Now that I am older I have realized that I have suffered from anxiety pretty much my whole life. When we’re little, I don’t think we are aware of why we act or feel a certain way within certain experiences/situations. In my case, dealing with anxiety now has made me aware of why I struggled in certain social and pressure filled situations growing up and I am able to now more then ever navigate my emotions through it, or at least try my best.
When it comes to motherhood, the pressure can be immense and the struggle is all to real, it’s a saying for a reason. (the struggle is real! yes it is.) I handle my anxiety much better now – probably because I am aware of it but also because I know I have these two little babes who depend on me and watch me, and that is all the motivation that I need. But bad days are inevitable and I have had to struggle from time to time in finding what keeps me calm and centered so I am able to continue being a hands on mom. These days nothing gives me more anxiety then my mom guilt! I’ve always had it – you know when you put on cartoons for your little to watch so you can get a coffee break in peace (oops) or when you get the grandparents to watch the baby so you and the hubby can have some free time. That mom guilt.
As of late though with a now crawling baby and a toddler always on the go, my mom guilt has turned into full fledged mom anxiety which leaves me feeling deflated, defeated and just plain done. When Mila was a newborn it was much easier to navigate their needs, their schedules were different enough that I could balance both babies and keep them both happy. But lately that is not the case, sometimes I feel like I’m playing catch up all day – spending time with Madison and then with Mila, keeping our home together and clean clothes on our backs, dinner on our table etc. – it all piles up in my head and before you know it I’m feeling overwhelmed with it all. Feeling like I’m not enough, not doing enough and not good enough. This has been a common feeling right now with the girls’ demands becoming intertwined, both needing me at the same time and maybe for differing reasons but it of course takes priority over everything else. Including myself and my sanity at times.
What about me? That is such a sin as a mom to ask but is it selfish of me to want a little healing time. To rest my tired mind and body. Sometimes after a week of momming hard, I’m left feeling so exhausted and drained – I need to recoup my physical energy and mental health. You know…a little self care. And I’m not just talking washing my hair or doing my nails which is a rare event lol. But stopping, taking a deep breath and enjoying a moment of comfort alone to reflect, take in my thoughts and feel pride in a job well done. There just isn’t time for that, but I’m making a goal in this new season to make self care a priority – and to work on the balance in our lives.
Now this is easier said then done, because when I do take moments for myself – like when hubby takes over or if they are with their grandparents, my mom guilt is back at 100. What if Madison is cranky – will they know how to soothe her? What if Mila is looking for me and see’s I’m not there? These are the crazy thoughts and feelings that keep me wanting to do it all, to show my girls I am and will always be here. So with this goal I’m taking a few healthy steps to rid (or at least diminish slightly) myself of my mom guilt so I can feel, be and think healthier not just for me or my husband but especially our babies.
Journals and blogging has been such a big help, releasing my concerns and fears and feelings of anxiety so I don’t suppress it is going to be a big relief for someone like me; who doesn’t always vocalize how she is feeling. I think sometimes I can’t find the words to describe how I am feeling, but once I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) it all seems to come out. So I thank you all who have invested some time in reading my thoughts, feelings, opinions etc. It means more then I can say!
Yoga and meditation was something I use to make time for before the birdies came. And while I dabble in an occasional stretch session when I have a free few minutes, I have been really trying to implement this into my bedtime/nighttime routine. LOL – yes I gave myself a bedtime routine just like the girls, it works for them I figured maybe I could use one too. lol. I have been sleeping just terribly as of late, Mila’s 12 month sleep regression has really been kicking my butt. I am still breastfeeding her to my surprise and so she still wakes up twice a night to feed, while fighting sleep into the night and still being an early bird. WTF? By 12 months Madison was sleeping through the night and not waking to feed, she also wasn’t breastfed this long so this is new territory for me which has been contributing hard to my mom anxiety and sleep deprivation as of late. So I’m just trying to hang in there and do my best! Isn’t it hilarious how our babies are all so different, just because you have one or more doesn’t mean you are a pro because it really is starting over every time. New experiences, new personalities, it is a learning process, habits are constantly forming or changing. So approaching Mila’s sleep now is totally new to me.
Along with night time stretching, I am trying to give myself a baby free bath or shower time, just me in the quiet of our bathroom and a lavender scented candle. I constantly have candles burning throughout the day, usually vanilla in the afternoons, zen at night and lavender before bed. It may sound a little crazy but the scent really helps set the mood. Anytime I feel anxious I light a candle and the scent fills the air in an attempt to change the energy, now this may not seem realistic to some but it really does work for me – especially that lavender in the bedroom, it’s amazing. There is a reason lavender is known for it’s calming properties and that is because it works.
So with this new season comes a change of sleep for Mila and hopefully a change of energy for me. It’s a process and I know I have to start somewhere. And while Mila’s sleep regression will run it’s course I know I need to take time to take care of myself so I can take care of them. I apologize for any grammatical/spelling errors or if none of this makes any sense – I’m really sleepy!! Lol
Do any of you mama’s feel the same, do you guys ever feel guilty or deal with anxiety? Are there any tried and true decompressing methods you use?
Wish me a good snooze!
Michelle and the minis xo