Anxiety and Motherhood
It’s mental health awareness week so I thought I would share my experience of dealing with anxiety since having my baby girl River. My mental health journey has been a bit of a bumpy road. Despite my bubbly exterior, I have always battled the extremes of ups and downs, addictions, low self esteem and a bit of post traumatic stress disorder. Having River actually balanced me out ALOT. Maybe having a home and a healthy lifestyle helps. Still, every day my mind is laced with an underlying sense of anxiety.
I didn’t know how badly I suffer from anxiety until I became a mama. I think I was too busy before motherhood drinking wine every night and smoking weed every day to realise that I have anxiety.
Since the first night that River was born I have been so scared. I was scared to pick her up incase I hurt her precious tiny body and I was too scared to sleep in case I woke up and she would be gone. I’m not exaggerating, I really was so scared that it was all just too good to be true and she would be taken from me. I’m still scared.
Loving somebody this much actually hurts. Sometimes I forget to enjoy motherhood because I am too busy worrying about everything that can go wrong. This is new for me, the whole worrying side of things. I went from couch surfing barefoot and alone though Africa to being a total worry-wort. One extreme to the other or what!
During my first few weeks of motherhood I literally just sat on the couch, holding my pee so that I didn’t have to put my baby down. I was too scared to go to the toilet in case something happened to her in those minutes that it took for me to sprint to the loo and back. I would wait until Sudan would get back from work. I learnt the hard way that my post-partum bladder wasn’t made for this when I peed myself doing this!
I worry about hanging baby clothes on the washing line in case somebody drives past and sees that there is a baby here and steals her.
I worry that somebody will shake the aisle at the supermarket and a tin will drop on her.
I worry that she will get sick.
I worry about the state of this world and how will she cope in it.
I worry about things in my head sometimes that don’t even make sense.
Does it get easier? Or am I going be this scared forever?
I have acknowledged that this is actually a bit of a problem and my constant worrying is preventing me from really enjoying this amazing magical journey that is motherhood! I am so in love with my baby girl and I want to enjoy every minute with her, so I am really trying to manage my anxiety. Also, I know it effects my marriage. I am carrying unnecessary stress and I know I’m guilty on taking it out on Sudan.
Some things I am doing to manage my anxiety are:
- Turning off the news- This is a biggie for me. I never used to watch the news while I was travelling the world for years and I was a million per cent more chilled out! It’s like an addiction now to see what is going on in the world. The only thing is that they only show the horrible things that are going on in the world. These scary sad things become embedded into the subconscious and I definitely worry less when I don’t watch the news.
- Get out of the house- Getting stuck in my little bubble of habits and routine leaves way too much room in my mind for negative and dark thought patterns. It can be hard to do this sometimes because I live in the middle of nowhere and I haven’t driven with River in the car and I get all wound up that we’re going to get kidnapped while out walking. We’re getting there though!
- I talk to the Universe/My Angels/God – I’m a woman of many faiths and I know they all got my back. Sometimes I just need to strip it all back and remember that before everything else I am a spiritual being and I am safe and my baby is safe.
I would love to hear about your experiences with anxiety and how you cope with anxious feelings and thoughts.