I’ve always been a caring person. I’ve always been anxious. If you’re at my house and you leave, you can put money on me telling you to be safe/careful/put your seatbelt on. Ask my best friends- I’ve always been the “mom” of the group. The one that makes sure everyone is fed and pays their tickets and goes to school and keeping their shit together 😂
I’ve always been a worrier. To the max. It’s totally not that I don’t have faith in God, because without a doubt I know he’s looking out for me. It’s just I know that accidents happen, bad things happen to good people, sometimes shit just happens. This has been the norm since before I had my own child.
Then Kyzer was born. And I was extremely elated, I’ve never been happier in my life. I’ve never cried so many happy tears, I’ve never thanked God so so so much and just basked in the joy of being a mother.
I’ve also never ever been more protective of anything or anyone in my entire life. And I’m a low key clinger in general if we’re being honest.
I did. Not. Let. My baby leave my side. I mean, obviously he was a newborn and being exclusively breastfed he was nursing pretty much 247 for the first several weeks, but beyond that I felt (& still do feel) so bonded and close with my baby and just this immense need to care for him 247 all the time and never let anyone else hold him for longer than a few minutes–never out of my sight. In the first 6 months of his life I could count on one hand how many times I had left him (and never for more than an hour or two-including with his dad). I was a stay at home mom (still am) and I soaked up EVERY moment with that little booger and was over the MOON happy and thankful that I got to stay at home with him.
It didn’t help that I rarely pumped and kyzer hated bottles, but I didn’t try to force him to get used to bottle feeding either. So we contiued on, exclusively nursing and never pumping. That meant the first year of his life, I had to be with him at all times so he could nurse whenever he needed to (because he never had formula and didn’t take a bottle, he refused pumped milk). Not that i opposed that either (or made an effort to pump) because it’s exactly what I wanted and felt like kyzer needed. Unlimited boobie access 247- I was serious about him nursing on demand. Did I mention I was also obsessed with researching anything and everything related to his health and well being?
I was so worried (and still am) about him. When you become a parent, you become responsible for another LIFE, like you are responsible for taking care of, raising & molding this HUMAN BEING who will eventually be an adult– and I am well aware of and feel the immense weight of that incredible responsibility.
So much, that when everyone would insist that I needed a break, and to just “leave the baby and run some errands” doing so would leave me feeling the exact opposite of relaxed. It was fucking AWFUL. I was like a giant, rattling, ball of nervous energy constantly wondering if my baby was okay and was he hungry or hot or cold or in danger or needed to be changed?
My anxiety reached a new level when I became a mom. And the trouble with my extreme attachment is that I probably did need a break. I probably would’ve REALLY benefitted from even just a solid 5 hours of sleep in those first few months. It definitely would have been good for Kyle and I to go out together, just the two of us every once and awhile.
Kyzer was born in December, and in the following February when he was 3 months old Kyle and I went out for dinner on Valentine’s Day and kyzer stayed with his his grandma. I remember feeling like crying and feeling guilty and like there was a HUGE elephant standing on my chest and I was nervous and it felt hard to breath and it was hard to walk away when we were leaving to drive to dinner. I remember explaining more than once where all his stuff was in his diaper bag and to pace feed him and only give him X amount of breastmilk in X amount of time– I remember panicking inside but trying to remain calm on the outside because I love and really do trust my mother in law to take care of kyzer and I’m just a big mushy mess of a mommy who cares a whole bunch and can’t but to worry herself sick.
I remember crying when we pulled out of the drive way. I remember having a GREAT time with Kyle and it being so (strangely) quiet, but I remember worrying the entire time and rushing and driving back to pick kyzer up as soon as I could possibly get Kyle to move through the motions of dinner and drive.
I remember feeling bad and knowing that wasn’t fair to Kyle. I remember feeling crazy and so guilty for leaving my child-for ANY amount of time-for someone else to take care of. Regardless of who that was, even Kyle. I felt so attached and like kyzer NEEDED me at all times. (I’m not just talking about that one night for dinner.)
And I felt so tired. And at times I felt so disconnected from my other half, the father of my child who I love so much. I remember being bitchy and feeling drained and needing a shower for goodness sakes. I remember being fed up and crying to Kyle too many times to count about my nipples hurting and just feeling so damn touched out, needing a break because for freaking goodness sakes God knows I was at my breaking point more than once.
I didn’t spend more than a couple hours away from kyzer the entire first year he was alive. I didn’t DARE let anyone hold on to the thought of keeping him over night because over my dead body was that happening.
Even getting an occasional break for a few hours and time to myself without kyzer drove me to a point of crazy(from worrying) that I hadn’t known before becoming a mother.
When he turned a year old and no longer absolutely needed breastmilk through out the day for nutritional content, I eventually let him stay with his grandparents here and there and after a couple weeks he spent his first night away from me.
I thought I might have a heart attack from worrying yet trying not to let my crazy show to my mother in law because it is not sane to call and check on your child every ten minutes. I remember being short with Kyle and I imagine even hateful when he suggested that I just relax– relax…? Really? HA! Where is my baby?! Like do you see my baby here next to me? No? Okay then. So how in the world did anyone expect me to relax without my child in my reach when I had spent nearly EVERY MOMENT with him since he was born? Not to mention the 9 months before he made his entrance to the world and graced the rest of y’all with his presence. God created him in my womb- for 9 months I was all he knew. *Told y’all I’m a little crazy, this mama bear instinct isn’t a joke.
I didn’t know how to relax without my baby near and knowing without a doubt that he was safe and sound. And it was slowly driving me crazy. Because before I was a mom I was a PERSON, a unique individual with wants and goals and hobbies and interests and dreams and needs and desires. And I needed to be reminded that although YES, I’m a mommy now, I’m still me. I’m still tori. Occasionally having time away from kyzer by myself, with Kyle, with friends– it’s good. It’s healthy. It’s not a crime. It’s nothing to guilt trip myself over. It’s no reason for me to panic and feel like exploding because my anxiety is out the roof– that’s just my crazy mama bear instinct and I’m starting to recogonize that it’s OKAY for my kiddo to spend time with his grandparents every now and then while I get stuff done or relax or spend time with Kyle. Not only is it okay, it’s good.
It’s okay to admit to yourself and whoever else that you need a break. Don’t be like I was and have this giant cloud of immense guilt over your head that pours rain drops of anxiety and uncertainty every waking moment that your child is away.
Now that we’re 7 months into kyzer spending time with family members and his dad without me being around every moment it’s definitely easier. It has gotten easier with time. It’s not like crazy crippling separation anxiety like it was in the beginning. (did I just say that? I wouldn’t have ever admitted it was that bad or let anyone say it was at the time. I was in full force crazy mama bear mode.) It’s still there, I still worry, but I actually do ask for help now when I need it and Kyzer absolutely loves spending time with his grandparents anyway.
All I’m saying is, new mom anxiety is real and I’ve been there and I’m working through it. If you can relate, just remind yourself that you just created, carried & birthed a human being all with your BODY by the grace of God. You’re a bad ass. You have newfound maternal instinct plus out-of-wack raging hormones and its gonna show, damn it.
& you know what? THAT’S OKAY.
It’s okay to soak up every waking moment with your children-it’s okay to let them spend time with trustworthy family members, too. It’s okay to not be ready and it’s okay to feel like a crazy person who’s going to shoot the next person that DARE asks when they can keep your newborn baby over night.
But eventually, when you’re ready, remember that you deserve a break (& that’s MORE than okay.)