Today’s show revisits my 2009 conversation with Leah Deragon of Birth Roots about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. As a doula and a birth educator, it was hard for Leah when motherhood turned out to be so difficult. She discusses the pain of not feeling an instant emotional attachment to her baby, her anxiety over his breastfeeding difficulties, and her insomnia. We talk about the many unrealistic expectations new mothers face, and how normal it is to struggle in ways that aren’t often discussed.
A conversation with therapist and mother Valery about how she grew to understand her daughter’s difficulty with social situations as the result of severe social anxiety, and her seemingly excessive internet use as a positive and healthy adaptation.
An anonymous interview with Rachel about her son’s severe depression and multiple suicide attempts. Rachel described the precipitous descent into depression that seemed to swallow her previously sunny, confident, artistic boy. She names the terrible and confusing sense of ambiguous loss [Read more…]
An interview with parenting expert, Adele Faber, co-author with Elaine Mazlish of the best-selling, Siblings Without Rivalry and, How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk. Adele speaks about the importance of listening to and validating kids feelings about their siblings, no matter how uncomfortable they make us. She uses the analogy of how you would feel if your spouse brought home another wife, or another husband who you were expected to care for and share your things with. She models empathic responses that parents can give to their children’s anger, jealousy and even hatred of their siblings. She also acknowledges that it is common and normal to find yourself more drawn to one of your children, and that the feelings alone are not hurtful to your child. She offers helpful ways to behave such that the unique gifts of each child are seen and celebrated.
An interview with author and professor, Meredith Hall about her experience of being shunned when she became pregnant at 16. Meredith speaks of the deep messages to pregnant girls that they are bad, and must be made to keep silent about the pregnancy for the rest of their lives. Meredith describes what it was like to be shunned by her entire community and to be pushed out of her mother’s house when she most needed support. She speaks about three levels of grief, the profound loss of losing the child, the loss that no-one ever spoke to her about this loss, or even acknowledged it, and the loss of her family and entire social world. Meredith speaks about how her anger helped protect her dignity and how seeing that she too had abandoned her child helped her make peace internally with her parents who had abandoned her. She ultimately affirms that she has been able to see the large grief she carries as a gift that has enlarged her capacity to love.