Thursday, February 9, 2012

Depressed Parenting

This week I've been a little grumpy.  I've been working on changing my medication so I am not so tired all the time (400 mg of Seroquel will make anyone a little sleepy), and I think it's having a somewhat negative effect on my mood at the moment.  I think it's one of those things that when I get over the hump, I'll be better for it, but it kind of sucks right now.

So as a result of being in a bad mood, I've been a little short with my kids.  Nothing horrible, but I'm just a little quicker to snap or yell at them than usual, and have been engaging a little less.  It's nothing that's going to scar them for their whole lives (at least I don't think), but it's still not good.

The worst part, though, is that all three of my kids (the 10-month-old included) have all been grumpier and more difficult all week.  I find that so odd.  There's a respiratory thing that keeps bouncing around between all of us, which isn't helping matters, and the weather has been typical Ohio in February -- cold, gray, depressing.  So there are a lot of reasons why they may be in bad moods that don't necessarily tie back to my mood.  Or maybe we're all grumpy for some of the same reasons, I don't know.

I just know that more often than not, it seems like my kids' moods reflect or match my own.  A while ago I wrote a post wondering if babies can read their mothers' moods; I think kids have to be included in this question as well.  In theory, they should be happy -- I usually let them watch more TV than usual and cook them stuff that I know they eat (like hot dogs) rather than cooking something that they may or may not eat (nothing kills my mood more than getting up the energy to cook, and then having everybody turn up their nose at it).  But it doesn't seem to work that way.

This article at talks about how children of depressed parents are more likely to not only be depressed, but act out and have other behavioral problems.  So I guess there are studies that show that parents' depression can affect kids.  Another reason to feel bad, right?  My depression is making them depressed -- how depressing. 

For now, we'll just keep muddling through and hope my med changes do what they're supposed to do.  Until then, let's watch Mulan for the fiftieth time and just feel good that at least she's a strong female role model.

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