I hope you read this and go- what the? Gosh I can’t imagine going through that…
But if you are reading this because you’re feeling anxious, out of control, not like yourself… this is to tell you YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And you will find your way back. I mean, being a mom is HARD. Rewarding and magical and amazing but HARD. And re-lent-less. I mean, if you had another boss who woke you up 8 times a night or screamed at you to wipe their booty you would quit.
However, this job is here to stay. Sorry no two weeks notice accepted.
But, the mommy meltdown is real. It can range from mild to massive. It can be while pregnant or when you have kids – there is no timeline. Feeling alone and not like yourself makes handling with little things into big things. Call it postpartum depression, the baby blues, whatever…
I would know, I’ve been in that dark little hole. From running our local moms group of over 6,000 ladies I cannot tell you how many messages I’ve gotten from moms I know well and those I don’t. “I don’t know what to do, I know I sound crazy but…”. “Can you recommend someone to talk to, I don’t think it’s postpartum because by baby is 10 months, but I’m having thoughts that are bad…”. I just had lunch today with THE friend, she’s always on time, hair done, kids matching (you know the one)… blah blah and she burst into tears saying she has such bad anxiety she is afraid to drive her kids.
Luckily in Palm Beach Mommas on Facebook our mom community comes to the rescue and I often share their message anonymously (and follow up with them) and our moms life them up offering helpful tips and encouragement. And the reminder that they are NOT alone.
So, now its your turn. Here are our top tips for getting back to feeling like your fabulous yourself. (We are not medical professionals, this is just what has worked for our MomTribe). If this seems overwhelming, pick one. Print this list and number them in the order you want to tackle them. Scratch some out that seem out of reach and try and work in one at a time. As soon as you start, you are already on your way to finding your way back. Is that making you feel better already? You got this Momma!
1. Call a therapist. Do calls with one if you need help ASAP or just can’t get there. Book one for nap time ASAP. Doulas of the Palm Beaches has a great list they can provide. Your OBGYN or midwife may have one they recommend. Dr. Susan Tinsley in Jupiter was a lifeline for me, doing calls when getting to the office seemed impossible. She’s a mom, she’s a wife, she gets it and gives you practical tools to put you back on track.
2. Let your spouse, mom, friend etc know that you need help. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of. You deserve it and if you need it they can’t read your mind(read that sentence again). Say these words “I have been struggling lately. I can’t explain all of it. If you could help me by doing this specific thing ‘the laundry, doing bath time, letting me sleep in on this specific day etc’… that would be very helpful.”
3. Talk to a doctor. Check your hormone levels. Your general practitioner or OBGYN/Midwife is a great place to start. If you get roadblocked there try a free call with Dr. Joel Rosen to see if he is a good fit for you. Dr. Michelle Masa in Jupiter is another great option.
4. What are you eating? Are you putting good food in that one amazing body you’ve got? Are you eating enough? Too much? Drinking enough water? Drinking too much alcohol?
5. Move that body of yours. If you need proof the Mayo Clinic has shown exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression so go shake it! Call and friend and go for a walk. Go swim in the ocean. Call Find a yoga studio or a gym – do their free trial and see if it works for you.
6. Get outside. Let mother nature shine her Vitamin D on your sweet precious skin, friend.
7. Think of something that makes you happy. Now – go do it. Painting? Learning how to use your camera? Visiting a friend? Rock climbing (FAU has a rock climbing gym) Go on now you got this.
8. Make a date night with your partner or a friend. Get dressed up (fancy underpinnings, clean hair and all) and go enjoy.
10. Choose an attitude of gratitude. Focus on what you can control and what lights your fire. Let the rest go.
11. Say no. It’s ok to not say yes to everything and spread yourself thin. If you can’t be room mom with joy in your heart, don’t be room mom. It might just not be your season for that and it’s 100% ok. Realize that if you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. What is that something else? You? Your family? Your health? Sleep? Sanity? Don’t apologize. You have full complete permission to just say no.
A wise friend told me when I was in the thick of it, that there would be a day where it would be easy. They would be potty trained and sleeping and eating just as you wish they would. They would carry their own little backpacks through the airport. And she was RIGHT. Enjoy those sweet spots. It might be hard again (hello – teenagers anyone?) but those times where you feel like you have hit your stride are your opportunities to lift others up. Keep your eyes out for that mom with tears in her eyes as her toddlers is rocking a tantrum. Listen for a friend hinting that she’s doing the “look perfect but inside I am hurting” dance. Put your arms around them, check in with them, hear them out.
Do you have other ideas? Let us know below.
We hope you know you are not alone and you are feeling better soon. Sending the biggest hug to wrap you up.