Before motherhood, I’d scoff and roll my eyes as my mommy friends obsessed over the most minute details of their children’s lives. When they warned that I too would be second guessing myself when I became a mother, I vowed to be the opposite.
Much to my dismay, I found myself quite the neurotic and uneasy mother when my daughter was born. Many a night was spent hovering over her to make sure she was still breathing or agonizing about my failure to breastfeed. The frequent and frantic calls to my pediatrician made me feel better at the moment, but didn’t silence the impending fears to come.
It’s not easy being a new mom, but you will need to accept that there are things you cannot control. Instead, take a deep breath or two and refuse to let your apprehensions ruin this special time with your baby. After a few months of driving myself crazy with baby-related worry, I decided to nix this behavior in the bud. Following the three methods below, I was finally able to gain control of my worries and breathe a little easier.
Identify problem areas
Identifying and acknowledging the things that make you nervous is the first step. When you find yourself overwhelmed by your worries, write them down. Seeing your irrational paranoia on paper may just be the catalyst you need to get yourself in check.
After you identify your worries, educate yourself about them. For example, if your biggest fear is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), pick up a few books on the subject or ask your pediatrician about it. More than likely, learning the facts about whatever you fear will set your mind at ease and enable you to feel more confident.
Instead of struggling alone with your worries, enlist the help of your partner or a trusted friend. Having someone to talk to share your feelings and anxieties with can help you feel better. Don’t limit your support to friends and family though; online discussion boards are excellent resources for connecting with other mothers who may be experiencing the same things you are.
Instead of diligently watching your baby’s every breath, why not do something actually productive? Odds are your little one will continue to breathe without you hovering over them like a hawk. Transfer that energy into something productive like cleaning up the house or cooking. Afterward, you’ll feel accomplished two-fold; your housework will be done and you will have avoided acting on your worries.