Pram Jam with Beth – Feeling Blue?

The past 18 months or so has brought a whole new level of stress and sorrow into many of our lives, and while we remain in a relatively ‘safeWA‘ bubble here, largely with thanks to the McGowan government, much of the rest of Australia and the world are either on tenterhooks or already deep in the depths of ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks.

It is easy to understand that depression and anxiety is also touching some of us more deeply than it would perhaps typically. Parenting while experiencing these blue moods is particularly difficult, and if you’re struggling, my heart goes out to you without restraint.

Rainbow umbrella from above on a grey rainy day

Whenever I use my rainbow umbrella, I feel happy. It’s been very useful this winter! Lots of rain, lots of worries, thank goodness for rainbow smiles and kiddy cuddles.

Image by mettegertrud0 from Pixabay

Sometimes our babies feel blue as well, for any number of reasons. It’s hard to know how best to support them, especially if they don’t have the vocabulary or speaking ability to let us know why they’re sad. Books are a great way to explore sad emotions and find ways to build resilience.

Reading books helps us to process complex emotions, and create new pathways in our brains.

When we fall into patterns of behaviour that aren’t helpful, the feelings of helplessness and being trapped become crippling. Any change in our happy routines, or sudden disappointments, can spin us into sadness. Reading and sharing stories can help us to move past these feelings and bring happiness again.

 

Can I sit with you? / Sarah Jacoby.

If the day is strange and new, I’ll be familiar, loyal, true. Can I sit with you?
What happens when a lonely girl meets a devoted dog? Everything! In this sweet, rhyming story a little girl develops a true friendship with a dog. Pets bring us much comfort and teach children lessons in nurturing, responsibility and unwavering devotion. If it’s possible for you and your family to keep a pet, I recommend it wholeheartedly (though choose your pet with care! Dogs like my Beagle/Staffy are an ongoing challenge!)
Cover image for : Can I sit with you? / Sarah Jacoby
Cover Image for:  Blue / Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

Blue / Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text celebrate the many shades of blue seen during the relationship of a boy and his dog as the boy grows from a baby to an adult. Blue is a gorgeous book by award winning author and artist, Laura Vaccaro Seeger. In this book the correlation of colour and emotions, the passing of time and life journeys, attachment and loss are all explored. The words are simple and sparse and the inclusion of cut-outs on the pages adds to the experience of reading with your child.

Blue/ Britta Teckentrup.

Blue lives in the darkest depths of the forest. He has long forgotten how to fly, play and sing. But one day, Yellow arrives. And little by little, everything changes. A wonderful reminder to allow in even just a little light, and see how it changes your outlook. This one is wordier and would make a great bed time story.

Cover Image for: Blue / Britta Teckentrup.

Here’s a read-a-loud version of The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld .

This is one of my favourite books to share with my little one when he’s feeling down. You can find the print version of this title at this link:  The rabbit listened / Cori Doerrfeld. The rabbit models empathetic behavior but it is Taylor’s processes that interest me the most. When the little rabbit comes and sits quietly by his side, Taylor begins to process his thoughts and starts to think and feel on his own.

So whether you like to rage, sob, laugh, dance or sing your sadness away, I hope that this wet and stormy season passes for you and your loved ones with a minimum of the winter blues. If you need someone to talk to, Lifeline is always just a call away.