Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.
I get asked a lot in my private practice about common or normal motherhood worries versus motherhood anxiety. There’s definitely a fine line here, and it’s different for different moms. That being said, we often look at the client’s distress level around these worries, and if the distress level is heightened.
Also, are there any anxiety symptoms present like intrusive thoughts, rumination, feelings of panic, a lot of “what if” questions about the future, restlessness, trouble concentrating, etc.? And, are there any physical symptoms that may also be a sign of anxiety such as heart palpitations, digestive issues, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, etc.? (You first want to rule out any medical conditions with your doctor as they can show up very similarly to anxiety).
If you’re feeling like some of these symptoms fit for you, please reach out to a medical professional or therapist in your area for a mental health evaluation.
The following are examples of common worries during pregnancy, postpartum and throughout motherhood.
Common Pregnancy Worries:
- Is baby healthy?
- What type of mom will I be?
- How will baby change my relationship?
- Baby stuff is expensive!
- What will my postpartum body look like?
- Should I be a stay-at-home mom?
- Should I work outside of the home?
- Will the birth match my birth plan?
Common Postpartum Worries:
- How do I bond with baby?
- Should I bottle or breastfeed?
- Am I doing this right?
- How long until I feel back to myself?
- Will I ever sleep again?
- How do we navigate relationship changes?
- I can’t do it all- care for baby, work, take care of the house, etc.?
- What does this baby cry mean?
Common Motherhood Worries:
- Am I raising good kids?
- How to balance school and activities?
- How to support kids through homework struggles?
- How can we better balance work and home life?
- How to deal with relationship stresses?
- How to deal with stress from extended family?
- When do I fit in self-care?
- Where do I find time to see friends?
There are lots of life stressors at each of these stages! And, these lists are by no means exhaustive, as I’m sure you’ve thought of some things you’d add from your own experiences as well. Remember, in times of heightened worry, be gentle with yourself, be kind to yourself and show yourself love and compassion, each and every day!