How I Got Through It

Wanna know what I read to get through Post Partum Depression?  To figure out potty training?  To fantacize that I'm somewhere else? 

Funny Moms:

When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson

OH MY GOD!  I related to this mom SO MUCH!  The subtitle on the front cover pretty much says it all:

"The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be."

She writes about how ridiculous being a mother can be in these insane times of over-parenting and too many options.  One of my favorite parts talks about how we are supposed to use the 'anatomically correct' names for body parts...with a 2 year old. 




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These got me through the Post-Partum Depression:

Hillbilly Gothic by Adrienne Martini

This one came into my possession in a manner which I can only describe as serendipity.  I NEVER would have noticed this title as being one about post-partum depression.  But one afternoon in the midst of my meltdown, Ben sent me out for a few hours alone.  I went to the only place I could think to go, the used bookstore. A single, obviously ou of place copy of this book was sitting on top of the "current events" bookcase.  I picked it up, read the first 2 pages and was totally sucked into her story. 

It not only takes us through the author's story of her severe post-partum depression, but also talks about her mother's madness and growing up with mental illness in her family.

I LOVED this book so much that I went back and read it several months ago to see if I would be as moved by it now as I was while in the midst of my own post-partum misery.   I was.  It's fantastic.

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Down Came the Rain by Brooke Shields

OK.  I admit, I was reluctant to pick this one up.  My feeling at the time was that this was going to be the gorgeous and fantastically successful Brook Shields whining and crying saying something like, "boo hoo hoo!  My boobs aren't perfect anymore and it took me 6 months to work off the baby weight and now I'm depressed!".

It wasn't at all.  When I finally got this one, the fog was starting to lift and I was completely relieved to find that "perfect" women go through the "I hate this baby" phase too.  I felt like what I was feeling is okay and also that it wasn't my fault.  I mean, if SHE can admit to feeling like a failure, then who could expect me to be 100% on top of my game?

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These are a few more books about the great DEMON that I recommend:

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


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When Baby Brings the Blues by Dalfen, Ariel.


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This Isn't What I Expected by Kleiman, Karen R.



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Parenting Books:
**Important note: I think I read EVERY book in existence about baby and child development trying to figure out what was "okay" and what was "normal".  I read books about discipline and potty training and mental stimulation and bowel movements.  When I was done with this, I was overwhelmed with the mixed messages and techniques that told me they were the absolute BEST way to rear my child.  I was confused and more lost than when I started.  So I scrapped all but these two.  

Touchpoints (Birth to Three) by T. Berry Brazelton

Dr. Brazelton is an expert in child growth and development, rivaling only Dr. Spock for his authority.  But the real reason why I love this book is because of his very middle of the road approach.  He gives some advice that seems to be in the attachment parenting camp, but other advice that is so practical and old school that I am pretty sure my grandmother did it.  In addition to some how to advice about sleep, feeding, potty training and health concerns, he gives the developmental milestones that he looks for at his little patients' well-child visits. 



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Touchpoints (Three to Six) By T. Berry Brazelton

This is the same stuff as above but for your slightly older kid.  I love this one. 









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Other books about Parenting:


Perfect Madness by Judith Warner

THIS BOOK IS SERIOUSLY UNDER-RATED.  I thought this book was going to be more about how difficult it is to be a mother in a post-9/11 world.  And it is...to a point. 

We all want the best for our children, right?  But what happens when we are told by everything around us that there is ALWAYS something better than what we thought was best?  What this book is really about is how insane we mothers are made by our fellow mothers and the culture of over-protection. 

If you straddle the line between simply protecting your child and being obsessed with the safety of your child (and everything from baby products to baby food to playing outside) then you will benefit from Warners very down to earth and objectively journalistic take on things.

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6 comments:

  1. I'm so glad there is someone out there writing about what parenting is really like. So many mothers are afraid to just say "it's hard" or "it sucks sometimes" or "I'm not perfect and I don't even strive to be."

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  2. I just realized that,yeah, motherhood can be over glorifies. And my mother in law was NOT helping. She lived for her three kids, had plenty of support and friends. How? Idk...anyway, the glossy pages of the parenting magazines and my mil crazy delusion that my life and hote I dealt with my kids composed to how she did it, made me totally feel like I was a failure. And up until children, I achieved much in my work and social life. Then I was duped into thinking my life is to revolve around a two and five year old. And receiving mass pursue to homeschool my kids from good ole mominlaw... :/ and only just a few weeks ago did the pressure and expectations finally take its toll. I dialed into an 'i don't care anymore, screw everything!' mentality. Then I found other moms online openly admitting they hated being a mom. Lived their kids, but the full mommy role wasn't their cup of tea. "yay! Me, too!" Now ive started the healing. And tearing down what magazines and crazy mil had made me feel about my achievements and failures with my kids. Now, I'm taking things slower, and feeling much better. Which makes us all happier here in my house. :)

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  3. Amen to this blog and all of your comments. Ans just to add a comment of my own, just when I think I can't take the insanity anymore, and just want to run away, after having a fit of rage, my youngest child surprises me and apologizes to me for having a hissy fit over nothing, and I realize "hey, maybe I am doing SOMETHING right!"

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  4. Here here on the above. My kids are grown - although teenagerhood is trying with my last there at the moment. But I remember sitting on the dining table crying with my son crawling round and round trying to get to me...

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  5. I also agree Perfect Madness is under rated. What I especially like about that book is how its describes all expections put spcifically on mothers in our current age, and yet how little oustide help and support mothers receive. A recipe for chronic stress if you ask me.

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  6. Maybe none of you should have had kids? Maybe PPD is hereditary. Perhaps you should have listened to your inner child and skipped the child rearing part altogether..... If you find yourself here wondering if starting a family is the right thing, then maybe its not for you. Sit down. Talk with your partner and let them know that that doesn't fit into your lifestyle. Stand up for yourself for crying out loud!

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