154: "Scared To Be A Grandma"

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By Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D., Katayune Kaeni, and Psy.D.. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Everyone eagerly anticipates becoming a grandparent, right? Think again. There are various reasons why you might be apprehensive about achieving this milestone in life. The truth is that it’s not socially acceptable to admit these feelings. People may shrink away in horror if you dare to confess being hesitant about what you are supposed to embrace with unbridled joy. In today’s show, we are diving deeper into this hush-hush topic.

Dr. Shoshana Bennett was the very first guest on the podcast for Episodes 1 & 2. She very graciously came on when I was new at this, and she tolerated my fumbling around and my poor sound quality, too! I’m so grateful to have her back as the first guest to kick off the 3rd year of the Mom & Mind podcast. This time, she’s bringing the perspective of being a new grandmother with her own history of postpartum mental health challenges. This is such a necessary conversation, especially as the field of perinatal mental health grows, and we are recognizing and treating the conditions more. As those mothers develop into grandmothers, this will be something to consider for that time of life.

Affectionately known as “Dr. Shosh,” she educates, engages, and empowers her audiences while discussing serious and often uncomfortable topics using humor, the latest research, solution-based protocols, and firsthand knowledge she gleaned after experiencing life-threatening postpartum depression. After two life-threatening bouts of postpartum illness, Dr. Shosh helped pioneer the field of maternal mental health. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, became president of California’s state organization, Postpartum Health Alliance, and then served as president of Postpartum Support International. She is the author of Children of the Depressed, Postpartum Depression for Dummies, Pregnant on Prozac, and is the co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety. She is an executive producer of the documentary, Dark Side of the Full Moon, and co-founded the Postpartum Action Institute. To date, Dr. Shosh has helped over 20,000 women around the world recover through private consultations, teleclasses, and support groups. At the time of this interview, Dr. Shosh wasn’t a grandmother yet but became one on June 5. In spite of anxiety and scary thoughts, she’s been able to enjoy her grandson and watch her daughter have a totally different postpartum experience than she did.

Show Highlights:

  • Shosh reads her recent article, “Scared to be a Grandma”
  • What she heard when she submitted this article to various publications
  • How Dr. Shosh is breaking ground in the field of reluctant grandparenting, just as she did with perinatal mental health back in the 1990s
  • The difficulty in understanding that a grandmother may be apprehensive
  • The fascinating feelings in the grandparent experience
  • Why Dr. Shosh has been getting therapy support in preparing for her grandchild
  • Embracing the whole journey to grandparenthood
  • Finding ourselves and identifying what needs to unfold to deal with our feelings
  • The importance of starting the conversation and being honest without judgment
  • Maintaining the connection between parents and new grandparents
  • Shosh wants to hear your comments, questions, and thoughts! See her contact info below!

Resources:

Dr. Shosh

Email: drshosh@drshosh.com

Dr. Shosh’s books:

Children of the Depressed

Postpartum Depression for Dummies

Pregnant on Prozac

and Beyond the Blues

162 episodes