Its 2 am and I can’t sleep because listening to the monitor; I am not sure if my baby has now turned on her stomach and can’t turn back!
This is but only one example of what keeps me up at night, there are so many nights where my baby is sleeping soundly but, yet I am wide awake with no sleep-in sight. It is like a whole new world at night, one filled with paranoia and anxiousness, it’s like an alternate universe in the early hours of the morning.
If you find yourself here, nothing will make sense, everything that seemed okay during the day, now takes new shape and threatens to destroy the next few days. I personally stress about the most mundane things at night, the moment the lights go out (no matter how tired I am) it starts; do I have enough bottles for the next day, did I take her food out to defrost for the next day, does my husband have clean clothes for work, do I have clean clothes, maybe my baby is too hot, too cold, maybe she is still hungry because she never finished her bottle, maybe I should start feeding her more now that she is older, is her awake time enough, maybe I should adjust that, should she be sitting by now, when will she start crawling, should I help her roll over more often- this list goes on and on, and it also goes on and on in my head.
I have always been a classic over thinker of note, however, now that I am a mother it is ten times worse than before, and there is just so much that I can now spend my time overthinking on.
Unfortunately, this is not a habit that is easily broken, telling a mother to relax and stress less over their child Is like telling a bunny to stop hopping (it is the only comparison I could think of, don’t judge), it is like a new part of me that I never knew existed, all reason leaves the building and I find myself in a constant state of worry.
Although there is no “off switch” to being worried about your child, there are certain coping mechanisms to ensure that you don’t drive yourself insane with unnecessary stressing and anxiousness; the first for me was to make an effort to ensure that I have time for myself each day, dad takes our baby girl and I have a cup of tea and just concentrate on my breathing.
My best friend is a medical student, and she educated me on what stress can actually do to your body, most of us don’t even realize that stress can have serious physical consequences if we do not get a handle on it; when you stress too much, your body basically goes into a constant state of “survival mode” – which elevates your heart rate, and that causes that feeling inside of you that makes you feel rushed and anxious (like you have to be somewhere and do something, you can’t just sit still).
In order for your body to calm down, you need to take a break, stress can have serious health consequences, such as; your intestines don’t work like they should, have you ever felt bloated when you are stressed out? – that is exactly what stress does to your body (one of the things at least), and if you want to live long and see your grandchildren, now is the time to stop, take a breath and have some much deserved “me time”.
I know this is not easy if you are like me, I am a busy body, and somehow feel guilty if I just sit around and do nothing, but, like any habit in life, it takes time to break it, and time to form new healthy habits.
Practice makes perfect!
So go and get busy doing nothing, you deserve a break!