I actually got an automated email last week that called my 2 1/2 year old toddler “Your 131 week old.” What? That makes him sound really old! And it makes me feel like it has been a long time since he was born and so can I really call what I’m battling through right now Postpartum Anxiety?
It certainly feels appropriate to me because I’m sure the birth of my son served as a trigger for that which has rolled into a mammoth-sized snowball of crazy that I am experiencing today. Let me paint you a picture: My toddler has gone to bed and my 11 year old daughter walks through the front door. I am standing in the middle of the kitchen: Knees bent. Holding a racket. Eyes darting from ceiling to floor to window to sink. “Shut the door,” I urge. She must think I’m training for Wimbledon, but sadly she knows I’m not that athletic. And she knows I’m bat-shit crazy obsessed with swatting every flying creature in my house with my electric swatter. It’s my personal holy war again mosquitoes. More specifically West Nile Virus. It actually pains me to type those words. The fear is REAL. A year ago I read about it on a neighborhood post and when I found out I could transfer it through breastmilk and the laundry list of dangers it presented, it froze me in my tracks. My war began. I started constantly checking myself and my kids for bites. I would look at the other parents who sent their kids to volleyball practice in shorts and think that THEY WERE THE CRAZY ONES. Protecting my kids from this invisible threat took over my mind. Should I use chemically sprays on them? IN our house?! What’s the best trap? How many essetial oils can I combine to 100% guarantee that we won’t get bit? I could no longer relax and be present with my kids. My mind was always scheming about how to best protect them. And I talk about this as if it was in the past, but of course again this year the warnings come out again and the obsessive thoughts and behaviors begin again. And it’s not just WNV (it somehow feels better to refer to it by initials), it’s so much else.
Once the weather cools and this threat has passed, I’ll obsess over the flu. Do I get my kids the flu shot? It would certainly put my mind at ease…. BUT have you read all the stuff people are putting out there about the dangers of vaccines? Mom guilt is REAL! I obsess over making every right choice to protect my kids and I have .this constant fear that I’m going to majorly mess up and lose them as a result.
And I wonder: am I the only one with this crazy worry and fear? Please tell me I’m not!
Either way, I’m a problem solver and I am not going to let this fear control me and rob me of the joy of being a mother, It’s really the biggest joy of my life. And it would be such a tragedy if I missed it. I’m on a mission to move this energy and stop this battle. I don’t want to battle this life. I want to flow with it. This is my story.
I am going back to therapy. I am meditating and practicing kundalini yoga daily. Today I am going to have a reiki session. I’ll keep you posted.