Facing your Family: Talking About Postpartum Depression

With the holiday season approaching, it can be a joyous time– cozy fireplaces, yummy food, festive activities, and being with the ones you love. It’s also a time where families come together to share in the holiday spirit. Extended families near and far, travel to spend these precious days catching up; which can be extremely overwhelming for someone diagnosed with postpartum depression (the questions, the looks, the assumptions).

 

 

For the women that may be reading this that do have a stable and supportive family- that is fantastic and you are pretty dang lucky. However, I’m aware that not everyone can be so lucky as to have an understanding and supportive family when it comes to serious issues.

Case in point: Postpartum Depression.

Postpartum depression is now just getting recognized as a serious condition (finally!) and that’s because of our amazing generation of strong mamas that have been courageous enough to open up and talk about it.

Unfortunately, postpartum depression can still be viewed as a non-existent or easily brushed-off condition…which is why some mamas may have a hard time talking about it.

 

 

I’m here today to help you gain the confidence to face your family this holiday season if you have postpartum depression.

 

I don’t want to point fingers or anything, and I know it’s not their fault, but our mothers and grandmothers generations kind of screwed us over on this one.

Back in “the day” (yeah, I went there) women kept all their shit held deep inside. Motherhood was nothing short of amazing. Smiles, as well as spotless homes and home-made meals from scratch, were expected.

 We know that there is a HUGE difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression since the mothers before us came home from the hospital with their newborn babies.

 

 

Are you afraid to face your family this holiday season or you’re unsure how to talk to them about your postpartum depression? I have some tips that may help you.

 

 

 

Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself, or your condition

You should never have to feel like you have to explain why you’re feeling the way you feel. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you’re depressed.

Also, don’t need to explain your condition– if someone doesn’t understand postpartum depression, then that is on them to research the condition. Not you. Please don’t feel like you owe anyone an explanation for your mental health.

 

Be prepared to answer the questions

Some people are genuinely concerned with how you are doing, so be prepared for rapid-fire questions, such as:

“how are you doing?”

“are you feeling okay?”

“how have you been?”

“do you need to talk?”

“do you need any help?”

I assure you that these questions are not meant to hurt you, but to help you.

 

 

 

Remember that most people really just want to help (and accept that help)

It took me a long time to realize that it’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help is actually a sign of being a pretty kickass mama…and not to just ask for that help, but to ACCEPT it. If you aren’t feeling okay, then accept that and talk about it. You will have bad days during your journey, and that is okay.

 

 

When it becomes too much, change the subject

When you become tired of the endless questions and worrisome stares, changing the subject can be a great way to steer the conversation to a lighter spot. Some conversation ideas can range from the weather, the food (because it’s the holidays and we are ALL eating), to which types of movies are playing in the theater.

 

Bring along a moral support buddy

If the thought of visiting family really skeeves you out and you’re unsure how to do it by yourself, bring along a moral support buddy. Tell your buddy to stick close by your side and even make up a code word that you can say to him/her when things get too much.

 

It’s not you, it’s them

If anybody seems standoffish since they found out you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum depression, remember: it’s not you, it’s them.

They don’t understand what you’re going through and chances are, they don’t even know what to say to you. I think it’s still important to engage with these people, however, if your effort is more than they are willing to give back, it’s okay to take a step away from this relationship. Perhaps they will understand your struggle someday, or perhaps they won’t, either way, it’s not you, it’s them.

Try to stay out of uncomfortable situations

If you know that going over to Aunt Gerty’s house will be emotionally and mentally exhausting, perhaps it’s best to sit this one out. You don’t need to worry about whose feelings you may be hurting if you don’t go to the big dinner– because your mental health is the most important.

 

 

Place yourself in comfortable situations

When we are in our own environment, we can feel less threatened by our worries and fears. Perhaps having the holiday get-together at your home (where you feel most comfortable) is an idea.

If the thought of having a house full of people overwhelms you to the point of hiding under the covers, you don’t have to plan it alone! Call up a trusted family member or pal to help you coordinate the party or dinner.

How does the holiday season affect your postpartum depression? What would you like me to talk about in my next Holiday survival post? I would love to hear about it in a comment or through e-mail. I’m always here to listen, and I know how important that is this time of the year.

I hope you have a fantastic holiday this year and remember~ keep smiling.

 

 

 

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Oh-So Yummy {And Toddler-Approved!} Elderberry Gummies

Goodbye Summer! The end of summer, for me, is a bit bittersweet– I’m always said to see the warm, sunny days go away, but on the other hand, I love the cool, crisp autumn days and seeing the beautiful fall foliage around me. (And do I need to mention, pumpkin spice lattes?!)  Yes, I’m a sucker for everything fall.

 

 

disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links which, when you purchase an item, can help me continue to run my blog (yes, it cost money to keep this thing going!)

 

But what I’m not a sucker for is my kids getting sick. The cooler weather always brings on those seasonal ickies– Mother Nature’s reminder that it’s officially time to put the swimsuits away–the dreaded cold and flu season.

During this time of the year, I would rather stay in my house every single day then to risk exposing my kids to a potential germ. However, that is not possible and since nobody has invented a human bubble yet, my plan has been to load my kids up with vitamin goodness.

Which brings me the reason for my post: Elderberry gummies.

I will tell you how to make them…keep reading!

Last winter, I discovered the amazing benefits of Elderberry syrup. Holy moly. I swear by this stuff now. I really do. My I’m a believer story is when I was feeling a sickness coming on, so I took a tablespoon every 2 hours– I kid you not when I say that I felt better the next day. No Advil, Day or NyQuil needed! Elderberry syrup has since been stocked in my fridge ever since.

 

all that yummy goodness!!

 

With the cold/flu season approaching, I wanted the syrup in full-stock for my family, but I also needed an easier way to make sure my two toddlers were getting the goodness into their tiny bellies. Because if you have toddlers, you know how, *ahem* difficult, they can be.

It’s when elderberry gummies came into my mind– so I began to research how to make them. It turns out, making your own elderberry gummies is INSANELY easy. I mean, really, really, stinkin’ easy. And wayyy cheaper than buying them already made.

Before you make your gummies…

You will need elderberry syurp. I make my own because again, it’s so insanely cheap and easy.

Here is my favorite (and I’m tried quite a few) recipe that is tasty and equally easy to make!

courtesy of Wellness Mama

2/3 cup dried elderberries, or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen

  • 3½ cups water
  • 2 TBSP fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (local honey is best)

Instructions

  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
  8. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  9. Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Notes

Standard dose is ½ tsp – 1 tsp for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

 

Now, what you have all been waiting for…..

 

recipe adapted by Coconut Mama

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Homemade Elderberry Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 Cup water

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of elderberry syrup with gelatin.
  2. Let the gelatin sit in the water for a minute or until it gels up.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan on low heat. You want the water to be hot but not boiling.
  4. Pour the hot water over the gelatin mixture.
  5. Use a whisk and mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add the honey and mix until thoroughly combined.
  7. Pour mixture into molds.
  8. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set.
  9. Store fruit snacks in a closed container in the refrigerator.

Take 2-3 gummies a day for optimal well-being!

 

toddler approved by my picky three-year old (:

 

 

I’m happy that I could share with you my trusted and well-loved recipe for elderberry gummy bears. These gummy bear vitamins will help keep your little ones healthy this cold/flu season.

Did you make these? I want to hear what you think in the comments, please!

 

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