First a little about myself: I was 30 years old when I got pregnant and living in a small 1 bedroom condo in Los Angeles with my husband. He and I had our fun "living la vida loca" and we both agreed it was time to start a family. In the back of my mind, I had hoped that I was truly ready for the commitment it would require of me. You see, three years prior I had experienced my first panic attack which brought my world upside down. Much more, it also created anxiety and dizziness. I took several months off from my job to work with doctors and figure out what was going on with me. I decided it was best to go on the medication Cymbalta (lowest dose), just to be able to function in everyday life.
Fast forward to 2009 when my husband and I wanted to start trying for a baby. My OBGYN advised it would be best to begin weening off my medication for the safety of the baby, to which I agreed. This process was EXTREMELY difficult and painful. I vowed to never go on a medication like that ever again.
March 14, 2010 my beautiful baby girl is born. Our first day at home goes as expected for two new parents. We stayed up for hours trying to figure out how the heck we put our little one back to sleep. My husband ran to the supermarket three times that night, needing to try something different as we become much more tired. As a stay at home mother, people think it is a fairly easy job because no one ever talks about what REALLY goes on behind closed doors. I always hear people without kids say, "We love our stay-at-home moms - it's a tough job." End of sentence, and they move on to their next thought. Not only is it hard to be a mother, but in some ways its even harder for the stay-at-home mom. We are the nurturer, the playmate, the consoler, the bather, the feeder, the cleaner-upper, the changer, the one who hears all the crying. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I would have typed 24/7 but that wouldn't have brought my point home. It's tough and women don't talk about it because they are afraid of the judgement they will receive from others. Well I'm here to open the door for those of you who want to communicate and let it out.
The first couple of weeks I was trying to find myself in the newly found motherhood. To this, I'm referring to my spirit - my essence of self. Before being a mom, I was an athlete, someone with a fairly active social life, a party planner, a traveler, and now I wasn't able to participate in any of those things. My family would tell me that you will be able to do those things when she gets older. I ABSOLUTELY love my daughter, but this wasn't/isn't about her at all. It's about entering into a new chapter of who I am as a person. It's important to be happy with yourself in order to be the best mother. My future postings will describe how I was able to find myself in motherhood while dealing with anxiety.