Enjoy every moment with your little one

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Dealing with Anxiety: A Professional’s Opinon

Dealing with Anxiety: A Professional’s Opinon

Momziety is the anxiety moms experience in their everyday life. It is a reality embedded in our genetics, but also fed by our society and way of life. In attempt to get a better grasp on anxiety in moms, I interviewed Jonathan Abramowitz, Ph.D, Professor […]

The Science Behind Pregnancy Brain

The Science Behind Pregnancy Brain

Has your brain been taken over by that tiny human in your belly? New research shows that pregnancy is altering your brain to an extent that is comparable to the changes you experienced in adolescence. Ever walked into a room and completely forgotten why you […]

5 Coping Skills for Dealing with Anxiety as a Mom

5 Coping Skills for Dealing with Anxiety as a Mom

I just checked on Noah, my six month old, for the third time in twenty minutes. I forgot to plug in the Owlet when I took it off at 6AM this morning. Mom fail. Yes, loss makes you crazy and I know I am not alone in this, but the anxiety is something fierce.

 

I feel like I am constantly on a merry-go-round of worries. I’m always turning at some low or high speed, worrying about something. At times, one trigger will push so hard I am whirling for hours, unable to sleep, sit, or breathe well.

 

I was ready and prepared for post-partum depression. But the anxiety… well, it’s surprised me a bit. Also startling to me, the emotion of anger. In Meredith Ethington’s article, “You’re your Anxiety Makes You an Angry Mom,” she hits the nail on the head describing the link of anxiety to anger. Anger has not been a struggle of mine until I had children. My husband may disagree, but I’ve never felt like it was difficult to control until recently.

 

Momziety is real. If you are experiencing the anxiety and worries that take over your mind, you are not alone.

 

I’d love to ask a mom whose kids have left the house how her anxiety is now. But, I have a particular answer I want to hear. Anxiety? What anxiety? It left a long time ago and never returned. I’m just looking forward to grandchildren.

 

I mean, I get it, that’s incredibly cheesy but it sounds SO NICE right now. Because my anxiety is a raging storm and I feel mean, moody, and short with the people I love.

 

Yesterday was a bad day. My sister called to chat and I wanted to destroy every happy thought coming from her mouth. Too much? Yeah, well, it’s true.

 

Love you, sis.

 

I confessed that I was moody (to which she replied, “I can tell”), and my anxiety was driving me crazy. Her response?

 

Take a shot (of alcohol).

 

We laughed, but she also made it clear there was no judgment if I did partake in that idea. Did I partake? I’ll leave that to your imagination. Maybe I did, and maybe I also ended up flying to Hawaii for the heck of it and had a margarita on the beach while my husband watched the baby. Maybe I’m still on that beach… writing about anxiety.

 

When I decided to write an article on momziety, I thought it would be good to journal about my experience with anxiety for a couple of days. Man, did it get real dark real fast. It’s been therapeutic, but nothing I will ever post for the public to read.

 

For those of you who don’t know, I lost my son in 2015. The trauma alone from that experience leaves me riddled with anxiety and… honestly, sometimes a darkness. If you have experienced a great loss in your life, you know what I mean.

 

Anxiety can make you question your sanity. Your thoughts can feel out of control and it may even be physically hard to restrain yourself, which does mean it’s a good time for kickboxing class. Let out all your emotion in a workout class. Watch out strangers, kickboxing is about to get real weird.

 

I think some women are startled by the power of anxiety and anger after they’ve had children, and really if we are being honest, even without having had children. Women deal with anger as well, but we just don’t talk about it very often. I think it’s hidden in our use of the word “bitch” sometimes. I’m in a bitchy mood is code for, watch out or I will lose it on you.

 

I have multiple friends express shame when they talk about the anger they deal with. We can comfortably talk about a lot of things, including scary details of birth, but anger is a shush subject.

 

Here are some scenarios I, or someone I know, have dealt with:

Losing control in a fight with your husband and you, the woman, get physical. (One woman broke her wrist hitting her husband because he was eating a candy bar. He barely reacted and was fine.)

You are play wrestling with your husband and it turns into physical rage.

You are holding the baby and have a dark thought.

You want to punch a hole through the wall.

You want to smash your car into something.

 

We are human. We have emotions and sometimes they get out of control. It’s important to talk about them and learn to control the emotions as well as cope with the emotions.

 

Triggers like sleep deprivation, constant noises, and an introduction to new stressors (having a baby), can set off emotions like anxiety and anger to a level you might not have experienced before.

 

Do not feel alone in this. If you are experiencing crippling anxiety, depression, or anger, please contact your doctor. If you are unsure, call someone you trust and ask them. I have my husband and a good friend that are on call for me in that department. If they tell me I need to go see a doctor, I cannot question it and I’ll go. It’s my safety net.

 

While researching anxiety in moms, I came across a 2013 interview in American Baby magazine. According to Jonathan Abramowitz, Ph.D., director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at The University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, postpartum anxiety is the “hidden disorder” because moms have difficulty recognizing the symptoms. Abramowitz even claims it’s more common than postpartum depression, but they do often run hand in hand. “If you’re anxious and it’s getting in the way of your life, you may begin to feel depressed about that and vice versa,” Abramowitz says.

 

Next week I will be interviewing Abramowitz about anxiety. Stay tuned for an article with this interview. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns to be addressed. I would love to hear from you.

 

As moms, we constantly think about the children and we are wired to do this. Are they safe? Are they happy? Are they getting enough to eat? Are they getting enough sleep?

 

Part of the anxiety is natural; however it can become overpowering. We lose sight of dealing with our own needs. It’s a tendency to think it’s natural and normal to be experiencing anxiety, when really your personal anxiety is debilitating or negatively affecting your everyday life.

 

I do not want to be an anxious mom. I do not want to be an angry mom. I also cannot want myself into another person. I am anxious and it does lead to anger sometimes, but I need helpful coping skills.

 

When searching for the coping skills, I came across this article on ways to cope with anxiety by Robert Leahy, Ph.D. I do not think all of them are healthy for moms who have experienced loss. So, here are five helpful coping skills, abbreviated from Dr. Leahy, to work on that are appropriate for us. I hope to add more when I interview Dr. Abramowitz in the near future!

 

5 Coping Skills for Dealing with Anxiety

 

1) Don’t Fight the Crazy. Thoughts may come that make you think you are insane or that you will do something terrible. Dr. Leahy’s examples are, I’m attracted to him. Will I have an affair? Another example from my mom was her brief thought of dropping my sister out of the window as a baby. She imagined her gently landing on the grass, but relief from the crying was the goal. Every now and then a little “crazy” is going to jump out of your mind. It happens to everyone. Leahy says, “Instead of judging yours, describe it to yourself like it’s a curious object on a shelf and move on.”

2) Plan “worry time.” Worries sneak in and demand your attention any time they want. Dr. Leahy advises you tell them to wait. Set up 20 minutes every day just for your worries. Address them one at a time, like a mom boss, and then let that time END. If a worry comes unannounced, write it down to deal with it at your 20 minute worry session later.

3) Surrender to the Moment. When you worry is rolling on instant replay of the dumb joke you made or you are constantly checking in on the weather for bubba’s birthday, put down the phone. We like to obsess over things that we have NO control over. Leahy says, “When you desperately try to take command of things that can’t be controlled, you’re like the swimmer who panics and slaps at the water, screaming. It gets you nowhere. Instead, imagine that you are floating along on the water with your arms spread out, looking up to the sky. It’s a paradox, but when you surrender to the moment, you actually feel far more in control.”

4) Breathe it out. Do you every find yourself holding your breath? After a loss, moms typically report that it’s difficult to breath. Anxiety plays a major roll in this feeling as well! Leahy states that focusing on breathing is an effective tool for calming your nerves. Focus on your breathing (yoga has helped me with this). If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. In and out.

5) Don’t let your worries stop you from living your life. Worries and anxiety come and go. It will pass. Don’t let the worries get in the way of enjoying your family. It’s a good time to talk to a friend or doctor if it feels out of control. Trust yourself.

9 Habits of a Successful Mom Boss

9 Habits of a Successful Mom Boss

The demands of being a mom are endless. It is a wild, beautiful, torturous existence. Let’s be real this whole mom thing can be a mind game. Am I doing this right? Is he supposed to do that? My baby is super advanced. Wait… huh, […]

Welcome to Comfy Cozy Perfect

Welcome to Comfy Cozy Perfect

Becoming a parent is no small feat. Pregnancy is one tough, beautiful battle that ends with the most precious gift you could ever receive. If this is your first child, hold on tight because you are in for one WILD ride. If it’s your second, […]


Capturing the moment

Welcome to Comfy Cozy Perfect

Welcome to Comfy Cozy Perfect

Becoming a parent is no small feat. Pregnancy is one tough, beautiful battle that ends with the most precious gift you could ever receive. If this is your first child, hold on tight because you are in for one WILD ride. If it’s your second, third, fourth, or so on (wow, that’s a lot of babies), then you have a bit of any idea of how “out of this world” the experience will be.

Once your baby enters this world, there is nothing cuter or more worthy of your attention than his or her precious little face. My hope is to share tips and ideas for us to enjoy every moment possible and create memories that we can cling to for the rest of our lives.

Why?

Of course, why not? We are only raising the most perfectly awesome babies in the world (by the way my baby is cuter than yours #sorrynotsorry).

Being a mom is tough. It should not be done alone. Let’s have a little fun, make memories, and share the ride together.

I have a store online where I sell baby goods to help me work from home. I was struggling to find ideas on how to be happy staying at home, and for me, that means I need to be writing and sharing stories. What better way than to create a space online to share stories, write, and research tips on how to document these special life-giving moments with our little ones.

I am excited for this adventure and cannot wait to share memories with you!