Welcome to Take It or Leave It, an advise-ish podcast for parents brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
We examine Mental Health and Motherhood – the realities of postpartum depression, anxiety and the mental toll of motherhood. We dug into the signs and symptoms moms face, but are afraid to share.
With the holidays approaching, anxiety for Moms is high. It is important to talk to your family and health care provider. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
Meredith [00:00:08] Welcome to the Take It or Leave It an advice-ish podcast for parents brought to you by Grove Collaborative. You can download this podcast on iTunes and Google Play music. I’m your host Meredith from That’s Inappropriate.
Tiffany [00:00:20] And I’m your host Tiffany from Juggling the Jenkins. This podcast we’ll discuss all things marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. Please remember we are not professionals at anything you may actually need. So in the advice we give you, you can take.
Meredith [00:00:35] Or leave because it might be crap. So welcome to Take It or Leave It. On today’s episode of Take It or Leave It we are getting personal and addressing the mental state of motherhood. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss previous, current, or upcoming episodes like when we discussed placentas and other peoples’ kids.
Tiffany [00:00:54] We are here because we’ve all struggled as moms. Anyone who says they haven’t is a lie bagger.
Meredith [00:01:00] Let’s just do random facts. Favorite color.
Tiffany [00:01:02] Purple.
Meredith [00:01:03] I knew that. Favorite restaurant.
Tiffany [00:01:06] Mi Pueblo.
Meredith [00:01:07] Oh okay. Favorite movie.
Tiffany [00:01:11] Elf.
Meredith [00:01:12] Jesus Christ.
Tiffany [00:01:13] Don’t you judge me.
Meredith [00:01:16] All right. Favorite book.
Tiffany [00:01:18] Twilight.
Meredith [00:01:19] I thought you were going to say my own.
Tiffany [00:01:21] Yours?
Meredith [00:01:22] No yours.
Tiffany [00:01:23] Scoop the Poop.
Meredith [00:01:23] No, yours. I thought you were going to say my own book. No I was teasing.
Tiffany [00:01:27] I forgot I wrote a book. It’s still weird. What about you? You have to answer these too. What’s your favorite color?
Meredith [00:01:33] Teal.
Tiffany [00:01:34] I mean no hesitation. Clearly.
Meredith [00:01:38] Next.
Tiffany [00:01:38] What’s your favorite restaurant? Oh man.
Meredith [00:01:43] Pioneer’s Pizza.
Tiffany [00:01:44] Is that where you took me on our first date?
Meredith [00:01:45] Yes. On our first date. I love pizza.
Tiffany [00:01:48] Your favorite position of work that you’ve done?
Meredith [00:01:52] A day off. I was about to give you my favorite position.
Tiffany [00:01:57] That’s what I was going for.
Meredith [00:01:57] All right.
Tiffany [00:01:58] I switched it at the last minute.
Meredith [00:02:00] You did. All right. Well, let’s go ahead and get started because these shenanigans.
Tiffany [00:02:04] Okay. We got to get serious.
Meredith [00:02:05] We have to get serious. And we’re on a time clock today.
Tiffany [00:02:07] What?
Meredith [00:02:08] Because of you.
Tiffany [00:02:10] Oh. Right. I don’t know if I can handle that kind of pressure.
Meredith [00:02:15] All right.
Tiffany [00:02:17] So let’s start the show with the mom fail moment.
Meredith [00:02:20] All right.
Tiffany [00:02:22] So I have one that happened this morning. It’s not… long story short my kids school has been asking me for weeks to bring sippy cups. Which at the time when they’re asking me I’m like, “Oh yeah. Totally. I got them. We’ll bring it tomorrow.” And then somehow between the time that I leave the school and get to the car, it just deletes from my memory. And I forget until the next day and then I have to make up this elaborate lie of why I don’t have it. So today, my husband reminded me this morning. He’s like, “We got to get the kid’s cups.” And I was like, “Oh.” So literally I sent poor Kaden to school with an I’m a pretty princess cup to drink out of because it’s the only one we had because I wasn’t prepared. So he had this bright pink cup and he was like pissed. He was like, “This is for girls.” And I’m like, “Hey, genders know no color.” It’s 2018. You could be a pretty princess If you want to. Trying to make it better. But he doesn’t understand anything I said. So I had to explain to the teacher, it’s not a new age thing we’re trying to do. I’m a bad mom is what this boils down to basically.
Meredith [00:03:30] It’s hard to remember all the crap you need to bring in. I remember one of the best things ever was when the daycare we were at started supplying diapers and wipes obviously at an astronomical fee. But then I wasn’t forgetting them. Because I forgot them all the time. And they’d be like, “We had to steal a diaper out of so and so’s cubby today because your child had an F7 diarrhea explosion. Could you please bring in some diapers?” And then eventually they were just like just charge her $50. She’s never bringing in diapers.
Tiffany [00:04:01] That’s so funny. I’ll pick Chloe up. She’ll be in her brothers shirts and shorts. And I’m like, “What’s going on?” They’re like, “Yeah, we asked you to bring a change of clothes. You didn’t. So this is what we had to resort to so thanks.”
Meredith [00:04:11] Yeah, well it happens. There’s too many things on our mind constantly to remember all of this stuff.
Tiffany [00:04:18] Yeah.
Meredith [00:04:18] And what I think is sad is that we always feel like we’re failing when we do that. But in reality there’s just too much to be done. So you got to pick. You got to pick your battles.
Tiffany [00:04:30] They should really invent a calendar reminder app or something so that I don’t have to remember all this. It’s ridiculous.
Meredith [00:04:36] Yeah, a little ding a ling in your ear to tell you.
Tiffany [00:04:38] What?
Meredith [00:04:41] You know, a ding a ling.
Tiffany [00:04:42] Okay.
Meredith [00:04:45] You said reminder app. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind.
Tiffany [00:04:49] Oh my lord.
Meredith [00:04:50] All right. Just kidding.
Tiffany [00:04:52] You’re not. Today’s trending parenting news is brought to you by Grove Collaborative. Why did the scarecrow win the Nobel prize, Meredith?
Meredith [00:05:03] I don’t know. But you’re going to tell me.
Tiffany [00:05:06] Because he was outstanding in his field.
Meredith [00:05:09] Oh my God. That’s funny.
Tiffany [00:05:13] You laughed at that one.
Meredith [00:05:14] That one was funny.
Tiffany [00:05:16] Yeah. That’s the one I came up with.
Meredith [00:05:17] It was stupid funny. But it was funny. I like it.
Tiffany [00:05:20] I’m just kidding. I didn’t come up with that.
Meredith [00:05:22] All right. Well, how do you know when it’s officially fall? For some people it’s the changing leaves or the first day of school. For me it’s the return of Mrs. Meyer’s fall seasonal scents like mum and apple cider.
Tiffany [00:05:31] This year Mrs. Meyer’s has released a brand new seasonal scent for fall, pumpkin. It smells exactly how it looks. Clean, simple, and cozy. The toasty scent is distinctively fall. But it smells so good I would be tempted to use it year round. The package is spot on too. Like the color of pumpkin pie filling.
Meredith [00:05:50] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:05:50] Do you like how I did that?
Meredith [00:05:51] I do.
Tiffany [00:05:51] I tried to make it sound delicious. Grove has you covered for all your cleaning and organizing needs as you head into fall. Find an amazing selection of natural household products from brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method, and Seventh Generation.
Meredith [00:06:05] All of which I currently use in my kitchen.
Tiffany [00:06:07] Same.
Meredith [00:06:07] Be sure to order before October 5th. The seasonal scents will run out soon and that’s like ASAP. So if you’ve been thinking about trying Grove Collaborative, this is your chance. When you sign up using my link you’ll get the free fall set plus shipping and a free 60 day VIP trial. Go to grove.co/takeit to get started. That’s grove.co/takeit.
Tiffany [00:06:29] Great job.
Meredith [00:06:30] Yeah. Struggling today. We struggled a little bit.
Tiffany [00:06:34] That’s good. Things are about to get real. That’s why. I think we know it. Okay. So, today in trending news we are going to talk about something that is very near and dear to my heart. Because it is something that I personally struggled with and I know a lot of people out there have struggled with it. Some probably still are and don’t know how to talk about it. So I’m really stoked we’re talking about it today. So in today’s trending news, more and more celebrities have been coming out and discussing that they have dealt with post partum depression. For example, Serena Williams has opened up about it and was quoted in People Magazine saying, “I think people need to talk about it more. Because it’s almost like the fourth trimester. It’s part of the pregnancy,” she explained. “I remember one day I couldn’t find Olympia’s bottle and I got so upset I started crying because I wanted to be perfect for her.” There are a few other celebrities have experienced similar things like Alyssa Milano and Alanis Morissette. And I too, personally have struggled with post partum depression.
Tiffany [00:07:38] I have a history of depression in general. However, when I had my son everything was wonderful and it was great. And I had to keep buying bigger sd cards because I was taking so many photos of his newborn baby face in the same position. I was so obsessed with him. And so when I decided to have another child I thought that it would be the same thing. And it was the exact opposite when Chloe was born. She had colic and acid reflux. And those two things alone for me it was impossible to bond with her because all she did was scream. And I don’t care who you are, it’s mentally impossible to create a loving bond with something that is just a ringing fire alarm in your ear all day. And so it got to a point where I started to resent her. And I started questioning why did I do this. Why did I have another child? This was a terrible idea. She’s a terrible kid. I don’t want to be her mom anymore.
Tiffany [00:08:47] And that kind of trickled over to Kaden as well because he was just entering the two year old stage where he couldn’t express himself. So I was so frustrated and I was resentful not only towards my kids, but towards my husband as well because he got to go off to work all day and he had no idea about the chaos that was ensuing behind closed doors at our house. And I was angry. And it got to a point where I would dread waking up. I have to wake up tomorrow and change their diapers and be their mom and feed them and I don’t want to do it. So I wouldn’t go to sleep because I didn’t want to wake up the next day. And there was a day where I was like, “This is it. I’m leaving.” I wanted to leave my house and shut the door behind me and leave them in there and never come back. And I mean I was this close. And I ended up calling my doctor and I was like, “Hey is it normal to not want to be a mom anymore because I’m broken. I can’t do it.”
Tiffany [00:09:46] And they got me in immediately. And I just let it all out. Everything that I had been holding in for so long, I told the nurses and the doctor and he wasn’t even phased by it. It was like he had had this conversation a million times before. And I knew that what post partum depression was a thing because they gave me paperwork about it. But I didn’t think it would ever happen to me. So him and I worked out a plan and I began working on myself. I kept it in for so long because I was ashamed. I didn’t want people to think I was a bad mom. I didn’t want my husband to regret having kids with me. How do you explain you don’t want to do this anymore? It’s supposed to be the most joyous time in your life. And it’s the darkest. One of the darkest times. So it’s a very confusing thing. But I’m really grateful that these celebrities are coming out and talking about it. And bringing awareness to it. Because I think the more people that share their truth, the more we can help chip away at the stigma that there’s something wrong with somebody for feeling this way.
Meredith [00:10:43] Can I ask you a couple of questions about your story?
Tiffany [00:10:45] Yeah.
Meredith [00:10:46] So how old was Chloe when you finally reached out and called the doctor?
Tiffany [00:10:52] I would say around four months old.
Meredith [00:10:54] Four months. Okay. And I know about the colic and the acid reflux. My first I didn’t sleep for six months. And I feel you on that. And it was the most exhausting. And you do. You feel terrible because it’s like this isn’t fun. This isn’t joyous. It felt like an angry house guest that I needed to evict. So I understand you in that respect completely. Can you elaborate on any other symptoms? So people who are listening maybe who might think, “Is this baby blues or is this post partum?” Do you know when you crossed the line into this is absolutely not normal and I need to be evaluated?
Tiffany [00:11:36] Yeah. I think that it is common to be stressed out and exhausted once you have a child. I don’t think it’s normal to resent the child for existing, not want to touch the child, and not want to be a mom anymore. I literally wanted to turn in my mom card and give up. And we’ve actually got… I’ve got eight things you can watch out for to determine whether or not you may be experiencing post partum depression as opposed to just the regular baby blues. But really quick there’s also different variations of post partum depression. I have a friend who had post partum psychosis where she was seeing things and hallucinating and having violent thoughts towards her children. And in that case she didn’t want to come forward because how do you explain that. I want to harm this baby. And that is something that’s very serious also. So there’s a few different variations. But looking into it and researching it I think is important so that you know where you’re at.
Tiffany [00:12:39] So for example, it’s common to have a dip in mood during your baby’s first two weeks. After that you should feel better. But if you’re still sad or even hopeless weeks later and the feelings are growing intense that’s probably more than just the baby blues. Sadness or guilt consuming your thoughts. Feeling upset once in a while is normal but if you have crying spells or you often feel unhappy about being a parent, you’re often down on yourself as a mom. These may be among the first signs of post partum depression. I’m wondering if maybe we could take a call from somebody who has experienced something similar, what they did, were they afraid to talk about it, what happened once they did, or if somebody’s currently struggling. Maybe we could talk to somebody and see where they’re at so that they can show others too that they’re not alone.
Meredith [00:13:27] Yeah. And so tell me while we wait for a caller, were you sharing any of this information with your husband?
Tiffany [00:13:34] No.
Meredith [00:13:34] Nothing? He had no idea that you were at your wits end?
Tiffany [00:13:39] Well I would walk around the house huffing and puffing and I would say I’m stressed, but I don’t think he understand that it was more than just an exhausted mom.
Meredith [00:13:48] Right.
Tiffany [00:13:49] Because I had been like that for a while. With two kids under two years old it’s inevitable that you’re going to be exhausted and losing your mind. But it crossed over when it got to the point where I dreaded waking up in the morning. But I couldn’t tell him. I didn’t want him to regret having kids with me. I didn’t want him to think I was a bad mom. He had a child with somebody before me. So in a weird way I was comparing myself and I’m like, “I have to be better than her.” I can’t let him know that I feel this way.
Meredith [00:14:17] I don’t think that’s weird at all. I think that’s an absolutely normal response to have on top of the fact that I think as women when we become moms we’re supposed to automatically know what we’re doing. And I think that’s such a false reality. Is that the right way to say that? Nobody knows what they’re doing. And I think because we’re supposed to innately take care of this child and innately do all of the things that we’re supposed to do. But it doesn’t work that way.
Tiffany [00:14:48] Right.
Meredith [00:14:48] And there is so much self doubt when becoming a mom. And then if you’re having these feelings, and you can’t share it with the one other person on the planet who you’re like that connected to you just feel completely isolated.
Tiffany [00:15:01] Yes. A lot of people are suffering in silence. And so I’m glad that people are talking about it. We have a caller. We have Cassidy from Washington State. Hi, Cassidy.
Cassidy [00:15:14] Hi.
Tiffany [00:15:14] Yay.
Meredith [00:15:16] Welcome to the show, Cassidy.
Cassidy [00:15:18] Hello.
Tiffany [00:15:19] Oh sorry. I couldn’t hear you at first. That’s better.
Meredith [00:15:22] He’s turning it up.
Cassidy [00:15:23] Are you there?
Meredith [00:15:23] Yeah, we got you. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about your story. Did you suffer with post partum?
Cassidy [00:15:29] Yeah. So I had my daughter in November. And my mom passed away six weeks later.
Meredith [00:15:39] Oh.
Tiffany [00:15:42] I’m sorry Cassidy. I know how tough that is.
Cassidy [00:15:46] Sorry.
Meredith [00:15:47] You’re fine. You’re fine. That’s too extremely life changing events in a six week period had to completely rock your foundation.
Cassidy [00:15:57] Right. So it was like not only are you doing new mom stuff because I only have my one daughter, but your whole world changes.
Tiffany [00:16:08] Wow. Go ahead, sorry.
Cassidy [00:16:13] Oh no I was just going to say so it’s like it was so confusing for me trying to figure out what is what. What am I sad about? And luckily I have the world’s greatest husband.
Meredith [00:16:36] So you reached out to him with these feelings?
Cassidy [00:16:39] Yeah. He was really good at.. I mean he’s one of those guys who he loves to [inaudible 00:16:48]. He actually so he was all about it. He took a month off work and just basically he just basically was her mom while I figured out my life.
Tiffany [00:16:54] I have goosebumps.
Meredith [00:16:55] That’s wonderful.
Cassidy [00:16:56] He felt so bad because I’m her mom and you can’t essentially you can’t even get out of bed. It’s hard. It’s hard. So basically it was just I’m still two years later almost I had my appointment with my GYN literally next week. And I’m going to, I plan on having a conversation with her about it because I’m finally getting out of this funk of what’s the matter. I still obviously, I still get upset so it’s like what I realized I was having maybe more post partum issues was when kind of like how Tiffany was explaining, when you go into your house or whatever and your kid is crying and it’s just like you just walk away. You’re just like, “You deal with it.” You don’t even want to be a part of trying to soothe and be a parent because it’s just overwhelming for you. And my OB had recommended seeing a therapist. And so I went and she was great. And it was funny. Her first question was like, “Why are you here?” And I told her. And it literally took her back. She was like, “Oh my god.”
Cassidy [00:18:44] All these life changing things happening all at once. And so I work with her because it was getting to a point… I mean luckily I never had any violent issues towards my daughter. But I was getting violent towards in the sense of when I got frustrated I was hitting walls and kicking things. And it was just so unlike me. Who punches walls?
Tiffany [00:19:13] I totally get that. I remember thinking to myself I can understand why people get frustrated and shake babies. And I know that sounds extreme, but that’s how I felt at that time. I could understand why people did that. And in your case, it’s such a different situation because what is supposed to be the most joyful time of your life has suddenly become the most devastating. So I can imagine the emotions associated with that. But I am so proud of you for reaching out and being truthful and talking to your husband about it and getting help. Like you did exactly the right thing in that situation.
Cassidy [00:19:49] It was crazy. And three of my best friends are actually having kids this month. All three of them. And I keep telling them. I’m like here at our local hospital they have you watch a video about shaking baby syndrome. You have to watch it before they discharge you. And all of my friends are like, “Why do we have to watch this?” And I’m like, I know it seems crazy but you need to watch this because you go through all these things of just putting the baby in their crib and walk away for ten minutes. Drink your coffee. Calm down. Because you don’t understand that these urges they’re common. And it’s like it seems ridiculous until you’re in that position.
Meredith [00:20:33] But you said something that I want to touch on real quick before we let you go. We have this immediate reaction to feel guilt when somebody steps in to help us. So you said your husband swooped in and he took care of the baby and you immediately then felt guilty for getting that help. When you did exactly what you needed to do. But because as women and wives and mothers we automatically assume what we say, what we do, how we act, how we feel is wrong. And that you did the exact thing that needed to be done that was in the best interest of you and the baby and I congratulate you for doing that. Because we have to stop feeling guilty for those things because all what you were doing was being the best mom you could possibly be for her.
Tiffany [00:21:21] That’s what I’m saying.
Cassidy [00:21:23] I still do that. I remember unfortunately the first time, and it’s always the worst the first time, the first time you have to either give your baby so you can run errands or you have to go back to work or whatever. It’s the first time that you have to rely on someone else to watch your kids. My first time doing that, my daughter was two weeks old and my mom was in the hospital. I had to give my daughter to my mother in law for the day. And I had no choice. It was like I literally I didn’t even pack any of her stuff. I was just like here’s the stuff. Here’s the key to my house. You have her for today because I’m dealing with crap. And after that it got easier trusting other people because at the time, had no other choice. And so it’s like once you find a person that you trust to care for your kid while you’re gone, or just so you can get a cup of coffee by yourself for half an hour, it’s just better. And luckily I still have the best mother in law and I hope everyone has someone.
Meredith [00:22:33] Yeah, well thank you so much for sharing your story. We truly appreciate it. And I know that that’s going to help a lot of moms out there. So thank you for being so honest.
Tiffany [00:22:42] Yeah, thank you Cassidy.
Cassidy [00:22:47] Thank you. Have a good one you guys.
Meredith [00:22:47] You too.
Tiffany [00:22:47] Okay, you too. Bye.
Cassidy [00:22:48] Bye.
Tiffany [00:22:50] Oh, that’s got to be so tough. I know what it’s like to lose a mom in general. But you know that close to a birth while such a huge life change. Another sign of post partum depression is when you start to lose interest in things. You’re not laughing anymore. You’re not enjoying your favorite foods. You’re not being affectionate with your partner which I’m not sure about. I don’t have post partum and I’m not really doing that. But it’s one of the signs of postpartum depression. If you have trouble making decisions maybe you’re too tired to think straight. Maybe you just don’t care. Maybe you just don’t care. That’s a big one. Because I think being too tired to think straight is a natural.
Meredith [00:23:31] I agree. I think there are still days today and my baby is eight next week. And there are days when I am too tired to think straight. But that second part, that second piece.
Tiffany [00:23:42] The not caring.
Meredith [00:23:43] Not caring is a huge indicator of anxiety and depression.
Tiffany [00:23:47] Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah if you can’t decide whether or not to get out of bed, take a shower, change your baby’s diaper, or take her for a walk these may be early signs of post partum depression. I knew my kid had a dirty diaper. But I didn’t have the energy or the desire to change it.
Tiffany [00:24:00] … have the energy or the desire to change it. Some people’s jaws are probably on the floor right now hearing that, but for me, it was my reality and I can’t explain it. I could not find the strength to do it. It sounds ridiculous, but I’m so glad that our last caller got some help for herself and reached out.
Tiffany [00:24:22] Should we take another call, do you think?
Meredith [00:24:25] We probably have time for one more before segment two. If somebody else is out there who has suffered or has any other tips of information about postpartum, you can feel free to call in right now.
Tiffany [00:24:35] Yeah.
Meredith [00:24:36] I think that postpartum depression is something that when we’re handed that pamphlet at either the hospital or the doctor’s office, we want to kind of throw that one in the trash.
Tiffany [00:24:46] Yeah.
Meredith [00:24:46] Because, “It’s not going to happen to me.”
Tiffany [00:24:48] Exactly.
Meredith [00:24:49] “This isn’t going to be my reality. I’m going to be an amazing mom.”
Tiffany [00:24:52] Yes.
Meredith [00:24:53] “It’s just gibberish.”
Tiffany [00:24:54] That’s so true.
Meredith [00:24:55] I think unfortunately it’s something that is glossed over by a lot of moms because like most other things, “It’s not going to happen to me.”
Tiffany [00:25:04] Yes. I’m so glad you said that.
Meredith [00:25:06] “I won’t go down this road. I’ve got this.”
Tiffany [00:25:08] I remember the guy coming in and giving me all that paperwork. You know how they’re throwing a billion different things at you after you have a baby?
Meredith [00:25:15] Oh, yeah.
Tiffany [00:25:15] I remember him talking to me and asking me all these questions and I’m like, “Listen. I’m fine. Everything’s going to be great. I already had a kid. I know what I’m doing.” But man.
Meredith [00:25:24] Especially when it’s a subsequent birth. Right?
Tiffany [00:25:27] Right.
Meredith [00:25:27] I struggled a ton after my first baby. It wasn’t postpartum depression, but I struggled because of his colic and his acid reflux. I think it was just the no sleep that got me.
Tiffany [00:25:39] Right.
Meredith [00:25:41] Second baby, but we’ll talk about my issue next in segment two. You automatically assume after the first one, “Well, I was fine the first time. Why on Earth would this happen now?”
Tiffany [00:25:52] Or for you, were you worried it was going to be hard the second one because you struggled the first time? Was there fear that it was going to be the same thing?
Meredith [00:25:58] I did. She ended up being a delightful baby.
Tiffany [00:26:00] So it’s a bonus surprise.
Meredith [00:26:03] Right. I did. I struggled big time with number one, but you just don’t know. I think we just assume because I’m the mom. I can handle all of this. I can do all of the things all of the time. That’s not reality.
Meredith [00:26:16] We have Amanda from Ohio who has three chickens at home.
Amanda [00:26:25] I wish I had chickens.
Meredith [00:26:25] Hi Amanda. How are you?
Tiffany [00:26:25] Hi.
Amanda [00:26:27] I am good. Actually I can finally say I’m good. Listening to you guys talk about postpartum depression, I’m like, “Whoa.” You just said you had three and after the first you struggled and you wondered if after the second would be any different. It’s funny because that was so me, but he wasn’t delightful. He was hard. My first child, I always laugh, I’m like, “He had me fooled. He had me hood winked.” I had another baby and I thought it was going to be as easy as him and it wasn’t. By the time my third one came along, I walked into my midwife’s office and couldn’t even get the words out. She’s like, “Oh, no. No. We’re not even going there. You need to be on this medication. You need to be going to somebody now.” She saw it and she’s like, “No, no, no.” Yesterday at MOPS, which saved my life too-
Meredith [00:27:32] Okay. Awesome. Awesome.
Amanda [00:27:32] We were talking about the adversity in mothering.
Tiffany [00:27:35] What’s MOP?
Amanda [00:27:36] What’s that?
Meredith [00:27:37] Can you explain to her what MOPS groups are?
Tiffany [00:27:39] Sorry. I want to be in the club. I want to know what’s happening.
Amanda [00:27:42] It’s Mothers of Preschoolers.
Tiffany [00:27:44] Oh.
Meredith [00:27:44] They’re all across the country. [crosstalk 00:27:46]
Tiffany [00:27:45] I’m a MOP.
Meredith [00:27:47] Well, yeah. You could find a local MOPS group in Sarasota. I’m positive they have them. They’re all over the country.
Tiffany [00:27:52] Wow. Thanks for inviting me.
Amanda [00:27:53] They’re everywhere. They’re everywhere.
Tiffany [00:27:54] Sorry. Go ahead.
Amanda [00:27:54] You can come to ours. We would [crosstalk 00:27:57].
Tiffany [00:27:57] I’d love to. I’ll be there tomorrow.
Meredith [00:27:58] Go fly to Ohio. Go MOP it up.
Amanda [00:28:01] We’re a short one hour flight. You can come. I’ll be like, “This is my friend.”
Tiffany [00:28:04] Yeah.
Amanda [00:28:05] But we were talking about how you use adversity and I’m like, “Yeah …” They call it antepartum depression if you’re depressed while you’re pregnant. I’m like, “I’ve had it all, so let’s chat.” Just sharing other moms who are afraid to share that sort of thing because they feel like they aren’t enough. When you say it’s, it’s like, “Oh, yeah. Me too.”
Meredith [00:28:27] Exactly.
Amanda [00:28:29] I think as soon as I figured out that that’s what the problem was, it was freeing because I knew I loved my kids and I knew I loved my husband. You said about not being affectionate and not wanting to do stuff. I think my husband suffered because he’s like, “What is going on? Why is this not …?” There were times when he was like, “Why don’t you-”
Meredith [00:29:02] Well and it’s a big part of the relationship that’s non-existent.
Amanda [00:29:02] Yeah.
Meredith [00:29:02] Yeah.
Amanda [00:29:02] Because there was a day when we finally realized … My two boys and I was pregnant with my daughter, that their daddy came home from work. He’s like, “How was your day?” My son one time goes, “Mommy didn’t feed us today.”
Tiffany [00:29:15] Awe. Busted.
Amanda [00:29:19] I’m like, “Um …”
Meredith [00:29:22] Busted. Yeah.
Amanda [00:29:22] He’s like, “Something’s not right.” And that’s not me. It’s like now that-
Tiffany [00:29:26] So he knew it.
Amanda [00:29:28] Yeah. He thought first. I remember the first time he said anything, yelling and screaming … Not him, me.
Meredith [00:29:37] Right.
Amanda [00:29:37] He just looked so [inaudible 00:29:39] because no, that can’t be me. I love my kids. I love being a mom.
Tiffany [00:29:44] Wow.
Amanda [00:29:46] Then I went to the doctor and started crying before … And you hear them screaming in the background.
Tiffany [00:29:51] Yeah. Sounds like my house.
Meredith [00:29:53] Those chickens are loud. You got loud chickens.
Amanda [00:29:55] I do. I go to the doctor and she’s like, “No, no, no. This isn’t happening this time.” This midwife who had kids of her own at home and had struggled and it was just different.
Tiffany [00:30:11] You said you’re doing okay now? You said you’re doing good now? Is that right?
Amanda [00:30:14] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:30:16] Are you working on it like on a daily … Are you seeing … What worked for you? What changed?
Amanda [00:30:25] Finding other people to talk to about it and realizing that it was okay and that it’s normal. You know?
Meredith [00:30:33] Right.
Amanda [00:30:35] I did take medication for a while, but just weaned off of that as I was feeling better and the doctor and I talked about it and saw that I was doing better and that it was a good thing.
Meredith [00:30:47] Well and you have to have a plan to stop a medication. Obviously you did the right thing by discussing it with the doctor first.
Tiffany [00:30:52] Yeah.
Meredith [00:30:54] Because you should always take your medication until you have that conversation, but that’s awesome that you did that.
Amanda [00:30:58] Oh, yeah.
Meredith [00:30:59] Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing. This is the kind of stuff that we need.
Amanda [00:31:04] Yes.
Meredith [00:31:05] Because moms need to know that they are … We’re all going through the same stuff.
Amanda [00:31:12] Yes. Oh, yeah.
Meredith [00:31:13] I think unfortunately when you are home with your first one, because you don’t know what to expect, you don’t understand that other people are going through the same thing that you are. So finding those groups like you have, the MOPS groups that are out there to talk and really share and have a conversation, it’s great because you’re a veteran mom. You have three. Sharing your story is important because your story is actually not your own. It’s meant for someone else.
Amanda [00:31:47] Absolutely.
Meredith [00:31:48] You need to tell that story because somebody else is supposed to hear it. As long as that has taken place, it will continue on and move forward. That’s why I do what I do and I’m almost positive that’s why Tiffany does what she does. Don’t you, girl? I know why you do what you do. I think it’s just very important that we continue to spread that message, right? No matter what it is that we’re talking because we owe that, I think, to our fellow women, our fellow moms out there. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Thank you so much for calling.
Tiffany [00:32:22] Yeah. Thank you.
Amanda [00:32:23] Thank you. Bye.
Meredith [00:32:25] You guys have a great day. You and your chickens.
Tiffany [00:32:28] But that’s what she said, that it’s so important to find support because I think the greatest gift that anyone can be given is the words, “You’re not alone. I get it.”
Meredith [00:32:39] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:32:39] You know what I mean, “I’ve been there.”
Meredith [00:32:39] Absolutely.
Tiffany [00:32:41] Surrounding yourself with people who understand and have found a way out is a huge part of getting help with any mental illness, not illness, what do you call it?
Meredith [00:32:50] Mental health.
Tiffany [00:32:51] With any mental affliction.
Meredith [00:32:54] Mental health issue. Any mental health issue.
Tiffany [00:32:57] Mental health issue. I have all of them. You’d think I’d know how to pronounce it by now.
Meredith [00:32:59] Well, I think everybody knows what you’re talking about.
Tiffany [00:33:02] Right.
Meredith [00:33:04] Yeah. I think that is fantastic that we shared about it.
Tiffany [00:33:11] Yeah. If anybody is listening right now and is like, “Whoa. Wait a minute. Maybe I might have this.” I really encourage you to hop on. Well, be careful with Google, but if you look up the symptoms and see if it’s something you can relate to. Most importantly, get with your doctor if there’s any doubt because it would be the greatest gift that you could give not only your children but yourself by getting help because they need their mom to be their mom at 100% and not a shell of the person that she could be. If your cup’s empty, you got to refill it.
Meredith [00:33:45] I love that you said shell because I think that you … I think anybody who’s ever had depression or anxiety understands what that means to feel like a shell. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy, but I can tell you that that’s … If you are currently feeling like a shell of your former self, please reach out to your physician. Please reach out to a therapist. Talk to your loved ones. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed. What you are going through happens to so many. By keeping it in, it will exacerbate the situation. Do everyone around you what needs to be done and talk about it because you need that as well. Like Tiffany said, it’s better for everyone else because then they’re going to get their mom back. So that’s really what needs to happen.
Tiffany [00:34:39] Yeah.
Meredith [00:34:39] Okay.
Tiffany [00:34:41] This is serious stuff, man.
Meredith [00:34:43] Heavy today but important and we have to talk about. I’m so glad that we’re doing it.
Tiffany [00:34:48] Yeah. Chloe’s my favorite kid now. It’s so ironic.
Meredith [00:34:53] You just went there. You went there.
Tiffany [00:34:53] I’m just kidding.
Meredith [00:34:53] Oh my.
Tiffany [00:34:56] No, but I am obsessed with her. I can’t even look at her without getting emotional. It’s so crazy to think at one point I regretted having her at that time.
Meredith [00:35:06] Yup.
Tiffany [00:35:06] But now I’ll eat her face with love.
Meredith [00:35:08] Yeah. I feel you. I feel you.
Tiffany [00:35:09] Ugh. I can’t take her.
Meredith [00:35:10] I cried for three months when I found out I was pregnant with my third baby.
Tiffany [00:35:13] Of joy? Tears of joy?
Meredith [00:35:15] No. Nope.
Tiffany [00:35:16] Oh, really?
Meredith [00:35:17] Three months solid. I ignored the pregnancy. It wasn’t actually happening.
Tiffany [00:35:22] Stop.
Meredith [00:35:22] Nope.
Tiffany [00:35:22] Wow.
Meredith [00:35:23] I was done. In my head, I was done. I had my boy and my girl. I was at my appointment for my preop to get my tubes tied when I found out I was pregnant.
Tiffany [00:35:31] No.
Meredith [00:35:32] Yup. They came in and said, “Congratulations.”
Tiffany [00:35:36] No.
Meredith [00:35:37] My husband is sitting right here. He can tell you.
Tiffany [00:35:39] No.
Meredith [00:35:41] Yup.
Tiffany [00:35:41] What? So you went in to confirm no more babies and they’re like-
Meredith [00:35:46] “Baby.”
Tiffany [00:35:48] I can’t believe that.
Meredith [00:35:49] It’s his fault because-
Tiffany [00:35:51] For numerous reasons.
Meredith [00:35:52] He was Employee of the Month.
Tiffany [00:35:55] So you were celebrating?
Meredith [00:35:56] We had to go to this Employee of the Month dinner because he was such a great employee and it had an open bar.
Tiffany [00:36:03] Wow, Dave.
Meredith [00:36:03] It led to some couch sex and he told me, “You can’t get pregnant on a couch.”
Tiffany [00:36:11] He got you. He is [inaudible 00:36:11].
Meredith [00:36:11] I’m just kidding. He didn’t actually say that, but it’s legitimately what happened.
Tiffany [00:36:16] Oh my gosh.
Meredith [00:36:17] If we’re being honest and then I was just like, “No, no, no. No, no, no. No. Where are we putting a third kid?”
Tiffany [00:36:23] Right.
Meredith [00:36:24] They won’t even fit in the car. These are the thoughts I was having, but anyway. We’ll get into that. We’ll get into exactly what went through my mind in segment two here.
Tiffany [00:36:35] Oh, man. Okay. There’s a whole other page.
Meredith [00:36:37] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:36:38] Oh my gosh. I’m not good at this.
Meredith [00:36:39] Well, we have to go to the next one. You have one more to go.
Tiffany [00:36:42] Oh. We’re just skipping all this valuable information because I dilly dallied.
Tiffany [00:36:45] Okay. Parent Crap is brought to you by FabFitFun subscription box. FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box with full sized beauty, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle products. One of the reasons I love FabFitFun is because each season since the fall of 2015, they have provided charitable contributions to a specific charity that supports and empowers women.
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Tiffany [00:37:18] Can I just say really quick that some of the stuff in the box is customizable, which was a huge selling point for me?
Meredith [00:37:23] Yes.
Tiffany [00:37:23] When I had always put off getting the box because like I said, it had the fit part and I’m like, “I don’t work out at all.” But then I heard you can customize some of it and choose between some of the products.
Meredith [00:37:33] Yes. I always choose the face masks when there’s an option for that because I love to do them with Sophia.
Tiffany [00:37:38] Well, I love to choose them because in real life, I would never spend $60 on a face mask ever but you get one in your box.
Meredith [00:37:46] I know. The bubble masks were so fun.
Tiffany [00:37:48] Yeah. I get to try fancy stuff.
Meredith [00:37:50] Yeah. So go get yours.
Tiffany [00:37:51] Yes.
Meredith [00:37:52] Get on the bus.
Tiffany [00:37:53] Fabfitfun.com. Code TAKEIT.
Meredith [00:37:54] Take it.
Tiffany [00:37:56] Take that code. It got weird. Okay. Go ahead.
Meredith [00:37:59] Okay. I whisper when I get weird just like as in general as a thing I do. But I thought in this segment in Parenting Crap, we should talk about the overworked and underappreciated because we have the impending holiday season coming up. It’s funny because when I was on Twitter yesterday, everybody … Not yesterday, the day before, October 1, everybody was tweeting about, “Let the holidays begin.” There’s something that literally clicks.
Tiffany [00:38:25] Too soon.
Meredith [00:38:26] I’m telling you, something clicks on October 1 and people are like, “It’s time to celebrate. When are we celebrating? Who has the presents?” Oh my gosh. Why do we have eggnog? So holiday season starts. I wanted to talk about some things that happened to me because Tiffany shared her story about postpartum depression and I am opening up and being honest about some things that I have not fully shared. I’ve talked a little bit about in the book. I have suffered with chronic and constant anxiety after having kids. Once I had kids, I became an anxiety riddled mess especially with my first one having colic and acid reflux. I muddled my way through that. Then I had our second baby, our daughter, and she was actually a really, really good baby. She was fat and happy and it was wonderful.
Meredith [00:39:19] But all of a sudden, before she had turned one in around this time of year, October, I started to just literally fear going out of the house. I feared going into the car with the kids because I was going to get into an accident. I feared about all of the things that normally you can keep under control. It was right at the beginning of the holiday season. I was in the middle of starting Christmas shopping and I had a toddler and a nine month old and I was just running around and I was going crazy. I was trying to get everybody’s everything done. I was trying to help out my in-laws, my parents, my this, my that. I was like, “I can do it all. I can do it all.” But everything started to just close in on me.
Meredith [00:40:03] I went to my doctor’s office and I was like, “You know, I just have to talk to somebody about this, but I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m feeling exhausted. I’m not sleeping. I’m literally going on maybe an hour of sleep a night and then I’m getting up and I’m going to work and I’m taking care of the kids.”
Tiffany [00:40:18] Wow.
Meredith [00:40:19] He says to me, “How many kids do you have?” I said, “Two.” He goes, “That’s normal. It’s normal. You’re fine. It’s fine.” I remember leaving that doctor’s office and just crying in the parking lot because I was like, “He’s basically telling me-”
Tiffany [00:40:33] You’re screwed.
Meredith [00:40:33] “That this is what life is supposed to be like and you just have to be better.”
Tiffany [00:40:38] Right.
Meredith [00:40:38] Do better. I went home and just cried to my husband and I said, “I tried to ask for help and he told me I didn’t need help, but I need help.” He says, “No. No. This is not normal. This is not who you are.” I was this shell of another person. I wasn’t me anymore. I called a different doctor up and I went in and I said, “This is what happened.” I talked to this doctor and she said, “No, no, no. This isn’t normal. You shouldn’t be feeling this way. It’s not normal to not want to get in your car because you’re worried about getting in a car accident with your kids. We all drive every day and this is not … You don’t need to be anxious about that. You don’t need to be anxious about this, that, and the other thing.”
Meredith [00:41:22] She put me on medication. It actually took the edge off and I was able to get through the holiday season. Right as I got through the holiday season and my daughter turned one in February, I went in for this appointment for my tubal because I was done and I was starting to feel a little bit better. I had been medicated October, November, December, January. I get into the doctor’s office and she then tells me, “You’re pregnant.” I was like, “No, no. No. No, no. No. I can’t do this.” Then they said, “You can’t take this medication anymore.” I had to stop my medication. Of course I was talking to them about how I was feeling and what was going on because they were trying to figure out if they would need to medicate me, what was going to happen because you can’t take everything when you’re pregnant.
Tiffany [00:42:15] Right.
Meredith [00:42:17] I muddled my way through that pregnancy and then I muddled my way through the next couple of years. The anxiety just finds its way to creep back in. A couple of times I had started and stopped medication. Then I thought that this would be a good time to talk to you guys about the fact that last month, I went back to my doctor and I had a very open, very honest conversation about my feeling of overwhelm, my feeling of anxiety, my issue with sleep. Of course, they ran every medical test that they could think of first because they said, “Well, what are your symptoms?” I said, “I feel yucky.” They said, “What does yucky mean?” I said, “I feel blah like there’s something wrong with me. I don’t feel well. I don’t feel right. You have to find what’s wrong with me.
Meredith [00:43:12] I’ve had my thyroid tested. I’ve had every tube of blood you could draw that you could test for an autoimmune, a this, a that, or the other thing. Of course, I had the kidney stone last month, which they said, “Okay. Well, we’ll check everything else out since you’re telling me you just have this overwhelming feeling of yuck and anxiety.” Everything came back normal. She looked at me and I looked at her and I just started to cry because I said, “If everything’s normal, why do I feel like I don’t want to do anything?” I love jokes. Right? You know I love to tell jokes. I love to crack jokes. I didn’t want to laugh. I wanted to just sit down and shut the door and be left alone.
Tiffany [00:43:57] Yup.
Meredith [00:43:58] My husband was like, “You know this needs to be discussed, so you need to go talk to your doctor.” So I did. I have recently been back on the anxiety medication and I can tell you that I am feeling much better. I have been working out again. I have been doing the things that I would normally be doing. It’s not an end all fix all for everything because there are other things that I have to do. I have a meditation app. My husband just got me a weighted blanket for our anniversary, which you would think is an odd gift to give somebody for their wedding anniversary, but when your wife is anxiety riddled, a weighted blanket is actually amazing.
Tiffany [00:44:40] Yes.
Meredith [00:44:40] Because I don’t sleep and because of my insomnia. I don’t why it is that we like to feel weighted down when we have anxiety. I guess it’s like a thunder jacket for dogs.
Tiffany [00:44:50] Yes.
Meredith [00:44:51] But a thunder jacket for people. It actually was close to what … That made sense. It was the most wonderful thing in the world to feel that weight on me and just feel like, like I said, a sterile hug. It was like-
Tiffany [00:45:05] Isn’t it weird though because the weight of the world is on us and it’s overwhelming, so we put weight on us to make us feel better.
Meredith [00:45:12] I don’t how it works or why it works, but I’m telling you-
Tiffany [00:45:15] It’s magic.
Meredith [00:45:16] I’m telling you that it is magic and I literally cried when he gave me that gift.
Tiffany [00:45:21] Awe.
Meredith [00:45:21] I know that it sounds silly because somebody would be like, “Why didn’t you get some jewelry?” It’s like, “No, no, no. That weighted blanket was him knowing the state of mind I’m currently in and listening to me.
Tiffany [00:45:32] Awe.
Meredith [00:45:32] As I’m Googling and WebMDing all of this and remembering my wife’s a mess. I need to help her.
Tiffany [00:45:40] That’s so sweet.
Meredith [00:45:41] And he did. I’m telling you, I had a great night’s sleep last night. I’m loving this weighted blanket and I’m just saying that especially in the … When we’re public people, okay, right, because we are. Our faces are out there, our videos are out there.
Tiffany [00:45:58] World famous celebrities.
Meredith [00:46:00] World famous.
Tiffany [00:46:03] Paparazzi.
Meredith [00:46:04] Right. Right. Because I tried to get the mail yesterday and paparazzi right in the ear hole. I don’t know. The point of what I’m saying is my husband asked me when I started taking the medication a month ago, “Are you going to tell everybody?” At that moment, I wasn’t ready to have a conversation.
Tiffany [00:46:18] But today’s the day?
Meredith [00:46:20] But today I said, “You know what? I’m going to tell everybody.” I don’t know. I think it was just I was unsure, I think, because I had that moment in time where I said, ” What are they going to think? What are they going to think when I tell them that my job is …” Did we just touch feet?
Tiffany [00:46:40] You tried playing footsie with me.
Meredith [00:46:42] Sorry. My job is to always talk to everybody about letting go of the guilt and letting go of these stigmas of motherhood and I felt kind of like a sham for a second because I was like, “I need help.”
Tiffany [00:46:57] Right.
Meredith [00:46:58] That worried me. If we’re being completely and utterly honest, it worried me because I felt for a second, I was like, “Well, I’m a sham.”
Tiffany [00:47:05] Right.
Meredith [00:47:05] If the other shoe is dropped and everybody’s going to know that I have this worry, these constant worries. I never kept my insomnia a secret. Everybody knew that for years I’ve struggled with that, but I really hadn’t put two and two together that my anxiety was driving my insomnia. For some reason, I ignored it for a while because I felt like, “Look. I’ve got it together. We’re doing things. We’re working on stuff.”
Tiffany [00:47:28] It’s the pressure.
Meredith [00:47:29] But there’s so much pressure that comes along with this as well. Oh, thank you, Kelly. She says, “We love you more for sharing.” I thank you for that.
Tiffany [00:47:38] Awe.
Meredith [00:47:40] I think what we have to do is truly be honest with ourselves, be honest with our spouse, our partner, whoever we share our lives with, and make a point to go and have a conversation with a doctor. If a doctor dismisses you, you find another. Then you find another until somebody will listen to you because I can tell you that I feel dramatically better today than I did a month ago and we were on the phone-
Meredith [00:48:00] Told you that I feel dramatically better today than I did a month ago, we were on the phone. You and I had a conversation about this. You know where I was head space wise.
Tiffany [00:48:10] I didn’t know you were better. I didn’t wanna bring it up, but I’m glad.
Meredith [00:48:13] I’m feeling, every single day, bits and bits better. I’m talking myself through the anxiety when it comes.
Tiffany [00:48:22] Good.
Meredith [00:48:22] All week, I’ve been worried about the show in Jacksonville on Thursday but, every time I have the worry come up, I talk through it and I say, okay, I’ve been practicing. I know my bit. I know my jokes. I’ve got my flashcards, like a fourth grade math student. I am prepared, not for times tables, ’cause I don’t know math but, I’m prepared for my standup bit. I said, I just have been talking myself through it and then, I play my meditation app and I decompress for a second. That has been really helpful.
Meredith [00:48:56] I thought maybe we could take a caller from somebody who’s currently struggling or has struggled and, maybe, you could tell us your tips and tricks for how you’ve been getting through it. I think it’s more common in women because, a lot of times, the woman is the primary caregiver to the children and so, the stress of that.
Tiffany [00:49:17] Also, our brains are completely different. They’re crazy lightning strikes just going back and forth. We gotta figure everything out. We gotta do everything, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Meredith [00:49:28] I think we just become overwhelmed during this season because, we’re already thinking about Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving, who’s hosting, the cookie share at school, the fundraiser, the drop off, the this. I think, you talked about that reminder app for your calendar, I think our reminder apps are going off non-stop starting now because, I’m already, right now I’m already worried about Halloween ’cause we haven’t even started costumes yet.
Tiffany [00:49:54] I’m such a procrastinator, though. That’s how I like to live my life. I don’t like to plan ahead. October 30th I’ll be like, okay, guys, what are we gonna do for Halloween? What do you wanna be?
Meredith [00:50:05] Okay, guys.
Tiffany [00:50:07] I run into the Halloween store and then, I’m pissed that the shelves are empty and I’m like, God the world hates me, why is this? It’s my fault, ’cause I wait.
Meredith [00:50:16] You’re gonna be a scarecrow and a ghost because, that’s what was left on the shelf.
Tiffany [00:50:22] A Woodstock ghost.
Meredith [00:50:24] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:50:25] You guys will get that joke later.
Meredith [00:50:27] Yep.
Tiffany [00:50:28] Another thing is, when I have anxiety and stuff, and I’m trying to talk myself through it, I always ask myself, what am I afraid of? For example, if it’s my kids getting in the car with my mother-in-law, I freak out because, if she were to get into an accident and hurt them, I’d never be able to forgive her. I’d never be able to move on with my life. I obsess about it, so I’m like, what am I afraid of? A car accident. Why am I afraid of it? Because, I would miss my kids.
Tiffany [00:50:54] Is this a realistic fear? What is the likelihood that this is gonna happen? I have to, literally, talk myself down off the ledge in those moments but, asking why, and when, and where to myself really helps.
Meredith [00:51:09] Mm-hmm (affirmative). I agree with that.
Tiffany [00:51:10] Break it down.
Meredith [00:51:10] Yeah, I agree.
Tiffany [00:51:11] Get to the root of the fear.
Meredith [00:51:15] Do we have a caller? Nobody’s calling in?
Tiffany [00:51:17] We don’t have any callers with anxiety about holidays.
Meredith [00:51:21] Really? Nobody’s got-
Tiffany [00:51:22] The phone’s broken.
Meredith [00:51:23] The phone must be broken. You guys love to call in, what’s going on?
Tiffany [00:51:28] I’ll call. No, I would be very surprised because, I was talking on the Live the other day about how, sadly, anxiety seems to be the new normal state of mind. Maybe it’s just my followers.
Meredith [00:51:45] No, no, no, no.
Tiffany [00:51:47] But, with the world the way it is, everything’s so fast-paced and there’s so much expectation and, when you look on social media, all these moms have their cute card, white pumpkins, and their little cat ears that they got for $95, 000. You know what I mean? Over at my house, there’s nothing, no planning whatsoever.
Tiffany [00:52:07] The comparing yourself to what other people have going on-
Meredith [00:52:09] Well, we’ve talked about that before. You can’t spend your time comparing in that sense, ’cause that’ll just drive you completely up a wall.
Tiffany [00:52:15] Right.
Meredith [00:52:16] It happens.
Tiffany [00:52:17] It creates anxiety when you see everybody else prepping and you’re like, wait I’m not ready.
Meredith [00:52:24] Yeah. It is really tough, ’cause you do that inventory check, then, and you’re like, uh, what day is it again? Oh, it’s the day before Thanksgiving and there’s no turkey.
Tiffany [00:52:37] I have a question that is taking us back to what you were talking about in the beginning when you had your third child. I know you’ve talked about this before, so I’m hoping that by bringing it up, it’s not a big deal. You know how you were concerned about the feelings of depression and anxiety and everything with your third kid? You found out you were pregnant. Doesn’t your son have something that requires a little bit more attention.
Meredith [00:53:06] My son’s autistic. He has a traumatic brain injury from birth.
Tiffany [00:53:10] This is the third pregnancy that you went to get …
Meredith [00:53:13] Right. What happened, at that point, after having him and going through this, I caught myself having massive anxiety because, I believed that, because I didn’t want to have him, that that’s what happened.
Tiffany [00:53:25] Wow.
Meredith [00:53:26] So, then, I wrapped that up, right? Because I was like, obviously, it was because I was hesitant about having him that he was born with a birth injury and then, subsequently down the road, was diagnosed with Autism.
Tiffany [00:53:39] Wow.
Meredith [00:53:39] I ate that guilt for-
Tiffany [00:53:41] How’d you get past it?
Meredith [00:53:42] Eventually, that’s when I went back to the doctor and started seeing somebody again but, it was extremely difficult to have an Autism diagnosis and then, just be thinking to myself, you didn’t want him anyway. Look what you did. Look what you did.
Tiffany [00:53:57] Wow.
Meredith [00:53:58] That’s not logical, right? That’s not, oh, they were trying to call. Look at that.
Tiffany [00:54:05] I knew it.
Meredith [00:54:05] Shame. Shame on them and not on you.
Tiffany [00:54:08] Millions of them have been trying to get through. They tried to make it like we don’t have friends.
Meredith [00:54:13] I know, I was like, gosh-
Tiffany [00:54:15] I was feeling some type of way.
Meredith [00:54:16] I’m feeling some anxiety.
Tiffany [00:54:16] This is embarrassing.
Meredith [00:54:19] I really am. I was starting to sweat, my pits are wet.
Tiffany [00:54:22] I’m like, we gotta keep talking if nobody’s gonna call in.
Meredith [00:54:24] Okay, so that’s okay. If we can get a caller back for the last segment.
Tiffany [00:54:28] You guys can call my cellphone.
Meredith [00:54:29] Oh, wait. I think we got one. For the love of all things Holy. But, anyway, yes I did feel that way. And then, of course, I had a whole other … We started doing family therapy-
Tiffany [00:54:40] Oh, good idea.
Meredith [00:54:41] Because, with my son’s diagnosis, that was really tough. That was tough on our marriage.
Tiffany [00:54:45] Was it?
Meredith [00:54:46] Yes.
Tiffany [00:54:46] The diagnosis or the family therapy?
Meredith [00:54:48] No, the diagnosis, which led to having some therapy sessions and different things.
Tiffany [00:54:52] Got it.
Meredith [00:54:53] Because, we both took it differently.
Tiffany [00:54:55] Really?
Meredith [00:54:55] Yeah. It was hard for him to admit that there was something different about [Brian 00:55:02] and I just wanted somebody to tell me, what do we do and how do we fix this?
Tiffany [00:55:10] Right, fix the solution.
Meredith [00:55:11] There’s no fix.
Tiffany [00:55:12] I mean, problem.
Meredith [00:55:14] Well, yeah. Find the solution.
Tiffany [00:55:15] That’s what I meant.
Meredith [00:55:15] And, we couldn’t. Believe me, now, he’s doing great and we’re doing great but, we still go to therapy.
Tiffany [00:55:24] Good for you.
Meredith [00:55:25] We go every other week. I go with Brian and, sometimes, we go in with him. Other times, it’s just him by himself. We go and we talk things out.
Tiffany [00:55:37] That’s so amazing.
Meredith [00:55:38] It’s great for all of us because, he needs that and we need that. It’s not easy.
Tiffany [00:55:44] Okay, we have one of the million people trying to get through. [Bonnie 00:55:49], from, I just had this conversation right now on my live, is it Oregon or Oregon?
Meredith [00:55:55] Oregon.
Bonnie [00:55:56] Oregon.
Tiffany [00:55:57] Oregon. Hi Bonnie, from Oregon. You have two kiddos and one on the way. Congratulations.
Meredith [00:56:03] Yay, congrats.
Bonnie [00:56:05] Thank you so much.
Tiffany [00:56:06] How are you?
Bonnie [00:56:08] I am doing great. I’m so excited to be on the show.
Tiffany [00:56:11] Yes, we’re excited to have you.
Meredith [00:56:15] Well, tell us what’s going on.
Bonnie [00:56:16] I just wanted to talk in a little bit about the anxiety thing and how awesome it is that you guys are bringing this to light because, I think a lot of stay at homes feel like we don’t deserve to be anxious or depressed.
Meredith [00:56:32] I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. Ugh, go ahead.
Bonnie [00:56:38] Right, because, there’s so many people that have it so much harder, so who are we to have the luxury to feel bad about taking care of our kids or not having friends because, we chose to stay at home, right? I think that there’s a lot of guilt that comes with anxiety and it’s so refreshing when people say, hey, this is me too because, you’re like, okay it’s normal.
Tiffany [00:57:01] Yes, that is such a great point that you brought up.
Meredith [00:57:04] That is an amazing point. I’m so glad you got through-
Bonnie [00:57:06] Yeah, me too.
Meredith [00:57:08] And, the phones are miraculously working again because, I’m telling you, that right there is the … What’s the word? Give me a word.
Tiffany [00:57:15] Light bulb? Fireflies?
Meredith [00:57:18] Light bulb moment because, seriously, what you said is so accurate. We choose to have children, right?
Bonnie [00:57:28] Yeah.
Meredith [00:57:29] I chose to have children, so why should I be feeling this way? I chose to get married, why should I be feeling this way? I chose to stay home, why should I be feeling this way? Because, it’s normal, it happens. Being a mom is the hardest damn job on this planet. All we do all day long is, basically, you live in a pressure cooker. Sometimes it happens. It does happen and we have to talk about that.
Meredith [00:57:51] Thank you for saying that. Nobody earns, you don’t earn depression or anxiety. It’s the result of the overwhelm and angst that comes with things. I think that that’s just so true what you said, thank you.
Bonnie [00:58:08] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:58:09] Really quick, about being a stay at home mom, I feel like, unless you are one, you don’t understand. There’s a common misconception that we all do is lay on the couch and play with babies and watch daytime TV. It’s the opposite of that. My husband would come and be like, why is the house messy? You’ve been home all day. I’m like, you don’t know what it’s like.
Meredith [00:58:30] But, you don’t unless you’ve been there.
Bonnie [00:58:32] I’m a military veteran and this job right now, being at home, I would hands down, no question, go back into the military to relieve stress.
Meredith [00:58:41] Oh, my gosh. Now, that’s a statement about motherhood.
Bonnie [00:58:48] Right?
Tiffany [00:58:48] Wow.
Meredith [00:58:48] Thank you for your service.
Bonnie [00:58:49] Join the military, it’s fine.
Meredith [00:58:51] Thank you for your service but, that was some honesty.
Bonnie [00:58:53] Oh, thank you.
Meredith [00:58:53] She just brought some legit, straight up honesty here. I would go back into the military for a relaxing day.
Tiffany [00:59:00] I would rather put my hand on a hot stove twice.
Meredith [00:59:04] I know, but that’s true. You’re completely accurate and spot on with that. I’m so glad you got through. Thank you.
Tiffany [00:59:12] Yeah, thank you Bonnie.
Meredith [00:59:13] Thank you so much for calling in Bonnie,
Bonnie [00:59:15] You guys have a great day.
Meredith [00:59:16] You too.
Tiffany [00:59:17] You too, bye.
Meredith [00:59:19] Gosh, that was so accurate.
Tiffany [00:59:20] She would go back for relaxation.
Meredith [00:59:20] She said she’d go back into the military to get some relaxation.
Tiffany [00:59:27] Oh, my gosh.
Meredith [00:59:29] That’s her war but, that’s so true, right?
Tiffany [00:59:32] Well, I don’t know. I’ve never been in the service but, from what I’ve seen in movies-
Meredith [00:59:37] I mean like going back to work or going to do something else.
Tiffany [00:59:39] I’m lazy. Yeah.
Meredith [00:59:41] You know what I’m saying? If you’ve ever been a stay at home mom and worked outside the home, it’s where mom’s say, I gotta go back to work. This is not for me.
Tiffany [00:59:48] Yeah, that was me.
Meredith [00:59:49] Yeah. That’s, I think, what she was getting at. She’s just hardcore.
Tiffany [00:59:52] No, I know. I love what she said. I love it but then, the more I thought about it, I imagined the extreme war scenes from movies-
Meredith [00:59:59] Because, that’s what we do.
Tiffany [00:59:59] She’s dodging bullets.
Meredith [01:00:01] That’s what we do because, our brains are just warped. Yes, all right. We are going to transition to talk about love and marriage.
Tiffany [01:00:12] Are we?
Meredith [01:00:12] We are.
Tiffany [01:00:13] Those are my favorite subjects.
Meredith [01:00:14] Yeah.
Tiffany [01:00:16] Just kidding. Love and Marriage is brought to you by Meredith and I because, we are both spectacular wives.
Meredith [01:00:23] Mm-hmm (affirmative), we are.
Tiffany [01:00:24] Me, especially, ’cause I don’t think making out is gross, unlike you.
Meredith [01:00:28] It’s gross. Super gross.
Tiffany [01:00:32] This is a good one, today, because, this is important if you are experiencing any of the things that we talked about earlier, how do you communicate with your significant other about it? The mental stress that you’re feeling because, for me personally, I feel like my husband was so used to my complaining on a daily basis that, he tended to tune it out or think that I was over-exaggerating about things. It wasn’t until I sat him down and said, hey I just left the doctor’s office, turns out I have post-partum depression. This is what I need from you during this time.
Tiffany [01:01:10] Because, no offense to any men out there, for the most part, they can’t read our minds. Sometimes, things have to be broken down for them. Same with my anxiety and everything, I told him, this is what it feels like, this is what I need. Things definitely changed after that. He stepped up more. He took the baby more. He realized that, in order for me to be happy and quit whining so much, he had to contribute and help me with my brain.
Meredith [01:01:34] Right, I absolutely agree. We do have to communicate what it is that we need. I think it’s hard, too, because, I don’t know about you guys ’cause I’ve not really spent any time with your husband or us as couples, but Dave and I are polar opposites. I don’t know if you guys are polar opposites, but my husband and I are polar opposites. I, a perfect example of this would be, we were in the car the other day and I had been obsessing over what we were having for dinner for three days.
Meredith [01:02:12] I got nervous because, I felt like he wasn’t going to the grocery store and he had promised me that he was gonna cook on Monday and I never saw him go to the grocery store. Literally on Saturday, I talked to him about what we were eating on Monday. On Sunday, I asked two or three times what we were gonna be eating on Monday. On Monday morning, I asked why he still hadn’t gone to the grocery store and if we were going to be eating on Monday.
Meredith [01:02:38] Finally, he was just like, I don’t know why you’re so concerned about what it is that we’re eating on Monday but, I’m going to take care of it and I told you I’m going to take care of it. I couldn’t let it go. I just couldn’t let it go. I was like, I needed to know.
Tiffany [01:02:52] Is it ’cause you didn’t trust him being in charge of it?
Meredith [01:02:54] It made me so incredibly anxious because, I didn’t see him to go to do it and I felt like our nighttime routine is so insane that, it felt like the sky would fall if I didn’t know what in the hell we were gonna have for dinner.
Tiffany [01:03:08] Wow.
Meredith [01:03:08] It drove me nuts because, I was like, well, I know I have to go get [Sophia 01:03:12] from gymnastics. He has to take the boys to go see his mother. We have to feed us and [Trey 01:03:16] and [Eric 01:03:16] ’cause they come over on Monday nights. It was just one of those things where it ran, it ran, it ran. He finally looked at me and he was like, listen, you have to start letting some of these things go and, if I tell you that I’m gonna grocery shop for this, I’m promising you that there will be food on the table.
Meredith [01:03:35] I was like, I know, I know, and he was like, no you don’t know, ’cause you still think I’m not gonna come home with dinner. He’s like, so you need to stop and you need to just take a second. I started to talk myself down and talk myself through it, but I let three days of my life, was consumed with what we were having for dinner on Monday.
Tiffany [01:03:51] I see it between you two, now. There are times where you’re like me and you get really anxious and worried about things and he is the calm voice of reason in those times. Don’t get me wrong, I know he probably drives you crazy, but I have seen the way he’s able to talk to you and, in that moment, bring you back to reality, bring you back down to Earth. It’s huge to have somebody around you like that.
Meredith [01:04:13] He’s great. I think, sometimes, it’s hard because, it’s an extra stressor on your marriage. The anxiety can weigh on that just like it does with your parenting, or at work, or with friends. I think we just have to remember to continue to communicate in those times because, our spouses are our partners. They’re on the same team.
Tiffany [01:04:34] Yeah, I explained to my husband because, they don’t get it. If you’ve never experienced anxiety, you just seem dramatic. What he didn’t understand was, it’s not for attention. It’s in my brain. I told him, it’s like that feeling when you’re walking around and someone jumps out to scare you. It’s literally that feeling all day long, over and over again, for no reason whatsoever.
Meredith [01:04:58] Right, you can feel it inside of you.
Tiffany [01:05:00] Yeah.
Meredith [01:05:01] There’s a reverberation, if that’s a real word, in your body, where you can actually feel it. It makes you feel senses.
Tiffany [01:05:09] Yeah.
Meredith [01:05:09] I don’t know that I’m saying this right, but do you know what I mean?
Tiffany [01:05:11] I know what you mean.
Meredith [01:05:13] You literally feel things in your body, or you get that drop-stomach-
Tiffany [01:05:17] Yeah, like if you’re leaning back in a chair-
Meredith [01:05:19] Yeah, I get the drop-stomach a lot.
Tiffany [01:05:20] And, you feel like the chair’s gonna fall. That feeling of catching yourself before you fall. It’s just over and over again, all day long, for nothing.
Meredith [01:05:28] It can be the most random thing that really, in the scheme of things, makes no difference, but you can find yourself obsessing over it. I have been talking myself through. I think the problem is, the more stress that comes into my life, the more I have those spells of massive anxiety. Because, there have been times where I felt like, we’re good, things are good. And then, something big lands on my plate and then, it’s just, oh my gosh. How am I gonna be able to do this, and that, and this, and that?
Tiffany [01:06:02] Yes, I’m constantly looking around for an adult to make my decisions for me because, I can’t do it. I’m not ready. Life changing decisions on a daily basis that I’m in charge of making, so then, I-
Meredith [01:06:15] It seems crazy. Why should I be making this decision?
Tiffany [01:06:18] Who put me in charge here?
Meredith [01:06:21] What authority do I have? How did I get here?
Tiffany [01:06:22] That’s so funny.
Meredith [01:06:23] Why is it my turn to do this? I don’t wanna do this right now. I agree. I don’t think we can take callers because, I think we lost everybody, yeah?
Tiffany [01:06:32] We broke it.
Meredith [01:06:32] We broke the interweb. Okay, so then we’re gonna, I guess, wrap her up.
Tiffany [01:06:37] In closing, then-
Meredith [01:06:41] In closing.
Tiffany [01:06:41] What have we learned today? We have learned that mental health, whatever it is, guarantee you it’s normal. There’s somebody out there who’s experiencing the same thing and the best way to get through it is to go through it and that’s with professional help, the support of your loved ones around you. There’s literally no shame in getting help and anybody who makes you feel bad or guilty for feeling the way that you do, is not the kind of person you want in your corner, anyway.
Tiffany [01:07:12] In order to be the best mom, parent, that you can be, addressing the issues that are keeping you from doing that is crucial.
Meredith [01:07:22] So well said.
Tiffany [01:07:23] Thank you. I felt like it was really well said. When I was saying it I was like-
Meredith [01:07:27] That was spot on.
Tiffany [01:07:27] Please let this keep flowing, this sounds really good.
Meredith [01:07:31] I think you hit the nail on the head and I know that, as long as one person out there who downloads this and listens took the information that they needed from this podcast, this was a raving success because, people need to know they’re not alone.
Tiffany [01:07:50] Yes, agreed.
Meredith [01:07:51] Yeah.
Tiffany [01:07:53] We’re, technically, the coolest people on the planet. We’re world-famous, Oscar winning actresses and even we struggle.
Meredith [01:08:01] Right.
Tiffany [01:08:01] You know what I mean? We’re celebrities and-
Meredith [01:08:06] You keep saying that like you think it’s gonna make it happen.
Tiffany [01:08:09] Put it out in the universe.
Meredith [01:08:11] We’re celebrities.
Tiffany [01:08:13] They know I’m kidding. They know that I beg people, when I’m in the grocery, I try to make eye contact with people like, do you know who I am? Say hi to me, ask me for an autograph, but they never do.
Meredith [01:08:23] I got stopped in the store the other day and they said, oh, you’re that girl who’s friends with Tiffany, I love her. I was like, yes, yes I am. She’s okay.
Tiffany [01:08:34] I paid them to say that.
Meredith [01:08:35] No, legit, she looked at me up and down and was like, yeah, you know that Tiffany girl that I like to follow on the internet. I’m like, yeah-
Tiffany [01:08:43] You’re her little friend.
Meredith [01:08:45] I go, yeah, I have a page too. She goes, oh, well tell Tiffany I said hi. I was like, take your yogurt, get the hell out of here lady.
Tiffany [01:08:52] That’s so funny.
Meredith [01:08:54] Touchin’ all the yogurt in the dairy aisle. Gross.
Tiffany [01:08:56] Yes, I’m totally kidding about all the stuff I said before.
Meredith [01:08:59] No, we’re teasing.
Tiffany [01:09:00] Except for the Oscars.
Meredith [01:09:01] Right. Well, cause that happened.
Tiffany [01:09:02] I did win one of those. Okay, thank you so much for hanging out with us. Join us next week for another edition of Take It or Leave It, where give parent-ish advice-ish, information-ish.
Meredith [01:09:14] Anything with an -ish on the end of it, we will chat about.
Tiffany [01:09:16] We got you.
Meredith [01:09:19] You can find me at filterfreeparents.com.
Tiffany [01:09:22] You can find me at jugglingthejenkins.com.
Meredith [01:09:25] Have a great week.
Tiffany [01:09:26] We love you.
Meredith [01:09:26] Go download our stuff.
Tiffany [01:09:28] All of it.
Meredith [01:09:28] Every last one of ’em.
Tiffany [01:09:30] Okay, bye.