Tuesday, August 10, 2010

These are my confessions ... Part I.

I had an off day today. Not quite a fat day. Not quite an ickky day, but the kind of day that made me feel close to tears a few times. Not sure what triggered it.

Being home from vacation? Possibly. Gaining a few pounds while away? Likely. Wishing I could do more for my daughter on a daily basis? Surely.


Some days it sucks being me. Some days it's amazing.

I look at my daughter's face and feel overwhelmed that I created this beauty. That sounds so cliched, but you know what I mean if you're a parent. She lights up and my mood changes instantly. But I hate the anxiety, the nerves, the moods I sometimes experience throughout the day that shift on and off and turn things for her.

Some days I have little patience. Others I am able to shrug off nearly everything. Am I sending her mixed signals? Am I confusing her poor little self? Am I completely out of my mind?

Many of these characteristics I experience on a daily basis (or whenever they feel like surfacing) stem from my postpartum anxiety experience. Although for me it started during pregnancy. And certainly deepened after giving birth. My moods switched a bit, but I never fully classify myself as someone with postpartum depression, as my anxiety was much more intense. I feel like I'm holding my breath as I write this. I know what it will feel like to click publish, a mix of relief and anxiety all rolled into one.

I hate what my anxious self brings to the table for my beautiful little girl. I hate that some parts of my anxiety (which is not PPA related in this example) leaves me home-bound, as I do not drive. What sort of things am I cheating her out of because of that? So many, I am sure. I go through days when I wallow in self-pity, feeling like a total shit because I am literally a STAY AT HOME MOM. I never leave. We go for walks, we have people come over for playdates, but I'm home. ALL. THE. TIME. It's so unfair to her. It's not quite cool for me, either, but I hate what it's like for my baby. Sigh.

Anyway, I know I need to do something about it, and perhaps this is yet another "first step" at moving in the right direction. Putting it out there and sharing with you all, my friends, acquaintances, passers-by, so you know, that if you, too, have been through this, you are most definitely not alone. And so you know that someone else out there has the courage to share these words.

It's ballsy of me, isn't it? To just throw it on out there like this? Well, I had initially thought I'd start off a week of confession posts for myself. And I may still do so, but I figured Wednesday [or Tuesday night] is as good a day to start as any, since I am Pouring My Heart Out, anyway (Thanks, Shell!).

So take a minute or two. Reflect if you wish. Go say hi to Shell and everyone else opening up for you today. Or not. But let me know you stopped by if you'd like. I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Hello Andrea!

    I'm a SAHM too, I'm at home ALL THE TIME too! But I keep myself busy with blogging (when my boy naps and sleeps at night), Facebook, listening to music, reading, etc.

    I try to go along whenever I know hubby is out meeting his clients - just hitched a ride and go for a short/brief walks with my boy.

    Btw, thanks for the wonderful compliment on my WW picture! Have a lovely Wednesday as well! :D

  2. Oh yes, I know that love.

    When I'm feeling depressed, we tend to stay at home. Not all the time, but if I'm really feeling overwhelmed, the only place we are going is the backyard.

  3. I have no idea what post partum anxiety is like, I've never had kids and most likely never will. I do however have an anxiety disorder and several phobias that "get me spun up" as I like to put it. The feeling you're describing sounds very familiar. Know that it will pass.

    When I get into those moods, slumps, whatever you want to call it, I try to refocus on something that takes my full attention. Like baking or organizing photos or calling a friend. Don't sort laundry or do anything similar, it still lets you think about other things.

    I had a full on anxiety attack in the middle of a grocery store the other day. So my methods don't always work out but it was the first one in at least a year.

    Just thought I would share, maybe it will help!

  4. I'm a SAH-ALL-THE-TIME-M too. It is depressing, and sad. We only have one vehicle and my husband has to drive it all day for work, so there isn't really any choice right now.

    We are in the planning stages of some life changes that might mean me working...and driving to work in a big city. I'm scared about that. I grew up in a small town and I'm just not sure I'm ready for big city freeway driving. (and this is the first time I have admitted that to anyone other than myself)

  5. I wish we lived closer...I mean, compared to the rest of the blog world, we're practically neighbors, but not close enough for me to come drag you out of the house.HMM, maybe we should finally exchange phone numbers so you can at least call when you are having an off day :)

    In all seriousness, you ARE brave for sharing and I think you are right, it is a first step. And if nothing else, you are letting someone else know that they are not alone.

  6. Sorry for the rough day. The thing is, mom guilt is there no matter what. Even if you drove her to fabulous outings every single day (makes me tired just typing that), if you're like me you'd figure out some other area to have guilt over. ;-) You're doing a great job, Andrea, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not a requirement to drive to qualify for really awesome mom-ness.

  7. I can totally relate to being home ALL.THE.TIME! UGH!! I go through that too but we do get out once a week for Story Time and try to take walks a little.
    Don't worry about the other thing Andrea. You are a great mom and doing a wonderful job!!

  8. Hey hon, I know exactly how you feel! I am truly a SAHM mom as well, because guess what, I don't drive! It really is isolating sometimes! But, I have also been on the other side, I worked for 15 years in daycare before leaving 3 years ago to be home with my kids. I would never go back to that! It's not easy, but so worth it!

    You are an awesome mom! (((hugs)))

  9. Andrea, I can relate to the issue of mood changes from postpartum. Remember that it's more how you're seeing things than how she is. She sees spending time with Mom as a great thing, having people over & going for walks as an adventure. Try not to be so hard on yourself while you are working through this, & work toward breaking down the anxiety day by day. And don't forget that posting this is a HUGE thing. You're showing anxiety that it doesn't own you, you are bigger than it!

  10. I'll come drag you out of the house sometime! Once C gets back into school in a few weeks, it will just be me and M twice a week, looking for things to do. I'm sure the girls will have fun playing together again. And you can enjoy a change of scenery. :-)

  11. I was the same way when my kids were younger. Hang in there!

  12. Man, truer words were never written. Thanks for such an honest post.

  13. I am a WAHM so basically I am a SAHM with "work" attached to it since I do not have a Nanny or care giver to assist me and the kids - I do the "work" when they are sleeping - so I TOTALLY GET YOU in this post!

    Hang in there mama, you are NOT alone!


  14. When I'm overwhelmed I tend to stay off to myself as well. Just want to focus on what is going on. Great post.

  15. Oh, I know how you feel! I freak out with stressful situations. I hate driving in the rain. Or in the dark. Especially with my children.

    I also have severe anxiety when I got into crowded places alone (alone = the only adult), but I've gotten better over the years. I never actually went shopping alone until I was 19 and my daughter was 3. I didn't get my drivers license until I was 18. Social anxiety - world anxiety is a beast in itself and separate from depression, though they can go hand in hand.

    Use your daughter as a reason to overcome your anxieties and get out of the house. I still struggle with taking my kids somewhere alone, but I make a conscious decision to do it and tell them about it so I know I'll follow through :)

    You have a great blogging support system! We'll talk you through it!! good luck

  16. Anxiety is a terrible thing, when it has control. It's good that you are recognizing it because that is the first step to overcoming it. I use the term overcoming extremely loosely though. Some people overcome it, others learn to live with it, others learn to adjust it. I think all of these things are fine, you have to do what's best for you!!!

  17. I'm not a mother but because I have a 7 year old sister and I'm 21 I feel like I might as well be!

    I do sit back and reflect over how amazing she is and there are so many times where I, like you, have flaws, whether it's being impatient, not following through, or being a little angry. It's hard not to hold that guilt that I later feel over my head, but at the end of the day I constantly remind myself that I'm my toughest critic...no matter what it's about!!

  18. This was a courageous post. Thank you for sharing it.

    I hope you find the resolution you are looking for and peace of mind in the mean time.

    Stopping by from Pour Your Heart Out.


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