No matter our age, class, or geographic location, mothers are subjected to powerful social stigma in every part of our lives. Work, family, friends, faith-based communities…we are constantly watched, observed, and judged not merely for our own character, but for the mother-of-all socially loaded constructs: MOTHERHOOD.
Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. The gig is ultimately rigged by society, by systems of power, by our own buy-ins to the norms of ‘good enough’ motherhood. We bash, too.
The most recent versions: Conscious mothering (as if there were an unconscious alternative?), helicopter, tiger, working, stay-at-home…we clamor for acceptance by reinventing ideals. We cry for company among other mothers. We twirl the plates to have someone, anyone, see the fact that we love our children more than life itself. Regardless of how that manifests in behavior in public, every single mother loves from her bones. Each cell in our body aches with the weight of it.
Now for moms with mental illness? The shit gets real. Moms with mental illness, moms with learning differences, neurodiverse moms, moms on meds, moms who have been institutionalized, criminalized, or lost altogether to the ultimate weight of stigma through suicide, the power of bad mother stigma constantly presses on our potential.
Not here. Here, you can tell your story of how stigma impacts your life as a mother with mental differences. Tell your truth, #stigmafree. All submissions accepted. Let’s change the face of stigma. Let’s reveal the lived experience. Out loud.