Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Mothers of infants and young children experience a lot of highs and lows. They don't get much sleep and can feel overwhelmed with all the new responsibility. On the other hand, watching a precious baby learn and grow is one of the most satisfying, joyous events a person can experience. Sometimes, in the midst of these highs and lows, mothers can get stuck in the very deep lows of postpartum depression. A babysitting co-op can be instrumental in helping a mother suffering from postpartum depression to cope with this difficult condition.
Author Meg Cyrulewski has taken the time to answer some of our questions about postpartum depression. Many thanks to Meg!
Co-op 101: How do you view postpartum depression now that you've been through it yourself?
Meg: I used to have a very narrow-minded view. Coming from a law perspective (because I’m an attorney) I honestly thought that postpartum depression was a terrible defense like when Andrea Yates used it. Now having been through it myself, I can’t say I condone what she did but I can understand how she could have done what she did. It’s just one of those things that you can’t really explain it to someone unless they’ve been through it.
Co-op 101: What advice do you give to women who are experiencing postpartum depression?
Meg: Never be ashamed to seek treatment. I went to the psych ward in the hospital because I needed treatment ASAP so I could take care of my baby.
Co-op 101: What advice do you give friends and family members of women who are suffering from postpartum depression?
Meg: You may not understand what she feels, but just be there to support her.
Co-op 101: How can a community of friends support one another as they welcome new babies into their families?
Meg: Every child is different. Just because my friend’s child started walking at 9 months doesn’t mean mine will - and there’s nothing wrong with it. Just have fun with each other’s kids. It’s a whole new relationship because we’re all parents now!
Co-op 101: How have your recent experiences changed you as a mother and friend?
Meg: I see the world through my daughter’s eyes and I love it. Madelyne had her first dance recital this past June and I bawled like a baby. I used to dance too so it’s just such a joy to see her love something as much as I did when I was her age. As a friend, it’s nice to be able to give advice. Like today, my friend’s 1-year-old has a really bad cold so she asked me for advice. I like that I can help.
You can learn more about Meg Cyrulewski and her new book Who Am I? How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again at her website.