It’s been six months and I still sneak into the nursery to make sure my baby is breathing if he sleeps for a really long stretch. When my fiancé isn’t home, I think of the ways I’d defend myself and protect my son if there was a break-in. If Jack’s nose is runny for too many consecutive days, I’ll scroll google for hours.
I can’t be the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
I’m learning that mommy anxiety is NO JOKE. It can be pretty much non-existent B.B. (before baby) and seem completely out of control and borderline crazy, but it’s absolutely NOT.
Apparently, hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the chemicals in your brain which can cause anxiety.
For me, it started during my pregnancy. I was terrified of falling down the steps and landing on my stomach, I refused to wear heels because baby > fashion and more often than not I’d refuse the occasional glass of wine even though my doctor said it was safe. If I had a stomachache, I was convinced it had something to do with the baby. When my legs weren’t swelling, I worried he wasn’t growing normally. It was something new everyday.
Mom’s can’t explain it, but it’s common. We are no longer solely concerned with the well-being of ourself, feeding ourself, or caring for just ourself. When a woman is pregnant, she is now feeding a growing fetus, drinking enough water for baby and mommy, resting to ensure she’s not overexerting herself which could potentially endanger baby, and moms are suddenly aware of everything. I MEAN EVERYTHING.
Music was suddenly too loud, cars were driving too fast, people were swearing too much, my dog was playing too rough.
It doesn’t necessarily stop when the baby is born. In fact, mine worsened. Now, I am terrified to drop my baby while walking down the stairs. Leaving to go to work is stressful. Cars are driving too close to our car — and still too fast! Dirty hands are touching my baby. What is this red mark? Someone coughed in the elevator with us. Is he gaining too much weight too fast? Does his poop look normal? Is he eating enough? Is he cold? Is his bedroom warm enough? Is he meeting milestones? Why is he crying? Why isn’t he crying? He hasn’t made a peep in 8 hours, IS THIS NORMAL?
The list goes on.
I started wondering why I have so much anxiety now — that I didn’t have B.B. I think it’s because moms are protectors. It’s what we do. Without hesitation, we put someone else’s needs before our own. We don’t need sleep, but our baby does. We can miss a meal, but baby can’t. We can skip a shower, but baby will get a bath.
They give, share, love, and nurture.
They rejoice in the happiness and security it brings baby.
Even if moments after baby falls asleep we are crying our eyes out and unsure why. Sometimes it’s just because the pressure of keeping another human alive is all it takes.
I used to be afraid to admit that I was anxious about so much, scared of the unknown, afraid of the should have, could have, would have. Now I realize this is common. It’s not just me. It’s a mom thing.
It’s NOT easy.
So I just want to say, cheers to all the moms in the world! We need to stick together!
Having a baby has truly opened my eyes to the power of moms — I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone who is called mom or has the role of protector.
Cue the emotions. Just call/text your mom and say thank you!