ‘get time with the kids’ = tidy and keep the house in a habitable and hygenic state and ensure the family has clean clothes to wear. I will also get less pension for deciding to be lazy and work part time so that I can pick my children up from school twice a week, so that I can be emotionally available to them even for a short while during the working week. This means I am going to be more reliant on a partner if our generation is ever able to retire at any time.

I totally understand the imp of the mind following having my children, those toxic thoughts ripped through me causing panic attacks and making me shake with disgust. I resented my husband so badly for him not even entertaining having the snip after our third child, thoughts of him leaving me and having another child, perhaps a boy with another women tortured me because I am spent. This body will never give life again. So I went and got the coil, yet again infiltrating my body with foreign things that fucked with my mind as fake hormones surged about my body. It all seemed so fucking unfair. I also understand closing off emotionally as every winge and moan that escaped my childrens mouth, every demand made me inwardly scream as I felt that everyone and thing wanted a piece of me.

Things are better but the daily grind and the impotent rage may never leave me. Its hard to know how to deal with it but I will cope, wine helps, sad but true. Thanks Kristie, I enjoyed that.

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