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The Aftermath of Having a Baby

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Like many women, I’ve had some postpartum anxiety and sadness (I don’t want to say depression because I don’t think it’s ever gotten to that point) since having Finn. Nothing to be too concerned about, but it is something I finally came to terms with in December and am trying to deal with everyday.

Since realizing I’ve got these postpartum issues, I’ve been trying to figure out the triggers. Obviously my emotions and hormones have a lot to do with it, but there are definite things in my life that make it worse/better. Here are some of the things that give me the most anxiety:

  1. Running late
  2. Dirty house
  3. Lack of sleep
  4. Getting everything done in the day
  5. Finn screaming

I feel like figuring out those five biggest things was a really good step because I can now be aware of them (and let TJ know about it) and learn how to relieve the stress that comes with each.

  1. Running late: Prepare better and give myself a break! Wake up earlier, take my showers at night when the kids are asleep, plan out meals and activities ahead of time. And when all else fails, tell yourself, “It’s okay! So, you’re ten minutes late…. It’s fine.” One Sunday I was taking both kids to church by myself (TJ was already there early to pass the Sacrament) and we were running late. I found myself yelling, telling Eva to go faster, in tears because of how stressed out I was. Then I told myself, “It’s okay. You’re doing your best. At least you’re going to church. God sees your efforts.” It was such a huge relief. I just need to give myself a break sometimes. And the next week, get my church clothes and bag all ready to go so we are out the door earlier.
  2. Dirty house: Do a little each day and… give myself a break! I used to have one day a week where I did a deep clean. I spent hours working on it but those days are long gone. I can no longer spend four straight hours cleaning the house now that I have a newborn. So, I’ve got to do a little each day. I used to never ever leave dishes in the sink at night but now, if I have so many things to do like tending Finn, reading to Eva, getting my work done for my Dad, sometimes I’ve got to tell myself, “They’re just dishes. I can do them in the morning.” Why does that cause me so much anxiety? Why do I even have to tell myself that? I just need to give myself a break! Happy kids are more important than a clean house. BUT it does need to get done because I cannot live in a dirty house. I’m in no means a clean freak, but I definitely feel stressed when there’s clutter, dirty floors, or laundry to be done. I’m still trying to find a balance with this.
  3. Lack of sleep: Go to bed earlier, eat healthy, take naps. I love watching TV. That’s not a secret. At the end of the night, I just want to lay in bed and watch episode after episode of whatever series I’m currently binge watching. I also have it in my head that anything before midnight is too early to go to sleep. I’m just a night owl! But with a new baby, this is completely ridiculous. Go to bed, Katie! You’re nuts! I’ve also trying to eat healthier and drink more water (Thanks Danica for that resolution idea, instead of saying drink less diet coke, just drink more water!). I’m sure the more I do this, I’ll feel better and more awake each day!
  4. Getting everything done in the day: Make a to-do list. I’ve started making a to-list on my phone and it has been awesome! I write everything down, including just “take Eva to school” so at the end of the day, I can check lots of stuff off and feel like I really got a lot done! And then the things I didn’t get to that day, I can finish up the next. Scheduling my activities and meals ahead of time also has helped with this. I’m trying to waste less time and get things done like a boss! And on the days I’m tired (see number 3), give myself a break (see number 1 and 2).
  5. Finn Screaming: Hmmm…  Yeah this one is still a huge anxiety trigger for me. If I’m trying to get out the door on time, Finn is screaming in his car seat, and Eva is being a crazy four year old, I almost LOSE IT! Like 75% of the time I start to cry. You’d think I’d be used to his crying by now, but I’m not. I just want peace in my life, kids! I find myself shouting, “SERENITY NOW!” (Seinfeld, anyone?) It’s so hard sometimes, it’s worth it, but it’s hard. I think working on numbers 1-4 though should help number five because my life will be more organized and I’ll have more time to tend Finn and be happier when doing so. In the end, just lots of prayer and singing lots of hymns… those are the the two biggest ways to help me deal with this.

There you have it. My five biggest anxiety triggers right now and how I’m trying to deal with them. I haven’t written about my New Year’s Resolutions yet, but a lot of those are centered around these five things so I can be happier everyday and try to relieve stress in my life! Motherhood is a journey (and hormones are a major B), but it’s worth it. I know it is.

I’d love to hear your stories about your postpartum aftermath and how you’ve dealt with it! Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.

6 replies
  1. Danica
    Danica says:

    Waking up earlier has been such a game changer for me. Reese sleeps in pretty late so usually I do too! But then my day is started and focused on her. Lately I’ve been waking up just an hour earlier than her and I get SO MUCH DONE. Sleep, amen. To-do list, amen. Especially about putting EVERYTHING on it. Even errands and showers. I use wunderlist and love it. I’m trying to work out a daily cleaning schedule but it’s slow going. But hey you’re an amazing mom and I look up to you. Thanks for being a great example, soup snake.

    Reply
  2. Lelia
    Lelia says:

    Wearing Austen was HUGE for me! He was typically happy being worn and then I could get stuff done with BOTH hands! A vibrating bouncy seat was amazing too because I could get ready and he would be happy as a clam! But it wasn’t until he started rolling over until I felt like I was myself again. I’ll be honest. It took almost four months! But then he would be rolling, and happy, and I could do stuff without picking him up a million times! Bubble baths at night were also my sanity! When I would put him down for the night, I would hop in the bath and just have some me time! And when he was’t sleeping in his crib, I would pass him off to Alex and chill in a warm bath with Netflix! You’re incredible, you look amazing, and you’re doing a freaking fabulous job! Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing!

    Reply
  3. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    All I have to say is I know exactly how you feel! I agree with 90 percent t of what you said! It is so hard. So wonderful and precious and beautiful but hard.

    Reply
  4. Erin
    Erin says:

    Waking up early is sooo hard but it is magical! I get the house clean so that when my peeps wake up I can just play with them instead of cleaning, I’m actually happy to see them instead of being all groggy and tired when they wake up, and I can usually take a nap on the afternoon of I really am too tired. It’s amazing. I feel like just talking to Chris has made things better too. Like somehow just acknowledging the fact that you aren’t really yourself and that things are hard makes them a little easier. I also made a 30 things to do when I’m 30 list and that ha helped SO MUCH. Having goals and things to look forward to is a huge boost. Babies, man. This shiz is hard.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] again. I definitely think that’s true, heck, I wrote all about it a couple months ago in my anxiety triggers post. But then again, I also think at times that can lead us to settling. Being toooo easy on ourselves, […]

  2. […] best friend Katie’s post about postpartum aftermath. I’m still dealing with a lot of these, even a year later. Overall I think I adjusted fast […]

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