Pill popping Mothers are failures? Tell me more…

Apparently I hate my children.

According to Mark Latham: if you’re a left leaning feminist you probably don’t like your kids.

If you live in the inner city, you REALLY hate the little bastards.

Much has been written about Mark Latham’s column last week, I feel a tad queasy drawing any more attention to it  however after I read it I felt a sense of responsibility to my fellow “pill popping” sisters to quietly stick my hand up and say “PAY NO MIND TO WHAT THE BAD MAN SAID.”

Quick summary: Mark Latham (Former leader of the labor party and now stay-at-home Dad/columnist) wrote a *delightful article entitled: “Why left feminists don’t like kids.” The general vibe of the piece was to attack another columnist for publicly admitting she uses anti depressants to help cope with life. A life that includes two small children, working and studying medicine full time. It also included his feelings on inner-city Mothers focussing too much on themselves and how any Mother taking antidepressants was choosing an “easy way out”. Oh he also threw in that Mums who takes anti-depressants should probably have never had kids.

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Engage: internet shit storm.

Mark Latham went to pains to point out that he is now a stay-at-home Dad who cooks gourmet meals, tends to his native garden and has apparently grown a womb and ovaries in his spare time. I can’t confirm the last part however I can only assume that is what has happened; how else could he possibly feel qualified to comment on the lives of working Mothers every where?

You guys, just so we are crystal clear: His entire argument is a clusterfuck of arsehattery. You are not to take any of it on board, I mean it.

This person has absolutely no right to be judging any Mother anywhere, let us not gloss over the fact that he also managed to condense clinical depression down to some sort of self indulgent form of mental narcism and written off decades of medical research as well. He also completely shat on the efforts organisations like Beyond Blue and The Black Dog institute are making to destigmatise mental illness.

I don’t give a red hot fuck what Mark Latham thinks of me, I’m not a vulnerable Mother of two considering her options at 2am as she hysterically cries into a towel wondering why she can’t find any joy in life – but I once was. Admitting I was unwell and  summoning the courage up to get help took me months; it makes me twist with rage that perhaps just one woman may have stumbled upon his ill informed, ignorant words and felt less than. Felt like a failure, felt as though she was doing her  kids a disservice by seeking help.

A fire burns deep in my belly as I write this. I just can’t believe someone was this irresponsible with their considerable media platform on a subject so important and prevalent in our society. Depression is not a weakness, it is an ILLNESS. Seeking help is to be encouraged and not written off as a cop out.

Mia Freedman, Annabel Crabb, Jessica Rowe and countless others have spoken out against his words and I wish to add my  loud voice along side of them.

I could write for days on this but I won’t, I just wanted to reassure any of you that put any weight in my words and opinions that what he wrote was wrong.

*Flat out bull shit.

Dangerous, hateful bile.

If you are a Mother who has, is thinking about or is taking anti-depressants you are a warrior not a failure.

I see you.

I’ve got you.

Speak soon,

Em. x

If this post had bought up some crappy stuff for you please reach out to my friends at Beyond Blue or indeed the Black Dog Institute. 

Or you can call life line: 13 11 14

Comments 26

  1. Thankyou. For making me realize I’m normal. As normal as I’m ever going to be anyway. I think you need to print out a million copies of this written hold and paper he “perfect stay at home parent” abode with it.

  2. what an absolute wanker…. shame on him and shame on who ever published his crap! Cheers goes to you Em! So glad you were able to voice what we were all thinking on our behalf x

  3. How long has he been staying at home? Alone? Let’s talk to him in another yr. What a snot! I won’t even get in to how depression doesn’t just happen to woman anyway but its our complex hormones that make us a target of a whopping 77% of it last I looked. Em. I too was once depressed & found my way out. I’ve got 3 kids -,wasn’t their fault one bit & I loved them no less while depressed – in fact they are why I’m better. Their a handful for sure & it didn’t help added on top but – their big old hearts & little hands made me change. I applaud any PERSON facing the illness head on & telling it NO!

  4. Good on you Em for speaking out in defence of women (or people for that matter) who have been diagnosed with depression and need to take anti-depressants. We are all different – we have our own trials, and shouldn’t judge others so harshly, particularly in such a public forum.

  5. It’s just another sad attempt by Latham to get validation in the media – oh that’s right, he’s happy at home on his government pension with little else to do but cook gourmet meals and tend his herbs. Why are we giving this fool any more oxygen – ignore him.

  6. I am so lucky I have not suffered from depression since my teens, but as a mother I also battle anxiety and have occasionally had to take some tablets or take time to myself when it’s the last thing I want to do (cue: mother’s guilt).
    So what Mark Latham has said brings two responses from me:
    1. WHAT AN AN UTTER DOUCHE CANOE. HOW DARE HE? WHAT PLANET IS HE FROM? THIS MAN IS DANGEROUS. All the mothers I know who fight depression on the daily AND love their children and might need help to do that are some of the bravest, biggest hearted people I know. We don’t know their struggles. They are amazing because they deal with things we (people who do not suffer from mental illness) are lucky enough not to.
    2. I just can’t get angry about this. His uninformed and ridiculous opinions deserve no oxygen. I must shake it off shake it off shake it off… *embracing my inner Taylor Swift*

    Good on you (and everyone else who has) for speaking out. If for his one awful written piece, there are a thousand who say NO – IT’S NOT OK TO SAY THAT, then those ladies out there who are doing their best to cope in tough mental circumstances, may hear it xo

  7. As a man who has suffered from depression and husband (now ex) of a wife who suffered terrible post natal depression I can totally empathise with anyone male or female trying their hardest to raise a family and battle the stigma attached to mental illness, only to have dickwads in public places spewing shit out of their mouths into blogs, books, videos and interviews. Just wish we had more real people in public places.

  8. So I’m the first born unplanned child of a depressed mum. Textbook story of single mum struggling with two kids, low income, no help and not enough hours in the day, and then comes the dick head for a stepfather and finally ends meet, but cue the can’t live with you can’t live without you scenario. And the feeling of being trapped.
    I love this article, and I hope it circulates the entire world. It’s funny, it’s inspiring, it’s comforting and it’s uniting. I wish my mum had seen it when I was toddler. That’s when my dad left. I don’t know if she didn’t get help or if she didn’t get the right help but whatever the situation… It made growing up pretty hard for my brother and I. All I could add to this beautifully written article is anyone who is hesitating to seek help, please do it for your family or the people you love or the people that love you. There may be things in life that are out of anyone’s control but nothing is more empowering than overcoming something that at first glance doesn’t seem possible. It’s like stumbling around trying to climb a mountain in the dark. With a guide to light the path the rough bits will be easier to navigate through and the summit will be in sight before you know it 🙂
    I don’t think my mum would recognise herself if she could look back in time 🙂

    As for the idiot who’s name I don’t even want to spell out on the keyboard;
    How someone born with a silver spoon up their arse can possibly pass judgement or comment on the lives of anyone else trying to live the fairly normal everyday life is beyond me. Shouldn’t there be a filter for this kind of crap? Who the hell authorises the publishing of such a piece of shit? Are they shallow enough to only care about the number of times it’s read or shared or talked about, for publicity etc and stupid enough to not consider the possible repercussions to the readers? How do they sleep at night? They deserve a lashing too.

  9. Be fair on poor Mr Latham, he suffers from RDS – Relevance Depravation Syndrome. Like many who could have done something but failed, he now feels that he should tell people how superior he is, and if that doesn’t work, just say something really obnoxious so that at least people are talking about you! Then maybe, just maybe you’ll be invited to appear on TV again and you know that you’re not just some sort of irrelevant loser who just gets to write a column and sit at home avoiding medication because you’re not depressed about your failure to become PM.

  10. Well done Em, Im a dad of two great kids with a very supportive wife who I thank every day for supporting me during depression which I’m slowly working through and still working full time.
    Not only is she is a mother, wife, supporter and full time teacher to the most unfortunate indigenous kids in this great country but best of all she is my friend.
    When we have so called peers like Mr (bean) sorry Latham it makes me think that have we really advanced in our way of thinking? With such a #uckwit saying crap like this it just proves that he has and never had any idea of what is going on.
    I could go on but it would just get me depressed, maybe I might go and water the one pot plant that would fit on my balcony, it is native though…
    Cheers to all

  11. As a midwife someone everyday tells me about a labour horror story. Be it the episiotomy, or the forceps, the caesarean or the post partum haemorrhage. But who talks about what happens after you have your baby?
    Are we as women expected to just know what do with our babies?

    How often do you hear about the friend, sister or colleague who struggled with breastfeeding? Who sat up in the middle of the night with an unsettled baby and cried more tears? Who felt overwhelmed with her own and society’s expectations of the perfect baby and mother? The answer is rarely.
    Why? Because we have an attitude that being the perfect mother and housewife are ingrained in our DNA. Never mind that nearly every plan you make with regards to a newborn will have hurdles, as babies just don’t get our plans or routine and that’s without curve balls such as tongue ties, colic, or jaundice.

    It’s estimated 16.5% of women will get postnatal depression. So with this in mind, remember you are always your harshest critic; and you are doing amazingly well in the best way you can.

    It takes a village to raise a child. So we need to stand behind these women and their families and offer support without judgement.

  12. As a sufferer of depression at 16 followed by two consecutive bouts of PND I can vouch for this man’s idiocracy. I reached for the pills & I can happily say that they saved my life, and made the road to happiness that much straighter. I will happily tell anyone who wants to listen how mental illness has effected my life and how asking for help changed it for the better. Oh, and the eventual cure for the PND? Divorcing a man much like Latham.

  13. Bravo EM ! Once again a second rate politician we pay for spews forth a diatribe of SHIT!
    For all the fabulous People who fight like Warriors on a daily basis with any form of depression – Soldier On. You are Worthy & Will Win the Battle!

  14. Why would anyone give Latham column space anyway? The bloke was, is and always will be an idiot. Yes, Mark, I’m a single Dad that doesn’t “pop pills” and receives no benefits

  15. I suffered PND after the birth of my daughter. It took me 5 months to pluck up the courage and get help from my doctor. Medication got me back on track to make me a better mother able to cope with the daily challenges. The same happened when I had a miscarriage. Back on the meds, back to being able to cope. I am again on anti depressants after my mother recently committed suicide. Being dependent on anti depressants each time helped me to cope and survive and to be able to care for my family. Not once did it make me feel like a failure or unfit as a mother/wife. We do what we need to do in order to function in a “normal’ way.

  16. Pingback: The Irresponsible Asshattery of the AFR | Daughters of Eccentricity

  17. Amen Em! Good LORD it shouldn’t have had to be said, but you said it loud and clear with just the right amount of profanities.

    Amy and I co-author a blog called Daughters of Eccentricity, and Amy weighed in on the subject too, drawing not only from her own experience, but in particular highlighting the AFR’s role in this. We’d love your thoughts

    http://daughtersofeccentricity.com/2014/11/25/the-irresponsible-asshattery-of-the-afr/

  18. Thank you Em. I have just discovered your site after a girlfriend who knows where I’m at sent me your article. I think your wisdom has helped save my life.

    I am someone who appears to have it all: wonderful family, loving, supportive husband, divine 14 year old son who still talks to me.

    However, I am in the grip of depression and only through the support and kindness of family and friends, a wonderful doctor and psychologist and medication !!!! keeps me going.

    Depression is not a lifestyle choice, it is a fucking debilitating disease.

    Mark Latham may have the opportunity to pfaff around in his fucking vegetable garden and produce gourmet meals. Good for him. His outrageously ignorant comments sent me to bed for 3 days, crying my heart out.

    You speak such truth.

    Thank you again.

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