POSTPARTUM ANXIETY + MOMMY GUILT
Postpartum anxiety can be a b*tch...
Being a mommy is the most amazing thing that could’ve ever happened to me. My son, Bobby, brings so much light to my life. But along with being a mom comes stress and anxiety.
When my son was first born I was waking up every day and immediately felt as though I had 5 bricks laying on my chest. Making sure my baby eats enough, poops enough, and gets enough sleep, was constantly weighing on me.
I breastfed for the first 3 months while supplementing with formula. Breastfeeding added a huge amount of anxiety for me, knowing I'm the sole provider, the one that is in charge of keeping my baby alive.
Breastfeeding felt like a job to me. Something I had to do, not something I wanted to do. Of course I wanted my baby to get the best of the best and since I was able to provide it, that is why I did. But one day, around the 3 month mark, I realized that I don't need to breastfeed just because it is what people say should be done. My baby was perfectly healthy, growing, and happy, despite about 50% of his food, at this point, was formula.
I decided to make the change and stop breastfeeding. This came with guilt, but it released a huge amount of pressure from my shoulders. I did what I thought was best for me and what made me the happiest. Which then could allow me to be a better mother for my child. This was the very first time I thought about myself since my son had been born, and for that I was very proud of myself. It was a huge milestone. And guess what, he was fine. Still healthy and happy.
Yet months later I still had a lot of anxiety. His cry would make anxious. If he was fussy and I didn’t know why, I would be anxious. If he woke up early I would be anxious.
At this point I was doing almost everything myself, with some help from my husband and mom. But that wasn’t enough. I felt as though I was losing myself, and didn’t have any time to be me, the person I was outside of being a mom.
I was so anxious that I couldn’t keep any of my food down. My stomach hurt so bad every day to the point that I couldn’t take care of my son, and I was in bed rolled up into a little ball with the heating pad on my tummy. Every time I ate something, it felt as though my body didn’t digest it at all. Like it was still sitting in my stomach 8 hours later. I called the doctor concerned about what it was but later found out it was postpartum anxiety.
With help from my husband I came to the conclusion I needed help.
We are so lucky to have a family friend who lives nearby, who is amazing with children. She now works as our nanny, watching Bobby a few days throughout the week, and on Saturdays to give my husband and I a day to ourselves. This has almost completely eased my anxiety.
I am so grateful and blessed to be in the position to have someone to be able to help. Help is the most important thing a mother can get if it is available.
Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Mom guilt is a REAL THING. I felt guilty giving my child to someone else, not spending as much time as I used to with him.
Being a mom takes a VILLAGE.
Aside from help with my son, I also got help for myself through therapy to help get rid of this mom guilt and anxiety.
THERAPY IS COOL.
Help comes in many forms. Therapy allows me to talk to someone with an unbiased opinion, and has helped me tremendously.
So all the moms out there, you’re not alone, you are never alone. It is never too late to ask for help. You need to be you outside of being a mommy, which will also allow you to be a better mom for your child.