should stop having babies, because obviously they feel overwhelmed or sad or they lost their freedom… If having a baby depresses them then, stop having them,” all in a well-modulated and apparently caring tone of voice. She does care that the children deserve more than a depressed mother. So does the husband, she pointed out. She even mentioned the mom herself. And I believe she was sincere.
She is probably not alone in her thinking. At first glance, it makes sense, right? Babies make you depressed, so stop having them. Like…, eating shrimp makes you break out in hives, so stop eating shrimp. Even if you love eating shrimp, you break out in hives. So stop.
Oh wait. You love your children? Even though you tend to get depressed (that’s Depression, not “depressed”) during the perinatal period, you love your children. …so..stop having them???
Fortunately, it’s not that simple, and there are things you can do if you do find yourself experiencing depression (or anxious, or having scary thoughts, or panicking, etc.). But that’s another post. (It’s all the other on topic posts here, and the very reason we exist.)
So what is flawed with this woman’s line of thinking?
Part of it is that the women she is talking about (the ones with postpartum depression) aren’t having a moment of “I wish I didn’t have this child” or “I’m having a crappy day with the kids” kind of depression. Maybe it’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t had the experience. All the women I know who have had “PPD” and have talked to over the past decade have loved their children immensely. Some tried for years to have them, and yet when they finally did have that long anticipated baby, they became (D)epressed and/or Anxious.
Anyway, I hope she has a nice Mother’s Day tomorrow.