It is supposed to be a period of unbridled joy when a mother holds her newborn close to her chest and embarks on a journey of eternal, unconditional love with her child, promising herself and the baby a life-long bond of nurturing and support.

Well, there’s another truth. Motherhood, in some cases even the prospect of it, is causing mental health issues among pregnant as well as new mothers. Tough to believe? A World Health Organisation report says, "mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are very common during pregnancy and after childbirth in all parts of the world. One in three to one in five women in developing countries, and about one in ten in developed countries, have a significant mental health problem during pregnancy and after childbirth."

If you think this is too hard to digest, the past year has only exacerbated the problem. Yes, the same women and mothers who have been celebrated for decades for their deftness at multitasking are complaining of coming undone, all because Covid has changed the rules of the game. All of a sudden, mothers found themselves fighting on many fronts simultaneously. 
When not managing household chores and their own erratic work-from-home schedules, they had to deal with kids’ online classes and the consistent guilt, result of feeling ‘not good enough’.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day in the UAE, let’s also be reminded that while these superheroes might not come with capes and have the magical ability to resolve all that plagues us, they need to be appreciated for their never-say-die attitude.

So, all you mothers, take a bow, for you are winners, nevertheless.

Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com.

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