Becoming a new mother is a very momentous event and one that includes significant changes to your body and your mind. After Giulia was born, along with feeling that I was hit by a Mack truck, I developed a lot of anxiety! As if the hormones weren’t bad enough! It was terrifying to experience these new feelings having never been an anxious person before. Would she wake up? Would she be hungry? Where would I feed her? Would she need a diaper change? Where could I change her diaper? Would our stroller fit at the restaurants or stores I was visiting, riding the subway during rush hour?! aarrrghhhh!! So stressful!! I also discovered that I am the mom who checks to see if my baby is breathing every time she falls asleep… how on earth have all the moms before me survived?! Some of my worries seemed silly and I started to wonder: am I the only mom who feels this way? Dear Lord, I hope not! And, I would honestly have to say that the first two months of my baby’s life, I had no idea what the hell I was doing! I felt like was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants and crossing my fingers she would survive another day!
This is where the “Fake it till you make it” idea comes into play. I forced myself to leave the house, even if it was only for a walk around the block. Doing this every day was crucial for my headspace, and I believe it was the most significant factor that helped me push through my anxiety. I had to keep facing the things that scared me the most.
One day I noticed that all of the things that worried me had slowly disappeared! Funny how that works:) And there is a light at the end of the tunnel; it’s called the 3-month mark when your baby officially transforms from a newborn to an infant. I had no idea that newborns and infants were so different! This was when life started to have structure again, both for Giulia and for me.
Another helpful factor for me was (and still is) having mom friends whose babies were 1 to 2 months older than Giulia. These women have been saviors for me! I am so grateful to have a heads-up from them about whats to come and how to deal with it.
What I have learned is that I am not alone. Other moms have anxiety, too; some are just better at “faking it” than others. 🙂 We all handle motherhood differently and are always trying our best. I found that getting outside and reaching out to other moms were helpful tools to get me through my anxious times. Please feel free to share your anxieties about being a new mom and/or helpful strategies that you have utilized to get you through those emotionally charged, difficult times. ?