Why Moms Are Using Magic Mushrooms To Deal With Motherhood

Mothers in America are sick and tired of being neglected.

Happy young housewife with basket with mushrooms in kitchen Alliance Images | Shutterstock

In 1974, humorist Erma Bombeck wrote a Mother’s Day column called "When God Created Mothers."

An angel asks God why it was taking so long to create mothers. God answers, "Have you read the specs on this order?"

The list on the specs includes, "Run on black coffee and leftovers" and "six pairs of hands," implying that being a mom takes hard work.

This kind of tribute to mothers may have been appreciated in the 1970s when gender roles were separated, with fathers as breadwinners and mothers as homemakers.


But in 2023, Bombeck’s column is more like a mockery of motherhood.

The cost of being a mother in America

Since 1970, the number of two-parent households in which both parents work has increased from 31 percent to 46 percent.

Moms make up half of the U.S. workforce and they’re also becoming breadwinners.


In 2017, nearly two-thirds — about 64 percent — of mothers were primary, sole, or co-breadwinners of their families and 41 percent of moms were sole or primary breadwinners.

Yet moms still do the brunt of the housework and caring for children. Even women with unemployed husbands spend more time doing household chores than their partners.

When COVID hit and outside support like daycare and schools shut down, moms had to step in to cover those roles and cut down their work hours four to five times more than dads.

To add to the problem, single-parent households have tripled since the 1970s.

RELATED: I Am Tired Of Being A Woman And Mother In The United States Of America


And of about 10 million single-parent families with children under 18, almost 80 percent were headed by single mothers.

Yep, single mothers.

Add to that how difficult it is to find quality, affordable childcare in the U.S., thus forcing 34 percent of mothers to leave the workforce versus 20 percent of fathers.

But most mothers — like my friend *Katie — can’t afford to leave the workplace because they’ll lose their health insurance.

She’s the primary breadwinner (she outearns her husband), commutes about four hours roundtrip by car to work, and picks up her son from school, cooks, cleans, and puts him to bed.

Her husband helps — and that’s the issue, he helps.


Why don't moms sit on the sofa, drink a warm cup of honey lemon tea, read a book, and ask their husbands to do the rest, you ask?

According to The Atlantic, one possible reason women don’t is that they feel guilty for "breaking norms on gender expectations."

This goes for men in female-dominated jobs like nursing. Once these men are home, they’re more likely to do manly work like lawn mowing.

So the issue of why moms are stressed out may be because of the psychological ramifications of going against society’s norms. Now that will differ from family to family, and such a societal shift will take time.

But one thing we can’t ignore is how U.S. family policies lag behind other rich countries.


Most rich countries contribute on average $14,000 a year for toddler care versus $500 a year in America — that’s one step behind Israel which pays $3,327 annually.

In Germany, where I live, the government policies are family-friendly — childcare is heavily subsidized, healthcare is guaranteed for everyone regardless of work status, and maternity leave is generous.

After delivery, both mothers and fathers have 14 months of government-paid leave available to them, and the government pays 67 percent of the net income.

Taking time off after birth is crucial for the mother’s recovery, especially with hormone fluctuation that could lead to postpartum depression.


Research says bonding time with both parents is good for the baby, too.

But the U.S. is the only developed country with no national paid maternity leave. It shares this rank with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga.

Parents here in Germany don’t worry about childcare, healthcare, or getting enough family time. Everything shuts down on Sundays — it’s considered sacred and taboo to disturb the peace.

Even doctors go on month-long vacations. Twenty days of paid time off for a 5-day workweek is the minimum required by law.

My husband gets an additional eight days off per company policy for a total of 28 days per year. Our family went to Italy a few months ago. In September, we’re going to Greece.


The U.S. government is painfully deficient in caring for their families — especially mothers — even though they are fundamental for a happy, thriving nation.

Is it any wonder that mothers are choosing to take mushrooms to ease their load?

RELATED: 6 Benefits Of Microdosing Psychedelics — Can It Really Help?

Mothers on mushrooms

Tracey Tee is the founder of Mothers on Mushrooms, a Denver-based organization that advocates for micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms.

She used to be a stand-up comedian who lost her business during the pandemic.

I first saw Tee on Dr. Phil, where she explained why moms especially may be good candidates for magic mushrooms:


"Moms don’t get the opportunity that lots of other people do. We don’t get to go to … yoga retreats. Our healing comes between car lines, doctor visits, ballet practice, homework."

Struggling with motherhood, she took a course on micro-dosing — which she calls her medicine — and it changed her life.

In 2019, the city of Denver, Colorado was the first to decriminalize psilocybin in the U.S.

Since then, other cities have followed suit: Oakland; Santa Cruz; Washington D.C.; Somerville, Massachusetts; Cambridge; Northampton; Seattle, Washington; and Detroit, Michigan.

It’s important to clarify that the keyword here is "micro-dosing," meaning a low dose of mushrooms. She takes a powdered psychedelic mushroom capsule.


It doesn’t make you high or hallucinate, but rather you have a feeling of relaxation and well-being.

Some changes she noticed are how she thinks before she speaks, she’s more creative, and her spiritual practice has deepened.

It’s not a cure-all, and she does yoga and meditation, but mushrooms are like a "little friend" helping her become the best version of herself.

About 90 percent of moms who come to her organization are on anti-depressants due to the stress of parenting, she says.

Not surprising, since major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disease for women worldwide and it’s higher in women than in men.

Hormone fluctuation may be to blame along with the disintegration of structural supports that older civilizations relied on to get through childbirth and childrearing.


We no longer have a village to raise our kids. If we’re lucky, we have a partner and it’s like winning a lottery if we have our own parents helping us out.

Not surprisingly, Tee has gotten backlash for her stand on mushrooms for moms. Advocating psychedelic drugs for moms is not a popular concept and it’s obvious why.

But Tee says mothers making these decisions aren’t necessarily trying to escape their life. Psychedelics allow them to be calmer and more present.

When we think of psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms, we think of hippies of the 60s and 70s. And there is a shortage of research on whether they’re safe in small doses as a recreational drug.


But there’s evidence to suggest that they were used in religious rituals, communion, and healing 6,000 years ago.

In early February, Australia became the first country to announce that medicines containing psychedelic substances MDMA and psilocybin can soon be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treatment-resistant depression.

It’s also been shown to treat eating disorders and addictions and help terminally ill patients.

The U.S. may soon follow suit.

RELATED: What It's Like Being A First-Time Mother With Postpartum Depression

Moms helping moms

Moms are overworked, overwhelmed, and overstretched.


If given a choice, I think most American moms would use magic mushrooms to reduce their anxiety and increase their well-being.

I mean, why not?

Tee says it’s helping her become a better mom. She’s drinking less, smoking less, and is less temperamental. In most cases, the mothers feel like it’s better than taking anti-depressants which is a synthetic drug.

It’s scary how for centuries women were underrepresented in medical research and postpartum depression was, therefore, not recognized as a mental illness that required immediate attention.

Women who suffered from it were seen as neurotic. Thank god I’m a mom in this day and age. I had postpartum depression after giving birth to my son four years ago.


My gynecologist immediately recognized it as such and signed a document allowing my 4-month-old infant to be taken care of by a government-subsidized midwife.

And there’s the physical aspect, too. It doesn’t get any easier after birth, especially if you had a c-section, which I did.

Most women don’t know that it’s a major surgery where you’re cutting seven layers to get to your baby.

It takes time to recover — time you don’t get if you’re a mom in America.

I’m a lucky American mom who lives in Germany. I don’t regret having my beautiful son — not at all — because I have support from grandma, grandpa, my husband, doctors, kindergarten, and the government.


That should be the norm.

In a nuclear family, the government should think about how best to re-create a village — a support structure — to help the mothers.

Happy mothers + happy partners = happy children — which is our future.

Mothers need to find a way back to happiness.

And since the American government ain’t doing crap, if that happiness is magic mushrooms — so be it.

RELATED: Hope Or Hype: Can Psychedelics Treat Depression?

June Kirri is a freelance writer and a personal essayist.