Motherhood: Kate Rope, Molly Guy, and Alyssa Shelasky
Motherhood is “the state or experience of having and raising a child.” Its very definition implies accompaniment. But motherhood can be a lonely-making experience, whether it’s because of postpartum depression, the pressures of guarding a human life, or the quest to get pregnant in the first place.
In this episode, I first talk to Kate Rope, editorial director of the Seleni Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides clinical care for mothers as well as funding for women’s reproductive and maternal mental health research. Rope also wrote “The Bittersweet Loneliness of Motherhood” on The Huffington Post two years ago, revealing that, for her, the responsibility of motherhood is hers alone. “At the end of every day, when I crawl into bed next to my husband, there is a part of me that stays alert, a little part I save just for my daughters in case they need it—a tiny, stoic sentry who never sleeps and guards her post alone,” she wrote. She expands both on that and on the kinds of services Seleni offers, which is a lesson in the kinds of difficulties that can come with motherhood.
Molly Guy, owner of bridal showroom Stone Fox Bride, was part of last week’s episode on social media, but I initially reached out to her to talk about mothering and about giving birth. “The couple times my husband and I were most connected, whether or not we wanted to be, was when I was giving birth to our kids,” she says in this episode. “It was totally bloody and awful and painful and beautiful and scary and primal and I’m still amazed that I’ve gone through that experience with him.”
Finally, Alyssa Shelasky. She’s a food and travel writer who sold two TV pitches this pilot season: one about dating, the other about woman who decides to have a baby on her own, through a sperm donor. In this case, art imitates life, because that’s exactly what Shelasky herself did. She’s talked about it in this article for New York Magazine, and she goes way more in depth in this episode of The Lonely Hour. Full disclosure, Shelasky and I are close friends, and listening to her tenderness here brings me to tears!