What comes to mind when I think about May is the generations of women before me and those after me that have embarked on the amazing journey called motherhood. Despite modern advances, today, mothers more than ever are vulnerable to the demands placed on their bodies, minds and souls from child birth and parenting. One in five mothers will have a post partum mood disorder and many others, including myself can feel exhausted at times from trying to juggle the kids, work and household responsibilities and that is with a supportive partner.
How can others help?
If you are a dad, don’t wait to be asked. Take initiative with the children, housework and arranging dates. Honour your partner’s need for sleep, adult conversation and time away from the house. Appreciation and empathy goes a long way to preventing a woman from becoming depressed and is an invaluable investment in preserving the couple relationship. Educate yourself about the signs of PPD and other mood disorders and support your partner in getting help as soon as possible.
It is essential for grandparents to remember that things are significantly different now than when you were raising children. Today’s parents are inundated and often overwhelmed by the amount of parenting resources out there. Support your adult children in the choices they make and offer TLC and understanding instead of unwanted advice or criticism. And of course, nothing beats offers to babysit.
Not sure where to go for help? Check out www.lifewithnewbaby.ca to learn more about Post Partum Depression. Call the local Public Health, 519-883-2245 or the Cambridge Early Years Centre, 519-740-8353 to find out about local resources. Remember the biggest buffer against stress and depression is social support. www.parentguide.ca has lots of links to connect you to formal and informal supports in the region.
Come to our walk-in counselling on Thursdays from 1-7 pm to get the help you need, when you need it! Keep the conversation going; join us on Facebook with your comments
Nicole, May 10, 2012