So, ok. This blog post title could not be more Debbie Downer if it tried but dangnamit, I’m writing it!
First things first –
GOING BACK TO WORK AFTER HAVING A KID IS HARD
Sh*t man. Like, how do people do this? Have a baby! They said. You can be a working mom! They said. Before I had Clara, I envisioned myself as one of those women who could easily make the transition. As one of those moms who could go away on fun-filled girls weekends after 4 months, baby-free. As one of those moms who could carry on exactly as before baby came along.
That kind of mom, I am not.
I am the mom who wakes up early, plucks up her still-asleep, warm and delicious (yes, delicious) little baby from her bed, wishing she could spend consecutive hours snoozing and snuggling with this little being that makes her heart LITERALLY sing. I am the mom who feels immense guilt when she gets home and realizes she has not seen her baby for 8 whole hours. I am the mom that cannot fathom leaving the baby overnight, that struggles with leaving for more than 4 hours, that misses the baby constantly, that feels like she is missing an limb when she is not with her.
I am THAT mom.
And mind you, I have no doubt that my baby is being cared for in the best way possible when we are apart. Everyone that watches Clara loves her so much, there are zero qualms about her safety or her needs not being met. It is allllll about me. My feelings. My guilt.
Currently I am working 5 consecutive, 7 hour days. There have been ups and downs. Easy days and hard days. Days where I love my situation, I feel contented in the time I get with my baby, my QT with David and E. But then there are days where I question IT ALL.
Why am I working? I am a terrible person. She is going to forget about me. Did I read to her at all yesterday? What is she doing right now? Am I talking to her enough? Does she love me?
This is the tape that plays in my head.
So that is where we’re at. Luckily, my job is continually amazing and allows flexibility when and where I need it. I will keep you all posted on the working-mom front but this stuff is no joke. WHO FEELS ME?
And speaking of tapes playing in my head…POSTPARTUM ANXIETY! Let’s talk about it.
This is a fairly new diagnosis in the medical community I recently learned, but to anyone who struggles with generalized anxiety it should be no surprise. Give someone with crippling anxiety a baby, and yeah, there’s a good chance that person will face a whole new set of issues. Namely, me. At my last appointment with my midwife, we chatted about it. She gave me a little survey to take and each question was just SO spot on for how I am feeling rn.
“Do you find yourself in a constant state of worry?” YAS. “Do you find situations you used to enjoy to no longer be fun?” YASSSS.
What am I doing to help myself? LOTS. One thing I learned long ago (esp when it comes to mental health) is that getting off my butt and taking steps to get help is SO worth it. When I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed – whatever – the absolute best thing to do is just call the damn doc. So, in the coming weeks I have lined up appointments with my doctor and therapist because I refuse to let PPA, PPD or anything else get the better of me. I’m open to adding a medication to the lineup and also working on things in therapy.
Anyone else experience PPD or PPA? How did you survive?
3 thoughts on “Returning to Work and Postpartum Anxiety”
Thank you for this honest and real post! I tried to return to work and failed…now I’m trying again…with a more flexible schedule!
PPA is hard as hell…but I have found a few mantras that really help me “everything is temporary” and “this will pass” help me when I’m beginning to spiral.
Best of luck to you!
I wish this country had better leave for new parents… I just saw something on the news the other day that in other parts of the world even parents adopting get months of paid leave when they’re first welcoming their child. I hope work gets better for you and that your mind can be at ease as well (: