...when the anxiety is so strong I find it hard just to make it through the day, let alone find ways of connecting with my son so I can keep taking care of him? I just don't know how I'm going to keep doing this, but I can't leave him, it would destroy me and be devastating for him. What am I supposed to do??
How do I keep going...
Also, maybe you should have a small amount of "other care" for him so that you get a break and he's not witness to your anxiety all the time.
PS. some anxiety is a completely normal new mom thing. I had a friend who couldn't go to the mailbox with the baby monitor in her hand because she had a fear that someone would slip in the back door and take her child in the three minutes it took her to get the mail out front. That kind of stuff is normal and will wear off eventually.
How old is your child? Do you have support from family or a partner?
The new mom gig is, hands-down, the hardest thing I've done in my life. Or at least in the very top couple. It can be exhausting, disappointing, unbelievable, you name it. There are wonders, too...but mom's experiences differ tremendously. Babies are also very different. I have friends that swear their kids slept through the night from day #1 and that recovery from birth (even a c-s) was a piece of cake. That was the complete opposite of my experience, let me tell you.
I would encourage you to reach out to someone you trust or get in touch with other new moms any way you can. My LLL was great for me; I also was fortunate enough to have access to a great (and free) Mom's Group at my hospital.
Good luck. It is a great start to be honest about your feelings here...don't stop looking for some help in the real world, too.
My son is 2 years 4 months old. I'm still working on things that calm me down. One of my therapists has given me some breathing exercises to work on this week and told me to make a list of things I enjoy doing. I know I haven't been very good at self-care the last couple of months, when I have probably needed it the most with my anxiety being so high.
For the most part I am coping pretty well with taking care of my son right now - he has few tantrums, can play by himself when I'm busy with other things (most of the time) and is a good sleeper. Fussy eating is the only real issue we have to deal with right now. My fear is that I won't be able to maintain it when he moves into the next stage of development and I have to help him through multiple transitions (dropping his daytime nap, moving into a toddler bed, weaning off the dummy/pacifier, toilet training), starting new routines (packing away toys, new bedtime routine) and dealing with possible behaviour issues (eg not wanting to cooperate as easily as he does now). I have read that 3yo can be harder than 2yo and I am scared of what that might look like for him and how I will manage it.
Everyone is telling me to take it one day at a time and not worry about the future, especially since I have no way of knowing what is going to happen with him. I have some strategies in my head for dealing with potential scenarios, my concern is that I will be so paralysed by anxiety, I won't be able to even try them.
I am trying to get as much help as I can now, while I still feel capable of taking care of my son so that I feel strong enough to face the changes to come. But sometimes the sense of panic overwhelms me and I don't know how I'm going to do it. I need to keep reminding myself how much he needs me, that I don't have to do it alone or perfectly and that I can ask for help if things start getting hard for me to manage. It helps me to know that I'm not alone and that there are people here who care about what I'm going through and want to help me through it.
Is there a support group that your therapist can recommend? I go to a dialectical behavior group every Sat. It's been extremely helpful.