In a column for The Cut titled “How Am I?” Amil Niazi paints a grim picture of pandemic working motherhood. In the middle of her realistic itinerary piece about care of two young children while balancing deadlines, she writes that a gaping hole opens up in her kitchen floor which is a portal to hell. “Exactly,” one commenter succinctly replies. Motherhood is monstrous this year—an impossible debit when emotions and workloads are already maxed out. The only word that comes to mind is horrific, and the literature that helps me come to grips with this time period weaves in elements of horror.
Motherhood has always suggested emotional disruption in books. The first time I read The Yellow Wallpaper in college, I thought, “impossible.” The fact that I would become dissociated from my body and reality because of the birth of a child felt sexist and ridiculous. Modern feminism wouldn’t allow women to become victims of PPD and despair. The second time I read it, after the birth of my first child, I thought, “too possible.”