In defence of sharing baby photos on Facebook

This morning I overheard a conversation in a café between two people who were lamenting the change in their Facebook feeds from drunken house party photos to baby pictures. It’s a common, now clichéd complaint about the social media site – it even lead to the creation of Unbaby Me, a web tool that replaces baby pictures on Facebook with photos of cats and sunsets.

I know that over the past few years, my own newsfeed has morphed from documenting parties to parenthood, my husband and I becoming part of the baby photo posting set. As for the photos of my friends’ and relatives’ babies? Continue reading

This too shall pass: the ups and downs of parenthood

As I scooped another generous helping of peanut butter straight from the jar into my mouth yesterday, I found myself silently chanting, “This too shall pass.”

My toddler had once been so easy to put to bed, but we were now on day five of him fighting sleep and refusing to go down until late. All week we’d been trying stories, cuddles and our entire, collective repertoire of nursery rhymes and Wiggles songs. I’d dragged a pillow and blanket into his room and collapsed beside him on the carpet, feigning sleep. We’d let him call out for a little while (as long as inner-city living allows), going in periodically to reassure and soothe him. No deal. Eyes rolling around in his head, he’d eventually pass out, and then we’d limp into our own bed and crash. Continue reading

On Being Desperately Lonely in Mothers’ Group

One of the most common things to emerge after I recently started to speak more openly about my struggle with severe postpartum mental illness (postpartum psychosis) was the amount of people who told me that they had no idea. Many expressed their surprise at the extent of what we, as a family, were going through and some hadn’t picked up on it at all. “But you always look so happy and together,” is something I heard repeatedly. This most recent reaction reminded me of the very early days of my illness when I “came out” to some of the women in my mothers’ group. No one saw it coming. I hid it well. Continue reading