Reviewer: Tiffany Markman, mom to a one-year-old, tries to balance her workaholism with cuddling her daughter, reading books, consuming caffeine & reining in her intrinsic kugelry. Follow her on twitter.
As I began to page through this book, just the first few chapters, I kept having to stop and verbalise out loud how much I wish we’d had a copy when I started to experience symptoms of PND.
But, even in the early days, I was too far gone to read it myself. That’s why I think this book should be required reading for any husband who suspects that his wife isn’t 100%. Or any granny, friend, sister…
As the authors say, upfront:
“This book may not be for you but you may want to read it anyway since we can guarantee that many of the mothers you care deeply about are somewhere inside that rainbow [of reactions to having a baby: antenatal depression, postnatal euphoria, baby blues, postnatal stress, postnatal depression, bipolar mood disorders and postnatal psychosis].”
However, despite the authentic medical and psychological info in the book, its style and tone remain refreshingly ‘real’: They use ‘yummy mummies’, ‘I’ and ‘we’, ‘throwing in the towel’, etc. Un-scary language.
The book defines PND, with ways to tell if you have it and what to do if that’s the case. There are true stories from women who’ve beaten it, including Sam Cowen and Deborah Patta.
There’s also a big chapter on psychotherapy (which, together with a brilliant psychiatrist and the right medication, was what ultimately saved me). And the book concludes with a chapter on treating PND ‘spiritually’.
For me, the strongest element of this book is the way it combines real medical thinking – Wolf, Winnicott, local psychiatrist Dr Rykie Liebenberg and others – with real human experience, in real human language.
The only other book on PND I’ve read is Brooke Shields’ Down Came the Rain, which I hated. (One of the authors applauds it, so that’s something, but I read it in the midst of my own depression and it helped me not at all.)
Unlike some of the mommies referred to in the Introduction, I’m not a propagandist of ‘blissful motherhood’, because I do honestly, unapologetically and (lord help me) publicly admit the hell I went through. But I do this because, when I was lost in the dark, I thought I was the only one. So, in a sentence, thank G-d for this book.
by Madeleine Kriegler, a working mom of two and always learning to learn. She blogs about anything that takes her fancy on her blog, Life Love and everything else
This book was recommended to me by my daughters’ therapist. It promises that you will learn more about your child’s unique nature and how to adapt your parenting style to it. It covers issue such as: why punishment works for one child but not for the other, how to focus your limited time and energy accurately by giving child-specific parental input, how to speak your child’s language so that you really understand each other and the right way to handle your child’s emotions, needs and achievements, so that she will be a child with character.
You read about 4 different personalities, with their own characteristics. It has a checklist which you work through for both your child and yourself in order for you to determine the best way to handle your child given your own strengths and weaknesses. I found the checklist of characteristics initially difficult to work through, and it was only once I read through my daughter’s personality “handbook” that I could identify her more easily. I had to go back to reassess her before I found a good fit. Having said that I still don’t fully agree with the description of the characteristics of her “type”, but I have a feeling it’s my interpretation of the words, rather than the writers’ presentation.
The book is written with a strong religious slant which might be off-putting to some. The writer summarizes for each personality how God spoke to that person.
What alarmed me was that the writer is pro-spanking and justifies this with bible verses. It was printed in 2008,which makes her suggestions unlawful as per the Children’s Amendment bill promulgated in 2007. She does offer alternatives to spanking though, as well as point out that for some personalities spanking is the least effective disciplining method.
Despite this I would still recommend this book as it is the only parenting book that I am aware of that incorporates both you and your child’s personalities and how to work with it. It offers some great insights as to how to treat each person in the family with love and understanding.