My boss has given me permission to begin research in the hopes of creating a program for Mom’s with BPD improve their relationship with their children and themselves. I am preparing a survey and in the meantime, I wanted to reach out here! If you do not already know me, I am a Mom who experiences borderline traits.
There is a lot of research out there that bashes Moms who experience BPD. Resources for Moms with BPD are scarce and I want to change that! If you feel comfortable, please leave a response in the comments below or you can wait for the survey as it is anonymous.
Who am I looking to hear from:
Moms who have BPD, borderline traits or believe they have BPD and have never been officially diagnosed.
Moms (of any age child)
Pregnant, first-time moms
Women who would like to be moms
What I would like to know is: if you signed up for a program on Mothering and BPD, what would you want in it? What would help you the most improve your relationship with your children? What would make you feel confident in your mothering as a first-time mom or someone who wants to be a mom?
[Image: When I have kids, the rule is going to be…
‘you can be whatever you want to be; a doctor, an artist, a stay-at-home mum, a stripper, a monk. You can be lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight, transgender, asexual, pansexual and everything in between. You can be a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Ba’hai, Athesist, Questioning, whatever. You can be any gender you want, just tell me and I will support you. But the minute I hear about you BULLYING someone, we’re going to have a serious problem’]
Image from Birmingham Pride supporting Equality & Freedom Around the World.
Almost a months ago I wrote a blog about why I do not want to get married. Overall, I believe marriage is a personal choice, not the next rung on the ladder of life and not needed to commit to the person you love. I very much appreciated those of you who liked and/or left comments of support. One comment though stated that my future children will not care about my reasons and that parents should put their children first. I replied to this comment to make sure I understood (“Are you saying that parents should be married and that puts their children first?) and asked if they could explain to me their reasons for believing this. I have yet to hear back and may not so I wanted to explore my understanding of this comment.
Are married parents better than unmarried parents?
First, what do you think?
Please feel free to elaborate in the comments. Any comments that are attacking in nature will not be posted. I respect your personal experiences.
I did do a bit of research to find out what SCIENCE says. Some research from 1998 has some pretty disappointing statistics on unmarried parents. Today Parents did a poll that showed unmarried, single mothers are just as good at parenting, the fathers tend to be in the picture and are not looked down upon by their married counterparts. The Telegraph has statistics saying that almost all couples that stay together while raising children are married. Umarried Equality says that children do not care if their parents are married and said that having family commitment ceremonies strengthen the family bond. The Washington Post says that couples having children without getting married is growing and the stigma around it is lessening. And since 2002, where I live, and more recently in the USA, same-sex couples couldn’t legally be married but they could be together and they did raise children with great success.
I respect data, but there are MANY factors that go into assessing if parents are successful at parenting. I feel that to say that marriage means better parenting is a big a jump. I do honestly understand the reasoning behind committing to being married means commitment to the children. I grew up with married parents. My parents are committed to each other and to myself and my sisters. I also know people, some of my close friends and family, who’s parents were married but then divorced. Stats Canada says, “In 2008, 40.7% of marriages were projected to end in divorce before the thirtieth wedding anniversary.” In the cases of my close friends who have divorced parents, their parents were better able to care for them as a result of the divorce. For some, they did lose relationships with their fathers but, hey, some people shouldn’t be parents. I also know of one couple who were not married when they had their daughter and actually didn’t get married until she was about 8 years old. Everything was fine and they decided to get married when they wanted to.
Since 2002, where I live and more recently in the USA, same-sex couples couldn’t legally be married but they could be together and they did raise children with great success.
I personally feel that it is more about the people in the relationship than whether they are married or not. I found it difficult to leave a bad relationship when we shared a cat! I can’t imagine “easily” leaving a relationship that wasn’t working out if I had a child with them. That’s personally not how I work. I do acknowledge that I am only trying to start a family and am not yet pregnant. I am completely open to the fact that I may change mind once there is a child actually involved. For now though, this is where I stand.
I’m not looking to change anyone’s minds. I just hope that we can continue to lessen the stigma around unmarried parenting and respect people’s choices.
When I was in grade 12 we had a special guest come into my Food & Nutrition class. While I forgot what the woman was talking about I do know that she made me feel safe enough to vaguely mention having issues with eating. A day or so later I was down at student services (for reasons I also do not remember) and saw a sticky note on the receptionist’s desk that said, “Kristen B, spoke of eating disorder in class.” I was HORRIFIED!!! Not only was a not speaking about having an eating disorder, this information was out on the desk for ANYONE to see. My first and last name! I spent the next few days scared that I would be called down to student services to be spoken to. This did not happen. Looking back, I am concerned that an adult would not follow up with me.
When you are a child or a teen you do not always know what is best for you. As much as young people like to keep secrets from adults, it is the adults that are still in charge of their safety. To have knowledge that a young person was talking about what they labeled as an eating disorder and to not follow up with that young person is careless. The role of adults in youth mental health treatment is to ask those tough questions (“Are you restricting your eating?”), letting them know you support them (“I am here if you need to talk.”) and set up the appropriate supports (“I can call in the school social worker to come and see you.”).
Adults cannot shy away because they are unsure of what to say, what to do or worse, do not believe that something is happening and blame hormones. Children and youth can’t do some things by themselves. They need adult guidance. This does not mean that children and youth are not consulted and adults should still respect their right to self-determination within reason. Children and youth need adults to be there for them so mental health issues can be prevented or lessened in children and youth.
This picture perfectly describes how I’m feeling and actually thinking when I feel these emotions. Actually, for me, the all come out in anger because I feel that outwardly showing the others will leave me more vulnerable.
Now, the picture says “child” but under no circumstances would this not apply to adults and be taken in an adult context. This is not to say that an adult is childish. We all feel emotions and they all can translate the same.