Last night I went out for a lovely supper and I got chatting to a woman whose daughter is studying psychology. One of my favourite topics. Her daughter was going to do Lifeline counseling and so I asked, ‘How’s she going to cope with all those hectic phone calls?’ Of course I was thinking about suicide and rape call ins. How wrong I was. Guess who are amongst the most frequent callers to Lifeline? Housewives.

Yes you heard me right. I will call Lifeline and check up on this fact because it’s so hard to believe. But is it that hard??? Desperate housewives. (I actually never watched the program and I’m sure it’s American superficial drama. The way the women look as made up dolls kind of proves it to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.) How many women and mothers are married, with or without kids and are very lonely?

It exists, it definitely exists. It’s just not talked about much. The forgotten segment of society. The unspoken ones. After all who goes around saying, ‘I’m lonely.’ (Okay I do sometimes.) Let’s face it housewives are seen as the ‘boring ones’.

That night I was very interested in this Lifeline fact, being a house wife myself. (As hard as it is to face that fact it’s true.) And so I raised my voice in defense of housewives, ‘This proves that mothers,’ I announced. ‘Are the unspoken, neglected part of society and thanks to Women’s Lib a woman has to have kids, work and balance a house and husband. An impossible task if I say so myself. No wonder they’re the ones who are calling Lifeline.’

Well the group of women I was sitting with didn’t necessarily agree. (Yes this dinner party was split between men and women.) One 85-year-old old woman went off her rocker saying, ‘Girls these days worry about everything else but the baby. Their figures, their clothes blah, blah, blah.’ Basically saying that mothers are a bunch of spoilt, complaining brats. (Luckily she didn’t mention the coffee shop breaks.)

Another woman in her sixties said, ‘Mothers these days need to go internally and pray, be with God and learn to value themselves. They shouldn’t rely on external affirmation for what they do.’

These women obviously forgot that they were once young mothers, and what it’s really like. (We all forget which is why we go on to have our second, third and for the brave ones fourth and the really crazy ones….)

Mothers who call Lifeline are obviously not seen as being in need. You need to be raped or abused to ask for help. No wonder women have no voice as mothers, no wonder they need to work, have a nervous breakdown or call Lifeline to be heard and taken seriously.

I may even call Lifeline one of these days. Will it help? Maybe if they send a babysitter, or can give me some discipline advice. It wouldn’t be so bad actually if they said, ‘Take a deep breath dear, it’s normal what you’re going through. No you’re not a terrible mother. Let the kids into the garden. Lock them out for fifteen minutes. Can’t hurt. Why don’t you go and sit down and have a nice, quiet cup of tea.’

That’s it I’m calling.