Who Am I – in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood? Identity, Full Circle (#PSIBlog Hop 2016)

"Who Am I" in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood?- Identity, Full Circle. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PSIBlog Hop 2016 #ppd #pregnancy #postpartum #motherhood #identity

“Who am I, now that you are here?” It’s the title of a song I wrote about my experience with postpartum depression, after my first son was born. For me, PPD was about so much more than feeling sad or anxious or depressed. It was about who I thought I’d been, who I was now, and who I would become.

Identity is at the core of becoming a mother. It’s an essential part of this experience, from pre-conception until the end, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that our identity—as individuals, women, and mothers—will ever evolve through our mothering journey.

 

 

Pre-Motherhood Identity
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. I envisioned my little "Who Am I?" Identity in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood #PSIBlog Hop 2016; www.DrchristinaHibbert.comfamily (“definitely not six kids,” I’d told my mom. Having been the oldest of 6 , I would never be up for that kind of responsibility. Never say never.). I believed I knew myself well, and I could see the kind of mother I would be. I would play with my children, making memories with smiles, showing them the world, staying home full-time and loving it. They would be my life, I would be theirs, and life would be good. How little I understood of what lay ahead–of how this vision would be tested, of how I would be tested, pushed, pulled and often shoved–pruned, uprooted, and planted again, and again.

 

Before that tiny being is laid in our arms, do we have any idea of what will be?

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

Can we comprehend how much love will flood our heart? Do we sense the tiniest hint of the pain and struggle we will endure—physically, yes, but emotionally, even more so? Are we in any way prepared for the journey for which we are unknowingly enlisting–a journey of self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-transformation like no other?

 

 

Pregnancy Identity

The joy and misery of pregnancy hint at what’s coming, but we don’t realize it, do we? All I knew was my body was changing, my sense of attractiveness lost; I had to pee far too often and slept propped on 5 strategically-placed pillows to avoid acid reflux.

With my first and second pregnancies, I had pains no doctor could explain.

When my first was born, I think I was in shock. You can see a glimpse of it by my mouth as I listen to him cry.

When my first was born, I think I was in shock. You can see a glimpse of it by my mouth as I listen to him cry.

They’d wipe me out for days. Two years later, they could finally tell me what it was–gallstones–and I finally found relief through surgery.

Near the end of my first pregnancy, I couldn’t wait for the baby to finally be out! All we can think of is how uncomfortable, exhausted, and “done” we are. Little do we know what’s just around the bend. A breach delivery should have tipped me off. He came out bottom first, and as I say, “He’s been giving me trouble ever since”—haha! But the trouble was just beginning. And so was the growth.

A growing body and soon-to-be growing family hopefully grow our mind and spirit, too. Pregnancy is the true beginning, the reality, the point of no return when we start to question who we once were, who we are becoming, and who we will be. As our baby grows inside, we hopefully grow internally, too, allowing questions as they naturally arise: “What will this baby be like?” “What will our family be like?” “What will I be like as a mother?” We hope for the best and expect it–at least, the first time. Perhaps in later pregnancies, we still hope for the best, yet we know all too well the challenges we may face once our little one is finally here.

 

 

Postpartum Identity

Identity in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood: Full Circle #PSIBlog Hop 2016 www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

With baby #2, I thought I was better, and I was. But I still ended up with postpartum depression. (My 2 year old is being a dinosaur here.)

I had four very different childbirth experiences; you’d think they’d yield four very different postpartum experiences. No such luck: postpartum depression every time.

Identity in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PSIBlog Hop 2016

Beautiful baby girl was so loved! I only wish the depression and anxiety could have stayed away.

The first time, I penned the words, “Who am I now that you are here?” and put them to music. I’d purposefully dream of my beautiful boy at night, like I used to when I was dating my husband. But I no longer felt like a “me;” instead, I was a perpetual “we.” He was colicky, and I was not sleeping. We moved in with my parents and lived for 3 months on their living room floor because I had no clue what else to do. The first time I left to the store for a pacifier, alone, I felt like I’d broken out of jail.

With my second beautiful boy, I convinced myself I was better. I knew what postpartum depression was. I had my plan and support team. I was ready. My journals betray me, however, with the words “I want to run away. Not forever. Just for a while, so I can feel like me again.”

With the third–a beautiful baby girl–postpartum anxiety was thrown in the mix, just for kicks. And the fourth? That’s a long story. I wrote an entire book about it, but the Cliff Notes version is that after inheriting our two nephews

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids, I posed us for a Christmas card pic. Can you see the fear in my eyes as I pulled myself together to be the mom everyone needed me to be?

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids, I posed us for a Christmas card pic. Can you see the fear in my eyes as I pulled myself together to be the mom everyone needed me to be?

when my sister and brother-in law died, giving birth three weeks later, and going from three to six kids, needless to say, this postpartum experience was so much more than depression or anxiety. It was grief and trauma and desperation to help my family heal–to be strong enough to bear it all and to do it well. This postpartum experience was giving it all I had so I could be there for my children ages 11, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 0, even though my world and identity had been ripped to shreds. I was re-building my family, but really, I was re-building myself. “I’ll never fulfill my dream of being an author or speaker. How could I? I have six children! I am not made to handle this like other mothers are.” The things I told myself! Talk about self-doubt; at times, it was more like self-loathing—a sure sign of depression, once more.

Our postpartum experiences are so varied between us, and they also vary within

On vacation, in the midst of PPD, after baby #3. I do love this pic, because I felt happy for a little while.

On vacation, in the midst of PPD, after baby #3. I do love this pic, because I felt happy for a little while.

us. Though the common denominator–a periantal mood or anxiety disorder–is there, the manifestation of that denominator is never exactly the same. As we struggle and overcome and heal and move forward, we change. We grow. We become. And we find it’s the challenges we’ve faced—like PPD—that have made us who we are becoming.

 

 

Mom of Young Children, Teens, Young Adults Identity

Currently, I’m in the midst of all three of these mothering phases. With two in

After visiting my sisters' & other family members' gravesites, at the funeral of OJ's grandfather, we tried to stay enthusiastic about life even in the midst of so much death.

After visiting my sisters’ & other family members’ gravesites, at the funeral of OJ’s grandfather, we tried to stay enthusiastic about life even in the midst of so much death.

college, two in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary, I feel like I’m just trying to keep up most of the time. The busyness, the activities, the emotional needs, the school projects! So much to do, so little time, and still, so many opportunities for personal growth.

I have faced non-postpartum depression and anxiety. I have overcome new traumas, losses, and grief. I have experienced so many trials and lows, and yet I have experienced so many joys, and so much love. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The very things that break us down ends up being the stimulus for unfathomable new growth.

As our little ones become not-so-little anymore, our identity changes again, especially as they begin to form their own identities as teenagers and young adults. It’s a new version of postpartum–watching them individuate and leave the nest, and it can pull at our heartstrings, especially when we see them flail or fail. It’s a time of wondering, “Who am I as a mother now—especially if they don’t seem to need me like they once did?”

Questioning brings answers, however, and if we are brave enough to face those answers, we will find our role as a mother isn’t so much fading as shifting once again. The opportunity for a new identity–one of the supporter, advisor, and simply lover of our children presents itself, and we begin to see ourselves evolve as our children do the same. In doing so, we just might find a new sense of freedom we haven’t had since our journey began—knowing our children are their own beings, and we are merely here to support and love them.

 

 

Mothering Identity is Ever-evolving

As mothers, our identity is ever-changing and, if we are willing to continually

Later years are an opportunity to develop new parts of our identity--especially our marriage and relationships.

Later years are an opportunity to develop new parts of our identity–especially our marriage and relationships.

examine ourselves, will be every evolving in positive, joyful ways. Our postpartum journey continues as we become grandmothers, as we nurture our own daughters and sons through their pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting journeys, as we share the wisdom we wish we’d known, and provide the support we wish we’d had. The gift of these new postpartum experiences is that we get to watch our grandchildren grow without the responsibility of being the parent, without the self-doubt that too often accompanies our own parenting journeys. We get to re-experience life through young, fresh eyes, and hopefully, find the joy we might have missed the first time around simply because we were too busy trying to figure it all out to stop and notice.

 

 

Full circle Back to “Me.”

And so we’ve come full circle. As we grow through motherhood, purposefully

Biking along the beach in Belize, with OJ. Gorgeous!

Biking along the beach in Belize, with OJ. Gorgeous!

seeking our truest self, pushing, learning, and taking our lessons in stride, we find we come back to the beginning, at the end. That’s what full circle means to me—coming back around to myself, and feeling more “me” than I ever have before.

 

 

What have your mothering identity changes been like? What’s been challenging for you? What lessons have you learned? How have you seen your experiences come “full circle?” Please leave a comment, below, and join the conversation!

 

 

  • If you need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • If you are looking for pregnancyor postpartum support and local resources, please call or email us:

 

 

2016 PSI Blog Hop: Invitation: "Full Circle" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join the 4th annual Postpartum Support International Blog Hop! Read the guidelines here, write your “full circle” story, and then link up, below or here. Help raise awareness, support and hope, in honor of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month!

 

 

Join me at the Postpartum Support International Annual Conference, June 2016 in San Diego, where I’ll be speaking about postpartum identity, self-esteem, and tools for healing!

More information/to register, click here.

 

 

 

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Holiday Stress Survival Guide: How to feel more Peace & Joy this Season

Holiday Stress Survival Guide-How to Feel More Peace & Joy this Season; www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #holidays #christmas #mentalhealth #stress It’s that time of year again—time for “getting it all done,” time for planning and parties and presents and…peace?

 

Are you feeling peaceful this season? Are you feeling joyful? For many, the answer is, “no.” In a season when the reason for the holidays is supposed to be focused on the peace, joy, and hope of the birth of Christ, or on the miracle of the Hannukah oil, or on the unity, purpose, and faith associated with Kwanzaa, the truth is the real meaning is often lost in the hustle and bustle.

 

Our physical and mental health can also be lost in the holiday bustle, thanks to too-full calendars, shopping, decorating, wrapping, less sleep, relationship stress, poor eating, less exercise, and the mental and emotional toll all of this can take. I know, because I end up seeing more clients just before and right after the holidays, due to holiday-related stress, than any other time of year. They often show up right after Thanksgiving, then disappear during the middle of December, and reappear after the new year, exhausted and in need of succor.

 

I also know, because I’m not much better than my clients. I try to be, but I feel it every year—the push to “get it all done,” the high expectations I put on myself to make this “the best Christmas ever,” or to make handmade gifts for my family, or to host a party for friends, or to attend too many events, or to keep adding “to do’s” on to my already-full family schedule when all we really want is “to be.

 

That’s what I’m seeking this holiday season—a little less “doing,” and a little more “being.” I’m seeking to not only talk about but to feel the true meaning of Christmas. I’m seeking to give gifts that matter, that mean something, that last far longer than those that come in a box. I’m seeking greater peace, and joy, and meaning, and love.

 

 

How to Feel More Peace & Joy This Season

How can we make the holidays less stressful and more peaceful? How can we feel the joy this season is meant to restore? The following guide is here to help you not only survive, but to truly thrive this holiday season. Read it well, then get out there and do even one thing to make this year the most meaningful, peace-filled holiday of all.

 

  • Slow down and see. Before you can understand what you really need and desire, you have to stop Slow Down and See: How to Appreciate LIfe's Richness, via www.drchristinahibbert.comall the doing. Even 10-30 minutes of stillness can allow your brain and body to slow down and allow you to get in tune with what’s really going on. Ask yourself, “How am I really doing?” Then, ask, “What wonderful things am I missing in my life because I just haven’t been paying attention?” Too often, we miss the best parts of life because we’re moving too fast, but when we stop and pay attention, we begin to see and feel the true richness life has to offer. Finally, ask honestly,  “What do I need?” Only once you see what’s really going on can you choose to make a change. For more help on this, try this exercise in Slow Down & See: How to Appreciate the Richness of Life or read Stress Management: 15 Proven Ways to Stress Less & Smile More.

 

  • Simplify. It seems like an oxymoron, but the holidays are when we need simplicity the most. 10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life- www.DrChristinaHibbert.comWhatever you can cut out of your schedule, do it. For instance, I recently took a few months off of seeing clients and a month 1/2 off of blogging so I could focus more on family and self-care. Say a polite “no” to extra events you just don’t need or even to sending Christmas cards. Opt for a movie night with your kids, in PJs, instead of throwing a party or having a night on the town. Let go of the need to make everything look perfect and instead do the bare minimum decorations. And when it comes to presents, try “The 4-Gift Christmas.” It’s made a world of difference in my family, and it could just do the same for you.

 

 

  • Give gifts of meaning. I decided this year to give my family the gift of a more loving me. So, on "The 5 Gifts of Meaning," via www.drchristinahibbert.comDecember 1, I put myself to work on being more loving. Each day, I’ve been looking for ways to actively put more love into my family’s life. When I start to feel stressed or overwhelmed by my kids (which happens often!),I stop myself so I can instead seek the more loving alternative. I move to a quiet area and pray for help to change how I feel and show me a better way to be. I sit and feel the frustration or worry or whatever it may be. And when I’m ready, I go back and approach my family in a more loving way. I’m still learning, and I’ve got the rest of this month to practice (and all of next year–“Loving” is my new yearly theme!). So, I know I will improve, and that’s what counts. The best gifts don’t come in a box. This season, create a more meaningful holiday by giving gifts of meaning. For more ideas how to do this, check out “Create a More Meaningful Christmas with The 5 Gifts of Meaning” and “Give the Gift of Hope.”

 

  • Focus on relationships. How much more meaningful can we get than to improve relationships Love Greatly, "Mental Illness, Stigma & Suicide: Finding Hope in the Darkest Times"; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comthat need improving, connect with those with whom we need to connect, and spending time with those we love most? Make your holiday activities about strengthening relationships this year. My example, above, of seeking to be more loving is one way to focus on and improve relationships. It’s also a time to look for ways to spend quality time with those who mean the most to you. And if you’re struggling with family relationships, use my Holiday Relationship Stress Survival Guide to get you back on the right track.

 

  • Create joy. Don’t wait around to feel joyful. Instead, try acting cheerfully. No matter how you feel, you can choose to be of good cheer, and when you do, you’ll find you begin to feel more joyful as a result. If you want more joy this season, seek to create it. Smile on purpose. Seek ways to laugh more. Look for the good, and put more positivity into your vocabulary and emotions. Isn’t this what the holidays are all about? Joy, love, peace, hope, cheer? Let the good stuff begin with you. For some great ideas on how to be more cheerful, read Be of Good Cheer: 12 Ways to Become More Cheerful!

 

 How are you surviving and thriving this holiday season? Share your tips, thoughts, and ideas, by leaving a comment, below!

Listen to  “Motherhood” radio for more ideas! Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe to the show.

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Depression & Motherhood: Facts, Help, & How to Overcome

Depression & Motherhood-Facts, Help, & How to Overcome, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comDepression affects one in five women throughout their lifetime and is especially prevalent during the childbearing years. Pregnancy, postpartum, hormone shifts, sleep depravation, and the pressure of parenting and raising children while also dealing with life changes and stress, all combine to make depression in motherhood common.

 

Motherhood & Depression

In fact, motherhood does make us more vulnerable to depression. While the lifetime rate for women and depression is about 20%, the majority of these episodes occur in the childbearing years. 10% of women experience depression in pregnancy, 15% experience postpartum depression, and if untreated, maternal depression can last for months or even years. It makes sense, doesn’t it, considering the extreme stress, lack of sleep, hormonal shifts, and life changes that occur in the mothering years?

There are various types of depression in motherhood, including major depression, which is a clinical disorder and includes symptoms like:

  • sadness, crying

    Singing & rocking my youngest, Sydney. Though I was able to breastfeed her, I introduced a bottle early on. I knew I needed it to help me survive PPD.

    Singing & rocking my youngest, Sydney. Though I was able to breastfeed her, I introduced a bottle early on. I knew I needed it to help me survive PPD.

  • fatigue
  • hopelessness
  • feeling worthless
  • changes in sleep or appetite
  • lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • guilt, frustration, and/or anxiety
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • possible suicidal thoughts

Dysthymia is a form of milder depression that persists most of every day for most days, for two years or more. Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is also common in women of childbearing years, and is believed to be more common in women who are also vulnerable to PMS. Finally, situational depression may occur because of loss, change, or life stress. This type of depression may go away when the situation clears up, or it may persist, especially if it was never dealt with.

 

Hormones, Depression, & Motherhood

And then there are hormones. Hormone-related depression can come in the form of postpartum depression, perimenopause, and/or PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It’s estimated 85% of women experience at least one significant symptom of PMS each month, and PMS is most common and at its worst among women in their childbearing years.

Approximately 3-8% of women experience Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD. PMDD most commonly affects women who have at least one child, are in their late 20’s-early 40’s, and who have a family or personal history of depression or postpartum depression. [1] These facts just speak to the role our shifting hormones and compiling life experiences play in the development of mood changes, and especially in depression. (More on hormones and women’s emotions here.)

 

How do we know when we’re experiencing depression, versus just having a bad day or week or month or year?

People often say, “I’m depressed,” but what they really mean is that they’re sad, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted. True depression lasts for two weeks or more, and includes symptoms like those above, like: sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings; feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt. It also significantly impacts your daily life, your relationships, and your functioning. Major depression isn’t something you just wake up and “get over.” It’s something you must work to overcome. But, remember that, with help and time and work, it IS something that can be overcome.

 

The Impact of Depression on Kids, Partners, Family

The hardest part of depression in motherhood is often the fact that we moms can’t afford to be Depression & Motherhood- Facts, Help & How to Overcome www.DrchristinaHibbert.comdepressed. We have to be “on,” 24/7; we don’t want to feel depressed, and we especially don’t want our children to suffer as a result. All this can add up to some pretty hefty guilt, and sometimes, even shame.

The truth is that untreated maternal depression does impact our children. In fact:

  • Untreated maternal depression is the number one predictor of future behavioral and cognitive problems in the child.
  • It is associated with less positive parenting practices, like smiling, reading to, and talking with children.
  • It can affect social development, since children of depressed mothers often take on the low self-esteem their mothers tend to exhibit.
  • And untreated depression can negatively impact marriage and relationships as well, often leading to depression in one’s husband or partner, or too often, to separation or divorce.

Yes, the stakes are too high, moms. We can’t afford to let ourselves remain depressed. We can no longer kid ourselves by saying, “It only affects me.” It doesn’t. And even if it did, is that what we really want? To feel miserable? To feel unworthy? To feel so low all the time?

I don’t say this to add more guilt. Trust me, as a mother who struggles with depression myself, that’s the last thing I would want to do. I say this because it’s true. Motherhood does not mean depression. We can, and will, overcome depression, if we take it seriously and seek help. We can be happy, full of hope, and joyful as we raise our children. But first, we need to be honest with ourselves and seek help. We need to take action, to let go of the guilt that holds us captive. We must trust that we can, and will, be well again.

 

Help: What can we do about Maternal Depression?

There are many ways we can treat depression, including self-help, social support, and professional help like therapy and medication. In order to know what will work best for you, it’s important to create a game plan.

In this week’s episode of my “Motherhood” radio show, I spoke with Jennifer Peterson, mom of 5, writer, and creator of the blog “The JoyFinders.”  Jen has struggled with depression and is very candid about the lessons she has learned, and I share some of my own struggles and lessons as well. Listen to the episode on demand, on WebTalkRadio.net or download it for later. Or, watch it on my YouTube channel. Then, read how to create your game plan, below.

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How to Overcome: Creating Your Game Plan

One thing Jen shared was how important it is for her to have a game plan, and I agree, it’s crucial. How do we create a “game plan” for dealing with depression? Here are a few ideas:

  • Be honest about where you are. Before you can be honest with others, you need to be
    I started the "I am the FACE of Depression" campaign to get people talking. It's okay to admit you struggle with depression. It doesn't define you.

    I started the “I am the FACE of Depression” campaign to get people talking. It’s okay to admit you struggle with depression. It doesn’t define you.

    honest with yourself. It’s okay to say “I’m struggling with depression.” In fact, you may find it freeing. Sort of like an exhale—it can be a relief to just be where you are. Sometimes, your body is screaming at you: “Hey! I’m not doing so well. We need to be depressed for a while and figure some things out!” Are you listening? (Read “Women & Depression” for a new view.)

 

  • Find what you need. What do you need to overcome depression? This will look a little bit different for each person, but pay attention and see what things help you feel better. Your list may include things like, “I need to talk with a friend each day, to go for a walk, and to get to bed early.” It may include, “I need to give myself a break, to say “no” more for now, and to go out with my husband at least once a week.” What do YOU need when you’re in the throes of depression? Some common items include: sleep, exercise, activity, social interaction, doing less, alone time, time to rest, serving others, quality time with kids/partner/friends, a support group, therapy, massage, medication, etc.

 

  • Seek support. We need each other, especially in times of discouragement, grief, heartache, and depression. Yet, depression can make us want to isolate. That’s one of the hardest things about it. But healing comes through seeking and finding support. Search out those people in your life who make you feel comfortable, who “get” you, who understand depression and will be there for you. Sometimes, it helps to have a friend or family member who will check up on you, who will push you out of the house or stop by to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Professional help is important, too. Therapy is a great place to start—to learn coping strategies and help solidify your game plan. If your depression is moderate to severe or if self-help and therapy don’t work, you may want to talk to your doctor about trying an antidepressant. (Read “Antidepressant? Or not? )

 

  • Schedule activity. Even one little activity each day that gets you dressed or interacting with people or out in the sunshine or out of the house can make a big difference on your mood. It’s one of the best things you can do to “treat” your depression. And getting in the sunshine is also excellent for lifting depressed mood.

 

  • Talk about it. Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. The more we talk about it, the more we see we are not alone. I wrote about my battles with depression in this article. Jen shares her struggles in our Motherhood interview. Be honest with your family, with your partner, with your close friends. No, you don’t have to tell everyone you meet. But, explaining to those who love you most that you’re having a hard time and are working on it is very helpful. I encourage you to talk with your kids about it, too, in words they can understand. Many moms fear that telling their kids will make them afraid or worried. The truth is, they probably already know something isn’t “right,” and talking honestly with them about it can be reassuring, if it’s done right. Same goes for husbands/partners. My close friend struggled to even tell her husband she was suffering from depression and anxiety. She tried to handle it all on her own, and she eventually took her own life. Again, the stakes are too high. We can’t afford to remain silent. Talk about it. It is healing.

 

  • Write it down. Once you know your game plan, write it down. Post it somewhere you will see it often so it can remind you of what you’re aiming to do.

 

  • Follow your plan and adjust as needed.  It will take time to figure out what you need to become depression-free, just like it will take time to heal from depression. It’s okay to let yourself be where you are, to take the time you need to do it right. Make changes as you learn new elements of your plan for wellness. For instance, if winter hits and you suddenly realize how much sunshine has to do with your mood, you may make sitting in the sun each morning a part of your routine, or exercising outside a “must do.”

 

Remember:

  • Depression isn’t you.Motherhood & Depression-Facts, Help & How to Overcome, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #depression #mentalhealth
  • It’s doesn’t make you weak, and it’s not a character flaw.
  • Depression isn’t something to feel ashamed of; it’s something to work on.
  • While it’s normal to feel guilt when you’re a mom who’s depressed, it’s also only helpful if you use that guilt to help you grow. Let it guide you toward the help and plan you need. Then, let the rest go.
  • With honesty, openness, and work, your family will not suffer as a result of your suffering. They are resilient, and so are you.
  • You are not alone. Seek support and love. Then, let it in.
  • With help, you will be well.

 

What is the hardest part of depression in motherhood for you? What helps you overcome? What does your game plan contain? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, below.

 

 

References:

[1] Premenstrual Syndrome Fact Sheet, http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html.

[2] More facts on Postpartum Depression: http://www.postpartum.net

 

 

 

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Link for this episode: Depression & Motherhood: What is it? And what can we do about it?

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FREE “Postpartum Couples” Online DVD!

FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood
For the first time ever, my internationally-sold DVD, Postpartum Couples, is available online for FREE!

 

I’ve seen Postpartum Couples probably a couple hundred times, and yet I still get choked up as I listen to the stories of these three couples–as they honestly share what it was like for them to go through postpartum depression (PPD), anxiety, and psychosis.

 

The men especially get me choked up as they openly express their feelings about their wives and the experience of PPD, getting emotional right off the bat as they describe the challenges and how they overcame them together.

 

Postpartum Couples was actually the first video to explore both the mothers and the father’s experience of postpartum mood/anxiety disorders. It’s also the only video to discuss the impact on the couple’s relationship.

 

I’ve used Postpartum Couples in therapy, support groups, and presentations. I’ve shown it to pregnant and postpartum women, men, and couples; to mental health providers; and to doctors, nurses, and anyone working with postpartum families–to educate, illuminate, and raise awareness of the truth of postpartum depression and the hope of treatment and healing.

 

If you or someone you know might benefit from better understanding:

1) The symptoms,

2) The treatment, and

3) The prevention of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders;

4) The mother’s experience,

5) The father’s experience,

6) and how PPD may impact a couple’s relationship…

and many other important truths about postpartum depression

then, please click on this link, or on the image above or below, for more information and for INSTANT ACCESS to my Postpartum Couples DVD! And don’t forget to share this post!

 

It is my hope that, in making this video available for free online, we can increase awareness, education, and support for families and providers dealing with perinatal mood/anxiety disorders.

 

May all pregnant and postpartum moms, dads, and families feel and know:

You truly are not alone, you are not to blame, and with help, you can (and will) be well! (PSI’s Universal Motto)

 

FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood

 

For immediate postpartum support, help, or referrals in your area,

please visit Postpartum Support International.

 

 

 

 

 

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Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6

Motherhood Radio Show! 

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Moving Beyond Shame: The Ultimate Power of Support & Time (PSI Blog Hop) 

Beyond Depression: Understanding Pregnancy/Postpartum OCD (Part 1)

Pregnancy & Postpartum Emotional Health

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Dads & Partners

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Couples

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Sleep

Postpartum Depression & Men: The Facts on Paternal Postnatal Depression

Mom Mental Health (& Happiness): The Importance of Alone Time

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Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders: Are Women of Advanced Maternal Age at Higher Risk?

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Pregnancy & Postpartum Loss, Grief, & Family Healing (Part 1)

How to Cope with and Treat Perinatal Loss & Grief (Part 2)

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement & Stop the Stigma! Submit Your Story/ Photo!

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.comLast week, I shared my personal struggles with depression in my post, Overcoming the Stigma of Depression: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety).” I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support from so many who have joined me, stating, “I, too, am the face of depression.”

 

 

Overcoming The Powerful Stigma of Mental Illness & Depression

It’s a wonderful start: getting people talking and asking about depression, and hopefully increasing understanding and support. But there’s much more to be done if we hope to one day overcome the stigma of depression.

 

Even though I’ve received dozens of messages of support from online friends and followers, I’ve only had three real-life friends/family members reach out  to me after reading my article, and two of them are really more like acquaintances than close friends. All of them have also been affected by depression, either themselves or in a close family member. They didn’t do much other than say, “I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling. How are you doing now?” Or, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Or, “I think you’re brave to have written that article. You’ve helped me be brave, too.” It helps to hear my own friends talk about it.

 

But there were only three. While I didn’t write the article to get sympathy or support from my friends and family, I was surprised by how few of them have spoken to me about it. I’m sure I shouldn’t be surprised. That’s why I wrote the article to begin with–because the stigma of depression is so strong, it silences us.

 

I’m sure most of my friends and family don’t judge or criticize me for my depression. It’s just that, unlike with other types of illness (injuries, cancer, surgery), they don’t know how to react. People don’t know what to say, so they say nothing (kind of like how people don’t know how to handle grief). They don’t know what to do, especially if they haven’t experienced depression first hand. So, again, they do nothing and hope I just “get better” so we don’t have to talk about it. They click “like” on the picture of me holding my sign, and I am grateful for that. But they say nothing.

 

This is the power of stigma, my friends.

 

 

“The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement

I am getting better, day by day, thanks to my ability to overcome the stigma of depression, seek help, and let help in. I’m feeling stronger again, thanks to the support of my husband, children, and a couple of close friends."I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

But no matter how I’m feeling, I continue to feel the need to make sure this conversation doesn’t die. I need to keep giving depression a face and a voice, to lend it mine, to keep us talking about depression, and anxiety–for my children, for my clients, for my family, friends, and for myself.

 

Thus, I present “The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement. My hope is that you will join me. My hope is that we can give depression a face and a voice. My hope is that one day things will change and we will no longer feel the need to stay silent. We will no longer feel the need to hold depression as a shameful secret.

 

 

Submit your Story/ Photo & Help Me Stop the Stigma!

I invite anyone who has been touched by depression–either personally or in a loved one–to share your story and/or your photo, to publicly declare, “I, too, am the FACE of DEPRESSION.” After the submission deadline (see rules, below), I will then select 6 stories to publish in full on my website throughout 2015. I will also publish excerpts from other stories, along with as many photos as I receive. Together, we can show the many faces of depression. Together, we can help people face depression, to ask about it, and to understand it.

 

We can stop the stigma of depression. One face. One photo. One story at a time. We can give this illness a voice and, one day, stop the stigma.

 

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement! 

Submit Your Story and/or Photo!

Submission Rules & Guidelines

  1. Written submissions:
    1. Posts must focus on the theme “I am the face of depression” and share your personal story.
    2. Length of post: 600-1000 words. Longer posts will not be considered for publication.
    3. Submissions must be received no later than January 10, January 25 2015, midnight PST.
    4. Please focus on: 1) Brief details of your experiences with depression, 2) What depression feels like for you or your loved one (symptoms), and 3) What methods of treatment have been helpful for you? 4) What have you learned from depression, or how have you grown? And what would you like others to know about it? (You can use my post as a model, though keep in mind that mine is much longer than the allotted length above.)
    5. To be considered for a full post, you must include at least one photo of you, holding an “I am the face of depression” sign. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign    “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    6. If you do not wish to post a photo and do not wish to be considered for a full post, you may submit a short post with no photo.
    7. By entering, you agree to allow your article to be posted on my website, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, either in full or in part, and you also agree for your photo to be posted in “The Many Faces of Depression” collection on the same website.
    8. Authors of the 6 articles that are selected to be posted in full will be notified by email prior to publication. Others will be notified that they have not been selected and will be given information about the publication dates for excerpts.
    9. Please do not include any profanity or inappropriate material. Such articles will not be considered for publication
    10. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    11. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
  2. Photo submissions
    1. All are invited to submit a clear photo of yourself holding an “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” sign.
    2. You are welcome to download a sign, or to create your own. If you create your own, it must say, “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” or “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” and include our web address www.DrChristinaHibbert.com in font large enough to read in the picture. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign   “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    3. Only one photo entry per person, and entries must be received no later than January 10, January 25, 2015 midnight, PST.
    4. Please, no inappropriate attire or materials in the photos. Such will not be considered for publication.
    5. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    6. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE for Articles and Photos:

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Due to the holiday busyness and getting back into the new year, I’ve extended the deadline for submissions! I hope this is helpful to those of you who asked for more time. I know it’s helpful to me! 

January 10, 2015
January 25, 2015!

 

SUBMISSIONS & Questions Should Be EMAILED to:

support@drchristinahibbert.com

 

Thank you for adding your voice to mine! I look forward to seeing what we can do together! 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Overcoming the Stigma of Depression & Anxiety: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION”

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI am the face of depression and anxiety. It has taken me a while to come to grips with this fact. I don’t want to be someone who struggles with depression. I’ve worked hard throughout my life to understand mental illness and to apply the tools I’ve learned professionally to my personal life so I could prevent depression and anxiety. I have a strong family history of mental illness, especially depression, and this drove me early on. I did not want to suffer like my family members had.

 

But fighting doesn’t necessarily stop clinical depression. I had postpartum depression/anxiety after all four of my childbirth experiences, try as I did to prevent it. I’ve been through trauma, and more times of grief than I can count, all of which included significant feelings of depression. And yes, I’ve experienced episodes of Major Depression.

 

The first was when I was 18, a couple of months after my 8 year-old sister died, just when I thought I’d gotten through the worst of my grief. That was the first time I went to therapy, and it was life changing. It encouraged me to become a psychologist so I could help others like me.

 

The second came smack dab in the middle of graduate school. I knew life was busy, but I was floored when I suddenly found myself struggling to get up and take care of my school, work, children, husband, and self. After weeks of fighting it, I realized I needed to stop saying, “I don’t want to be depressed.” I was depressed. Sometimes, the problem is the fighting. This was a great lesson in learning to “accept what is.”

 

My third episode hit about six years ago, nearly one year after my sister and brother-in-law had died and my world had been turned upside down as I had suddenly become a mother of six. I’d already been in therapy for over a year, but with the addition of a court battle, adopting our new sons, and the deaths of two more family members, I found myself lower than ever.

 

As I wrote in my memoir, of that time: “It’s official. I’m depressed…That’s what Dr. Hale said on Monday, ‘Helplessness and hopelessness? Sounds like depression.’…Why is this such a shock?…I feel unmotivated, lost, pessimistic, and this makes me feel like I’ve failed. I thought I’d be better by now…I thought I was stronger… Now I’m starting to see an antidepressant as a possibility. I can’t continue feeling so low when I need to be at my best. I can’t afford to keep saying, ‘I’ll feel happy when….’ Could a little pill be the missing piece I need to help me grow?” (This is How We Grow, p. 216-17). It was. My first time taking an antidepressant, I took it for the next six months. It helped tremendously.

 

Watch my “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” YouTube video, and then add your voice to mine… 

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DbMNPUsCHA2M img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/bMNPUsCHA2M/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

Fast forward to seven weeks ago. I had been working hard to stop being so busy, because I wanted to take care of myself. My dear friend had died as a result of depression and suicide six months before, and I had once again worked through intense grief. I took from her death the great importance of prioritizing my health—for my children, for my husband, and for myself. I was working on slowing down, doing less, and focusing on wellness.

 

That’s why it caught me so off-guard. At first, I thought it was “hormones.” Then, insomnia crept in. I’m normally not a great sleeper, but this insomnia was getting out of control. My thoughts were racing, and I couldn’t settle down. I thought, perhaps, the lack of sleep was causing my mood symptoms, but three weeks later, I had to wonder if it wasn’t the other way around.

 

“Am I depressed?” I began to wonder, but pushed the thought aside. Again, “I don’t want to be depressed” kept flooding my mind. I stopped every extra activity, stayed in, carved out alone time, and tried to nap and sleep as much as possible. I tried talking with a close friend, letting my husband help me, and writing. I tried to exercise more and take more Omega-3’s.

 

But I was getting worse. My anxiety was getting out of control, making me sick to my stomach for weeks, and making me so frustrated I was horrible to be around. I was starting to feel incredibly down on myself, and worse than that: hopeless. Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor. Many tests later she confirmed what I had already guessed: “You’re perfectly healthy. You have a slight hormone imbalance, but that probably isn’t causing your mood symptoms.” I knew she was right. Enter Major Depression episode number four.

 

 

Watch this 3-Minute therapy video on Anxiety: The #1 Mental Health Issue in Women

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DKbk709-fjDM img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/Kbk709-fjDM/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

 

Why am I sharing this now?

Maybe it’s the fact that my friend lost her life last April, as a result of depression she felt she had to hide. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m still fired up about the court hearing I attended a couple months ago where this dear woman is serving 40 years

40th birthday selfie. I don't look depressed, do I? I gave it my all and made a great day! "You can't always tell by looking."

40th birthday selfie. I don’t look depressed, do I? I gave it my all, & made a great day! But, “You can’t always tell by looking.”

after suffering from postpartum psychosis, about the injustice of how mental health is perceived and treated in this country. Maybe it’s the fact that as I go through depression and anxiety once again, I am once again faced with the way people don’t want to know about it, how it feels like I have to hide it, how I would be better off if I had a physical illness because at least people would see that it’s real. Perhaps it’s that I just celebrated my 40th birthday, and I feel like I don’t want to hold anything back anymore.

 

Whatever it is, I can no longer sit by and let those struggling with depression be forced into the shadows, be treated like lepers or, worse, be completely ignored. I want to, no I need to, help give depression a face and a voice. I need others to acknowledge it as real, to seek to understand it, to see that those who suffer from depression are excellent, wonderful, successful people! To see that we all have mental and physical vulnerabilities, and depression just happens to be one of them, and that’s okay.

 

It’s okay to suffer from depression. We can admit it. We can say it. It doesn’t make us any less. And guess what? You can’t always tell by looking. So ask.

 

 

The Many Faces of Depression

Ask, “Can you tell me about your depression?” Because, the more we talk about it—the more those who struggle say it out loud—the more we can understand the many faces of depression. Though its symptoms may generally be the same, depression can look, and feel, very differently for different people. Understanding this will help us break down the stigmas that make those who suffer from depression feel like they have to hide.

 

For me, depression means anxiety. I can’t say which comes first, but I do know that the anxiety makes me feel far more depressed. My thoughts spin out of control. I try to get them back in check, using a thought record, journaling, talking about them, but they seem to be controlling me instead of the other way around, bringing me down and zapping my energy.

 

I also have symptoms like:

  • Insomnia
  • Extreme stress (every little thing can seem like too much)
  • Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated (frustrated I can’t fix this, frustrated that others can’t seem to help me, frustrated with feeling so alone, but mostly, frustrated about being depressed again.)"I am the FACE of DEPRESSION": Overcoming the Stigma of #Depression & #Anxiety; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
  • Low energy, fatigue, exhaustion
  • Sadness and crying
  • Anger (Crying, then getting angry because of how I feel, then feeling sad again and crying some more. I can’t understand my emotions and I definitely can’t seem to control them.)
  • Feeling restless (I have a hard time focusing on things I usually enjoy, like a good book. I feel like I need to get up and do something.)
  • Changes in appetite (some days I’m overdoing it with junk food; others, I have no appetite)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, muscle tension, and headaches. (The stress and anxiety literally make me sick.)
  • Feeling alone (like I don’t’ know who to turn to. I have helped so many people through depression, but where do I turn when I need help? I struggle with this, feeling like no one would get it. Everyone thinks “I’m fine,” and they keep asking me for help, but I’m not. And no one understands. I’m working on this, though, because my rational brain knows I’m really not alone at all.)
  • Feelings of resentment (I admit, I have been resenting everyone who needs me. “I need myself!” I keep saying. I’m learning to say “no” and take care of me.)
  • Negativity (It’s a core component of depression–negative view of self, the world, and the future. But eventually, I can’t stand hearing myself think.)
  • Desire to escape (Watching TV and movies, driving somewhere, anything to get me out of my head and current situation.)
  • Self-critical thinking (Thoughts like, “My body betrayed me.” “Why can’t I just be well? I’m weak.” “I’m a hypocrite, helping others while I can’t help myself.” “Why do I have to struggle with depression while others do not?” These thoughts plague me until I finally have to let them go and accept what is.)
  • Hopelessness and helplessness (“I’m broken.” “Someone needs to fix me.” When I reach this point, I know it’s Depression. The healthy me is a big believer in hope and taking action.)

 

For me, Treatment for Depression includes things like:

  • Psychotherapy. I’ve been through many rounds of therapy in my life, and each time it has helped me in some new and important way. I learn new skills, process deep and painful emotions, uncover faulty beliefs, and it really helps to have an impartial and knowledgable supporter who can listen and help me see things I can’t see on my own.
  • Antidepressants. Sometimes, I need them. I’m finally accepting that. This time and the last, I opted for an antidepressant, because I’d been struggling too long to be well and I can’t afford to wait months or years to feel better. I know, this is a tough decision for many, and it always is for me. I encourage you to read my article, “Antidepressant? Or Not?: 12 Facts on Depression & Medication”  to help you in your decision.
  • Exercise. Always a first line defense against depression. I’m even writing my next book about it.
  • Sleep. I’m letting myself sleep in when I can, nap, and do whatever it takes to get my body back to healthy. A little Melatonin helps, too, when I can’t fall asleep at night.
  • Reducing stress. I’m taking this one seriously this time. Doctors orders.
  • Supplements & vitamins. Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamins B, E, and D, Calcium, Multivitamin, and Magnesium.
  • Reevaluating and strengthening my support system. I’m learning who I can rely on and letting them help me.
  • Identifying and changing faulty beliefs. I’m working on this one. Again. A deeper level of self-understanding and awareness, I know this is going to make a huge difference in my life.
  • Alone time. To process, ponder, and make myself face what’s going on. This is how I receive understanding.
  • Time with people I love. Connection gets me out of myself and reminds me how loved I really am.
  • Powerful prayer and scripture study. Increasing my faith, relying upon God, seeking instruction and revelation for my health and happiness. This is probably the most important thing of all for me.

 

 

Break down the Stigma: Face Depression, Give it a Voice"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Mine isn’t the only experience of depression. Depression is the most common cause of disease in the world. And yet we keep silent about it. We force those who suffer to keep silent, because we can’t seem to break down the stigma of depression.

 

Well, not anymore, at least not for me. I can speak up now, because I’m working through my depression. I’m feeling much better these past few days, but I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me. And I will continue to speak out as a voice for depression and anxiety for as long as it takes. I will use my voice to help others learn to use theirs.

 

Join me in breaking down the stigma of depression by:

1) Speaking up when we are suffering from depression, giving it a voice and a face.

2) Facing depression when someone you know and love is struggling. Being there for them. Offering support and help.

3) Asking those you know and love to “Tell me about your depression.”

4) Simply joining the discussion, listening, learning, and seeking to understand.

5) Joining my “Many Faces of Depression” movement by sharing your personal story and photo here on my site. (More information on this to come soon, so subscribe (below), and stay tuned!)

 

We must speak up. We must show our faces, face depression, and give it a voice, even when we are struggling with depression. Especially when we are struggling, we must show the truth. It is the only way to stop the stigma and help the world, and each of us, heal and be whole again.

 

 

Do you or someone you love suffer from Depression or Anxiety? What is it like, and what helps? Leave a comment, below, and join your voice with mine.

 

 

 

 

 Join “The Many Faces of Depression” movement!

Submit you story and/or photo, download “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” printables, and be featured on my website in 2015!

Click here for information, rules and guidelines, and thank you for joining your voice with mine!

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

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Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

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Personal Growth Tools: How to Create your Life’s Vision

Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create your Life's Vision" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #ThisIsHowWeGrow #PersonalGrowth #Group

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

~Helen Keller

 
When you look at your future, what do you see? Do you see yourself growing and becoming the person you’ve always desired to be? Or are you clinging so tightly to negative thoughts, worries, and fears that you’ve clouded your vision? Have you even given it much thought before?

 

Creating a life vision is the first step in realizing that vision. It’s the first step in knowing what you’re aiming for, in recognizing your potential. It’s one thing to think, “My future has great potential;” it’s another to actually see it, strive for it, and eventually, realize that potential. Creating your life’s vision is the place to start.

 

 

Live with vision.

It’s pretty hard to live the life you wish you had if you don’t have a vision of what that life would be. Sure, you may stumble upon happiness, wealth, success, and healthy relationships, but, in the vast majority of cases, these things don’t just “happen.” Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create Your Life's Vision"; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comThey take a whole lot of work.

 

Living without vision means waiting around for good things to hopefully happen to you. It means taking your chances with whatever comes your way and hoping you end up where you want to be, hoping you end up becoming the person you always wished you’d become.

 

Living with vision, on the other hand, implies living with direction, purpose, and thus greater meaning in each day. It means knowing who you’re striving to become and working to get there.

 

 

What is “vision?”

Vision is a key element of personal growth. Living with vision means creating a clear image of what you desire out of life, then remembering and working toward that image.

 

Having a vision includes seeing the best possible outcomes for work, family, relationships, personal development, faith, and anything else that matters to you. As we work on creating a life’s vision, we force ourselves to imagine the future. We begin to practice seeing who and what we hope to become. In seeing our hoped-for future, we are better prepared to set goals and take the necessary measures to get us there. We are also better prepared to correct the habits that may be leading us off-course.

 

 

How to create your life’s vision.

Your vision may involve a meaningful phrase, quote, or words to inspire you, or it may simply be closing your eyes and seeing those clear images you’ve imagined, over and again. I have found the following steps particularly helpful in creating a life vision. I hope they inspire you, too.

 

1)    Set aside some quiet time and space to work on creating your life’s vision. When you’re ready, relax, breathe, close your Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create Your Life's Vision" www.DrChristinaHibbert.comeyes. Begin to let yourself imagine your best possible future. What do you envision for yourself, your family, friends, work, future, and for your own growth and development? What traits would you most like to possess? Who would you like to be?  Write it all down.

 

2)   Add to your list of what you envisioned. Write down all the things that are most important to you. What values, characteristics, and experiences matter most? Create a list as long as you’d like, and continue adding to it as more things come. (When I first did this, I had an entire page covered in words describing what matters most to me.)

 

3) When you’re ready, revisit your lists. Group like things together—for instance “compassion,” “kindness,” and “giving,” could all be grouped under “love.” Group together as many traits/items as possible, making sure each group has one word/phrase as its title.

 

4) Circle those words/phrases from your grouped list that feel most important to you. Circle as many as you’d like.

 

5) From the grouped list with circled items, choose three words/phrases that feel most important to you at this time. Write them down. For example, my three words are “Faith, Love, Joy.” These words encompass many other important aspects of my life, including family, contribution, spirituality, and yes, growth. These three words express my life’s vision. A simple, effective way to remind me of the meaning, purpose, and direction I desire my life to take each day. This exercise can give you the vision you are seeking, too.

 

 

Bottom line…

1)    Envision the life you desire. Don’t hold back. You need a vision in order to achieve it.

2)    Then, remember your vision and work toward it each day. It really is that simple.

 

 

*Bonus ToolDream yourself to sleep

Instead of thinking of all your worries and stress as you drift off each night, imagine the best possible future for your loved ones and you. See it clearly in your mind. “Dreaming to sleep” not only helps you sleep more peacefully; it helps you wake ready to work, to see your vision come to reality.

 

 

 

~This post was adapted from Dr. Hibbert’s new book with New Harbinger Publications,

Who Am I Without You?: 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup.

To be released March 2015 & available for pre-order on Amazon.com!

  

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create your Life's Vision" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #ThisIsHowWeGrow #PersonalGrowth #Group
Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

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Related Posts/Articles:

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

Meaning, Purpose, & Fulfilling Your Life’s Calling: This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group, Season 2

Create the Life You Desire: Part 2–The 3 Steps of Creating

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

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Breaking the Silence about Suicide, Grief & Family Survivors

Breaking the Silence about Suicide, Grief, & Family Survivors; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI am no stranger to death and suicide. My sister died of an overdose of alcohol and acetaminophen in 2007, leaving behind her two young sons whom my husband and I are now raising. We’d already lost my brother-in-law to skin cancer just months before, and my youngest sister to kidney cancer when she was eight, not to mention grandparents, an aunt, and several others. Then, just a few months ago, my dear friend left her youngest child, my daughter’s best friend, at my house for the day, and then took her own life.

 

I don’t know why I’ve been so surrounded with death in general, and suicide, in particular, but so it is. And so it is I simply must write this article—because suicide is so much more complicated and messy than death, and we simply must start talking about it.

 

 

The hardest part about coping after suicide…

Several months ago, I published my memoir, This is How We Grow, about the years after the loss of my sister and brother-

My sister, Shannon, and I at ages 3 and 4. I miss and love her dearly every day.

My sister, Shannon, and I at ages 3 and 4. I miss and love her dearly every day.

in-law. Since then, I’ve received countless comments–online, in person, in book clubs, and in my private practice–from individuals and families who have experienced the sting of suicide and are trying now to carry on. They all say the same thing: “The hardest part about suicide is that I can’t talk about it. It’s supposed to be kept a secret. People don’t want me to talk about it.”

 

That, for me, is the hardest part of coping with the suicide of a loved one, too. It’s hard enough because you’re coping with death, and even harder because it’s a death you’re not supposed to talk about. Well, I’m done with that. I’ve started talking about my own experiences with suicide in my book, and I continue here. I mean no disrespect to anyone who feels they simply can’t talk about it yet. All I’m saying is, “I simply must do my part to break the silence.”

 

 

12 Truths About Suicide, Grief, & Family Survivors

 

The truth is we cannot heal, or help others heal, until we start talking about suicide. The following list shares some things I’ve learned, personally and professionally, about suicide. It’s just a small start, but it’s my hope these will at least get the conversation going. It’s time to break the silence and open the door to greater compassion, support, and healing for any and all scarred by suicide.

 

 

1)   It’s extra hard to handle death by suicide, because it’s not something people feel they can talk about. We can’t post on Facebook, “My friend killed herself,” like we can, “My friend passed away after a long battle with cancer,” or even “My friend was murdered.” It’s just not something we do, because we want to respect the deceased and we want to respect their family. Suicide feels like “a secret,” and, like I said before, for many, this is the hardest part. It makes it much harder to receive the support and understanding we need after suicide when we can’t even say the truth of how our loved one died.

 
 

2) “Suicide” carries a huge stigma–for the deceased, and for his/her family. There’s no denying this fact; we all know it’s true. Death by suicide carries a huge stigma. This is probably the biggest reason families feel the need to keep silent–they don’t want their loved one remembered for how they died; they want them to be remembered for how they lived.

 

 

3) Surviving family/friends often feel judged, or they feel like their loved one is judged. Let’s face it—with such a huge stigma surrounding it, people can be pretty judgmental about suicide. Too many people see suicide as evil, as weakness, as “taking the easy way out,” or worse. They say things like, “They were too weak to carry on, even though the rest of us are able to.” Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but I have to say it’s very hard on family and friends. The truth is an estimated “90% of people who die by suicide have a potentially treatable mental disorder at the time of their death—a disorder that often has gone unrecognized and untreated.” [i]

I see suicide differently than many, probably because of 1) my experiences working with suicidal clients and families of those who’ve committed suicide, and 2) my two dear loved ones whom I have lost. I know my sister and friend could not have been in their right minds when they took their lives. They were in pain, deep pain. This quote explains it well: “Suicide is not chosen; it happens
 when pain exceeds 
resources for coping with pain.”[ii] I have greater compassion when I can acknowledge this—compassion for them and for myself. There is always so much more to the story of suicide than we, or anyone, will ever know. We must stop the judgment.

 

 

4)   Suicide is isolating for surviving family and friends. Reading the above truths, is it any wonder? Feeling like Breaking the Silence about Suicide, Grief, & Family Survivors; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comyou can’t talk about the death, like you’re disrespecting your deceased loved one or other family members, or feeling judged and stigmatized can all make suicide a very lonely experience for family survivors.

 

 

5) The impact of suicide reaches far beyond the family. Often suicides end up on the news or at least as the “news” of the town. Even those who don’t know the deceased feel stunned by the loss, because it’s so tragic. Think about celebrities who have died from suicide (Heath Leger, Kurt Cobain, and as I finish writing this, Robin Williams). The world is saddened and heartbroken, and we don’t even really know these people. Suicide doesn’t just affect the parents or the spouse or the children of the deceased; it also tragically affects siblings, close friends, and any who are part of the deceased’s community. When my friend died, it felt like the entire community was grief-stricken. And the best part was that we came together in our grief. As we’ve been able to talk about what happened and be there for one another and for her family, we have found greater healing–together. That’s one reason I’m such a big supporter of breaking the silence on suicide. We need each other to heal.

 

 

6)   Suicide is traumatic, and this can complicate grief. Expeirencing the death of a loved one is hard and painful, but not all death is traumatic. Suicide is a trauma to family and friends. It is sudden, shocking, and sometimes, violent. Learning your sister or friend or loved one died by a phone call from the police is traumatic. It’s surreal, it’s unbelievable, and there is no preparation. As my husband and I said to each other, after my dear friend jumped to her death, “We couldn’t have been more shocked if she’d been murdered.” Suicide is a trauma, and grieving suicide can therefore be a long, complicated process. (Resources for Dealing with Grief, click here.)

 

 

7) How the suicide happens can make it even more difficult to cope with.  Details like whether someone was on drugs when they took their life, or whether they did so away from home so family and friends wouldn’t have to find them, versus publicly, or in a way designed to hurt others, can all make suicide even more traumatic and make coping with it even more difficult. My sister died as a result of too much alcohol, a sleeping pill, and tylenol. The knowledge that she was drunk when she took the pills somehow helps my family know she didn’t mean to do what she did, and that is a comfort to us.

 

 

8)  Anger is a huge part of suicide for surviving family and friends, and let me just say, “Your anger is justified.” It’s natural to feel angry when someone dies by their own hand, no matter how it happens. It’s natural to feel like, “This shouldn’t have happened!” I’ve had to deal with layers upon layers of anger toward my sister, and toward my friend. Your anger doesn’t mean you don’t love them. On the contrary, it means you love them very much and are trying to make sense of what happened and learn to forgive and move on without them.

 

 

9)  Guilt is a common emotion after someone dies from suicide. Even if you logically know it’s not your fault, it’s still common to feel or think, “What if…”–wondering what if I would have just stopped by, or called to check in, or been there when s/he needed me. This is another factor that makes suicide especially difficult for family survivors, and another complicating factor in grief.

 

 

10)   Suicide often leads to spiritual conflict in surviving family and friends. We may question “Why did this have to happen?” or rather, “How could God let this happen?” It’s a tragic loss, and that can lead to spiritual trauma that requires its own kind of healing.

 

 

11) Whether the suicide seemed accidental or not, surviving family and friends are left with the huge question, “Why?” Even in cases when a note is left behind, there remain many questions. For those who have no note, it’s likely there will never be any answers. As I wrote in This is How We Grow, “I have been filled with an abundance of ‘whys’ in my days. Some can be answered and provide deeper understanding, but many will never be answered in this life. Sometimes, in choosing to question ‘why,’ we choose to remain stagnant in our learning. We choose to stay in the dark–alone, frustrated, even angry.” (p. 32) Yes, the “whys” are often the hardest part of suicide.

 

 

12) We need to talk about suicide. We can’t allow it to be a secret family members are supposed to keep. We need to have compassion for not only those who feel so alone and in pain that they can’t carry on, but for their family and friends who are trying to pick up the pieces after they are gone. We need greater empathy for families of suicide victims. And yes, they are victims, because the truth is, anyone who feels so alone and desperate that they take their own life, is a victim. Families shouldn’t feel revictimized by others after the death. It’s time we break the silence of suicide. It’s time we decide to be there for one another with great love and compassion.

 
 

What do you have to say about breaking the silence on suicide? I welcome your thoughts, insights, and personal experiences. Together, we can stop the stigma and start the healing. Please, leave a comment below.

 

 
 

Suicide Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Helpguide.org Suicide Prevention: How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal  

American Association of Suicidology: Survivors of Suicide Fact Sheet 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Coping with Suicide Loss

 
 
 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Award-Winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now on Amazon.com.

 
 
 

Join Dr. Hibbert's "This Is How We Grow" Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Breaking the Silence about Suicide, Grief, & Family Survivors; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
 
 

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Dealing with Grief

Siblings & Grief

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Grief & the Family

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References:

[i] Understanding Suicide, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide

[ii] http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/ Suicide: Read this First

Link Up! PSI 2014 Blog Hop–Perinatal Mood Disorders: Maternal Mental Health Recovery & Coping

PSI 2014 Blog Hop: Maternal Mental Health Recovery and Coping; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PPD #postpartum #pregnancyI have been a member of/volunteer with Postpartum Support International (PSI) since 1999. Over the years, I’ve served as a warmline volunteer, an AZ state support coordinator, and even as the PR Chair on the PSI Board of Directors. I can definitely vouch for the incredible work this fine organization does: from their toll-free, bilingual support line, to their many resources for pregnant/postpartum moms, dads, and families, to their fabulous annual conferences which educate mental and medical health providers.

Last year, I was privileged to participate in the 1st PSI Blog Hop, and this year, I am thrilled to be part of it again. The Blog Hop will run throughout he entire month of May–Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month–and you can link up below. It’s a great way to share pregnancy/postpartum emotional health stories and resources, provide support and encouragement, and raise awareness of Perinatal Mood/Anxiety Disorders. I hope you’ll consider joining us! (See the invitation below for details and rules.)

 

An Invitation to YOU!

Join us for

Postpartum Support International’s 2014

Second Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month Blog Hop!

2014 Theme:

Perinatal Mood Disorders: What Helped Me Recover: Self, Family & Community Resources

 

PSI Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month Blog Hop


 

In May 2011 Postpartum Support International (PSI), declared May as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. An increasing number of states and counties have designated May as a time to bring awareness to maternal mental health. This year, we are launching our second maternal mental health awareness month blog hop.

Our PSI blog hop is inclusive but also respectful of emotional safety and comfort and hope for all contributors and readers. To that end, we welcome your participation but also please keep in mind some editorial guidelines meant to promote comfort and safety ~~~

Editorial Guidelines:

  • Name: Include your real name, we don’t promote people with online disguises. Anonymity can be arranged.
  • Length: 500 – 1000 words
  • Keep in this year’s theme: Perinatal Mood Disorders: What Helped Me Recover: Self, Family & Community Resources
  • Much appreciated are personal stories about the resources you used to support you in your recovery: your inner strength and resiliency efforts,  family & friends who helped, and community resources you found along your healing path.

Potentially Triggering:

For the purpose of this blog hop and its focus on messages of recovery and hope, we want you to do your best to avoid common triggers in your posts. If you have any questions or concerns about that, please contact us at psioffice@postpartum.net and we can talk about your concerns.

Please do not write about detailed suicidal or homicidal thoughts and feelings.

Inclusive:

Editors will not tolerate any negativity directed towards individuals or groups

Commercial Interests:

Please refrain from self-promotion of your website or sale items

 Please post these notices:

  • If you need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  •  If you are looking for local pregnancy or postpartum support and resources in your area, please call or email us:

Postpartum Support International Warmline (English & Spanish)

1-800-944-4PPD (4773)

support@postpartum.net

How to participate:

1. Beginning May 1, 2014 running the whole month of May!

2. Write your blog post and send a link or attachment to psioffice@postpartum.net so we can read it and list it on our site. This will help us keep track of all of the posts, and contact you if we have questions or suggestions.

3. Go to one of the following Blog Hop Blog Hosts:

Birthtouch.com  Link Up Page Here

Dr. Christina Hibbert   http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/ (see Linky, below)

4. Look for their post called:  Link Up: PSI 2014 Blog Hop – Perinatal Mood Disorders: Maternal Mental Health Recovery & Coping

5. Link up your post to that blog post in the Linky provided at the bottom of the post

6. Grab the badge! Please copy the PSI Blog Hop Badge either from the side bar or from this post!

7. Feel free to promote your blog and the blog hop on social media!

Social Media Links:

Link up Here

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

PSI 2014 Blog Hop: Maternal Mental Health Recovery and Coping; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PPD #postpartum #pregnancy

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“My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!” (again) Why Parenting is so darn Tough.

"My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!" (Again) Why Parenting is so Darn Tough; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #parenting #motherhood #fatherhoodI don’t usually post this often–3 times in one week–and I don’t usually hit the keyboard furiously the second I finally get all my kids out the door. But today, I can’t help it. My heart is racing, my head is pounding, and I feel like, if I don’t write, I may just hop in the car and head to an undisclosed location for an undisclosed amount of time.

 

Why is parenting so darn tough?

Today, I lay the “psychologist” aside and speak as “the mom,” and really, just as “me.” Why is parenting so tough?? It shouldn’t always have to be tough, right? We should feel like it’s tough only sometimes?

To me, it feels like it’s always something. Maybe it’s because I have six kids. Maybe it’s because with so many, the needs just keep flowing like a never-ending river. Maybe it’s because my four oldest are all teenagers now, and that means they live in a universe in which they are the center and everyone else must fall into orbit according to their daily gravitational pull (or mood). Maybe it’s because my husband’s been out of town most days the past weeks, with another trip coming up, and I’ve been going solo for too long. Maybe it’s because, try as I may, I never seem to get a full night’s sleep (except a week ago Saturday when my husband “took charge” for a day and I actually slept for 11 hours!) The more tired I am, the more “crazy” I feel (and act). Maybe my hormones are starting to kick in again (let me check the calendar—a little over a week away? Maybe. Maybe not.)

 

My kids are driving me crazy—again!

Yes, my kids are driving me crazy–again–and it’s a cycle that seems to repeat about every six weeks or so. They get incredibly lax on things like, oh, chores, getting to bed, getting up on time, remembering to do homework or take it to school, personal hygiene, etc, etc, and I get pushed and pushed by the piling of these “little things” until I go on a rant of some sort, which makes them listen and makes me feel guilty (I really do not like getting so frustrated with my kids!). This motivates us all to regain some order in the home, to make apologies, to work a little harder. And this brings peace once again…ahhh…until we start to get too tired and too busy and too lax again, and voila! The cycle repeats. (Read “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy! 10 Ideas to Drive Us Back to Sane)

 

It just makes me feel better to let it out…

I know I may be facing social media mockery and isolation by writing my true feelings—or rather how I truly feel today

Left the milk out, and their breakfast. And, two "forgot" their lunches this morning, again.

Left the milk out, and their breakfast. And, two “forgot” their lunches this morning, again.

—about my kids and parenting. All I ever seem to see on Facebook are posts about how great other people’s kids are. Yes, I have posted my fair share of “success moments” with my kids, too, so yes, I get it. But most days I really want to post, “I’m so proud of my six little kiddos! They stopped fighting in time to actually listen to me (the fourth time they were asked) and do their chores! How did I get so lucky? What a proud mama I am!”

I know, that’s sarcastic, and so far I’ve refrained, because I don’t believe in shaming my kids. Instead, I believe in encouraging them to do better, and today, I did just that. Instead of going on a rant, yelling about all the things they’re not doing right now, (and by yelling and rant, I mean a very long, intense talking to in which they sit perfectly still because they can see if they push even one bit my head might just explode). Instead of this, today, I tried a new approach. Ok, yes, I did “rant” a little after they left by taking pics of all the things I’d asked them to do a million times–for proof, later, if I need it. But, overall I was very impressed with my non-ranting solution.

 

“Kids!–Do This!”

Like my “Lame-o-list”—which I made when I reached a similar point of frustration with my husband and myself (yes, I

It's not pretty, and you can see from my handwriting I was working through some issues. But my "Kids! Do This!!" list is definitely effective.

It’s not pretty, and you can see from my handwriting I was working through some issues. But my “Kids! Do This!!” list is definitely effective.

expect all of us to do what we’re supposed to do—even, and especially, me). Similarly, I grabbed a colored pencil (because of course all my pens are lost—again), and in my building anxiety, began to scribble all the things my kids need to remember to do each day and each week, and all the time.

I wrote at the top, “Kids! Do this!” and underlined it twice. Yes, instead of ranting about all my kids have not done, like I would usually do, today I focused on what my kids should do. This is a great psychological and parenting principle I learned long ago: teach kids what to do instead of telling them what not to do.

So, I did just that. I wrote a list of all they need to do, because, maybe they just can’t remember on their own. Maybe they just need to be reminded. A million times. Yeah, right.

Well, now, they are officially reminded, as you can see, to the right. They are reminded to change their underwear and put away the milk and do their homework before before school the next day. They are reminded to take the lunches I wake up very early each morning to make for them (because I’m nice like that), and to thank me for making them. They are reminded to turn out the lights and pick up the toys and shoes off the floor so the dog won’t chew them to bits while they’re at school (like she did to every one of her leashes and the items pictured below!). They are reminded to remember everything they need for school before they leave or they just won’t have it, and to actually

The remains of a maraca, Pinkie Pie pony, pants, packing tape, and a sleeping bag after our dog, Coco, had her fun this morning.

The remains of a maraca, Pinkie Pie pony, pants, packing tape, and a sleeping bag after our dog, Coco, had her fun this morning. This is why we pick things up, kids!

listen when their dad and I are trying to help them or give them important advice. (Seriously, why don’t kids just listen to us? It would make life—theirs and ours—so much easier, wouldn’t it?)

You get the picture.

Writing this list calmed me, and I even saw a few of my kids read the list, and behave extra respectfully to me after they did. Apparently, they can get the picture without me having to say one single ranting word. They can, instead, read my suggestions and do them—or not, but we all know what the end result of that choice will be.

 

Parenting is tough, by nature, but it makes us grow.

The hard truth is that parenting is tough, and sometimes, it’s really tough. It pushes us in ways we never expected and

This "zone" was supposed to be cleaned last night. My husband and I both asked two kids to do this three separate times. Ugh.

This “zone” was supposed to be cleaned last night. My husband and I both asked two kids to do this three separate times. Ugh.

can make us feel things, and act in ways, we never wanted.

Writing this, I feel like both a terrible parent and a great one all at once. Terrible, because I wish I could just handle the stress that is a natural part of parenting (and especially parenting six kids) without getting pushed to the edge of sanity. Great, because I am learning to handle these frustrations in more and more creative and healthy ways. Yes, parenting is tough because it forces us to grow.

In fact, I am now recalling I posted something similar to this not too long ago. Let me check… Yes, the last time I wrote about this was in my “Parenting Teens” article, 9 ½ weeks ago. So, maybe I am actually improving. If I can last almost 10 weeks in between my parenting meltdowns, I must be. Yippee!

 

One more time: Parenting is tough because it forces us to grow.

In my first Skype-in This is How We Grow book club, the other night, the group asked eagerly, “How are all the kids

Yes, my sons were making dorky faces on purpose, ruining an otherwise cute pic, but I still love these crazy kids. They sure do help me grow.

Yes, my sons were making dorky faces on purpose, ruining an otherwise cute pic, but I still love these crazy kids. They sure do help me grow.

doing now?” It’s the most common question I get after people read my memoir. I told them the truth—that they are great kids, trying to do the right thing and be their best, working hard to excel in life. And, they struggle. They’re going through the regular ups and downs of teen and tween years; they make mistakes, grief still hits at times, and they argue just like normal siblings. “It can be hard for us, as parents, to know how to parent each of them in the individual ways they need and not just treat them as a group whole,” I said. “But, I try to see them as individuals and give them individual attention, even while holding them accountable to the same rules and expectations. It’s tough,” I admitted.

“So, it’s just parenting. Still,” one woman wisely said.

“Yep,” I replied. “It’s just parenting. Still. Forever.” And parenting is just hard sometimes–because it forces us to grow.

There are so many moments of beauty and joy and delight as a parent, and there are all these other moments just trying to keep up and get it as right as possible. Parenting is a tough job, but when we dig in and plant ourselves, it’s the best ground to make us grow.

Here’s to growing as parents! And, may the force be with you; if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna need it!

"My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!" (again) Why Parenting is so darn Tough; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Check out Parenting Skills: “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!” 10 Ideas to Drive Us Back to Sane!

Ok, let me have it. Do your kids ever drive you as crazy as mine seem to? How do you handle yourself when they do? What are your thoughts on the tough job of parenting and how it’s designed to make us grow? Leave a comment, below! 

Listen to my episode, “Why am I Frustrated and Yelling at My Kids Even Thought I Promised I Wouldn’t?’ with Dr. Rosina McAlpine, on  “Motherhood” radio! Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe to the show!

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