Tag Archives: mother’s day

#PPDChat 05.09.16: How was YOUR Mother’s Day?

PPDChat 5-09-16Mother’s Day is another time in a mother’s life when she’s expected to be all smiles, and filled to the brim with joy. After all, it’s a day dedicated solely to our lives – motherhood. But not all mothers are filled to the brim with joy on Mother’s Day. The gauntlet of emotions for many are rough – for many reasons. Everything from troubled relationships with their own mothers, to child loss, to mental illness, to separation or alienation with their own children – the gauntlet is real and it is a rough one to run.

Tonight, #PPDChat is providing a safe space for mothers to speak up about their experiences with emotions on Mother’s Day – to let them out and process them with others who understand how hard this day can be for all of us.

See you tonight at 9pm, ready to listen with an open heart. Much love to all Mothers who had a tough day yesterday, for whatever reason. You’re not alone.

Time - Are You Mom Enough

TIME Magazine fails to support mothers

When Jamie Grumet was tapped for an interview and photo-shoot for the most recent issue of TIME magazine, her goal was not to raise our hackles. Her goal, according to a Q&A at Time was: “There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that’s what I want to avoid. I want everyone to be encouraging. We’re not on opposing teams. We all need to be encouraging to each other, and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job at that.” Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/10/q-a-with-jamie-lynne-grumet/#ixzz1uUnnAmrE

I have to say —I kind of agree with Jamie— but I disagree with about where the judgment is originating. For instance, this weekend is Mother’s Day weekend. Instead of celebrating motherhood for the amazing and difficult job it is –regardless of your approach– TIME magazine instead chooses to share an incredibly divisive article with an even more divisive headline, “Are you MOM Enough.” The real title, as accessed at their website is: “The Man Who Remade Motherhood.”

As for the photographer, Martin Schoeller, who took the photo, in an article focusing on “Behind the Cover,” he stated: “I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.” He also further stated, “It was important to show that there’s no stereotypical look for a mom who practices this kind of parenting.” Oh Martin. There’s no stereotypical Mom either – aside from, you know, a woman who has a child. Beyond that though, everything is up for grabs.

It’s time to stop judging each other for our choices. To stop allowing the media to get us all riled up. To stop thinking “Am I Mom Enough?” You are. No “as long as…” attached. There are, of course, mothers who don’t even try, mothers who have truly given up and are absent. But we’re not discussing mothers who are absent. We’re talking about mothers who give enough of a damn to raise their hackles in response to an article like this.

I don’t want to play the game anymore. But, as a mom who blogs and actively supports mothers who struggle with Postpartum Mood & Anxiety disorders, I feel I would be remiss in not addressing this topic.

Mothers, all of us, are different. We are unique in our approach to how we mother our children. These philosophies are rooted in how we are raised, how we relate to our partner, how our children relate to us, and the needs of our children. We adjust our lives in order to provide the best for our children with the resources we have and the beliefs which live deep within our hearts. If your children are secure, happy, and loved, there really isn’t any issue as to what your parenting philosophy is or if it’s any better than the mom next door.

All that matters is that what you’re doing WORKS FOR YOU.

This weekend, don’t wonder if you’re Mom enough.

KNOW you are. And know I love you for it.

Her hobby is “helping othr mommys”

This afternoon, my daughter sat down and began seriously reading a Mother’s Day project she had been laboring over at school this past week. The first pass declared me to be 8ft tall (yup!), 10lbs (wow. Can we say excuse to indulge in ice cream all weekend?!), 70 years old (we need to have a talk, Olay!), sweet, and as beautiful as a rose (ok, Olay, clearly you’re doing something right!)

But then, then there was the sentence about my hobby.

My 6 year old daughter wrote proudly in her Mother’s day book the following:

“Her hobby is helping othr mommys.”

Yes, dear, it is indeed. It is indeed.

I need Kleenex.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Share the Journey: Release Your Books Project Details

Happy Mothers’ Day!

May you have a blessed day today, no matter where you are on your journey into Motherhood. (And by the way, check out Postpartum Progress today every hour on the hour for an open letter from a survivor or expert about Mom’s Mental Health. Yours truly is an author!)

Book ReleaseToday marks the launch of what I hope will be a very cool project, Share the Journey: Release Your Books.

I’ve just registered my four books at Book Crossing with plans of releasing them into the “wild” soon!

The books I’m releasing are:

The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood by Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D

The Mother-to-Mother Postpartum Depression Support Book by Sandra Poulin

My Journey to Her World by Michael Lurie

The Lifter of My Head by Sue McRoberts

I’ll definitely be releasing more in the future as well!

Here’s how you can participate (read completely):

1) Register at Book Crossing.

2) Make sure to type in lauren-hale as the referral username during registration.

3) Register your book.

4) Be sure to write your BCID (Book Crossing ID) inside your book along with a brief message. Please include the following url with your message: http://unexpectedblessing.wordpress.com/release-your-books/ so those finding the books will know they are a part of this project.

5) Release the book.

6) Make sure to go back to Book Crossing to enter release details and change the status of your book to “Traveling”

7) Leave a comment on the Release your Book Project Page here with your book’s specific url @ book crossing.

8) Enjoy the good karma!Release your books button

Oh, and here’s a cool button you can put up on your blog to let others know you participate in the project.

If you can, be sure the button to the Release Your Books project page here at Sharing the Journey.

When promoting this, please use the tag Release Your Books. At Twitter, the hashtag should look like this: #releaseyourbooks.

I can’t wait to see where this goes!

Natalie Dombrowski radio interview on May 8th @ 9am Central

"Speak up" by Aaron Michael Brown @ flickr

"Speak up" by Aaron Michael Brown @ flickr

(I received an email from Natalie this morning informing me that her interview had been rescheduled to air tomorrow instead! Tune in!)

Natalie Dombrowski, author of Back to You, Founder of S.P.E.A.K., and fellow blogger, will be on-air with Chicago Public Radio this Thursday Friday at 9:00a Central time.

She’ll be sharing her experience with PPD, anxiety, and motherhood just in time for Mother’s Day.

“I know that the more we talk about our experience the more mothers out there seem to relate and feel the burden of isolation, guilt, and shame lessen.” says Natalie about her upcoming interview. AMEN to that!

If you’re in Chicago, you can listen live on WBEZ 91.5 FM. If not, you can listen online by going to the WBEZ website and clicking the “Listen Now” button at the top of the home page.

Thanks Natalie, for continuing to share your experience. With the comfort of your courageous voice, many mothers will no longer feel alone.

Really Bad Mother’s Day Gifts

‘Tis the season of Motherhood celebrations. A long-time cynic of companies who cater advertising to whatever holiday is around the corner, I always find it amusing when companies that don’t really apply to the holiday promote specials despite this fact and believe me, I’ve heard some doozies this past week. I’m not mentioning company names – just the general special and well, the reason it’s a BAD idea. Funny, but BAD. (And they are in no specific order)

Oh, and if you’re curious, click here for some serious education on the history and differences in the celebration of Mother’s Day.


1) Laser Hair Removal Gift Certificate

Gee Mom, you’re amazing. Thanks for all the dinners, the chauffering, the help with the homework, the laundry. Now go get those bushes removed from under your arms!

2) Any kind of Pet

You do so well with all the responsibility you have now – here – plate’s NOT quite full enough yet! Guaranteed to randomly poop, pee, and need to be fed at the worst time possible. Sound familiar???

3) Beer of the Month Club

 Yeah, um, I think we ALL know who this is really for!

4) Anything Kitchen/house related

No new vaccuums here! DO not get her housewares unless she’s asked for them. Specifically. Even then, get a gift certificate and let her pick out whatever  exactly what she wants.

5) Maid Service Gift Certificate

Sounds like a good idea, yes? NO! NO NO NO!!!!!! She will immediately be thinking about everything she will have to clean BEFORE the maid service shows up!

Sharing the Journey with my Mom!

Happy May Day!

Today I am starting a series of interviews in honor of Mother’s Day. Interviews this month are focusing on Mothers of women who have suffered from Postpartum Depression. Up first is someone I am very happy to have the privilege of being close to and honoured that she agreed to be interviewd for my blog. My Mother is an intensely private person and yet it is because of her that I feel comfortable in being myself and reaching out to others. Raising three kids is no easy task (as I am discovering these days) and I am grateful that I have my mom to reach out to and certainly do not take that for granted. Thanks for all you have done for me over the years, Mom, and Thank you for your wonderful continued support in my life!

1) I know that you have a strong faith in God. How do you feel watching me go through Postpartum Depression and the subsequent growth I’ve experienced has affected your relationship with Him? Has it made it stronger?
   Having a close relationship with the Lord, has allowed me to let Him take care of  life situations. Through all the PPD that you have experienced His strength has given me just all the more reason to be thankful for the gift of patience and understanding. It has been amazing to look back just not at your journey but mine also and seeing the understanding of what and who God can be in our lives everyday.
    As far as a stronger relationship with God, every year I grow with Him in my life, His strength has always been the strongest for me, and His strength is always there.
2) When and how did you first realize something wasn’t quite right with me after Allison’s birth? What were some of the signs that didn’t sit well with you?
       Being the mother of three children myself, and that back when PPD was really just something that was not talked about or not even believed to have existed, my feelings of what you went through were really not in that place at that time. I can only understand after Allisons birth the constant calling to be reassured was a need for security from my point of view. Unfortunately because of the distance of living situations I only heard your feelings and immediately prayed and gave them  and your family to the Lord.
 3) I want to Thank You for your willingness to help so much after Charlotte’s birth when we were back and forth to the NICU. How hard was it for you to come down and help care for Allison while watching Chris and I go back and forth to Atlanta to visit our newborn daughter?
       This is a very easy question, I have always felt if I could be there for our children I would be. It comes back as your mom I knew that in my heart you would feel much better knowing I was there for you and your family. This particular time was when you started sharing more with me the emotional struggles because of Charlotte’s disability and also the understanding of the situation among all family members was new so there was quite a bit of distress.
4) You also dropped everything to come down when I was admitted to the hospital for PPD to help Chris with the girls. What were some of your thoughts as we went through that weekend?
     My immediate reaction when I read this question was one of I prayed! Next I knew because of what you, again had shared, the reasoning at this time was a medication issue. I will just say that the peace that God gave me is a big answer for this one. It was His strength not mine and His peace came  along with it.
5) How do you feel I am doing this time around with postpartum issues?
   You are more understanding, mainly because you are aware of what the problems can be. You still call a lot but I am seeing more of you sharing what the children are doing and the funny sayings, antics etc. I see a willingness to look outside “yourself” which in my opinion has helped you grow because
 its  allowed you to see how others in your life live. Your own relationship with the Lord has grown. That is a wonderful blessing!
6) What, if anything, have you learned from my postpartum experiences?
    I guess one of the biggest things I learned is that I do feel for all the mothers out there who had PPD and had no idea what was going on with their emotions.
Years ago when PPD was unknown and how so many of us have been affected and we kept asking is this normal?  To understand that as a society today we also no longer have families living close by and therefore the help that would once have been there has caused extra stress and therefore insecurities.
7) Do you feel that my motherhood has brought us closer?
    Yes and no. Yes, because of knowing that you care about my opinion and also seeing the relationship with our Lord growing. No, because of the distance of where we live keeps a lot of what we would share face to face out of the spectrum of our lives.
8 ) Have you done any research on your own into Postpartum Mood Disorders? If so, did what you find surprise you?
      I have done a bit but since at my age I am experiencing a lot of emotional changes in my own life I am giving it to the Lord who has been my strength when I have needed it. I am hardly ever surprised at much anymore. Emotions run the gamut, all over map.
9) What is your opinion on how open I am about my experiences and my determination to help other women not suffer alone?
       This, is one area I can say I am proud of you that you have taken it upon yourself to let others see and hear about what you have gone through. A beginning, yes, for knowing you have ” kept” a part of yourself and I know as your children grow you will hold onto yourself so when you are older you will know who you are.
10) Any advice for other mothers whose daughters are struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder?
    As you have shared many times already, keep the communication lines open. There will be plenty of times when as a parent you really have a hard time dealing with communication but I have found it the best way to help is to listen and learn and also just be there even if you have nothing to say. I have always shared with my children that if you ask I will give you my opinion, but you do not have to take it. There are so many resources out there now and some of the best advice I can give is to get all the advice you can from all possible places and then make an informed decision. Prayer for my family has always been an answer, God opens the doors to show me the right decision to make!  As a parent of someone who has PPD, just give love unconditionally!