This post is written for all my mom friends, or even moms I don’t know but bust their asses and stress all the time about everything for no reason because they are trying as hard as they can to be their best always for everyone.
Last Christmas was a tough one for me. We had an epically terrible trip home to the east coast for Thanksgiving (I’m talking stranded in an airport for days with an 8-month-old, running out of supplies, no one has slept in who knows how long terrible). It was so bad that when we got home I couldn’t unwind from it for weeks. This coupled with unnecessary work stress, the stress of making my daughter’s first Christmas ‘magical’, and some postpartum depression that hit me out of nowhere thanks to another hormone crash from stopping breastfeeding landed me in the hospital.
What happened? Nothing, physically. I thought I was having a heart attack. Literally. My vision was blurry, my heart felt like it was skipping beats… I felt like if I sat up straight I was going to pass out. I went to the hospital the day after Christmas because I was convinced I was dying. You think that sounds dramatic, but I’m seriously not joking. After a million of tests they told me I was completely fine, and that I was having the world’s longest-running panic attack. I was like “okay thanks for your professional opinion but I’m going to die from this now”. They sent me home with some anxiety meds and suggestion to work on de-stressing, to which I was honestly pissed at because what good does relaxing breathing do for you when your heart stops from a heart attack, really guys.
Well, I took their meds and their advice and to my absolute surprise, felt better. I absolutely did not know that stress, or postpartum depression had the ability to manifest itself in such a strong, physical form, that I thought I was sick, not stressed. I made a promise to myself that I would, get more sleep, take more deep breaths, and instead of spreading myself so thin that I cant keep my head above water, know when to say “no” to things for my own sanity. And you know, what? It has been great.
This Thanksgiving, we still went home to my family on the east coast, and travel was equally bad. But, I gave myself a day or two off on each end before and after traveling, so I could unwind and not let myself get overwhelmed. I had a pre-Christmas party, and I dodged the store completely by paying a little more to do my shopping on Amazon Prime Now so all the groceries just magically appeared on my doorstep the same day I purchased them. For Christmas, I refused to go anywhere. Family and friends can come here to our house and relax, but I was firm I wasn’t venturing out in crazy traffic just so I can stay up extra late wrapping presents because it took us hours to get home. No way I was going to roll out of bed on Christmas morning and rush my kid through her memories of opening her presents, just to stress myself out when I shove her in the car and she is crying because she wants to be home playing. I was a hermit. And it was great.
The moral of the story is, that no-one knows how hard it is to mom. Some moms (and people in general) may judge or wonder what is wrong, but maybe their family lives closer and they don’t have the stress of traveling. Maybe they had the perfect pregnancy and their body postpartum is just naturally just as good as it was before. Some people get it easy. And some don’t. So for the ladies who cried on Christmas Eve while wrapping presents, swore at someone who bought a Hatchimal out from under you just to sell it for more online, or who decided like me to not go anywhere, because, hello – sanity… I have your back and understand you. And if you are always stressed and feel like you can’t breathe all the time, know that you aren’t alone, and that learning to do, or not do, things for the sake of your sanity will help you fell better a million times over.
May your New Year be filled with more sanity than the last year. I love you bitches <3