When you think about being a mother, anxiety isn’t the first word that pops into your mind.
At least, it wasn’t for me, before I became a mother myself.
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I thought about cute, teeny babies. Endless snuggles, happiness, breastfeeding, feeling complete with a baby in my arms.
Sure, I thought about how I’d cope, the sleepless nights, the labor and recovering. But, I wasn’t afraid of those things because they were blocked out by how much I wanted this baby.
As soon as the little guy came, I put way too much pressure on myself. I had wonderful family and friends helping me for a few weeks but I felt alone. I felt a constant heavy weight in my chest, the weight of this perfect little life depending so much on me.
My husband was and is an amazing father, so none of this is to say that he wasn’t there, or that my family hasn’t been there for me when possible.
But, I think as mothers we put so much pressure on ourselves. And it can be so hard to take a step back when you’re so attached to your little one.
That’s why it’s so important for us to take the time to take care of ourselves.
Having postpartum anxiety can you make you feel angry, resentful, sad, worried, and in a constant state of panic. It may look different for everyone, but for me it was all this plus nightmares, and the inability to let others take care of my son. It’s exhausting.
And if you’re like me, asking for help is something you have to learn to do. The only way you learn how to do something is to practice.
If you’re feeling any of these things, please talk to someone, preferably a doctor, but also someone you are close to. Come up with a plan to take care of you, to get some time alone and do something for yourself with that time. Find some moms you can connect with.
Being a mother is hard, and some days will be harder than others. But it’s not meant to be nothing but tears and stress. I let anxiety rob me of the first year of my son’s life. It’s not necessarily my fault, but it’s still a battle every day to make sure I’m not robbed of any more time with my son and future children. I don’t like the person I am when I’m trying to do too much and neglecting myself.
So, this is me reminding myself, and you mama, to get back to taking care of ourselves and enjoying our time with our children! You can’t fill anyone else’s cup if yours is empty.