Back track to a few weeks ago on a Saturday night…
Mom’s first night out solo–Wahooooo!
Am I right? Who can relate?
I was kind of excited to run out the door.
This was my first time going out for longer than two hours in the past three and a half months.
I was going to a bridal shower an hour away. My husband was away for work. And I was leaving my baby with my mom for the first time.
I spent two days mentally preparing.
My mom and my son practiced the night before while I was home. She gave him a bottle and put him to sleep with no issues. The next night, I left for the party feeling confident everything would go smoothly.
I convinced myself it was good for me and Elijah to take some ‘mommy time’.
And it was…Ultimately.
I reviewed every single detail with my mom. We discussed all of Elijah’s needs, what comforts him, and his unspoken signals. I prepared his bottle, gave him his medicine and even changed him to his pj’s before I left.
I was focused on the positive and how good it would feel to come home, baby peacefully sleeping, resulting in a flawless first night out.
I got to the party around 6:00pm-phone in hand while relentlessly checking it. I was staying ‘on call’ (and on edge) until I knew he was sleeping. Maybe half a glass of wine will help me relax and feel like a normal person.
I felt like a walking zombie. I was happy to see everyone and celebrate my close friends big day, but I wasn’t prepared to feel so disconnected.
The only thing on my mind was my son. I tried to smile, hold conversations, be the proud new mom who didn’t look like I was in a boxing match with motherhood. I may have even fooled a few people.
Until, my mom called, trying to talk to me calmly with my son screaming in the background. He was refusing to take the bottle.
My energy instantly shifted. I couldn’t focus for another minute on relaxing and having fun. I didn’t know what it was going on inside my head, I just knew I had to get home.
I needed to see that he was ok, I needed to hold him and I needed my baby to eat! Then I would feel better.
Needless to say, I rushed out of the party early.
As soon as I got into the car, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. As I was driving along the highway, the tears wouldn’t stop streaming down my face.
Do any other moms feel this way? Am I crazy? Is this normal?
I called my husband to express my feelings of anxiety and discomfort. He lovingly told me everything was okay and my response was, “Everything might be ok, but I am not ok.”
In that moment, I was devastated. Every feeling unleashed inside of me: extreme exhaustion, stress, physical symptoms of anxiety and relentless wondering when I would feel normal again.
I tried to talk myself down, pray and bring peace knowing I was on my way home to my baby boy….but I found none. Until I got home and picked him up in my arms to nurse him.
I have heard of the baby having separation anxiety, but I didn’t expect it for myself. I knew I would miss him…I worried…But I didn’t expect this.
After my hour long sob session home, I still couldn’t relax. Tears kept filling my eyes even though my son was right next to me, full tummy, and sound asleep.
It hit me like a punch in the stomach where it makes it hard to breathe. I turned to other moms who reassured me those feelings are normal. I researched ways to cope. I prayed some more, but I couldn’t sleep.
I was restless. Somewhere between reading articles and other moms validating my feelings, I fell asleep.
If you can relate then this is for you!
New mom, veteran mom, working mom, and all moms who feel a sense of dis-ease when away from their kids… You aren’t alone. You aren’t crazy. And this is normal.
Everything is ok-even if you don’t feel that way. Call it step one. Good job mom. Keep going…
It will get better. You will feel better. The pieces will slowly fall back into place.
This is motherhood.