Some common post-natal depression risk factors:
- Lack of practical or emotional support
- History of depression
- Difficult relationship with your own mother
I have all of these contributing factors, and there are certainly may more.
The relationship I have with my Mother has always been
challenging. I find comfort in the idea
that children choose their parents before they arrive on this Earth. Well damn, I was ambitious because every day
has been a learning experience if that's the case.
My Mom loves as hard as she bites and has a very selective
memory about the later. She wanted to
toughen me up. I get that. It’s just that she didn't need to use a
jackhammer to tenderize the sensitive little piece of meat that was me. Parents, please choose your tools wisely.
No mother-daughter relationship is perfect and I’m lucky
enough to have a mother- and she does mean well, and she does love me. Growing up, I
witnessed some parenting strategies I’d like to emulate and many I would choose
It’s tricky if you disagree with the way you were raised. Trying to parent in the opposite way can lead
to an extreme on the other side of the spectrum- which can be just as damaging. Finding
a balance between the two styles is the real test.
Balance. A lifelong
assignment never finished.
But back to the PND risk factors, based on the conversations I've
had with my peers, I have to wonder if we should add ‘independence’ to the
Many of my friends are waiting until their 30’s to have children. We are educated, have careers, traveled, and
have carefully chosen our partners. We
are realistic about motherhood- I did not romanticize it at
all. I can’t count how many times I heard, “Having children will
be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.” That didn't scare me.
Then it happens, you become a mother. All that independence... gone. Everything I learned about self-sufficiency is thrown out with the dirty diapers. My newborn could care less that I know how to
live out of a suitcase or open my own jar of pickles.
Being a parent is not a one person or even a two person
job. My husband is an incredible father
but unfortunately he works 12 hours per day. I could probably manage the tiny, new human in our house but one can
only survive so long when you have to choose between eating, showering and sleeping. Not to mention dealing with the hormonal roller-coaster. This is where ‘the
village’ needs to step in and assist new
And if the village can’t read your mind, you can always ask
for help. An exercise in humility itself
but trust me, it’s worth it to have an extra pair of hands.
A few months after my daughter’s birth, I found myself at a
low point. I felt isolated and drained. I worked up the courage to ask someone for
help. This person appeared surprised, told
me that they never once asked anyone for help with all of their own children. It stung briefly like the hot tingle after a
slap. I thought, "She didn't mean it that way." When the conversation was repeated again, a few days
later, I felt resentful, humiliated, but I promised myself I would show nothing but
gratitude for the help I felt like I begged for.
We did make it through that rough patch. It’s all a lesson, lessons everywhere.
From infancy and until age two, children experience growth
at an alarming rate. As parents we
should consider ourselves to be on the same trajectory. Just like our little offspring, exploring the
world every day, parenting is the same type of hands-on experience. Learn your kid, learn your parenting.
None of us are perfect but if we keep open minds, and
respect our children and ourselves....I think we will all be just fine.
Labels: healing, health, motherhood, parenting, Post Natal Depression, Travel