This is a subject that I feel is never spoken about. EVER! But why? Thousands of us each year become new moms and parents but no one ever speaks about what its like to become a new mom and battle anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety you will know the daily struggle of it but it becomes a whole other kettle of fish when you become a mom. Now you are suddenly responsible for another life. They are completely 100% dependent on you for all things. You are now responsible for what the eat, when they eat, when they sleep, what they learn and how they act. So if your one of those moms who has dealt with anxiety before becoming a mom your battle with anxiety is going to become even more heightened. Now I'm sure the struggles I'm going to mention that I have faced will have been faced by most if not all moms at some point but when your dealing with anxiety on top of having these fears it makes the experience that little bit more intense.
Now before I go on I just want to say I love being a mom, its the best things I have ever done and the proudest title I will ever own. Its also important to note that anxiety comes in all forms and can feel different for different people. However becoming a new mom having already dealt with anxiety there seems to be a common set of triggers that can set your day into a whirlwind. I just think that its time to speak out and share so that others will know that they are not alone in how their feeling.
No one will ever mind my child as well as me
So I'm pretty sure most parents will feel this way. When our babies are born we suddenly have the ability to know if something is up. Its a physical feeling deep within our gut and we just know. The saying a 'Mammy knows best' didn't spring from thin air let me tell you! So how is anyone else going to look after my child as well as me. Trust me I get anxious anytime the boys are off for the day with someone. I run through a checklist in my head of all the things that could go wrong... Will they catch Cai's hand crossing the road? Do they know Dylan is to small for lollipops? I go throw an endless list of things in my mind and in turn I worry about every little thing that might happen. Sometimes the anxiety is bad bad I have to ring to check on them and make sure everything is okay and even worse there has been other times I have had to come home from a date etc. because I can't shift that horrible uneasy feeling that something bad is going to happen.
Are they still breathing?
I never co-slept with any of my babies they always slept in a moses basket/cot beside our bed. They reason for not ever co-sleeping with them is because I was sure that one of us would roll over in our sleep and smother or crush our baby therefor I never ever entertained the idea of it. However having them not sleeping right by your side brought on its own worries. I used to keep a mirror beside the bed to check and see if they were still breathing. Both of the lads used to fall into such deep sleeps that there body would not move nor make a sound. It used to freak me out. I don't know how many times I shot up in that bed in a blind panic in the middle of the night because I was convinced they weren't breathing. Sometimes I would even have to wake them up of give them a little nudge just to know they are okay.
Another thing that just freaks me out when most others would only be delighted with an extra bit of sleep is when they sleep past there normal waking time. Instead of be being like oh lovely I just got an extra half hour/hours sleep I would instantly freak out. My mind jumps once again to the worst possible scenarios that something must of happened them in their sleep. I can't ever go into their room for fear of what I might walk in and see. I always have to get Lee to go and check on them and make sure they are okay.
No locks on our doors
Now this one may sound like I'm on the extreme end of thing and I guess I really am but I have the biggest irrational fear of one if the boys catching there fingers in the door. None of my doors fully close properly because I made Lee take out the latches that keep the doors shut. Now if any of the boys to close the door on their fingers etc. the door won't ever close properly on them. I even have the latch took out of our downstairs toilet! Call me crazy but I'm responsible for 20 perfect little fingers and 20 wiggly toes and I'd like to keep it that way!
Walking on busy roads
There are certain roads I try an avoid if possible when walking around with the boys. Cailan is old enough now to walk around himself but still young enough that he gets tired from long distances so a double buggy is a must. However when he is out and walking he has to be on the inside of the path. I can never walk with him on the edge of the path for fear he might trip and fall onto the road. When they are both in the buggy I will only try and cross the road at a pedestrian crossing. It doesnt matter how many times I check to see if that road is clear I will always get a jolt anxiety that myself or the kids or both will be struck at anytime by a humongous truck.
I'm going to die and miss them growing up
This is my biggest fear and one I worry about for no reason but all the time. I worry that I am going to die from some horrible illness and they have to watch me suffer. I think about all the terrible possibilities there could be and play them all out in my head. What would they be like at my funeral? Would they understand that I didn't want to leave them? and the worst one of all Will they remember me? This one can send me straight off the handle and cause me to not sleep for the whole night and cry my eyes out until it is physically impossible for me to cry anymore.
I'm sure once they start getting older now I will face even more challenges, worry's and stress. If I was to stop them from doing everything that made me anxious they would lead no life at all. For god sake they would never be left climb up the jungle gym or come down the tallest slide. Anxiety is such a horrible thing but you can't protect them from everything. They are going to fall an cut themselves and bruise there are or a leg. In fact it might happen weekly and if you have boys almost daily!! Haha.
The most important thing is that you do your best! Once I know that I am putting them first and trying my hardest as a mom to provide them with the best life I can then thats all I can do.
Anxiety is hard, plain and simple. If you continue to struggle with these issues then seek help from your doctor. Talking about it I find personally helps me the most. Instead of curling up into a shell and letting the world crumble around I now try to open and talk when I'm feeling anxious. A problem shared is a problem halved always!