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It Comes With the Job

Hey! Did you remember that I have another blog where I review things like books? Me neither! Just kidding. I remembered, I just haven't had much time to write anything over there. But last night I finally wrote my review for my TBR Challenge July book! I read and reviewed the book The Pact, by Jodi Picoult.

The book was excellent, but it's left me thinking a great deal about how I need to protect my child (and future children) and how to watch out for her (them).

For example, I worry a great deal about the fact that depression runs in families. Since I suffer annually from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and had postpartum depression (PPD), I am concerned that my children may also suffer from some form of depression. It's not an easy thing to live with, and I hope that they don't. But what if they do? Will I recognize the signs? Will I be able to do anything to help? Will they feel comfortable talking with me about it and asking for help when they need it?

I like to think that I will and they will. I hope that seeing me actively manage these issues and my being open about the issues will provide them a good model if they have issues of their own. I like to think that because I know the signs and am watching for them I will be able to recognize them in time to help. It's hard to be go through depression, especially as a preteen and teen when your emotions and hormones are going crazy anyway. I like to think that I can help them. But when the time comes, will I notice a difference between normal moody teen behavoir and real issues? Will I be able to provide the support and understanding they need, or will I just be Mama not understanding it and trying to get into their business?

What about something bad happening to them? I have the book Protecting the Gift just waiting to be ordered when I put in my next amazon order, since I hear such good things about it. But things can happen to children even with the most watchful parents. I think about how in just a few unattended moments, the life of the girl in the book turned down a dark path and never righted itself. Those things happen. I think of Elizabeth Smart and other children who are snatched from their very bedrooms. Not all end as well as Elizabeth's story.

I worry. I worry and worry and worry. I've never been a worrier. I know I can only do my best. I know that bad things happen to good people. I know that I can't protect my child(ren) from everything (goodness, I wish I could!). I know that my child(ren) are already having it easier than many other children in the world.

But I still worry. It's what parents do.


Jan said…
Get and read Protecting the Gift and see if it doesn't change your worrying. It did mine, and I AM a worrier by nature. It made me feel much more like I can influence (not completely control, dangit) the dangers my kids face.

I read an article awhile back that I can't seem to find to link to, about the causal link between parent and child depression. The take-home from it was this: Kids whose parents are depressed (or anxious) are more likely to get depressed (or anxious) UNLESS the parent is taking appropriate measure to treat the episodes. In other words, it appears to be the depressive/anxious behaviors that are inherited, not the physiology. The behaviors can lead to the changes in physiology, but if the behaviors aren't in place, the physiology is no more likely to occur than in kids whose parents never experienced depressive or anxious episodes.

I think the best solution to all these sorts of worries is imply to do my very best to keep the lines of communication open. I can spend a lot of energy trying to protect my kids from X, Y and Z and then hope those don't happen OR I can create a communication system in which they are willing and able to tell me about potential situation-specific dangers that might arise (and, *knock wood*, possibly even ask a little advice now and again!)

Totally delete this part of the comment if I'm right and you aren't ready to go public, but ... I think SOMEBODY has a bun in the oven! Am I wrong?
caramama said…
Jan - No bun in the oven. Not yet anyway. We are definitely wanting more though, and I'll leave it at that.
Shellie said…
That book sounds really good. I agree, there is only so much you can do to protect your children and the remaining risk you just have to learn to deal with. It is a very hard part of parenting. As for childhood depression, it can manifest itself differently than in adults, so read up. I agree your example will go a long way towards openness and knowing what to do with her/their feelings. That Elizabeth Smart thing was so scary, right here, the media attention was too intense. We just couldn't believe it when she was found. To this day Enigma is creeped out over that one.
OneTiredEma said…
I couldn't get through Protecting the Gift. I should probably try again. But at the time it made me suspect every man my toddler daughter came in contact with...which at that age was primarily my husband, my BIL, and my FIL. It could have been the hormones and sleep deprivation (was either soon before or soon after AM's birth that I had it), but it was making me into a paranoid mess. I had to return it to the library without finishing it.

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