Just talking Tuesday: 15 minutes for YOU


Yesterday during #PPDChat, I issued a challenge to fellow chatters as we shared our struggles with Parenting through Postpartum.

Every day this week, take just 15 minutes for you. Then tweet about what you did with those 15 minutes using the #PPDChat hashtag.

Your 15 minutes does not have to be all together. It can be spread out in 5 minute increments as one chatter said she often did.

Your time does not have to stop at 15 minutes either. It can keep going and going and going….

If you can’t get in 15 minutes total, try for at least 10.

Today, I took the long way home from Bible Study. The sky was a fantastic blue, complete with puffy white clouds dispersed throughout. Even Pandora cooperated, blasting out some classic tunes. I felt myself continuing to relax.

After lunch, I played around on our Wii. Not exercising, just playing. I never do that.

Once we had the kiddos in bed, I sat and read a book until I fell asleep. Again, I can’t remember the last time I fell asleep while reading a book. Not that the book wasn’t good, I was just that tired.

I spent more than 15 minutes on myself today and it totally rocked.

How much time did you spend on yourself today? What did you do with those minutes?

Any plans for tomorrow’s 15 minutes?

Tell us!

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Just Talkin’ Tuesday 01.25.11: Buried under Mama Guilt


 

Original Graphic by Lauren Hale, Author, MPV

Mama Guilt.

What does this mean to you?

In your life, right now, what invokes this emotion within you?

Is it when you work? Is it because you don’t work outside the home?

When you do something just for YOU?

When something goes wrong? When you lose control? Fail at perfection? Compare yourself to another mom who is perfectly wrapped and coiffed?

Yelling at your kids instead of gently guiding them toward the desired behavior?

Sleeping when you should be up at the crack of dawn because it’s just not motherhood unless you throw yourself under the bus every second of every day?

Wondering if your child is missing milestones because of something you did or didn’t do?

Are you enrolling them in enough extracurricular activities? Engaging them?

Or are you sitting on your computer chatting on Twitter, reading blogs, commenting at blogs? Judging other moms?

Chiding your husband? Wishing you could stay home with the kids instead of going to work?

Doing ANYTHING without your kids?

Loving bedtime?

Loving naptime?

Mama Guilt.

Dangerous ground, this emotion.

This week’s Just Talking Tuesday isn’t really a conversation starter. Perhaps it is – but I want to issue a challenge along with it.

This week? Pick ONE thing which causes you the most Mama Guilt. Write it down on a piece of paper. BURN THE PIECE OF PAPER. TEAR IT UP. DESTROY IT. LET.IT.GO.

Then Post here. Tell us what you destroyed, how you destroyed it, and why. Let us know how we can help you keep moving away from your guilt. Alone, we are powerless. But together? Unstoppable.

Let’s do this.

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!

Just Talkin’ Tuesday 06.01.10: Should I or shouldn’t I? Having another baby after Postpartum Depression


Last night’s #PPDChat centered on this topic.

Given the varied responses and concern, I wanted to offer an extra outlet to continue the discussion.

Many women struggle with this decision after they’ve experienced a Postpartum Mood Disorder. Prior to having depression, these are moms who may have dreamed of a large family. Or at least a family with more than one child. But then a Postpartum Mood Disorder crashed down across their tracks, making the future seem beyond an impassable obstacle. Once we’ve cleared the tree, hacked it into little pieces and shredded it up, we’re exhausted. The mere thought of speeding headlong into another impasse may immobilize some.

So unintentionally, we are at an impasse. Do we or don’t we? What if… how can I prevent this from happening again? What effect will another episode have on my relationship with my older child? Will my marriage survive another round? Will I survive another round? What if I’m ready but my husband isn’t? What if my husband is ready and I’m not? What if my family is pressuring me? How do I handle this?

So we wonder. We worry. We talk. We cry. We mourn what might have been. We make a decision but don’t publicize it until we are ready to defend it. Because we feel we have to defend ourselves. We shouldn’t have to – but we do. It’s what we do.

I was not ready to have our second daughter. I had not healed from my first episode. I did not know if I wanted a second child. But my husband did. And deep down I did too. I just hadn’t made peace with the decision yet. So we started to try. And then stopped. And then started again. I went through hell – worse than the first time around. But somehow I made it through. It was my third pregnancy that scared the crap out of me. I spent so much more time getting ready for me and my potential relapse instead of on getting ready for baby. Combined with therapy and meds, my pro-active approach proved to be what worked for me this time. I am thankful I had a postpartum where I got to enjoy that newborn time. But after that, a couple of months in, I got pissed. Why? Because my PMD robbed me of this experience with my daughters, irreparably harming our bond. Sure, we’re bonded now and we love each other but it’s different. We don’t have that from the start bond. And that breaks my heart. All.the.time.

So let’s get to Just Talking – even if it is late.

Where are you on this journey? Have you? Thinking about it? Have advice/tips? What’s keeping you from having another baby? What’s your biggest fear? Share it with us – we won’t judge.

Just Talkin’ Tuesday 08.04.09: Seeking Help – How did you do it?


Base photo: "Call" by barejon @ flickr

Base photo: "Call" by barejon @ flickr

Any mom who has made the phone call to her doctor’s office or timidly admitted to another person that things are not all glowy like the Johnson & Johnson commercial’s make them out to be will tell you that it’s a very hard thing to do.

It took me three months to seek help after the birth of my first daughter. 10 days after the birth of my second (but hers included NICU and major surgery so things were sped up a bit in that situation) and when I was ultimately hospitalized it took me 4 days of calling and hanging up before I would admit things had taken a turn for the worse.

That phone call was the hardest phone call I’ve ever made in my entire life. I mean, c’mon – I just had a baby. She was healthy, she was home from the NICU, doing well – why the hell weren’t things getting better? I thank GOD every day I had the courage to make the call. It completely changed my life for the better. Looking back I see how all of it fit together now. It makes sense. At the time though, I felt adrift, like a random puzzle piece left out in a horrific rain storm.

So today I’d like to ask you to share your story of how you first asked for help. What led you to do so? What were some of the difficulties you experienced when you did ask for help? Share with us! Let’s get to Just Talkin!