I’m going to become a Mom near the end of 2016. While the unwanted life, birth and parenting advice is starting to trickle in (“You and your partner should really be married first,” “Don’t think for one second you can give birth without an epidural,” “Make sure you put your child in daycare.”) I find myself fearful about what people will think and say about me as a “Mad Mother”.
I cannot be the only Mad Parent out there that feels the pressure to go above and beyond to “prove” that they are capable.
I have been working with children, ages 18 months-13 years old, for a little over 8 years and have a background in early childhood education. I am very confident in my ability to be a Mom. But when I see pictures like this,
as a person with the Borderline Personality label, I can feel my emotions rise and desire to protect myself and my family from the mean people who may look at me and think that I will fail my child because of my label rising.
To add to the injury of this picture, I found it on Facebook, posted by a Facebook Group I “Like” that is supposed to be supportive of the BPD community. Sharing photos and “research” that blanket all women with a BPD label as being bad mothers is shameful and offensive.
I still use psychiatric services from time to time and I am terrified that the people and places that are set up to support me will only see my deficits. The entire Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is all about deficits! It is a book that tells us what we cannot do. There is never a mention of what we CAN do and how well we can do it!
Not every parent is perfect, regardless of their identity. I know that I cannot be the only Mad Parent out there that feels the pressure to go above and beyond to “prove” that they are capable. As I continue to embrace my Madness I have come to see the value that my experiences can bring to my parenting and how I can use it to enrich my child’s life.
- I will support my child in understanding their emotions and how to best cope with them.
- I can teach my child that everyone has different ways of feeling, behaving and seeing the world and that they are all valid.
- I can share with my child real experiences from my life to teach and guide them.
If you are not a parent, I hope that you can see the value your experiences can bring to the lives of those around you.
Author: Thanks to Kristen Bellows who created her blog, Pride in Madness, to empower herself and others.