I’m back! I took a year out to grow a life and bring my daughter into the world. Pregnancy is not easy for me and takes all my energy and focus to keep it together. The past year has had many challenges and I can’t wait to post about them.
Today I wanted to share something I have been working on very hard the past 6 months. Since having my 3rd child I have experienced anxiety and rage like never before. The slightest thing will trigger me and I will yell at those i love the most. I have very little patience and find it hard to socialize in large groups. Turns out that a 3rd child was my breaking point. Back in September I decided to get help. I found a therapist and a psychiatrist and got myself evaluated. I was afraid that I was suffering from postpartum depression. Turns out I was experiencing postpartum anxiety. I meet with a therapist once a fortnight and we talk about everything. I never realized how much this would help. To have someone who is impartial listen and help me navigate my thoughts and feelings has helped alleviate a lot of the anxiety and rage I was experiencing.
I figured out that one of the main reasons why I was experiencing so much anxiety and rage is because for the past 9 years (since I fist became a mom) I have been neglecting myself. I have been putting my needs last and those of my family first. Many of you may be thinking that sounds normal. That sounds like what happens when you become a parent. Well, that is what I used to think too. I believed that being a good mother meant looking after my child first and then attending to my needs. That my time needed to be utilized to look after my children and ensure they had the best childhood possible.
At meal times, I feed them first and then after everyone has all they need then I feed myself. Sometimes things get so chaotic that I forget to eat. When I first wake up I serve them in what ever way is needed sometimes not even allowing myself to go to the bathroom first. My free time is not really free time at all because it all gets invested in playing them, serving them, caring for them.
I accidentally became a mother. I hadn’t intended for it to happen to me so young. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I felt unprepared. I was inadequate. I had life growing inside of me and I didn’t know the first thing about being a mother. I decided that the best way to ensure I didn’t ruin my child’s life was to do my very best to give them everything they needed to grow up strong, loved, protected and cared for. Over the years this turned into many great parenting accomplishments but it took a toll on my personal health.
Motherhood has left me clueless when it comes to looking after myself. Finally I have realized that just like they tell you on an airplane- first put your oxygen mask on before assisting others- I need to invest time in looking after myself. The sad thing is that I don’t know where to begin. After nearly a decade of neglect starting to put myself first has been tough. I chose an instrument. I chose to learn how to play the guitar. I get to do that for 30 min. once a week. In the past couple of months I have seen the difference it has made in my life. I feel less anxious, less agitated, less resentful and more fulfilled. I wish I could find more time to focus on myself and so I will. I will spend 2018 getting to know myself again. Trying new things, asking for what I need, forcing myself to take better care of myself will all be what I strive for this year.
Thank you to those that in the past year have shown my kindness, encouragement and complemented me. I find your words comforting and motivating. I also feel uplifted by your virtual kindness.
If you are someone that is very good at self-love and care please could you comment and share what you do to relax, unwind, explore, grown and look after your own mental health? I need inspiration.