Is This Normal?
I told you recently how my spirit animal is a duck, but I’ve done some tremendous self-reflection since realizing this. I’ve always known I was this way but never equated it to being a duck until I was 32. That’s kind of nuts in retrospect.
I’m a mother of two young children, ages two and four, and life is busy. Being a mom is hard. Absolutely amazing, but so damn hard. That transition from no children, to one child, to two children, and then trying to figure out who the hell I was along the way has been a struggle! Like all moms, I let myself go in some ways because I was treading water and working as hard as possible to give everything I could to my babies, and stay afloat while doing so. I neglected myself along the way and that has been pretty damaging, if I’m being honest.
I guess I assumed my postpartum life was the new normal.
An Eye-Opening Revelation
My sister is someone I talk to often about life in general and I’m often her sounding board. Don’t get me wrong, I vent to her as well, but there are things I hadn’t even told myself yet…if that makes sense. I recently found the courage to tell her I’ve been feeling pretty shitty and it’s been for quite a long time now. I’m a happy person, I love to laugh, I enjoy being around people, but I’ve been in a funk and some of that has been far more forced than it should be.
Like I said, I talk to my sister about everything, and you know what? She had no idea. She wishes I had told her sooner but I hadn’t even admitted it to myself until recently, so I couldn’t have. We don’t live local to each other and if there were signs to see, she wouldn’t have seen them anyway. I’ve helped countless friends and family through hard times with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety (PPD/PPA), yet I wasn’t seeing the signs in myself. Nobody else was seeing them either because I was hiding it so well. I had it hidden so well that even I didn’t realize it – ummm, hello?…that’s a problem!
Where Do I Go From Here?
So what am I doing to address this? Well, I’m being more honest about it for starters. My anxiety about certain things is NOT normal but thankfully my husband accepts them for what they are and doesn’t pushback about it. We have a creek in our backyard that I refuse to take my children down to without him because water is such a huge trigger for me. Our creek isn’t deep…My kids can stand in and it goes to their mid calves…but nope. No water. Car seats? Oh boy, that’s a biggie. Letting my kids sleep in their own beds when my husband isn’t home for the evening – not going to happen.
But you know what? All of this is fixable. I’ve spent so much of my time being selfless that I’ve neglected myself. It’s been hard but I’m starting to make sure I have time away without my family, and I don’t allow myself to feel guilty about it anymore. My bucket has been low in terms of self-care, and you can’t give what you don’t have, so I’m making the change and taking care of me.
Is this something you relate to? If so, find me on Facebook because I’d love to connect with you!