The Anxiety of Motherhood
When I think about it I have always been a slightly anxious person, thinking on the 'what ifs', and worrying about the 'what could have beens'. But nothing, absolutely nothing comes close to the anxieties I have felt since becoming a Mother - actually since I learnt I was pregnant. Once the initial excitement and relief at actually falling pregnant had sunk in, in crept the worries - When is it safe to make the announcement? Will the baby be healthy? Am I in fact ready for this monumental, life-changing experience?
Then you worry about all the things you need to prepare and buy, setting up the nursery and packing your hospital bag. The closer you get to full term the more you count down the hours to meet this little creature, but you are also freaking out in the process. When will I go into labour? Will my waters break on their own? Will I be able to get to the hospital? Will I be able to deal with the excruciating pain of labour?............The list goes on.
The day arrives and you hold your child for the first time. The feeling is something of pure elation, exhaustion and excitement. You have some time spent in a haze of bliss and oxytocin - and then it happens again....Those feelings of anxiety - Why can't I breastfeed properly? Is the baby still hungry? Why are they vomiting so much? When will this baby ever sleep? What the f**k have we done???
Then your baby will get sick for the first time (as I have experienced this week), you will google the symptoms and that worry and stress creeps back in again as you picture the worst case scenario. We all know that when we are sick ourselves we consult 'doctor google' and are convinced we are dying. Anyway, I got a doctor to see Hunter this week, and then got a second opinion the next day anyway 'just to be sure' (you get my drift)
The fact is, I am 100% certain that these feelings of anxiety in regards to my child will never go away - I mean, imaginine that first night in 17 or 18 years time that he decides he is going out to a bar or club with his mates...I guarantee you I will be pacing the hallways until his safe return. Once we decide to be parents, we decide to live our lives with added stress and anxiety as we want nothing more to protect our children from any difficulties or danger. We will constantly worry if we are doing a good enough job or if we are measuring up - and I'm sure our kids will let us know either way.
NB: If you have ongoing feelings of anxiety or prolonged periods of sadness or depression make sure you talk to someone, or better still see you GP and have a chat.