Tag Archives: toddlers

Wordless Wednesday: Imperfectly Perfect

I know this is supposed to be wordless. Given that I’m the one hosting, I feel I’ll be forgiven for a few words. The other night, in #PPDChat, @jamesandjax suggested we all snap a photo of a messy area in our homes and our smiling children to post on Wednesday. For some of us, this means finally coming out of the “closet” if you will…. shedding the guilt we carry for not living up to the impossibly high standards of June Cleaver.

After a lot of consideration, I decided to snap a photo of the top of a kitchen cart. No matter how many times I try to clean it off, it gets covered up again, like a chaos magnet. Things come and go from the top of this cart more almost as often as a MARTA train. But there’s always a gaggle of things there. I have learned to live with it. One of these days, I’m going to keep it clean. And free of things which do not belong in the kitchen. Or maybe not. Either way, it’s okay. It’s mine and I’m okay with that. All that matters is that the kids have had a day full of love and laughter.

The other picture is one of my son, right after eating a very healthy breakfast of a Mixed Berry Fruit Bar. What? Grains and fruit!

Leave the link to your post below. All comments are moderated the first time they are left here due to the sensitive nature of my blog, but rest assured, I’ll be approving them as quickly as possible today (I can do so from my phone!)

I look forward to a whole slew of imperfectly perfect and HAPPY households today!!!

P.S. I couldn’t get my son to smile. But that’s okay – we’re being real here, right? Also, if you look closely at the kitchen cart, you’ll notice the drawer is broken. It’s been that way for a long time.

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Just Talkin’ Tuesday 06.08.10: How do you talk with your kids about Postpartum Depression?

First, apologies for this being late. Summer break, a new family schedule, a blah day yesterday and then Internet connectivity issues today have all come into play. Starting next month, I’m going to work on planning a whole month’s worth of posts focused on one topic. So if there are any specific questions you’d like to have answered, send them to ppdacceptance(@)gmail.com. Maybe YOUR question will be a Just Talkin’ Tuesday post soon!

Looking back, I have realized our older daughter experienced a lot of things at 23 months old no child should ever experience. My husband and I yelling and screaming at each other because we were not communicating, Mommy collapsing in the floor as she wailed because something minor set me off, snapping at her for nothing at all, trapped in the house because we could never leave it, feeling abandoned as we went to Atlanta to be with Charlotte (don’t worry y’all – we had family members caring for her – not like we tossed her some cookies in her bed and wished her the best of luck!), and just the overall instability a Postpartum Mood Disorder drags with it into the household.

When we discovered our third pregnancy we decided things had to have a different focus. Instead of preparing things for the baby, we would need to prepare ourselves for the baby. By this time I had been doing advocacy work for just a few months and running a support group for nearly 4 months. I read, researched, picked a local OB known for his attention to women after delivery, and poured my heart and soul into the development of a personalized Postpartum Mental Health Plan.

Our girls, then nearly 4 and 2, sat in the middle of this potential storm. How could we best prepare them for the firestorm?

We waited until 8 months or so into the pregnancy. At every meal we would bring up Postpartum Mood Disorders. Yes, they got sick of hearing about it. But what we did worked well for us.

The conversation went something like this:

“Mommy wants to talk to you about something.”

Daughter 1: “Yes, mama?”

Daughter 2: plays with her food

“You know how you’re getting a new baby brother?”

Daughter 1: “Ahuh. And he’s gonna be so much fun and…”

Daughter 2: shoves food to one side of her plate.

“Well, sometimes, after mommies have babies, they get really super duper sad. And it’s not anyone’s fault.”

Daughter 1: “Sad? Why sad?”

Daughter 2: working on moving food back to the OTHER side of her plate.

“Well, no one really knows why yet. They just do. And like I said, it’s not anyone’s fault. Not the Mama’s, not the daddy’s, not the children’s fault, and not the baby’s fault. Got it?”

Daughter 1: “Got it.”

Daughter 2: is now parting her food as if it were the Red Sea.

“So who’s fault is it if a Mommy gets sad after she has a baby?”

Daughter 1: “The Mommy’s.”

*sigh* “No… it’s not anybody’s fault! It just happens.”

Daughter 1: “Oh. Not anybody’s fault?”

Daughter 2: Contemplating a spoonful of food at eye level.

“That’s right! Not anybody’s fault!!!”

“So – if that happens to Mommy and she gets sad, let’s think of some ways you can help mommy cheer up.”

Daughter 1: “Okay. I can tickle you. That will make you smile!”

Daughter 2: Attempting to eat said food. Instead creating a river of oatmeal down her chin.

“I like that! So if you see mommy sad or upset you can come tickle me, okay pumpkin?”

Daughter 1: “Really? I can? Yay!!!” cue really big goofy toddler grin.

Daughter 2: now smearing river of oatmeal on table. I’ve given up.

“So who’s fault is it?”

Daughter 1: “NOBODY’S!”

“And what are you going to do to help mommy if she gets sad?”

Daughter 1: “TICKLE YOU!”

And off we giggled into the sunset as a river of oatmeal flooded the plains.

But seriously – see what we did? We had a completely age appropriate discussion about Postpartum Depression. It really sunk in because if I looked sad after our son was born, my daughter really DID tickle me. So totally adorable.

As for the flip side – telling your children about your own experience with Postpartum Depression you had with them is a completely different ball game. Sure, I have share with them some of it but again, it’s in an age appropriate manner. They know mommy spends so much time on the computer because she helps women who are sad after they have babies. They have seen me cry when I’ve been touched by a story or a tragedy. And my oldest knows enough to know that if she ever has Postpartum Depression, she needs to talk to mommy cuz mommy knows what she’s doing. I hope and pray neither one of them experience this hell but with my experience, their risk goes up. So I feel I owe it to them to educate myself as much as possible, be as open as possible, and let them know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are NOT alone.

SO let’s get to Just Talkin’ here. Did you have older kids when you experienced your Postpartum Mood Disorder? Were you able to prepare them? If not, how did they react to your Postpartum experience? How did you talk with them about what was going on with Mommy? And here’s a doozy – will you ever tell your child the full unfiltered and uncensored story about what happened? Or will you continue to tell them in general terms about Postpartum Mood Disorders? (I’m still on the fence about whether or not I’ll share full details with them – if I ever write a book I suppose there’s no turning back then, right?)

I can’t wait to discuss this with y’all!

One of THOSE days

The girls tried to make themselves breakfast again this morning. Apparently cheese toast and bacon were on the menu along with Good n Plenty, Belly Flops, and some sort of strawberry candy. I have no idea what they were planning on doing with the Fondue Pot. Frankly I am not sure I want to know.

I just realized today was so hectic I forgot to take my meds but I’m still here and very calm amazingly enough.

This afternoon was wonderful. They cleaned up their room without too much prodding and even earned a snack and a movie. Then as they moved back to their room to play as I cooked dinner, silence. For those of you who have never experienced toddlers, silence is a bad thing. A very bad thing. It means they are up to no good. This time they had the sample of Snuggle that had just come in the mail and were pouring it everywhere. I herded them to the tub, rinsed them off, and put them to bed. Yes, without dinner. I do not cook meals for those who choose to disobey. Bedtime went rather smoothly with Charlotte – Alli was another story altogether. I had to get the Magic Monster Catcher (a handheld vaccuum) and catch all the Monsters in their room, assure her the very dead bug on the window was OUTSIDE and would not be coming in to get her anytime soon, and let her crawl into bed with Charlotte so she wouldn’t be all alone. Oh the things Parents do to get their kids to go to sleep.

As I sit here typing, the comforting roar of traffic echoes in the background while the fans here in the house whine and sway as they keep me cool. No sounds from the back bedroom (ok, so silence is GOOD when they’re SUPPOSED to be quiet) and no sounds from Cameron’s room. Chris is at a step meeting and I am relaxing by venting here and contemplating lying down and catching a few ZZzzzZZZZ’s before Chris gets home so I’ll be able to enjoy his company when he gets here. I may just fix myself a cup of tea and sit here instead.

Thanks for listening and sharing my journey. Please don’t forget to take care of yourselves no matter how hectic the day gets. You ARE ALWAYS worth it.

Busy Morning already!

645a – wake up, Chris leaves for work.

646a – restroom

650a – take dogs outside

7a- back inside to fix Cameron’s bottle, realize Charlotte needs to be cleaned up b/c of poopy

705a  – finish cleaning charlotte up, warm up Cameron’s bottle, go to get Cameron.

706a – Cameron is soaked in pee and full diaper includes poopy.

707 – rush Cameron to bathroom with Alli opening doors so I don’t have to touch the pee pee.

730 – finished with Cameron’s bath, new diaper, feeding him his bottle in living room as the girls watch The Upside Down Show. (TUDS)

745a – Cameron finishes his bottle and spits up. Fun. He’s particularly fussy this morning – who wouldn’t be after waking up soaked through in pee?

8a – TUDS finishes and we move to Cameron’s room. Run to get fresh sheets, make his bed, lay him down. He’s still crying but we go to fix breakfast. The girls are swarming now, I think they wanted to climb up me  or something.

830a – finally get to sit down to eat breakfast. Kashi’s Mountain Medly Granola is YUM.

9a -Finished with breakfast, girls play with play-doh and I clean up the kitchen, get laundry going, dishes started, trash bagged up.

930a – sitting down to watch Monsters, Inc. as I work on the computer.

Was supposed to walk this morning but given the unexpected turn of events, did not get a chance to do so – and now it’s nearly 80 degrees here. Planning on doing some Pilates once everyone is down for nap to make up for not walking.

Right now, I’m just grateful for the calm.

Want some irony?

I got my access back today – and you know what Alli did?

Stole my phone, tossed it in the toy chest and proceeded to lie to me about it for three entire hours whilst I ransacked the house in a frantic search for it. You see, we don’t have a home phone so my cell is my only link to the outside world via voice.

I wasn’t so much upset that she stole it.

Just that she lied to me about it for so long.

But hey, that’s life with kids.

I should know that by now, shouldn’t I?