Since becoming a mom I've realized that I have a problem with pressure, stress & anxiety. Most of the time it isn't over anything huge, just something small & trivial, but it hits me none-the-less. After I had Cedar I noticed I became more fidgety, every once in a while I couldn't calm my nerves & picked up a few nervous habits that I still haven't been able to kick to this day. After having Milo I noticed the fidgety-ness left over from Cedar was weighing heavier on me, it felt more like a weight, a pressure. I started to pay attention when I got this feeling, to how it made me feel, what was happening leading up to it, how long it lasted etc. & I realized that what I thought was just nerves was actually stress that lead to anxiety. The worst part of it all is that it doesn't just last a few minutes or an hour, but the feeling can last up to a couple of days. I feel this intense weight & I cannot calm down because of it, it just rides with me until it passes.. I get it over the strangest things, like being 5 minutes late for something, or not leaving when we said we would, or people looking to me to make final decisions on whatever, leaving both kids for periods of time was also a big stress for me. The weights as so heavy on me that sometime I couldn't handle it, I would purposely try to avoid doing the things that made me feel this way but I knew I needed to learn to get over it because they all happened on the daily. I couldn't avoid not leaving my kids or not making any decisions forever & I definitely couldn't avoid being late every once in a while, especially with two kids.
I hated the way that this weight made me feel & I really didn't want it to take over my life, I didn't want to let it get to that level & I didn't want this weight to effect my life further. I wanted to feel better for myself & I wanted to feel better for my family so it wouldn't effect them. This went on for a while after Milo was born before I started to do something about it. Some things have easier to move past than others, My husband & my mom helped me a lot (probably without knowing) by agreeing to watch the boys when I would run small errands, I needed to force myself out without both of the boys to get used to it & it has really helped, now this isn't something I stress about at all. Other issues have been harder for me to push through but, I have found that making time for myself & getting in tune with myself again has been the biggest help. After having a baby you are still you, but slightly different. You have this extra person to care for, to worry about, to love which is a huge change alone, not to mention all the changes that come with your hormones getting a bit skewed. The same goes for when you have two babies, you're just a little different from who you were before. I needed to get acquainted with my new self, needed to learn how I can best deal with the things that cause me stress, things that never an effect me before (the fact that I get stress from being late is comical, I was the queen of showing up late pre babies), not just for my own well-being but for my family as well.
My first step in doing this was to spend time alone doing something just for me, Which has become working out. I really love to workout & to push myself but since I was so nervous leaving both the boys I put it off for longer than I would have liked. I would work out at home but what I really like to do are classes. I started to go to a Barre class last June or July & it has really helped me in so many ways, not only do I feel healthier working out, but I have more confidence & it gives me a full hour just to be with myself. Along with barre I made time to do yoga which has always been a favorite workout because it makes me feel very intune with myself. I started writing in my journal again which is one of the biggest helps & forms of relief for me, I've mentioned it before but journaling helps me to clear my head in a different way than anything else & helps me really put my thoughts & feeling into perspective. & as of recently I've started meditating.
When I was pregnant with Cedar I took a class on Buddhism where we started each class by meditating for 10 minutes. I really loved it & got into the habit & carried on doing it for probably the first year of Cedar's life, but somewhere along the way I did it less & less till I stopped completely. I've recently picked it back up & have been using the app Headspace to do it. I try & wake up early to start my day with meditation to clear my head before going on with my daily tasks. I've noticed that the days I start with meditation tend to run a bit smoother than when I do it before going to sleep. Most of the time I can feel my anxiety building & meditating has helped me in trying to talk myself down before it gets too heavy. I can't prevent it completely, but being able to lessen my anxiety at all is a gigantic help.
I don't want it to sound like I'm throwing myself a pity party, that's not what this is at all, it's therapeutic for me. This has been a struggle that I've gone through for the last year & a small weight that I have felt from it was keeping it in, for having a sense of shame for having this struggle. It has taken me a some time to realize I shouldn't feel ashamed of this trail, that no matter how small my struggle may seem to someone else, it is important to my life, to my family so it is important to work on it. I love this quote by Brene Brown: "What we don't need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human." It's impossible to ever know what someone else is fully going through & our judgements can make it that much harder, but who are we to judge? We are all human & all have struggles. It's easy to pass judgment on others, to wonder why they may feel the way they say they do when from an outsiders perspective their life looks perfect. We are all doing our best & it's important to remember that.