Monday, February 5, 2018

Anxiety and Motherhood

So for all the mothers out there, do you have a love/hate relationship with video monitors? Or is it just me?  I am guessing I am not alone and to be honest, I wouldn’t trade mine for the world.  It gives me such peace of mind to see her cozy in her bed, safe and happy.  BUT man I look at it constantly and sometimes it leads me to not be present with the task I am doing.  Or I am consumed with her nap, feedings, diapers, etc.

I should give myself a “mom” break during nap times and I don’t.  My husband can so easily just turn the screen off and set the volume on so he can hear her and he is able to be more present.  Or he can just let her fuss it out for a bit in her crib.  Sometimes, (actually most times), I get jealous of that ability.

So I ask myself, “Why do I have a hard time?”  I believe there are many answers to that question.  One is anxiety and the “what if” questions that roll around in my brain.  My daughter is now 8.5 months old so I have been working on this for several months.  For all new mothers out there with a newborn, BELIEVE me it does get easier.  I used to not even be able to talk about anything besides her.

Here are a few tips I have learned along the way.

1. Give myself grace, I am learning a new job and it takes time.

2. She is new and is learning right alongside me.

3. For the “what if” questions, I have to force myself to slow down and ask what is the possibility vs. probability of my concerns occurring.  Sure a lot of things are possible but the probability of it happening is lower than my anxiety leads me to believe.

4. Ask those who have experienced it, and making sure those are people that you trust.

5. And for those you ask, you DON’T have to take all their advice.

Your answers might be different than mine but the best thing I found for myself was asking the question, “Why is it hard?”  Sometimes just giving mental space to think about the question and reflect can bring awareness.  And how I work with clients a lot of times is awareness first and then finding coping skills.  I just sometimes forget to do that myself.  Can anyone else out there relate?

So to Moms and Dads out there, you are doing great, give grace, and reflect.

Hannah Episcopo graduated from Trinity International University with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She enjoys working with individuals, couples and families. Hannah specializes in anxiety, depression, co-dependency, faith and self-esteem issues. Hannah’s work includes walking beside clients as they journey through self-exploration, understanding and healthy communication. She values helping clients identify their strengths and create positive coping skills to meet their goals. Hannah also has experience working with children and adolescents and often incorporates play therapy into sessions.    

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