The past few weeks the pressures of motherhood have pushed me to my limit, I’ve been finding myself yelling at my kids (they don’t listen) and loosing my shit so often I can’t count. I took a moment yesterday and realised that I’m constantly holding my breath, it’s like I am waiting to exhale.
I started doing a bit of research on this and it is a classic hallmark of anxiety, I was reading an article by Psychology Today and it was saying that holding our breath is a classic sign of anxiety, it’s like we our bodies response when we feel stress or that we are under threat.
This is something that I find so contradictory as a mother. On one hand society tells us that we are connected to our children, we are at one with them and they are part of us, yet on the other hand our children have an innate ability to push us to the very edge, it’s like they are born knowing the buttons to press that will make us explode.
I know this is one of the triggers that turned me to increase my alcohol consumption in the first place, it was that constant anxiety that something was going to go wrong. It’s ironic, because I don’t consider myself a ‘worrier’ but I’m constantly on edge.
Last week was PANDA week in Australia, and there is starting to be a lot of awareness on the struggles of post natal depression in mothers but we seem to forget that mothers can still be depressed well past the post natal phase. The very act of being a mother of father is extremely stressful and there doesn’t seem to be alot of support out there for mothers of young children, adolescents or teenagers.
Since I’ve become a parent (and yes, I know I’ve only had 4 years experience of parenting), I’m finding that the older my children get, the more anxious and depressed I get. Yes, the newborn phase was a stressful phase, but when I look back on it, it was the change that was overwhelming, babies are fucking easy in comparison to children or teenagers for that matter.
As I am now aware that I am doing this, I am trying to put some strategies in place to help me with this. Clinically I am using valium to slow me down when I am super anxious, but I am also trying to ‘ground’ myself by going outside with my children and walking around barefoot. I’m also trying to declutter my environment to take away some of my anxiety. I’m also scheduling myself a night away from my family, just to escape and recalibrate myself. I will let you know how I go!