Friday, October 16, 2009

New Workshop on November 12 for Expectant and Pre-Adoption Couples

Baby-Proof Your Relationship Workshop
(for Expectant and Pre-Adoption Parents)

Is the thought “We’re not prepared for this baby!” keeping you up at night?

In this workshop, you and your partner will create a toolbox to:

• Improve communication
• Resolve conflict
• Create a values-based schedule for post-baby life
• Set a strong foundation for a partnership that can weather the ups and downs of parenthood
• Gain confidence in your ability to parent as a team
• Know the warning signs of Postpartum Depression and other mood problems and where to go for help
• Access community resources to develop your vocation as parents

WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Rainier House Meeting Room, 5270 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle 98118

COST: $40/Couple

For more information and to register, contact:

Shannon Armitage, MA, LMFT at Center for Life Transitions, LLC

Monday, October 12, 2009

Play’s the Thing: Inoculate yourself and your relationship against the stress of parenting

Doctors are fond of saying to patients, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This same notion holds true for the health of family and couple relationships as well. Parenting is undoubtedly a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor, but it can also be a taxing and trying one—especially on a couple’s relationship. To help weather the ups and downs, couples would do well to take stock of the preventive methods they have at their disposal against parenting stress and burn-out.

Children innately know this idea that parents often have to re-learn: Every day should include time for play. Through play, one learns how to solve problems, cooperate, express creativity, and master new skills. Growth as individuals, couples, and families is predicated on constructive play. By following these three steps, couples will inoculate their relationship against the strains of parenthood.

1. Make time to be on your own
Spouses may want to choose a night that one can call her/his own. This “time off” is really “time on” to strengthen one’s sense of identity outside of the family, to engage in healthy activities, re-connect with friends, or simply decompress.

2. Make time to play as a family
Depending on the ages of the children, families can expect to find new and different ways of playing together as children grow. Parents of young children might enjoy outings to playgrounds, beaches, zoos or children’s museums. Sports events, video games, movies, hiking, or amusement parks are all fine ways of playing with older children. The key is to find activities everyone finds pleasant.

3. Make time to play as a couple
Couples often fall into the trap of thinking they need a babysitter to have a “date”. While a babysitter does make it easy to have time together as a couple, parents can also enjoy “stay-dates” by making time after the children are in bed to talk, massage each other’s shoulders, or listen to music that isn’t child-friendly. Parents would do well to check in with each other about how well they’re doing as individuals, a couple, and a family in ensuring everyone’s needs for separation and connection are being met.

Most parents recognize that their children’s job is to play. Making appointments to play alone, as a couple and as a family is harder to remember to do. Parents would do well, however, when scheduling their children’s play-dates to make sure their scheduling their own as well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Postpartum Support International of Washington Celebrates 20 Years

Congratulations to PSI of WA for reaching its 20 year milestone. To celebrate, PSI of WA is hosting a luncheon on Wed. October 28 at the Hilton in Seattle. Dr. Shoshana Bennett, whose books I've cited in this blog, will be the keynote speaker. Bennett is the author of "Postpartum Depression For Dummies" and co-author (with Pec Indman) of "Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression." Her latest book, "Pregnant on Prozac," was released in January. Click here for details and tickets.