I really LOATHE when people just assume that being a mom and all things momming are my entire life. I do have a life outside of (7) kids. Life did not stop when I became a mom. But…at one point it kinda did and guess what? Anxiety, depression and motherhood don’t mesh well together. I can not stress enough to other mamas to take care of your mental health.
It is a struggle being whole to everyone else when you are not whole for yourself. Recently the panic attacks have been happening a little more often than what I would like (hence the silence on the blog a little), this is partly from my whole experience of my babes being in the NICU and worrying about things. No one tells you that certain things related to the NICU don’t stop once the baby graduates out of it. Did they burp enough? Are they getting too comfy while they eat? Can I switch from preemie nipples now? Are the bottles sterile enough? the list goes on and on. This time around a lot of things are purely baby led and it’s pretty cool just requires patience.
I have found a few things that seem to work great for managing my anxiety and depression. I have also been sharing these things with people who reach out for advice who have the same condition. I have taken pieces of advice from them as well. I have a set plan for management, but like with any routine such as hair care, skin care, diets, etc you have to switch it up after a while. You get immune to it. I have had to have a few mommy time outs when the kids are being complete turds behavior wise, the house is a mess, I am exhausted because of Twin A’s crazy sleep patterns and My Beau’s work schedule. A mommy time out is where I remove myself from the parental atmosphere to clear my head and take a breather. I strap the twins in their rockers, put up the baby gates and tell the oldest two I am stepping outside for a sec and keep an eye on things. It is recharging and refocusing.
During one of my moments, I had what I affectionately call my “2007 Britney Spears moment” and I cut off my hair
I did this last month (August). I wanted a new “identity” I wanted a fresh start so to speak. Okay so it wasn’t that drastic, but still you get the point.
I usually sit on our back porch (until a spawn of Satan aka a bug) tries to be friends then it’s back in the house I go. If it is at night, I have the oldest watch the babies and I run a nice Epsom salt bath or take a shower. The times where I feel a panic attack coming on, I have to redirect my attention to something else. I grab a snack or play a word game on my phone. My Beau purchased me a Cricut Explore Air 2 for my birthday, so this has really been great for me so far. It gives me something else to do. I have found some of the craft making to be somewhat therapeutic.
I have been transforming my nervous energy into being productive instead of just sulking. However, I am not going to lie… sometimes I get frustrated and want to throw shxt. I don’t know if you believe in zodiac related shxt, but I do. I am a Virgo. We tend to be perfectionist. It is a blessing and a curse. I really had to learn over time that perfect is not ideal. I like being okay and well. I guess the best way to describe my anxiety and depression is I am predictable in my own unpredictability. I like the direction I am headed and I am excited about all of the great things that are happening and this new journey I am on since I turned 30. If you love life, it will love you back.
Taking time away from motherhood doesn’t make you a bad mom. Taking charge of your mental health is one of the most selfless selfish things I think a person can do. Growth doesn’t happen without provocations. Never forget that.