Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Letting go of guilt and anxiety

Before I became a mom, I was often a very frantic and anxious person.  During my pregnancy, this became even worse (as I have outlined here and here) and I decided that medication was the best route for me.  Upon the urging of my midwife, I have stayed on the Lexapro after my pregnancy to help prevent postpartum depression which I am pleased to say has worked well.

I've been back at work now for three weeks and the transition has not been easy.  I spent a solid two months at home on maternity leave so the transition back to being a working mom was hard.  Spending all that time with my baby was amazing and I'm thankful to have a job with paid maternity leave and enough vacation and sick time racked up that none of my time off was unpaid.  Despite all of this, I have cried on my way to work everyday but today (woohoo) and I have felt the most overwhelming sense of guilt come over me when I pull into the parking garage.  How can I leave my baby in the care of someone else?  How can I miss out on her being this tiny baby?  What if I would have done things differently, not gone to college, not gotten into debt then I could have been home with her.  All of these things have run through my mind almost daily over the past few weeks.

While all of these things were going on I was battling other issues.  Jeanette didn't get back to her birth weight fast enough so I started supplementing with formula when she was one month old.  Though I enjoyed breastfeeding, I knew it would be hard to keep up with when I went back to work so I wasn't too devastated about having to give her formula.  I started pumping and giving her the breast milk and formula together and it was going well, for a while.  My supply started to dwindle and I emailed my midwife.  She called in a prescription for Reglan to help with my supply.  Unfortunately I couldn't finish the taper of medicine because it caused me to have several emotional breakdowns, it was really helping my supply increase but it was not worth the emotional toll.

Once that was cleared out of my system and we got into a routine with Jeanette, I started to feel a lot better.  Andrew and I had several long talks about my mood and anxiety about being a working mom and they really helped me to see the light.  There is nothing I can do right now to change my life as a working mom.  I have to work to help support my family.  Jeanette only goes to a sitter two days a week and we love her!  She gets to interact with other kids, including a 9 month old, and I'm grateful that my mom and Andrew are able to help out with her care during the week as well.  Andrew and I both had moms who stayed home but had jobs, my mom babysat other kids and his mom worked on their Christmas tree farm almost year round.  The time I do have with Jeanette is precious and I try to soak up every moment.

I didn't want to be the mom with the house all a mess, but if all I get around to is doing the dishes and vacuuming up the dog hair, that's fine with me.  Sure there is a little more clutter now, but I'm learning to deal.  Maybe I can't get the laundry done as fast as I used to, maybe I don't cook elaborate dinners every night of the week, but it's okay!  What's most important is that our little family is happy and healthy.  We are learning a routine with one another and for now I can't ask for much more.

I am learning to let go of my guilt about being a working mom, I'm learning to let go of my anxiety about leaving my daughter and I'm learning to embrace this new change in my life.  

1 comment:

Carol said...

The older Jeanette gets, the easier it will get, I promise. Hang in there girl! It sounds like you are doing a great job. BTW, I had to supplement Kennedy too due to my supply. She is now in the 95th percentile for weight and she started out pretty small at only 6 lbs 6 oz.