3 Strategies to Strengthen Your Relationships Through Depression

I am honored to be guest blogging for Katie Trudeau over at Cor Domum: Navigating Life & Parenting with Joy, where she writes about all things gentle parenting, real food, and natural living.

It was 2:00 am. I had just nursed my daughter for what seemed like the 10th time that night, and she would not go back to sleep. So naturally, I reacted with anger. I left her in the bedroom with my husband while I went downstairs to have a temper tantrum. Slamming cupboard doors, yanking dishes out of the sink, and throwing pillows across the living room.
This was my life for the first 8 months of my newborn daughter’s first year. I had waited 5 years to have my first child. We were ready and we were both excited. So when we brought her home I was expecting sweet baby cuddles, joy-filled moments, and a heart that was overwhelmed with love for my child.

Needless to say that did not happen.

The first year of her life was a cycle of anger, guilt, and self-condemnation. This continued for days, weeks and then months, until my husband finally suggested I go see the doctor. Once I did, changed everything. She totally understood what I was going through and placed me on a plan towards healing.

During this time, I realized I had been experiencing depression all my life. It was especially difficult after the birth of my first and third child. Through medication, counseling, and help from my family, I’ve been able to win the daily battle with depression and anxiety.

Now that others know more about our story, my husband and I have been asked often, “How do you support someone who is going through this life experience?”

My family has had A LOT of experience helping me through these times. There are many ways my family and friends have helped me, but there are 3 key strategies that my family has implemented that help me every single day.

You can read the rest of the article here >>> 3 Strategies to Strengthen Your Relationships Through Depression, over at Katie Trudeau’s blog, Cor Domum: Navigating Life & Parenting with Joy.

 

 

 

Join me for my newest course, 5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety. This course is designed to help you create your own unique strategy for living a life of true peace and real joy.

Course launches April 1, 2017.

A Prayer of Hope When Your Child Struggles with Anxiety

 

By Samantha McDonald, Living With Real Joy

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you’re not sure if you want to scream and cry and throw a tantrum, or if you want to get in bed, pull the blankets over your head, and hide there for as long as possible?

When someone in your home struggles with an illness, physical or mental, it affects the entire house. Any of you reading this right now who have chronic illness in your home know exactly what I’m talking about. As a parent, trying to find the balance between disciplining disobedience and offering grace is very difficult, especially when you have a child with a mental or emotional condition.

The hardest part of all of this is to see how it affects our other children. We’ve spoken a lot about grace and forgiveness in our home, but it’s difficult for adults to understand this at times, let alone a child or a teenager.

I would like to share one particular experience with you that has given me hope.

One evening our middle was having a heck of a time with her anxieties. I’m talking a major panic attack where I thought she was going to pass out from hyperventilating. After trying to talk with her and calm her down I said,

By Samantha McDonald, Living With Real Joy“You know what? Let’s pray. These things you’re saying are lies from Satan, and God does not believe these at all. He doesn’t want you to feel like this so let’s ask Him for help.”

I prayed and she calmed down for the rest of the evening.

I believe God answered our prayers that night. It’s amazing what happens when we simply ask Him for help. This was only something He could have done. I had no way of breaking through the disorder and confusion that she was listening to inside of her head.

This week, when you’re having a tough time, stop and pray. And don’t wait all day long like I did. Pray right there wherever you are. Even if God does not answer your prayer the way you’d like, being in His presence is enough to calm your spirit and give you peace when all else around you is chaos.

Trust me, I know.  🙂

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From Burdens to Blessings

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When my children were younger, I would feel so guilty for the way I treated them. I have yelled, talked down to, set aside, spoken harshly to, and treated my kids as “less than”. I have made my kids feel like they are not important to me. Guilt over my lack of loving kindness towards my children is one of those things that I have wrestled with A LOT and still do.

I say that my kids have not always been a blessing to me, because there was a time they didn’t feel like a blessing. They felt like a burden, a HUGE one, that I “had” to take care of. There was a time I would become so irritated with them. The girl’s whining, complaining, and constant fighting and arguing. Connor’s meltdowns, tantrums, or the fact that he would not sleep through the night. Read More

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Daily Routines for your ADHD FamilyLast week I talked about how to create a back to school routine for your family.

Now this just doesn’t apply to your kids. This applies to you as well.

My husband has told me time and time again that I do my best work, have the best attitude, and become overwhelmed a lot less often when I make a routine for myself and stick to it.

I’m very good at creating routines and schedules. Oh I could spend all day crafting charts, finding cute images to correlate with each task, and displaying them so neatly on my refrigerator. My problem comes with the follow-through. My personality despises doing anything wrong or pretty much “not perfect” in my eyes. I freeze when I can’t or don’t know how to start something just the right way.  Read More