Just Talkin’ Tuesday 08.25.09: Sharing the PPD news with your parents

Communication today is often done via email, text, twitter, facebook status updates. It’s become much less personal and much less formal. For some, this is good. For others, not so good. Some things get lost in translation. It’s easy to type something and hit send without thinking. It’s also easy to apply this short communication style to every day life, leading to quick judgments, misunderstandings, and worse, the planting of grudges and beginnings of the end of relationships. The art of the thoughtful conversation seems to be drifting by the wayside.

Many women and families with whom I’ve worked have expressed to me that the biggest challenge they face is enabling those around them to understand what is going on without increasing stigma or losing their formerly close relationships. It’s a struggle to go through a Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder let alone try to explain the complexity of it to a loved one from whom you need support.

When I spoke with my parents about PPD, they were understanding, compassionate, and actually did their own informative research. The one thing that stood out to me when I was hospitalized came from a phone call with my dad. He said something simple yet profound (my dad is full of those – I LOVE him for it). My father told me not to let anyone tell me I was “crazy” for the way I was feeling given my situation. My situation was that two months prior I had given birth to our second daughter who was then subsequently diagnosed with a cleft palate and by then had undergone two surgeries, one major to help lengthen her jaw in order to allow her to breathe safely. I held it together as long as I could but finally collapsed on day 56. Turns out for me, falling apart was precisely what I needed in order to pull it back together.

I’ve spoken with Mothers and their Parents alike who are frustrated and upset by the lack of information, communication, and the subsequent misunderstandings that follow all too often in the wake of a Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder. Often these very issues only serve to compound a family’s recovery.

Today, I would like to take the opportunity to check in and see how (or if) you told your parents (or in-laws) or kept up appearances with them. Did you let them see inside the dusty window or did you keep the shade pulled down and pray no one would accidentally flip it up?

Let’s get to Just Talkin’!


2 thoughts on “Just Talkin’ Tuesday 08.25.09: Sharing the PPD news with your parents

  1. Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t really think there is such a thing as PPD. She is more of the “Suck it up. It’s motherhood and this is what you are in for” school of thought. It is really disappointing. I could really use her support. Luckily, my husband, in-laws and friends are very supportive.

    -Lori at I Can Grow People

    • Lori –

      Your first line “my mom doesn’t really think there is such a thing as PPD” is precisely why I posted this topic! So often I have heard those words from women and families seeking my support. They find themselves brushed off or pushed aside and told exactly what you were told which totally sucks because that only serves to make things worse.

      My own PPD struggles seemed to bring me closer to my parents but when I was in the midst of it all, I could not stand my in-laws. I’m not sure why – they didn’t seem to understand what I was going through and I was convinced they were constantly judging my every move (which, of course, was NOT the case). Both episodes involved some pretty nasty spats between myself and my in-laws. We’re doing much better now and I took the time to educate them prior to giving birth the third time around as to what my triggers were and how they could actually help me avoid another episode. I was amazed that my mother in law called me to check in and see how I was doing after the birth of our son. Floored, actually.

      It is so hard to not have family support, especially from your mother – she’s your MOM – isn’t mothering what she’s supposed to do? You have lots of hugs and prayers headed your way from me! And say a big thank you to your husband, in-laws and friends too!

      Thanks for commenting!


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