Personal Confession (please hold back judgement)….up until this past weekend, I tried to avoid taking my children to a sit down restaurant & even on a major shopping visit on my own or with my hubby.
I’ve done this for over 2 years now. Just the thought of it made my anxiety blow up. My hubby would take them on his own & tell me how awesome they were & how much fun it was.. I was happy they had that time together, but at the same time would think he’s such a better parent then me.. or I’d think of the worse case scenarios of how they’d act for me if I was to take them & my anxiety would take over my thoughts.
I remember trying to take them both to the store when they were probably 6 mths & 2.. it took everything out of me to actually get into store.. I only needed to pick up a handful of things.. you would have thought it be smooth sailing…got into the store & they both were going crazy & I had realized amongst the meltdown, I forgot my wallet in the car…I went straight back to car as fast as I could & went straight home & had my own meltdown. Every tried attempt seemed to push me over the edge & make me feel like a failed mom.
Since my second was born it took me I think over a year to feel comfortable, confident, and not have major anxiety being alone with them both for over an hour at one time. I can remember days that an hour alone with them would hit & my anxiety would inch higher & higher by the minute.
I used to tell myself I must suck as a mom. I must not have that natural mother instinct. I’m a terrible mom for not wanting to spend time with them alone or take them shopping or out to dinner. I didn’t understand why so many other moms & families could do it & made it look so easy…but why couldn’t I get the strength to??? Why did it always end in meltdowns for myself.
Over the summer I finally realized, since really working on myself & getting myself out of the high anxiety state I was in… I must have had super bad PPA worse then I admitted to the doctor.
I knew the signs.. I was educated on maternal mental health with my Family Institute- Sleep Consultant Certification. I knew what to look for…I was in denial… I was ashamed…I was embarrassed…I didn’t want to be judged…I didn’t admit the thoughts & feelings I was having to anyone.. not even my hubby.
Fast forward to this past weekend… I did it! I took my kids to a family friendly sit down restaurant for dinner…I took them house Reno shopping… were they perfectly behaved.. NO…were there stares & even a comment or two made by strangers… YES… my boys made strangers laugh & smile though…Did I try to enjoy myself & keep my anxiety at bay… YES…and it felt damn good…
I can finally now look back & not blame myself for not being able to do these things.. but see there is a reason I was feeling & still get bouts of feeling like this. 2.5 years I felt trapped.. I freed myself for the first time this weekend.