When Freddie was three/four months old I think I developed a mild case of Post-Natal Depression (Bad Days, Baby Blues & Being Honest). I want to write another post about that, partly because this is the first time I have actually written that down. Or said it really. For the last two months and a bit, since Freddie turned six months really, I have finally felt much more like myself again. Freddie and I have found a bit of a routine, he learns something new every day which is fascinating to watch and everything is just easier. But every now and then I am hit with a familiar wave of ‘Mumxiety’ and it takes me back to those feelings I had during that difficult time. Yesterday evening was one of those moments.
Freddie hit his head whilst performing one of his new tricks and I still haven’t fully forgiven myself for turning my back on him to run his bath. He cried. I cried. I was mortified and the guilt I felt was immense. I should have watched him. I should have put him somewhere he couldn’t have hurt himself. He was fine a minute or so after but then the worry set in. Would something happen to him while he slept? What if it bruised?
Once he was safely in bed, the floodgates opened and the worry poured out. Is it wrong that Freddie still breastfeeds so often? Is he too slim? Why doesn’t he have chubby rolls like other babies? Is he bored of his toys? Is his room too hot? Should I have lost more weight by now? Why is my washing pile always so big? What if he has food allergies that I’m not aware of? Why am I still so tired? What if he stops napping? Do I spend enough time playing with him? Should we do more classes? Why can’t I make more mum friends? Do people think I’m stuck up? Should Freddie have teeth by now?
I realise that some of those worries seem so trivial, and in the greater scheme of things they are. But in those moments when I am feeling anxious they suddenly become so important. Motherhood has made me much more confident in lots of ways. I don’t get embarrassed easily, I am more assertive and I trust my instincts above all else. In others ways, I am far more anxious. Going into new baby classes I worry about what the other mums will think of me. In groups where I am the only one breastfeeding I worry that they will think I view myself as better than them (I definitely don’t!). If I am feeding my baby a pouch whilst out and about I worry that people will judge me for not giving Freddie something homemade. If I order him something, will people think I am silly when half of it ends up on the floor? Is giving him ricecakes bad, should he be having fruit instead?
Being busy all the time means that often, my mind does not have a chance to mull over the worries inside my head and deal with them or put them aside. So today, while Freddie napped, I sat with a cup of tea and checked in with myself. And I decided that I can only do my best at the time. As Freddie learns to crawl and eventually walk, there will be other times he hurts himself. There will be many more times where I question my parenting choices. Many more times where I wonder if I am enough. All I can do, all any of us can do, is love our little ones fiercely, unconditionally and do our best. To them, we are their world. Nothing else is more important.
I am going to make more of an effort to take a few minutes each day to check in, to think about how I am truly feeling and what, if anything, I can do to feel better.
Have you ever felt this way? How do you deal with Mumxiety? I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading,