Lets talk about anxiety in motherhood
I have never really been much of anxious person. I could usually dust things off my shoulders with “Jesus is Lord” and stop worrying, but since becoming a mom giving my anxiety back to Jesus takes a lot more prayer.
It started day one. On our first full night at the hospital I somehow managed to get some sleep. I think I slept for over four hours. The second I woke up I felt horrible and all of the sudden the thought of someone walking in and taking my baby covered me in fear. The postpartum floor in the hospital was highly secured. Harmon even had a little alarm on his ankle that would go off and lock all entry and exit doors if he crossed a certain area, but I couldn’t help but imagine the worst.
Coming home did not necessarily make it better. Within minutes of walking into any room I would scope it out and think of a fire emergency exit plan. And not just think of one but could visualize myself doing it. I could visualize myself breaking through his nursery window with him in my arms to escape a fire. CRAZY. I know, but it’s real. It’s like my brain and instincts were rewired to protect my sweetest gift. Going through labor empowered me and made feel a little bit like Super Woman. So naturally I could see myself doing all kinds of crazy things to keep my baby safe.
I usually put Harmon down for a nap in his crib while I shower, but one day I let him sleep in his swing (in the living) while I showered and had no way to see him. Every sound I heard made me think someone was breaking in. I’d talk myself out it but with the next sound be convinced that someone was going to break in the house and walk out the front door with my baby. I had never experience worry like this before. In my mind I could see myself pleading with the robbers to leave my baby and take the T.V. The pain and the heartache were so real I could feel my body weakened. That’s when I realized how crippling anxiety could be.
I mean it is a constant thing all day long. The two seconds that it takes to get out of the front seat of the car and open the back door seem so long. I am scared to death to accidentally lock him in there or that in those two seconds the Texas heat will get to him. And every single time I tell myself that breaking the window is completely acceptable. Gosh I hope I don’t end up breaking it when it’s not needed. lol Even when we are strolling through the mall I make sure he is strapped in because it would stop someone from taking him. The examples can go on and on.
So, there has to be a balance between being Super Woman and trying to think and protect from every bad case scenario and letting that anxiety rule me. There is, it’s called prayer! If I had to sum up what God has taught me through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood is that GOD HEARS ME! He knows me. Now more than ever do I truly believe that God is in love with me. He loves me. He hears me. He remains faithful. And because I know that be true for me I can trust Him with my baby, His baby. After all God loves Harmon more than I could ever love him and that is saying a lot!! And to top it off God is the One with the all the power!
In taking my thoughts captive and handing them back to Jesus to extinguish I remind myself of three things and these are the scriptures that I pray over my weary heart.
Jesus is Lord
God loves Harmon
I can cast my anxiety on Him
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 25-34)
The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I felt pretty prepared going into motherhood, but I had no idea that anxiety was going to be part of it. I have shared these thoughts with friends and family and have discovered that I am not the only mom who has ever had these thoughts. It is important to talk about it so we don’t go crazy as mammas or believe that we are the only ones who think such things. I guess I can understand my mother’s worry for me. The Lord wired us to protect and love our little ones just as He does for us so let Him be the One to carry us through it.