The birth of instant anxiety…

I’ve always been a little bit of a worrier. I realized I wasn’t invincible before most kids my age, but it was after the birth of Owen that things really started to kick into high gear.

A new mom has a million things to worry over and stress about. I remember with Owen it was the constant worry of him getting enough milk. It was so important for me to breast feed but I never fully trusted my own body to provide for him. I remember so many of my new mom worries:

Is he getting enough to eat?

Is it dangerous to co-sleep?

Crib bumpers or not? (Who knew I wouldn’t need to worry about this because both of my babies hated the crib!)

Will he know I still love him when I return to work? (This one was/IS my biggest!)

I never realized how quickly the onset of a million different worries would fill my head. My pregnancy had been so easy and exciting that I never thought that his arrival or caring for a newborn would be anything other than dreamy. I wasn’t naïve- it was just something that I wanted for so long that I imagined every thought would be happiness and joy (even if exhausted), not necessarily doubts and fears.

Then I kind of hit my groove as a mom. It took a while but I felt confident in my decisions and cared less about what books or random people on Babycenter forums said.

Then when Hunter was born I was like “I’ve got this!” And I did! He nursed like a champ (and we’re still going!), we co-slept (in a very safe way) from day one so we never felt like sleep deprived zombies, and I was still able to care for Owen, who was 22 months. I do remember crying when he came home from the hospital though. We pushed to leave a day early so we could get home to Owen and as soon as we got there with a new baby and all our friends and family left, I felt overwhelmed. But it passed and we decided it would just take a little time figuring out our new normal.

Now Owen is almost 4 and Hunter will be 2 in two weeks (WHAAATT!) but a whole new set of fears have taken hold. When they were babies it was mainly “Oh my gosh- how will this baby survive? I don’t know what I’m doing!” Now it’s things like:

What if they get sick, like really sick?

What if I get sick, or Cory gets sick? Or what if something happens to us? Or what if something happens to them? (That one sends me over the edge yall!!)

Is it even safe to go out? To school? To church? To walk down the street? Should I tell them about violence? Should I shelter them as long as I can?

Am I selfish if I do anything I remotely enjoy?

Am I setting a good example? Of humble obedience to God? Of being compassionate? Of helping others? Of teaching them independence from me? (Another HUGEEE one I struggle with. Why would I ever want to encourage them not to need me? Insert mommy heart sad face here.)

I could write pages and pages about my fears- rational or otherwise- that now arise almost every day since having those two precious baby boys. Some days I wake up and I can stuff them down deep inside. This works for a couple weeks until I have to let it all out some way- crying, lashing out, shutting down. Some days I wake up and I don’t even know why I had those worries or fears and everything seems good! But then something can creep up- some thought that can literally make it hard to take the next breath. That feeling of dread that rattles your bones- that literally paralyzes you. Sometimes I can convince myself that these are normal mommy fears. And sometimes I’m willing to admit I have full blown anxiety. And some days I’m good at coping and some days I’m not. But everyday I’m working on realizing that I need to “Let Go and Let God”. I like to continuously tell myself whatever is meant to happen in my life is going to happen. He has already planned it for me…and planned it with a purpose. So I can spend my days worrying about what tomorrow brings OR I can spend them being so incredibly thankful and joyful for the moment I’m in right now!

It’s hard- I’m working on it….

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