The other day a friend asked me, “How are you taking care of your mental health while still being a mother?” Truth is, I have been utilizing every resource I can to try and fight it but it doesn’t always work.
I am a huge advocate of self care and alone time to rethink and relax, so I make a point to spend at least an hour per day in the bath watching tik toks or enjoying a meal by myself. I try to put on makeup a few times a week and get out of the house even if that means just a walk through the park or grocery shopping.
But unfortunately, there is no avoiding the overwhelming emotions powered by those pesky postpartum hormones.
I have been trying my best to allow myself to feel all the emotions and work towards understanding them. At times, the intense frustration and anxieties can be suffocating and I can’t help but wonder why I can’t just feel like how the other moms look.
I believe this is part of the problem, too. Moms are portrayed as happy and upbeat after welcoming their children into the world. They all look put together and so in love. It took an abundance of reading and talking to other moms to see that my feelings were more common than not- the shock, the disconnection, the fear.
Postpartum depression and anxiety can be different for each mother. I really misjudged the feelings that come with motherhood. I underestimated the constant anxieties of leaving my baby with his father or grandparents or the sleep deprivation from watching my baby’s breaths as he sleeps. I didn’t realize the severity of my PPA until I was crying louder than my baby after feeling like I wasn’t doing enough for my family.
I have to constantly remind myself that everything is going to be okay until I know I am okay. For now, I am practicing self care and routine as well as checking in with my doctor when things feel wrong.