The process of becoming a mother can be overwhelming and isolating under the best of circumstances — and these are not the best of circumstances. That means expectant mothers and new mothers right now are facing a particularly unique set of challenges. From wondering whether it’s safe to take your little one to the park to explaining tough topics like racism to worrying about what their kids are doing on social media, being a mom today is a drastically different experience than it was for our own mothers (or even mothers a few years ago). That’s why Emma Rosemblum, Editor-in-Chief at BDG (Romper’s parent company) hosted "Not Your Mother's Motherhood: A Real & Honest Conversation About Being A Mother Today," a virtual roundtable with three new and soon-to-be moms who are finding their way through this difficult time: Shan Boodram, certified sexologist, host of Quibi's Sexology with Shan Boodram, best-selling author, and first time expectant mother; Daniella Monet, actress, founder of vegan diaper line Sprouted, and a mother of one (with baby #2 on the way); and Real Housewife of Potomic Ashley Darby, certified yoga instructor, entrepreneur, and mother of one (who’s also expecting her second child).
Just like every conversation you’ve had with your mom friends since the pandemic started, their talk covered everything from sex to postpartum depression to feeling judged by other moms in what Boodram called “The Year of the High Horse."
“I feel like everybody, for whatever reason, whether you’re pro-vax or anti-vax, pro-mask or anti-mask, everybody thinks they have it figured out and everybody is so quick to give out a lecture,” she said. Being pregnant during the pandemic has brought added scrutiny, she continued.
“I feel like just chalking it up to everybody’s scared,” she said.
Darby opened up about how the current state of affairs added to her postpartum depression.
“I had to go back to work filming when I was two months postpartum and in addition to the emotional rollercoaster I was going through, all of a sudden having to have full glam, makeup and hair, dressed to the nines… it felt so foreign to me, and I almost didn’t go back to the show, just because I did not feel like myself. I felt really withdrawn. It wasn’t even so much about my body not feeling good about my body just as much as I just didn’t know who I was.”
Monet experienced postpartum anxiety, which she says she didn’t realize right away.
“I didn’t recognize that I had a form of postpartum depression,” she said. “I certainly struggle with anxieties I didn’t have prior to becoming a mom. A lot of that stems from just wanting to control things.” Her son Gio was born last September, she said, and from his birth to the “beginning of Covid” Monet felt like she was hitting her stride as a mom, but “when Covid hit, I felt a level of postpartum anxiety I still haven’t fully shook and it’s really tricky to even talk through.”
For more of this very real and relatable conversation, check out the video above, and you can find more honest discussions from Sexology with Shan Boodram on Quibi.