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Blog

Over-qualified for mediocrity. Under-qualified for greatness. 

 

The realities of motherhood: using laughter to cope with post-partum depression

Robynn Garfield

Being a parent is awesome...some of the time. Some of the time it's not, some of the time it's downright awful, and, if nothing else, most of the time it's messy. 

A while ago I commissioned my amazing friend Jenna to capture some photos of me with my boys. I wanted to juxtapose the picture-perfection we sometimes like to portray on social media with the realities of life in the trenches of parenthood. We worked hard to capture what it's really like living with three young men under the age of six. 

I've dealt with post-partum depression following the births of each of our three sons. I'm still healing from the birth of our last boy, who's now 16 months old. There are many tools I've found helpful when it comes to dealing with my depression. Along with medication and therapy, humor and sarcasm have become a sort of home-grown coping-mechanism for me. 

Dealing with depression has been a real struggle. Being a stay-at-home mom with three boys under the age of six is a real sanity-killer. Combining the two can be overwhelming, and I've really been looking for a good way to illustrate the struggle between the ideal (looking good, having a clean house) and reality (wearing sweats all day, living in piles of dirty dishes and legos.) 

Depression is real, and needs to be treated very seriously. Learning to laugh at the hard stuff, though, can help cut through the day to day mental struggles and physical requirements of being a parent and a person. 

Life can me messy, but it should be fun, and laughable, and happy...most of the time. 

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Confessions of a tired nobody

Robynn Garfield

So, we’ve all done things we’re not proud of. And if you’re in congress right now, you do things you’re proud of that most people think you should be arrested for. But I digress.

I recently had a great idea for a website where I would publish one startling personal confession a day for public pondering. Being lazy, I thought I’d just turn it into a blog post here and save us all the trouble of having to register a URL, design it, and promote it. And by “us all”, I mean Dan.

So here are a few things I’ve done in my life I think the public should know about.

 

  • When I was a kid I remember secretly hoping I’d find out I was adopted so they could make a movie about my hunt for my real parents.
  • I'm secretly proud when my kids learn a new swear word. 
  • I borrowed my friend's honor role tassels when I graduated from high school so my parents would think I graduated with honors.
  • I have sent myself hand-addressed letters in the mail before.
  • I use my kids as an excuse for being late all the time but the truth is I was reading crap on the Internet and lost track of time. 
  • I have had a closet love for the Backstreet Boys ever since I was 14. I still can only listen to them when I think nobody is around.
  • My kids have peed the bed at night and I've just thrown a towel over the sheets and put them back to sleep. 
  • I knowingly let my son go to kindergarten in underwear he's worn for multiple days. 
  • I've pretended my kids aren't my kids in public on more than one occasion. 

I’m sure you’ve all got some skeletons in your closets. Mine are dancing around and having a party. 

Living with insanity

Robynn Garfield

When you have your first baby you think you know everything. The longer you exist in Parentland, the more you realize you don't know a damned thing. 

Every time a soon-to-be parent asks me for parenting advice (believe me, it happens like, at least 2 times) I tell them my constant mantra: lower your standards. 

The key to surviving life as the keeper and caretaker of small mammals is to lower the hell out of your standards. 

It's the only way, really, to make it through. The craziest parents are the ones who can't stay sitting on the couch while their kids are emptying out boxes (plural) of dry cereal all over the kitchen floor. The ones who make it through condition themselves to turn a blind eye when candy is picked up off the ground at a local carnival and eaten, when two brothers are playing a lively game of fisticuffs, or when the toddler discovers the greatest thing in the world is the dog's water.