What do they need to know?

19 Dec

The holidays are upon us and the baby and I skipped town a few days early to have a few extra days to visit with family (sig-o joining us early next week). It’s one thing to be hundreds of miles away from family and not have to tell them what’s going on… but it’s another story when they’re right there with you. So what do they need to know?

Probably nothing. And this isn’t exactly the easiest thing to share. Three years ago when I had my miscarriage, we were very open about it. Some were uneasy about this, questioning whether or not we should be so open. Even now, though, I have no regrets — we needed help and support then and no one could have given it to us if they hadn’t known what was going on. So isn’t this the same kind of situation? I clearly need support now. But how do you tell family that you have postpartum depression without them immediately jumping to the conclusion that you’re a danger to your baby?

But how much does family ever really need to know about our lives? A little is reasonable, but full disclosure is rarely the route to go. The disclosure isn’t actually the hard part here…it’s the follow-up questions. I recently told my step-mother and the barrage of questions was overwhelming. Granted, she’s known for mind-numbing probing, but it was particularly painful this time. So I have to give credit to my sig-o — he literally stepped in and told her that if she had questions she could direct them to him because he didn’t want to cause me more stress by having to talk more about it. Wow. I must say it felt soooooooo good to have him swat her away like that.

So I think the question isn’t, “What do they need to know?” Instead it’s, “How do you tell them?” The answer — don’t do it alone.

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