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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share some interesting info that helped me understand my PPD.
In a book about transitioning from career to home with baby (sorry I forgot title etc.)
A study was done on women and happiness. Comparing women's happines at home, in work and relationships/marriage.

What they discovered was that the essentials are the same. Women need feelings of "Mastery" and "Measurable achievements" to be happy.

We can all see how we develop and experience "mastery" in career as well as "measurable achievements."

I have found it less easy to experience these feelings as a stay at home mom. As our children are always growing and changing, We don't exactly "master" it....and I am an EXPERIENCED mom.

Nor are there many feelings of measurable achievements at home. Diapers? Meals? housework?
Certainly cannot compare to the "measurable achievements" of career.

My story is: Sahm, homeschooled and worked as a midwife 1980-1996. Then I worked outside home full time for 7-8 years. Then remarried and a new baby 2002. I suffered severe PPD, (I had the high functioning, anxiety type).

I believe part of my PPD was due to the shock of LOSS of "Mastery" and LOSS of "measurable achievements".

Every day dh worked I would make elaborate gourmet meals and my house was spotless (when she was tiny, and slept alot). I remember I felt like I HAD to do this. ( I LOVE cooking) so it was very rewarding. It enabled me to maintain some form of MAstery ansd Measurable achievements, and this is how I did it. Cooking and cleaning like crazy. I felt like it kept me sane, now I understand. I did not understand what I was doing at the time. But this helps me understand now.

I know this is not "help" for depression, but one of the complex pieces of PPD. I also must ditto ISOLATION was a HUGE factor.

Get out, get out, get out, talk, talk talk.
Do something your'e good at.

I'm one of those people who never leaves my baby AP whatever......and I can see now maybe that was in her best interest, but not always mine.
Hugs and sweet sweet healing for all you mommies
Colleen
 

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Thank you for the insight intentful lady. I can relate to the cleaning thing. The only time I feel like I have accomplished anything of value is when the house is spotless and I have done something that will not need to be done again the next day. I can be obsessive about it and drive myself and everyone else insane. Unfortunately with 2 high needs children, actually having the opportunity to achieve that which makes me feel good is almost impossible and I find myself getting very frustrated by this at times. I also find myself thinking, how does so and so do it? It is hard to believe that my children are really any different than anyone else's, yet my house is a mess and theirs is not etc., so the failure must be my own incompetence. It was not until recently when I had spent significantly more time with my SIL that I realized that my children really are different and that another mother would probably not be able to accomplish even what I manage if she were in my shoes. It is really hard to remember this when I am trying to vaccuum holding a 22 lb 9 month old in one arm while the 4 1/2 year old is hanging off my leg or when it takes me 4 tries to do one load of dishes and 3 days to complete 1 load of laundry. I feel like I am going crazy.
 

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Sometimes we don't meet our own expectations. We can be too hard on ourselves. Too bad we can't see ourselves through others eyes. I'm sure we wouldn't be as judgemental and see that we are actually making a difference and doing a darn good job at it too!!!
 

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Intentfulady, I totally identified with what you wrote. It's something myself and a lot of my friends struggle with. We were all in the military - some of us still are - and when we were all young and foolish all we wanted was to be SAHMs, and now that some of us are, we're struggling to find our purpose in it.

I've realized that as much as I love my babies and being home with them, I've been confusing happiness with not having any responsibilities. In the Navy, (when I thought I was happy) it was all about me. I wasn't terribly happy then, but compared to the long list of obligations I have now, (and live in fear of failing miserably at) it almost looks like happiness when I think back. I found some journals I kept then, and realized that all I wanted then was what I have now, which helped me to put diapers and dishes and pb&j in perspective.

I used to bake bread from scratch so I could see my accomplishment and hear how wonderful my dh thought it was! Then I found I needed to get out of the house, even if I just drove around for awhile, but accomplishing both in the same day (bread and an outing) was so hard! I just set myself up for failure! I can laugh about it now, (almost 2 years removed) but it was devastating then.

Thanks for your insight!!

lizzie
 

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Isnt it funny how we do that? I mean, sometimes now I look back when I was single and think how good I had it, coming home to a house that was just the way I left it, doing what I wanted when I wanted, going out on a moments notice, or not, taking a long hot bath whenever the mood hit me.... and yes thats all true, but then I realize how lonely I was too. Now I have a new dh and two new babies (as wellas my 13yr old from my first marriage) and am never lonely but often exhausted and frustrated! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
 

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wow. I feel like I just got whacked in the head. I don't have ppd, but was intrigued by the OP's title so clicked on it. And she totally described what's going on in me and I was SO blind to it! I'm reading and saying, "that's me that's me!"

But now what do I DO with this information?

thanks for posting. If you figure out the title I'm getting that book from the library.

Julie
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll go back and dredge up the title and author for you.

I guess for me, the understanding was so groundbreaking I was satisfied to stop and roll around in the "understanding" part for awhile !

But Now I'm asking the same question. Now What?

Taking the skills that worked well in The World
Like management skills, and applying them at home.

(The hard part for ME is knowing and feeling deserving of my needs. i'm used to putting myself at the bottom of the list.)

I want to manage my household more efficiently to free myself to persue my happys.

I need help with housework
I got help with housework and I feel so MUCH better. I don't put so much pressure on myself to complete these meaningless tasks, and pretend they are rewarding.

I still do the work of cloth diapers, because I BELIEVE in it.

And if something interesting, enriching, exciting comes up. I DO IT !!!! Screw the housework. And I notice... I am much happier.

Thats mostly all I've done. But that alone has shifted things around here, and I'm Happier!!

I PROMISE, I will be back with title etc.

Peace
Colleen
 

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Thanks for sharing! I think that's one of a few great, big, humongous pieces they leave out when telling you how fabulous attachment parenting is.

If you think about it, our society pretty much grooms us through school, sports, work, to expect life to be about measurable outcomes. And the more of a perfectionist you are, the more you rely on feeling that you've met or exceeded some goal. No wonder it's such a shock to suddenly undertake an endeavor that has no clear "success." No wonder I so often feel like a failure as a mom...there is no indicator of success that matches the sort of conditioning I've undergone since birth. It makes me happy that I'm planning to send DD to schools that don't give grades or encourage competition through at least age 12. Hopefully she'll continue to do things for the joy of it, not because she wants to earn an "A" or a gold star or feel like she is "better" than someone.

I actually went back to work part-time when I sent DD to preschool at 2.5 years. It wasn't perfect, but it at least made me feel useful, and I got to talk to adults about something in addition to our kids for a change. I also took up doing little crafts here and there; making greeting cards is a favorite b/c it is creative, measurable, and quick. I'm working toward teaching birth education classes so I have a little something that is mine that brings income, stimulates my brain, and capitalizes on a topic that is a passion of mine. Not to mention being a small time commitment, which is nice. I am also trying to keep my friendships with other smart moms going strong.

Re: housework - I personally hate most domestic chores and always have. When DH and I first married (long before we had DD), we lived in England where he had a job and I did not. I felt like I should be keeping everything clean and doing all the laundry and dishes, since I was the little wifey staying at home and not bringing in an income. I grew steadily more depressed throughout that year. My identity felt sucked from me. Yuck! So if I loathed that type of work then, why on earth would I suddenly love it now, when there is 10 times as much housework?! I clearly remember longing for a baby, but I don't ever remember longing to be a housecleaner, LOL!

Carol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ellasmom
Thanks for sharing. I need to hear that feedback too.

I'm gonna be part time soon. I think it will nurtue that part of me, although conflicts with parenting ideals as baby is 2.

Colleen
 

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What an interesting post! I'd love to read this book too if you can find the title.

I have really been struggling lately with SAHM-hood -- I worked for 15 years before ds was born, and had a fun, kind of glamorous job (marketing for cable TV) with nice perks. As a friend pointed out, my life now is "all about juice." With #2 on the way I've been feeling rather trapped and disappointed in all the stuff I'm NOT doing -- baking bread, keeping the house clean, learning to sew, knit, etc., doing fun crafty things with ds in lieu of preschool, and so forth.

Great food for thought!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Meli65
I hear you.
I am reminded, it probably wouldn't be so bad, if not for the ISOLATION.

We are all separated in our little boxes.

When I was plugged into homeschool groups with lots of other stay at home moms, I felt better. Of course . I just moved to a new town/country. So I am starting over with "community".

When the loaning library opens, Tuesday, I'll go find the book.

I seem to remember the solution was about using the skills we had in the job world to create a rewarding life at home..........guess I need to read it again
bye for now, gonna go make a snowman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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great thread. i can totally relate! I had PPD pretty bad after my first child, and to a somewhat lesser extent with each baby that followed. I managed to "power through" because i was so focused on my midwifery apprenticeship. plus i was in denial.

now, I get very frustrated because being a sahm isn't fulfilling and neither is being a part time midwife. My kids are almost all big kids now and no longer need constant attention.
I'm not really sure what i want to change. poor dh doesn't know what to do with me. i'm thinking about going back to school mainly because i've always done well grade-wise and i feel like that would give me that sense of accomplishment you were talking about. i wonder if that's a good enough reason?

ah well

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gosh, sometimes it's so much easier being in denial!

Your'e scaring me here; Baby is 2, dh has new job, gone all the time. Ive been retired from doing homebirths for about 6 years and am gonna start assisting a little and teaching a bit in April.

Is the "Thrill" gone for you ?

Do you need something 'new' for suffieicnt stimulation?

I do love learning. Maybe that's a key>
 

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I can totally relate to this thread. I feel that ache to accomplish things around here and motherhood just doesn't work that way. I've been working my way thru some projects here. I am happy about that but I'm not fulfilled. I wonder if in addition to mothering, the key is to hang on to something that you're passionate about--some hobby, some interest, some job--so that you feel connected and more like an individual? Cleaning doesn't do it for me. I'm getting better at it but it doesn't really matter. I think I have to uncover my passion again...
Chrissy
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by intentfulady

Is the "Thrill" gone for you ?

Do you need something 'new' for suffieicnt stimulation?

I do love learning. Maybe that's a key>

yeah i think i just need to keep learning. or, more specifically, learning with a goal. the thrill of birth isn't gone, it's just kind of strange only doing about 12-18 births a year. I'm off call right now and have only done one prenatal in the past 2 weeks! i guess my lack of "productivity" makes me feel unsuccessful. but during my busy times i feel overworked. apparently i'm hard to please LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I checked to book out again.

"staying home" from full time profesional to full time parent. by, Darcie Sanders and Martha Bullen.

I always bargained that I wasn't "full time" or even that I was a "working" mom because I was an AP parent and midwifery was my "hobby". It was something I loved. Thjere was never much money in it, so it wasn't about money.

My "perceptions " (denial) didn't help me much.

Kept me from reading things like this which could have helped me!!
 

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Midwifery not counting as a job? Ha! Show me how many "working" people have to miss holidays, birthdays, etc. to go be at their jobs.


A friend of mine has a book called "Zen and the Art of Making a Living." It's about finding what you love and making it your "job." It looks like an interesting read. But it does just show how our society thinks that it is not "work" if you enjoy doing it. Not to mention that being a SAHM isn't "work" because we're all lounging around eating bonbons and watching soap operas, right?

I wonder if getting older also contributes to the lack of feeling fulfilled. I mean, in my teens and 20's I didn't expect to feel fulfilled...that was what was AHEAD of me. And children were going to fulfill me in ways I couldn't imagine, so surely that was a huge piece to look forward to. Maybe as we get older we realize that "ahead of me" concept was largely wishful thinking? So if that is true, then what?


Carol
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by intentfulady
I wasn't "full time" or even that I was a "working" mom because I was an AP parent and midwifery was my "hobby". It was something I loved. Thjere was never much money in it, so it wasn't about money.

My "perceptions " (denial) didn't help me much.

Kept me from reading things like this which could have helped me!!

me too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Im really enjoying this thread!!

Identifying with you is wonderful. I don't feel so alone in my situation. I know some of this is situational. we just moved to BC from the states, so I am overwhelmed with changes.

Carol, I wonder if we have met. I was raised outside of Eugene. HAd a little practice in Portland, 1988-1992. I was a member of OMC for years before Vol. licensure, and was real involved in that process.

I too am not clear what is behind these feelings. I have a toddler again after 18 years, the stress of the move/changes/isolation in a small northern community IN WINTER. Also I was trying to attribute some of it to menopause.

Baby has terrible cold and keeps saying 'hold her" I guess she's heard that a few times !!!1

must go
colleen
 
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