May is Mental Health Awareness Month so there was no better time for me to touch on my mental health journey with postpartum and anxiety. A lot of people do not understand mental health so they tend to steer away from educating themselves or ignore its an issue when someone admits of having that struggle, especially mothers.
How many of us heard that postpartum and anxiety is not a real or that comes with the terriority of being a mom? Well I am here to tell you, that is not true! Just because you are a mother does not mean you can not become overwhelmed or stress with the daily tasks. Single or in relationship mothers do take the bulk of any household duties while taking care of the kids and working full time jobs. It can be a lot.
I am always asked how I juggle day to day duties and make time for myself but I was not always like that. I struggled with postpartum for a year and half after having my son and was in complete denial. I was so obsessed and protective over my baby to the point I really didn't want to be bothered with other people, even his dad at times. I also became very stress of the unknowing, would I be a great mother, could I care for my child the way I should, how would I be able to provide? To add more fuel to that stress when I was on maternity leave I had been with my employer only four months so they did not pay me for the six weeks I was out. Yes the support from his father, family, and friends was available but I was so stubborn during that time, I was not the type to ask! I spent many days holding my son and just crying not really knowing what was wrong with me until I came across a mommy group on Facebook and someone was discussing her journey of postpartum and it sounded like what I was going through so I reached out to an therapist.
Therapy helped me understand my feelings, ways to release them, and allowed me to focus on other things when I felt myself going into that slump. While achieving this I developed severe anxiety. I don't think I had ever encountered anxiety prior to my son. It was so bad at times when my son was not feeling well, I would literally stay up all night looking over him, not eating myself, restless to the point I would make myself sick. This was not healthy and I knew a change had to be made.
Three years later, I have overcame this obstacle by just going with the flow of the universe. I get up every morning and pray, worship, and write. Its time well spent with God and also healing time for myself. I feel more relaxed and able to take on the days challenges when I start my mornings like that. Now to be completely transparent there are times I may oversleep and have to rush out to drop my son off and head to work, but on that drive to work I make that prayer time. When days seem long and overwhelming I go sit down. Mom, everything on your to do list may not get completed, its ok! That basket of laundry not going anywhere!
Thes best advice I can give is learn to set your tone for the day, learn your triggers, have sticky notes with affirmations, prepare a to do list, find a therapist! Don't let anyone tell you what you are feeling is not real! Mother's tend to forget how important their mental is, but we must be at our best state to raise these children properly. Do not let society dictate what a "mother" is or should be. Lastly, choose happy, you got this!