I am an aunt to two amazing nephews. I love them with all my heart and pamper them, which is why I am a cool aunt. While being the cool aunt isn’t easy, my sister and other mothers have shown me that mothering is infinitely harder. Add to that a crippling mental illness like clinical depression, and you have a recipe for doom. I know because I have it for 17 years and counting. It’s impacted not just my will to live (hello suicidal ideation), but also my entire personality: from my moods and socializing to my energy and patience levels. This is not on me, it’s what depression does to a person.
And if you’re straight, there’s another problem you have to deal with even if you are living with a partner: it is mostly *your* job to raise kids. The mental load is not equal and it tilts in the man’s favor even without a child in the picture. You’ll have to spend at least the next 18 years struggling to keep yourself afloat and your child safe and healthy, while your partner doesn’t even do the bare minimum. The pandemic has only made things worse for us women.
If you really want to mother a child, can put up with the mental load, or don’t have a partner, why not adopt instead?
At the end of the day, aren’t all parents—whether abled or disabled—only trying their best? Why then should mentally unwell people be denied the right to raise a child? As long as they have healthy coping mechanisms and a support system in place, depressed folks can also do a reasonably good job at parenting. Or you know, don’t be a mom at all if you don’t want to. It’s totally your call.