Anxiety is a funny beast. Everyone tells you to stop looking around the corner for it but it’s like an itch, sometimes you just have to and there it is, waiting to be acknowledged. The tightness in the chest, the fluttering heart beat, the knotted up feeling; all sensations waiting to be experienced. Then the guessing games comes, “Well what am I anxious about”. For me it could be the fear of the postpartum anxiety coming back, or it could be facing the truth that I am genuinely worried about going back to the newborn stage and all of the unpredictability and zombie-like qualities that it brings with it. I
t’s funny, I know that if I hadn’t been able to conceive a third child or struggled in the process I would have spent many hours, if not days, lamenting about this gift I was ‘robbed’ of. I would have felt that family was incomplete; maybe going so far to notice all the families with 3 children as the new bar that I would never reach. Now here I am, a third boy in the works and all I can think of is how scared I am; like pit of the stomach fear. Maybe fear isn’t the right word, maybe it’s exhaustion. Not physical but mental and emotional exhaustion in just anticipating the drive that is going to be needed to make this all a reality. We have little ‘reserve’ right now raising the two boys; days are a blur of spills and laundry and meal-time struggles. Will there be capacity to expand our hands, our minds and our hearts to welcome this new little being?
Gratitude. It’s cliche and overused but at the end of the day it’s the only anchor we have. That is, to get out of our own anxious hamster wheel and realize that we are so fortunate to have what we have because the alternative would be outright devastating.
I have a lot of goals and aspirations, as all women do. I dream about writing more and speaking more and truly building a name for myself. Yet in between living these dreams I’m giving birth to what I know at the end of the day matters most, my family.
I think resentment is a horrible creature that likes to erode your heart when you feel most down. I know I have fallen into it’s grips, wanting to blame cooking and groceries and laundry for the reason I’m not pursuing my all. Perhaps there is no easy solution to all of this except to say, keep that spark alive of what you love outside of being a mom. We do need to accept and acknowledge that there is nothing wrong in having passions and interests outside of our children and that it’s ok to strive for something. Learning to ride the ebbs and flows of motherhood is also learning to kindle this flame whilst being present for those that need you.
I’ve tried outrunning anxiety; I know in the end it will just follow me. So in the mean time, this is my sanctity, this is my safe space where I can share with you just what is behind my racing heart and hope that in the process of writing I can catch my breathe again.