July 9, 2014

Parenting Can Be Depressing

Not to be all Billy Bummer about everything, but I've had this Times article, "The Trauma of Parenthood," open in my browser tabs for a couple of weeks now. So it's expected. Psychology and management professor Eli J. Finkel writes about the physical and mental hardships of parenting, post-partum depression, and the crush of societal and personal expectations that pile on parents' shoulders, with debilitating effects. The unexpectedly personal ending catches me up every time I see it:

As a recent parent myself, I urge you to consider this the next time someone you know greets the transition to parenthood with hopelessness or even despair. Pursue kindness over ideology. For a person whose suffering has been met with judgment, a sympathetic ear can make all the difference.
And I swear, I've meant to post it here, there's just been so much going on and--anyway.

This morning I found Ethan Zuckerman's incredibly thoughtful account of recognizing and dealing with his own high-function depression, and how it differed from the difficulties his wife faced after a miscarriage and, later, the birth of their son. It's powerful stuff, and if you recognize yourself or someone you know, it's really important reading.

The Trauma of Parenthood [nyt]
Life, only moderately messed up: understanding (my own) high-functioning depression [ethanzuckerman via @agpubic]

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