Fotolia

10 Reasons Suffering From Seasonal Affective Disorder Actually Prepares You For Parenthood

By
Share
Ad failed to load

It's that time of year again. I am not talking about the holiday season, I'm talking about my nemesis — Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — a type of seasonal depression that typically occurs this time of year. Since as far back as I can remember, I started getting really bummed out during the winter months. Later, I learned that I suffered from SAD, and there were several ways to treat my depression and make life a little bit more bearable. I've also come to understand that suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder actually prepares you for parenthood in the most surprising ways.

When you have SAD you have to learn some mad coping skills that assist you in overcoming some significant hurdles in order to get through the dark days and nights. I've learned that having these experiences has made me a stronger person and a more badass and flexible mom.

So, what doesn't kill us really does make us stronger? Well, no. However, having Seasonal Affective Disorder has certainly taught me a thing or two about exhaustion, coping with depression and stress, and accepting when things don't go according to "plan." In my opinion, those are important parenting skills. I wouldn't wish SAD on anyone, but for those of us who suffer from the winter blues, it's nice to think there might actually be some perks.

Ad failed to load

You Learn To Live Without Sleep

Long before I became a parent, I learned to cope with chronic insomnia, especially this time a year. Luckily, I have been able to get through long nights and exhausting days with meds, relaxation techniques, and lots of coffee. All of which have been crucial to me surviving parenting-related exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

You Get Excited About The Holidays

GIPHY

I have come to view the winter months in terms of things I enjoy — pumpkin spice lattes, pie, peppermint mochas, cookies, family, and cheap candy the day after Valentine's day. Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder has enabled me to find the bright spots on cold, dark days. I will probably never love snowball fights or Christmas lights, but pie? Now that's something to smile about.

You're Used To Being Irrationally Cranky

I can be grumpy, especially on days when the sun doesn't shine or I can't get outside to enjoy it. I am used to being irrationally cranky, so it doesn't hit me as hard now that I have a small human to care for.

Ad failed to load

You Learned To Cheer Yourself Up

GIPHY

I have learned what it takes to help me get through the winter months. Generally coffee, wine, and running will assist me. Now that I have kids, my ability to cheer myself up is crucial on days when my kids test every ounce of patience, and I can't send them outside because it's too cold.

You Understand There Are Things You Can't Control

Because SAD comes every year, and I know it's coming, I have learned to brace myself and to accept the things I cannot change.That little thing has made a huge difference. I forgive myself when I'm not perfect and when things don't go as planned.

You're Super Flexible

GIPHY

In my opinion, flexibility and the ability to shift gears are key strategies for coping with SAD and for being a good parent.

Ad failed to load

You Learn How To Get Along With Others

When you are able to recognize how your mood is affecting your behavior and develop coping skills, you become a nicer person to be around. I don't always like my kids. Seriously. However, because I love them I try to recognize how my mood might be impacting my attitude towards them.

You're Understanding About Your Own Kids' Anxiety (And Anyone Else's, For That Matter)

GIPHY

Having SAD makes me more understanding of my kids' mental health issues. It's made me a more empathic mom and more able to understand when they need extra love or support to do something that is hard for them.

You're Used To Skipping Meals

I'm not saying this is a healthy skill, but having SAD (like other forms of depression) has taught me how to successfully make it through the day when I have no motivation to do anything other than crawl under the covers or find a sunbeam to bask in. Being a parent challenges me in the same way, but fortunately, I have had lots of practice.

Ad failed to load

You Practice Self-Care

GIPHY

Having Seasonal Affective Disorder has taught me an incredible amount about practicing self-care. I know what works for me, especially this time of year. I fit in exercise, peppermint mochas, massages, and trying to get enough sleep. I take my meds. I meditate. All of these things help me through the winter blues and help me be a better mom in spite of them.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}