Why is it that when a new mom worries we like to tell her platitudes of “it gets easier with time”, or “enjoy them while they are little it goes too fast”?
When a new mom expresses a worry, it doesn’t seem to matter if it is a valid one or not (and they are all valid in my mind). We like to brush it off.
But when a new mom is postpartum we like to tell them all the things about postpartum depression to watch out for…
Are you sad and blue? it’s the baby blues, you’ll get over it in a day or two… <—— I’ve heard that from my Midwife.
“Just let the emotions happen, they’ll go away after”
Yeah, there are not enough raised eyebrow GIF’s in the world to show my sarcastic non-belief in that statement, which I also heard days after giving birth and expressing my worry over something I was struggling with.
And my experience is not something unique, as sad as that is.
These days Postpartum Depression is getting a lot more recognition for the impact it has on new mom’s and their life. And it should, I don’t want to belittle that or deniy them the help they deserve to get through a verry rough and challenging (to say the least) experience.
But lets stop telling mom’s that anxiety and worrying are NORMAL! (I hate that word)
Because if we are being honest, yes, we all have some worry. But when it starts impacting your life to the point you think you’re going nuts and you can’t really function it’s a problem.
Even the little worries that new moms are likely to experience are not something that should be brushed off. NO, it needs to stop.
IT’S OK TO NOT BE OK
is something we tell women all the time. WHY? because we are looking at things like postpartum depression and pshycosis, but we don’t really look at things like worry and how they can affect our life just as much as PPD
If I’m so worried about my son’s safety that I check the doorknobs and locks in the house 3 times before bed, to make sure that all the doors are locked.
The bathroom door closed (cause he might drown in the toilet).
That the rails on the bed are up and secured (I mean the crib has been assembled for months and not fallen apart but tonight it might do it and collapse on him while he sleeps).
Before I can even think about going to sleep, we have a problem.
Then add in the frequent wake ups at night just to make sure baby is still breathing, because maybe baby has decided to stop breathing… SIDS is real. And you can end up with one heck of a frazzled mother.
But people don’t see that, they see how you respond to baby’s needs so quickly. Something you might do because you are worried they will report you for negligence and have your baby taken away.
You smile, even at your partner, and express how amazing this baby is. Becuase it’s expected that you be on cloud 9 at this stage, even though you don’t feel like it.
You tell people all the great and wonderful things happening in life. Even though you sit at home, crying your eyes out because you are stressed and tiered.
You don’t sleep enough, not because the baby wakes you. But because you keep waking the baby.
And it doesn’t always get better with time.
It can be just an awful cycle that pulls your heart in two, you want so bad to be the happy mom that will be everything baby needs. Yet in your head, all the things that could happen to them are a constant barrage of pain and suffering you have no idea how to stop.
When you reach out for help, it’s embarasing in the first place. People think you are doing so well. So to ask makes it feel like you are letting them down.
Then when they ask what is really going on (if they believe you want help) you get platitudes that boil down to “just stop worrying”. which if you could have done it by now you would have. Am I right?
And if you get that one person who belives you through it all and legit doesn’t make you feel worse about it, when they read the information out there they can’t find anything that fits with what you’re going through…
Becuase you are not necessarily depressed, and pshycosis is even more rare.
Which means when we deal with Postpartum Anxiety, we are often seen as “not as bad as” Postpartum Depression.
And sometimes we have both Anxiety and Depression.
But what I’m sick and tiered of hearing is “all mom’s worry”
First off worry and Anxiety are not the same thing!
Second, if it is impacting how you live your life then you too need some support. And it shouldn’t be brushed off as part of being a new mom.
Third, I know in the past if you had a worry or freak out moment as a new mom many would go have a cry and then get back to life as usual. I’ve talked to my Grandma about this a few times and what she experienced.
And you know there could very well be some people out there who are able to do that now a day too. But the point I’m trying to make is that we shouldn’t have to.
So much is focused around being healthy in Mind, Body and Soul these days, yet we leave whole chunks of our health behind because it just isn’t fitting the deffinition people around us need to see.
So yeah, Postpartum Anxiety, it’s real and it can mess with your head. It’s different from Postpartum Depression. And you can be dealing with both at the same time.
They both suck,
You shouldn’t have to deal with either of them alone.
No one should.
But how the heck can we tell if we are having “normal” (I really hate this word) new mom worries, or are we dealing with Postpartum Anxiety?