Oh October, By Walker Karraa, Ph.D.. No ribbons, no walks, no designated month of awareness for depression. You must read this blazingly brilliant piece by a cancer- and depression-survivor.
Why Do I Write? Jennifer Kakutani. Do the thing that saves you. And share your story. Help another find a lifeline. We are all in this, alone, together.
It’s with a heady mix of emotions that I write this post. After 7 years in private practice, focusing on helping adults, couples, children and families through difficult transitions, I’m having a “doctor, heal thyself” moment. My wonderful husband who encouraged and supported me as I started this practice now has the opportunity to lead a fantastic progressive, independent school–The Watershed School, how apropos!- in Boulder. So, I am sadly saying good-bye to my dear clients, friends, colleagues, and family here in Seattle. I’ll continue to post here and update about all things mental wellness. And about learning to train at altitude. Yes, big changes ahead.
Sometimes “conscious #uncoupling” is not quitting–especially if it involves you, your family, and over-commitment.
Phil grew up in a world that centered around sports: Friday night football games and summers spent at the Little League field define much of his childhood.
When he said he wanted to sign Emma up for softball, I said, “Sure. What did Emma say?”
“She’s got a great arm, she just needs to get there, you know, hear the chatter on the bench, feel those butterflies when she steps up to the plate, get into the zone, just her and the ball….”
Was this a monologue from Field of Dreams? “Uhh…Phil?”
He blinked, his reverie shattered. “What?”
“So she wants to do it?”
“Yeah, she’ll be happy when she gets there.”
Hmmm. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but….ok. I’ll butt out of this one.
But it wasn’t long before I felt the need to butt back in. When Emma was supposed to be finding her uniform for practice, she…
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Let me say first off: I love my children. Love with a capital L. But I did not enjoy them as babies. Sure, they’ were cute, but so are bunnies. And they smelled good, but so does a pine tree. Bunnies, pine trees, babies, nice, but eh, I could take ’em or ‘leave ’em. I loved my daughters, but my brain registered very little reward in caring for them. Breastfeeding was fine because I never had to think about what they were going to eat that day. It was a convenience about as thrilling as a trip to 7-11. Nursing, bathing, diapering all felt like a slalom course I just had to get through. For me.
Now, other parents really relish their child’s infancy. They document all their favorite moments, of which their are a myriad. The pleasure centers of their brains rapid-fire whenever they look at their babies. Time feels to slow down whenever they are with them.
Which is how I feel about my daughters now. I love talking to them, hearing about what they did at school, helping them navigate the social world, running with them full-bore down a soccer field. I love parenting them at this stage. Love it. And I love them, just as I did when they were babies. But now I love my parenting job, too.
So, to new parents out there: I know this goes against the common discourse, but it’s ok not to love parenting a newborn. It doesn’t mean you’re a defective parent. Give it time. You and your baby may both need some time to grow.