Addiction in Society

Addiction—the thematic malady for our society—entails every type of psychological and societal problem

What Happens When Mothers Don't Feel Motherly?

Mothers are supposed to feel a certain way. They don't always. Part of that spectrum is called Post-Partum Depression. Is there another end to that spectrum that isn't pathological? Read More

I'm not sure what the problem

I'm not sure what the problem is. I love my kids and do things for them, and I could see why in hard times you fall on your responsibility to them as a reason to pull yourself through, I am not ONLY my kids father and I have interests and such outside which also complete me as a person.

I don't see how this is a problem for anyone male or female. My wife is as devoted a mother as you will ever find, but there is more to her person than that.

Perhaps you missed the opening paragraph?

You say:

"I don't see how this is a problem for anyone male or female."

The front page of the New York Times says:

"A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought."

Why does she need to be saved?

Is being a non-child centered person after becoming a parent so frowned upon that anyone who feels this way *must* need to be saved?

A child joins our lives and yes, they require a lot of care but parenthood is not the sole-defining factor of who we are as people once we have managed to pro-create unless we allow it to be such.

In fact, it isn't healthy to obsess about one thing. It is, however, healthy to have a range of varied interests to keep our minds challenged and healthy. If all we do is focus on our kids, we essentially put our heads in the sand for the rest of the life swirling around us.

As an advocate who has helped countless women through various issues on the Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder "spectrum" as you call it, this non-child centric issue is often not a contributing factor in most cases. Many mothers with a PMAD on the spectrum do indeed love their children very much and want DESPERATELY to parent and mother their children but find themselves unable to do so as quickly as the "fairy books" say we should.

So they fight, tooth and nail, to become the parent they long to be. The majority of them are not doing this to impress society or fit in with the Joneses at the end of the street - it's because it's what they believed parenting to be pre or during pregnancy.

Some are shocked to discover that they are not the parents they thought they would be and yes, that IS indeed and adjustment issue but there are still very real psychological (and physical conditions such as thyroid issues, anemia, and other vitamin/mineral deficiencies to name a few) conditions which do occur during pregnancy and post-pregnancy that should absolutely not be discounted in the way you do in this piece.

In the course of healing and the parenthood learning curve, many of these mothers (myself included) learn quite a bit about themselves, about parenting, and about interacting mindfully with those around them. This often leads to living very fulfilled lives.

I would dare say that it's not the mother who needs to be saved but society as a whole - perhaps it's time we woke up and realized that entire worlds do not need to revolve around the children in our lives and that if we have varied interests it will model a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for generations to come.

Perhaps we've become too obsessed with parenting and are failing to parent/mother the people who really matter most in the equation - ourselves.

Some women have always felt "un-motherly" but kept it quiet because motherhood was their only valued role .

The mothering instinct is a myth, and puts crazy pressure on women. Some women love being a mother and are good at it but for others it is not enough. Stuff is learned or unlearned, it takes time, it depends also on your own childhood. You can't use your child to provide you the love you never received, but it is still done. Some adult cling to the illusion of the mother’s love rather than face their true feelings towards their mother because the guilt it brings.

These days, your biology's destiny is a choice and you have control over it. Plus fathers are allowed to be more involved.

I have friends who are older than me who had none. One was married as the only to get away from home because of societal pressure, she confessed one night she did not feel motherly towards her children like it was a crime. Another one, an Irish woman of 70, was forced to a have a shot gun wedding when she became pregnant and made her children pay for being married to a no-good lad who treated her badly. Divorce in Ireland was not an option.

I grew up in a Latin – Feminine mystique - mummy rules the house and dad does the world – it was claustrophobic. Women remain “ mothers” to their boys because there lies their link to power, they refuse to get off their pedestal and be “women” again.

My mother was not motherly, I found "mother replacements " along the way.I give her a free pass because her childhood was deprived, economically and emotionally, and received little mothering from a brutal uneducated matriarch. I understand where she comes from, her needs were never met. I love her but I treat like an adult who happens to be my mother, I am not emotionally dependent for what she can’t provide. Like Chanel said I “don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door”.


"Mothers are supposed to feel a certain way. They don't always."
Does that remind me / feels like some 12 step-mtgs?

Back to topix

"Is there another end to that spectrum that isn't pathological? "

No, its just that last century you had FE families, society, religion, neighbours, culture to help with natural conditions. Humans are born Homo Sapiens, not Tiger Moms.

Damn, Andrea S. Heinz

This is 100% correct. Who figured you could hit the jackpot?

and BTW "powerless"

Has the role of *victims* become so confining that it is making us sick?

parenting, eating, learning, living...

where is "positive psychology" ? *

*as for SoberLiving look at Stanton Peele's new Book except "Halt"
for "HALT" look at Prof Ameisen

Saving your first kiss for your wedding day - really ????

Want to bet that the newly married Duggar girl is going to be a mother before the paper anniversary?
It’s a reality show, so the reality is staged and scripted.

But fracking hell, these women are not programmed to have an independent thought aren’t they?
Their parents are so controlling, it’s a cult. Reminds me of my home life growing up.

" It's for your own good child "

" Really? Because it feels like it's all about you and what you want."

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is the author of Recover! He has been a pioneer in the addiction field since publication of Love and Addiction in 1975.


Subscribe to Addiction in Society

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.