Just Talking Tuesday: Did you have Postpartum Depression support from your Mom?


Monday night at #PPDChat, one of the chatters shared with us how her mother helped her get the help she needed to begin recovery from Postpartum Depression.

I’ve heard from women who have had excellent support from their Mothers. I’ve also heard the exact opposite. Nightmarish stories from women who’s own Mothers told them to suck it up and get over themselves. Motherhood is hard. Get over yourself. Those stories always hit me right in the stomach and make me want to reach through the computer to have a word or two with the mothers of these women.

Postpartum Depression is so much more than facing a tough day as a Mother. It’s debilitating. It’s wanting desperately to love and hug your child while so not wanting to love and hug your child. It’s wanting to not be angry with your husband as you yell at him for not putting the cap back on the toothpaste or something equally as inane. It’s wanting to keep up with the housework but instead all the physical and mental strength you have barely allows you to get out of bed and survive the day. It’s wanting to believe no one else knows the horrible thoughts racing through your head as you try to talk yourself down out of the figurative tree you’ve now climbed all the way up. It’s believing you really are the worst parent in the world but deep down trying so hard to talk yourself into believing you are a good parent despite all the negativity swirling about your head. It’s wishing desperately for the return of hope, sanity, happiness, patience, and strength and the imminent flight of disillusionment, insanity, intense sadness, impatience, and physical weakness.

I’m ever thankful when a woman’s mom calls me or seeks me out for support and education about her daughter’s experience with Postpartum Mood Disorders.

My own mother was very supportive when I was struggling. I never hesitated to call her (sometimes several times a day – thanks for listening!) when I needed to vent. Granted, I probably shared more than I should have and probably still do sometimes. (I’m working on that!) My mother always emphasized the importance of keeping the communication lines open. She kept them open when I needed them most.

I want to hear what your experience was with support from your Mom during your Postpartum Mood Disorder Experience. Did she accept your diagnosis? Help you out around the house? Listen? Help you make sense of life when it just didn’t seem to make a lick of sense? Or did she judge you? Tell you to get over yourself and grow up? Criticize your treatment decisions? Not respect your boundaries as you healed? Or perhaps your mother wasn’t there – for whatever reason – how do you think that affected your experience?

Let’s get to just talking!

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15 thoughts on “Just Talking Tuesday: Did you have Postpartum Depression support from your Mom?

  1. Pingback: Just Talkin’ Tuesday: Revisited | My Postpartum Voice

  2. Hi, I know I am late on this but I know I have PPD and I have not gotten help, I have fought through it for fear of being judged. My mom doesn’t help and takes the “tough love” approach she only makes herself available to me when I am desperate. I feel so trapped and at a loss at times because I hear of all these other mothers helping their daughters and coming over to help with laundry and clean up and help do anything to make their lives easier. I feel robbed and cheated. I often wonder what I did wrong and why I don’t deserve what my friends mothers give them in help. Lately I have been crying but hiding it and trying to fight through the pain and aggravation of being a mother. Mostly I hate being a mom and I wish I could have my life back more then 90 percent of the time. My boyfriend helps me with things but for some reason I feel like I am obligated to be the one to take care of my daughter and that if I don’t do it and rely on him to do things I am crappy mother. I know I should feel blessed for what I have but I just feel cheated more often then not. Any way, I guess I shouldn’t sit her and say how awful my life is when I know there are others who have it worse off then me. Thanks for the vent, take care.

    • You need to go to your doctor or midwife ASAP. You deserve help. No one should fight alone or without professional care. There is no reason for you to be going at this alone. Please email me @ ppdacceptance @ gmail.com and I will get you in touch with a Postpartum Support International Coordinator in your area. She will help get you started. Also, check http://www.dona.org or http://www.cappa.net for postpartum doulas who may be available at a reduced or very low cost to you if they still need hours to complete their certification.

      Last week’s Just Talking Tuesday focused on Mothering yourself. I think this is something you need to start doing as well. If your boyfriend is helping out, then trust him to care for baby while you go get a coffee. Drive through the first time. Maybe go in and get it the second time. And the third time, go in, get it, and then sit down to drink it. Take it slow but get used to letting others care for your little one.

      Please, please, please get yourself some help. Don’t continue to struggle on your own. You are worthy of help – we all are. ((hugs))

  3. I need to give credit to not only my mama but my dad as well. He calls me every morning on the way to work to tell me what a fighter I am and to keep my chin up. They sat through countless weekends listening to me weep on end, took my Jack when I needed a break, had me stay with them to make sure I ate something, did my laundry, came and cleaned my house, checked on me after every doctor visit, and and forced me to not isolate myself or give up hope. They have NEVER once judged me or made me feel ashamed. Instead, they remind me on a daily basis that thousands of women experience this and we will get through this like a family, just like we always have in the past, and that I am not a burden but their greatest joy in life who has maybe taken a back seat a bit to their handsome grandbaby. My parents have been my rock and now I need to figure out a way to pay it forward to them.

  4. Neither of us knew much about it, but once it was in full swing she really stepped up to the plate. She even found and paid for my awesome therapist for a few months until I could handle taking over payments. She did everything she could and was there for me even at 2000 miles away. I think we both learned a lot.

    • Wow – that’s awesome! WTG Mom!

      It’s hard to be there when you’re miles away. My own mom is about 400 miles away but she too did as much as she could from there. I know it was hard for her not to be here and just let me collapse into a Mom hug on the really bad days but I so appreciated just knowing she was a phone call away if I needed to stop and vent.

  5. The Momma has been fantastic. I am so lucky to have her as a part of my support & healing process.

    I think at first, she was totally lost on it. She had no idea what it really meant & couldn’t understand it since I wasn’t crying all the time or that I hadn’t stopped showering. But as things progressed & I started sharing more & more & more, I think she ranged from confused to horrified to supportive. She understood how serious it was & was so fast to help, pitch in, clean my house, make me dinner, take care of Harrison. There were nights that she came & spent the night with us just to help out because Nate needed to be with me & someone had to take care of Harrison. It was an awful time & I don’t know what we would have done without her.

    Needless to say, I told Nate that we’re not moving out of the same city as The Momma until I’m done procreating.

  6. Initially, it was hard for me to go to my mom for help. She was always the type to say that I was strong enough to fight my battles on my own, and that this family doesn’t turn to medication for help. And that made it even harder for me to talk to my doctor about going on anti-depressants.

    But I did. And a month after starting it, I talked to my mom and let her know what was going on. She cried and asked why I didn’t go to her sooner. I explained why, which made her more upset because she felt as though she was keeping me from getting the help I needed. She told me she noticed something was not right with me, but she didn’t want to say anything for fear that I would lash out and her and get really upset.

    Since then, she has admitted that she doesn’t fully grasp what I’m going through since she never really experienced it, but is always there for what I need. This past weekend I was starting to get angry and impatient at my son for wanting to look around at everything instead of eat. She swooped in, told me to walk away, and finished the job. After a few minutes, I had calmed down, and I thanked her for her help. She reminded me that I could come to her for anything and she will help me out. Between her and my husband, there would be no way for me to be in the better place than I am right now.

    • Sometimes it’s hard for family members to share with us that something is wrong – they don’t know what to say, what’s going on, or how we will react to the news that we’re not quite right. I heard the same thing from both my mother and my mother in law after I finally sought help after the birth of both my daughters. While we don’t want to be judged, we have to remember they too are afraid of being judged by us if they point out our illness.

      I’m happy to hear your story has a happy ending. It’s awesome she’s so supportive and understanding now. It sounds like the two of you have really learned a lot about each other and this thing called life.

      Thank you for sharing.

  7. I think my mom was at a loss. I distinctly remember a time after my brother was born when she cried for several hours after spilling the meager 2 oz she’d been able to pump. I think she probably had PPD and it was undiagnosed (21 years ago).

    So, when I would call her and say “THIS SUCKS” she’d respond with “no it doesn’t” and once admitted that she just didn’t know how to help me and that it hurt her to not know what to do. That she didn’t remember ever feeling the way that I was feeling. She encouraged me to fill my prescription and take my meds (the prescription that was written 8 days after I had Joshua that I waited 6 weeks to fill!) She called Dan to see how I was doing and check on me when she didn’t think I’d give her a straight answer.

    She was great. She came to visit and we called her the Baby Whisperer because she could always get Joshua to sleep. And when she did that, I made sure to hop in the bed and nap, too. Or I’d shower. Or I’d sit on the couch doing nothing and she’d sweep my floors.

    While she didn’t always have the right words to say, she was there. Her presence calmed me and made me feel like a better mother. Like motherhood was something I’d eventually “get.”

    • God Bless your Mom for pitching in and helping out. And God bless her for checking with your husband about you as well. Often times, those around us notice habits or difficulties long before we are able to recognize and admit them to ourselves.

      Sounds like she’s really there for you and that totally Rocks. Even in Egypt. ;-)

  8. Unfortunately, my mother has become someone who I can’t talk to about my son. He was diagnosed with severe reflux at 3 weeks ok’d. I cried alot because he was in pain, and I had the blues as well. My mother told me to stop crying because it was making my milk sour and making my baby sick. And now, when I’m wondering if I do have post partum depression, I wish I could talk to her.

    • Nicole –

      My heart breaks for you honey. Reflux is difficult – my daughters had it – I know what a tough road that can be for a mom. And then you add a Mood Disorder on top – whooo… you need ALL the support you can get.

      Crying isn’t going to make your milk sour or your baby sick. Here’s a link to Kellymom regarding nursing and Reflux: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/reflux.html. You may already have the information but I wanted to share it just in case you do not.

      Your mom sounds like she’s repeating something she was told ages ago and I’m so sorry she’s not supportive of you when you need her most.

      Please feel free to email me at ppdacceptance @ gmail.com at anytime if you need support. And every Monday at 1pm & 830pm, I host a #PPDChat at Twitter.com if you’re there as well. My username is unxpctdblessing. I also moderate the iVillage Postpartum & Pregnancy Depression Board. It’s not very active at the moment but it is another resource. Here’s the link: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppppd

      If you’ve not talked with your doctor about the possibility of Postpartum Depression, I would urge you to do so. You have to do what’s best for YOU. Take care of you so you can take care of those around you. ((hugs))

      Warmest,
      Lauren

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