Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Because No One Knows What to Expect When Being Hospitalized for a PPMD

Katherine Stone blogged about her experience being hospitalized for postpartum depression. It was no picnic, as she tells it, but did put her on the path to recovery.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hug Your Neighborhood Lawyer

Ok, people, we should try to lay off the lawyer jokes for a while. Lawrence Krieger of Florida State University found in a recent study that practicing lawyers exhibit clinical anxiety, hostility and depression at rates that range from eight to 15 times the general population. His research also indicates that out of 104 occupational groups, lawyers rank the highest in depression. Yikes! So, do some pro bono work of your own for the lawyer/s in your life and give them a referral to a good therapist!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Family Day at The Henry Art Gallery

The Henry Art Gallery hosts a free Family Day from 11:00 to 3:00 this Saturday. On tap is a performance by funky-fun Seattle band Recess Monkey and On The Double Double-Dutch group! Bring your jump rope and dancing shoes down to the U-District this Saturday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Henri Nouwen on Forgiveness

I came across this quote about forgiveness that really spoke to me and thought it might also to you. I really appreciated the image of "not forgiving" as a chain and forgiveness as freedom:

"Maybe the reason it seems hard for me to forgive others is that I do not fully believe that I am a forgiven person. If I could fully accept the truth that I am forgiven and do not have to live in guilt or shame, I would really be free. My freedom would allow me to forgive others seventy times seven times. By not forgiving, I chain myself to a desire to get even, thereby losing my freedom."--Henri Nouwen

Monday, March 10, 2008

Catching Up to the Clock

Since it is Spring-Ahead Monday, I just wanted to share a little reminder to go easy on ourselves today, as our bodies and brains try to catch up to the clock. Here are 4 reminders to help us be safe and well this week:

1. Allow yourself extra time to drive where you need to go. Or better yet, walk or take public transit until you feel your reaction time returning.

2. Eat a healthy dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime.

3. Choose a quiet, non-anxiety-inducing activity before bed, like reading, meditation, listening to music, or knitting (unless, of course, you're like me and would consider knitting an anxiety-inducing activity).

4. If possible, try to fit in 20 minutes or more of exercise, preferably in the beginning or middle of the day. Those yogis among us might like to try sun salutations first thing in the morning. Others might like to walk during lunch break, bike to work, or run around the park with your kids. No kids, you say? Then bring a basketball or soccer ball to the park and you are sure to meet some!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Loving Without Labeling

As children, my parents affixed labels to my siblings and me that in some ways have followed us to this day. I was the responsible high achiever. My sister was the hard-working peacemaker. My brother was the funny, perceptive, sensitive one. While there's nothing particularly problematic with these labels, it did sometimes lead to discounting our other traits that fell outside our respective boxes. If my sister brought home a good report card, my parents would credit her "hard work" for her success rather than her intellect. If I got a bad grade, the teacher must not have communicated her/his concepts and expectations well enough. And my brother, well, he got by on his sense of humor.

In families and other significant relationships, it's easy to slide into this essentialist view. We've all done it: "She's my easy baby." "He's the stubborn one." "He's the helpful one--not like his brother." The difficulty with essentialist notions is that sometimes there is truth to them--or maybe "truthiness" is a better term. But what happens is that these essentialist views often cloud out exceptions.

My brother can be very funny, but I know that when tax time comes around, he sends his 1040 meticulously filled out--all joking aside. My sister is a hard-worker, but she often gets more done because she also works smarter. And she loves to put her feet up and crack a joke as much as anyone.

Our behavior is just that--behavior. Sometimes it suggests something about our temperment. But it shouldn't define us. And we should be watchful not to let it coax us into defining others, too.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

You Need a PPMD Like You Need a Knife in the Head

Penelope Trunk writes in her Brazen Careerist blog about how she didn't realize she was suffering from a Post-Partum Mood Disorder until she stabbed herself in the head with a kitchen knife. She advises that every working mom (and every parent is a working parent) surround herself with a strong support network. And if you don't have pre-existing supports, by all means, hire them! As Penelope says, "I cut corners on things that I thought I could handle but couldn’t. And the biggest thing, in hindsight, that I thought I could handle, was being a working mom with no support system. No one can do that and stay sane." Amen to that, Penelope!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kid-Friendly Restaurant Recommendation in Seattle

So for those of you reading in Seattle (or planning on visiting our fair city), All-Purpose Pizza on S. Jackson St. in the Leschi Neighborhood has a great kids play space that your child/ren can enjoy while you and your companion can have a semblance of a date. The play area is outfitted with rolling pins, dough, toy cash register and phone, so your wee one/s can pretend to run their own restaurant. Fostering your relationship while fostering your child/ren's entrepreneurial skills equals a win-win for everyone.