In the edition of 29 July, we heard from a reader who said that she felt guilty for not having a second child having suffered very serious depressive anxiety after having her first baby. This prompted two readers to share their own experiences, from two different perspectives. Thank you for taking the time to get in touch and offer your support to the original letter writer.
‘I had a similar experience and didn’t have more children’
This lady should not feel guilty for listening to her own mind and body and being aware of the risk to her mental health if she had another baby.
I had a similar experience and didn’t have more children. I never felt guilty, partly because I understood the pain it could cause me and my family if I went ahead with another pregnancy.
At the end of the day, it is she who would have the new baby at home and as farmers work all the hours God gives, Monday and Sunday can very often be similar. There’s little opportunity to meet friends or go shopping with your husband or do the simple things non-farming families take for granted while children are at the baby stage.
Farming is a lovely way of life, but can be extremely lonely for farmers and their wives at times.
Her daughter can decide for herself how many children she would like to have when her time comes around, just like our daughter has done. She needs to look after herself and be strong about her mental health. I wish her well.
A farmer’s wife
Thankfully your bravery has paved a different life for you and your family. I hope your strength continues and your husband will understand the decision you made was in his very best interest
‘Your husband should be so proud of you. You made a selfless decision’
My response to “I feel guilty for not having another baby and failing my daughter and husband.”
What a gutsy woman you are. Your husband should be so proud of you. You made a selfless decision, which protects your husband and your daughter more than they can presently imagine.
Our mother lived with depression all her life and it is not an easy life for her children either. She is now in her 80s and we her children still live with the scars of her sickness in our childhood and now as adults are dealing with a very sad woman.
You have saved your daughter and your husband all the pain which we have endured through Mam’s illness. I would not wish my mother’s life on my worst enemy. She has and is continuing to live a life of hell.
Thankfully your bravery has paved a different life for you and your family. I hope your strength continues and your husband will understand the decision you made was in his very best interest.
Reader writes: Honouring last wishes
We also heard from a reader in relation to the letter published in 5 August edition (“My sister wants to be cremated, but I don’t agree.”)
Some years ago, my friend and I and my grandson – who was asleep in the buggy – went to a “death café” in the Rua Red (art space) in the Square in Tallaght. It was great: tea and sandwiches and lots of chat. The main topic was how people ignored the wishes of deceased people.
Every person there had a story to tell of people who did the exact opposite of what the deceased wanted. Very interesting. I took out funeral insurance that day to save my kids paying for my funeral.
Funny story to make you smile: I said to my youngest son: “You know, I would like you to sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah as the coffin is brought out.” And he said: “Can we not sing ‘Hey ho the witch is dead?’”
So, I said: “I will ask the priest.” I did and he said: “Tell him he can sing what he likes.” I texted him and said: “You can sing what you like!”
There you go: I love the letters page, read it as I do the crossword.