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DEpression & parenting

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  • DEpression & parenting

    Hi there, needing some help here. A little background first - I am from the UK< but Lived in USA for 9 years, in CA. It was hard to adjust, but I was in my mid twenties, in love, with bundles of energy and I took on the challenge for I wanted to be with my hubby. Long story - short: I made a great life there - got v good friends, loved my job for 6 1/2 years, got my Masters in CLinical Psych and intern license towards becoming a therapist, got a lovely apartment with hubby next to the beach, had my Angel, saw family from UK twice.three times a years - who I love dearly. I was extremely content and having my daughter was the delight of my life.
    So, my Hubby wanted to move to Brazil, he is half Brazilian and wanted to be with his Dad, also was concerned re: US economy and more imprtantly wanted to work from home, so he could see his beloved daughter, who he missed, having to leave the house early, early to miss traffic - commute the horrible LA traffic to a job he hated and sometimes not seeing her for more than and hour. I get it - I get he hated this horrible office (I would have too and not made it as long as he did) and he loves Brazil, his Dad who had seldom seen in 9 years - and he loves working from home etc etc... I agreed to this - ith some doubts, but I did.

    Now, I am very, very down - I feel I compromised myself too much - I feel adrift, v low and tearful most days. I had some good weeks, but this is HARD and it is putting stress on our marriage and he is also v troubled now, because I am down and have been for about 75% of the time we've been here - now, 7 months. People ae helpful, I am glad for his time with our daughter and his tremendous help and we agree - mostly - on parenting issues etc etc... but I feel I have lost a lot, and I feel a lack of joy.

    I am concerned this shows to my 13 mnth yr old. She is a wonderful, wonderful child and I want to be joyful Mummy she once had. I love his family, and I really feel close and kindred with them, but they did make negative comments re my parenting style at first... not getting the whole AP thing, which I understand.... but it made me feel v alone - plus a large dose of sleep deprivation for over a year now - my wee one sleeps maybe 3 -4 hrs at beginning of night, but awake every 1 1/2- 21/2 hrs after that...

    Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks for listenin

  • #2
    Depression and Parenting

    Dear Reggie,

    Your letter makes so much sense. You feel you have given up a lot, have moved once again and are admirably trying to make this adjustment. You express an appreciation for your husband's family, yet they haven't always understood your parenting practices, and that has left you feeling very alone. You're feeling depressed and you're wondering what effect that may be having on your 13-month old.

    You come across as a very well-spoken, grounded individual who is quite conscientious about her parenting and maintaining relationships in general.

    Do you and your husband have time for closeness? It's important to "do" things together that you both enjoy (going out to eat, sports activities, etc.) AND equally important is time to "be" together, to truly connect. The main communication practice in Imago is called the Intentional Dialogue, and it has been shown to increase closeness and marital satisfaction in general. This, is turn, can help alleviate feelings of depression. You can see a video demonstration of this dialogue on

    I will be hosting this Forum beginning on Monday, October 5, and will be talking more about this topic and others. For now, I wonder if it might be helpful for you to make a list of things for which you are grateful. You can add to this list daily. Try expressing to someone in your life one or two of these, just share "I am truly grateful for........" Try to take note of your mood during these exchanges.

    More on this next week!

    Patricia Martin


    • #3
      Thank You

      Thank You for your help, Patricia - I very much appreciate it.


      • #4
        Depression and Parenting

        We know that interpersonal relationships have a signicant impact on mood. Depression can be alleviated by interacting with others, and more specifically by feeling heard and understood. When we get busy with parenting duties, we may not spend enough time listening and being heard within the marital relationship.

        CHALLENGE: Set aside time to have a dialogue, where each person has the opportunity to talk without interruption. This means when you are doing the listening, you withhold your own responses! You wait until your partner has finished. THEN (and this is even harder), ask if your partner has anything else to say.
        THEN: Tell your partner what you heard him/her say. This is a beautiful extension of caring, a way to say, "I want to make sure I got it."
        FINALLY, ask your partner if he/she is ready to switch roles, so that you now can do the talking.
        You can see more about The Imago Intentional Dialogue at

        Such dialogue often can alleviate depression, and leaves you more able to focus on the children in a caring, attentive way.