My Fears of Being a Good Mother With Anxiety Issues
New Relationship, Baby, Wedding. . . All in 6 Months!
All of a sudden I was crying, curling up into a ball, hyperventilating, and isolating myself from the world when I was not working. I was not capable of taking care of myself, let alone a child. I was taking medications and going to therapy—was this going to be enough to keep me sane enough to deal with the hormones and stress of a newborn?
Well, it was. August 2015, I found out that I was going to be a mother. Can you say shock? Here I am trying to handle life and take care of myself and in the blink of an eye my life changed. This is when I started to realize, I had to get my s**t together. "Dana, pull yourself together! Quit being such a negative Nancy and start being positive Peggy!" And so that is what I did.
Every doctors appointment, I worried about the health of my baby. I was stressed at work, made a huge life change and moved in with my now husband after 3 months of dating, and became a wife 6 months into my new relationship. Although I had no doubts about my husband, I was doubting my abilities as a wife and a mother.
Here I am, relying on medication to keep my sanity as well as therapy just to vent to someone I didn't feel I was going to bother. As months passed by, I realized how much I had accomplished for myself. I was managing my emotions, in a healthy relationship, had a healthy baby inside of me, and stopped working and had time to relax and focus on my child.
April 8, 2016, 1:56pm my life changed forever. My little girl "Baby A" was brought into this world. I finally met the missing piece of my heart and I felt relief. I had successfully kept her safe and healthy for 9 months, and I will continue that on the outside for the rest of my life. At first, the sleepless nights, endless hours of exclusively pumping, doing week after week of homework in online classes, and keeping a house clean while caring for my child, my husband, and myself was stressful.
I got lucky, I have an amazing husband as well as an amazing support system. We soon established a routine and life began to get easier....so I thought.
I was still 40 pounds up from my pre-baby weight, barely bringing in an income, dealing with house hunting and our new home for the next 4 years, as well as adjusting to life as a stay at home mother who takes online classes.
All of this in itself was stressful, not was...is. Just when you think the hard part of being a mother is over, it is not. Yes, as children get older it is easier to take care of them but at the same time I feel I neglect her more now.
She is much more independent, walking, and can entertain herself. I am home with her 24/7 and yet, as much cleaning and cooking and homework and interacting with my daughter that I do, I still do not feel good enough. Why do other children speak words at this age but my child doesn't? Why do other kids have the patience to sit down and learn and my child doesn't? Was this a reflection on me? As much time as we spend together playing, cuddling, napping, eating, etc. I still feel as if I will not ever be a good enough mother.
Yes, my daughter is healthy and happy and smart and beautiful. She behaves so great when we take her out and she is a social butterfly. So why do I still feel this way? Will it ever go away?
Yes, yes it will. This is my anxiety talking. I over analyze everything and are so hard on myself. When tasks and situations are so simple, I make them difficult. Even though my husband tells me I am still sexy and beautiful after having my daughter, I still hate my body. I love my stretch marks because of their symbolism but I am not a fan of my weight. Again, all of this is my anxiety.
I have a happy and healthy baby, a beautiful house, beautiful family, loving husband, and a great life. So why do I feel like such a bad mother? The answer is because I am a mother who is living with anxiety.
© 2017 Dana Abbott