So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

It is not entirely clear whether or not we should consider this postpartum anxiety, but it is certainly something we need to keep an eye on.

As dusk was casting its shade over the passing day, I sat at a red light on my way home from work considering the conversation I just had with my therapist over the phone. I had attempted to describe some of the feelings I was experiencing.

Anxiety was an old friend of mine, a friend that I had closed the door to for some time now. But, as I drove from work back home to my babies, I was curious:

Do I have postpartum anxiety or is this just my regular old anxiety coming back to visit now that I have children? And does it matter what I call it?

What my therapist said to me after these questions came up is an important message I feel so many new mothers need to hear.

She told me that whether or not we gave my “symptoms” a label or a diagnosis, the most important thing to remember was that there is no need to suffer either way, and that she wanted me to tell her more about what I was feeling. 

That was what she said. What I heard was you don’t have to feel like this, and I am holding a safe space for you to talk about it more.

In the weeks that followed, I worked hard to notice and be aware of when my mind and body would crawl back into that chaotic place where calmness and clarity was nowhere to be found so I could explore it in my safe space.

I found that it was somewhat ever-present, yet somehow still sneaked up on me in unexpected ways.

I felt it when I thought I may need a moment alone, but also deeply hated every second away from my kids.

I felt it when I wanted to talk, but also could not find the strength to whisper a single sound out loud.

I felt it when I wanted to clean, but would walk ferociously frazzled in and out of each room of my house entirely overwhelmed by not knowing where or how to start.

I felt it when I wanted to have an adult conversation and the phone would ring, but I would walk in circles trying to anticipate how the conversation might go and miss the call anyway.

I felt it when I’d see other moms taking a walk together with their kids and a shadow of jealousy would walk next to me, but I couldn’t muster the means to call or text my own friends and ask them to join me.

I felt it when I would try to get myself and my children ready to go somewhere, but would end up sitting on the floor staring into space envisioning everything I needed to do as they danced around me.

I felt it when I’d go for a manicure, watch a funny television show, or read a book and try to enjoy them, but instead would scroll through social media and sabotage my chance for a mental vacation.

I felt it when I would try to put on an outfit and feel somewhat good in my clothes, but change no less than eight times before I ended up in my regular comfortable, not-very-nice, go-to yoga pants and sink in shame. 

I felt it when I would try to make plans to visit with family or friends ahead of time, but would worry about unexpected on-goings that might make me uncomfortable and then try to avoid it.

I felt it when I would try to meal plan, shop, and prep to save time later in the week, but would undoubtedly realize I’d forgotten a single item and fester in foul depletion.

I felt it when I would try to sit and be present around others, but the thoughts of all the other things I could be doing would consume me and then unbearable restlessness would overtake my bones.

I felt it when it seemed like I was rambling aloud faster than anyone listening could surely make sense of, only to realize that I was not speaking at all and it was all just in my head.

I felt it when it seemed like someone was holding my throat, only to realize that it was my own fears tightening their grip on my desires.

I felt it when it seemed like something was squashing my chest, only to realize that it was my own ego pressuring me to stand still, paralyzed in time.

I felt it when it seemed like there was a drum beating in my head, only to realize that it was my own soul shaking me until I finally acquiesced to rest.

I felt it on and off, it came in and out, I was up and down. 

But, I got help. And I practiced awareness.

My safe space and my awareness led me to see, to notice, to be, to breathe, to release, to change, to forgive, to let go, to accept, to heal . . . and it led me to feel calm, safe, and clear.

It led me to gratitude and growth.

So now these days I feel a little less like a mountain’s peaks and valleys and a lot more like a wave’s beautiful white edges on the shore that never quite stays in either ebb or flow for too long, always finding that strong, centered space over the sand, the gravitational pull that holds all the scattered droplets in unity. 

And it is a much more pleasant place to be.

Mama, meet me in the sea. Will you, my friend?

You may also like:

I’m Not a Lazy Mom—I Have Anxiety

A New Mom Can Feel Blessed and Thankful and Still Battle Postpartum Anxiety

To the New Mom Hiding Her Anxiety: You Don’t Have to Circle “A”

Amanda Motisi

Amanda Motisi is a mother of two, a teacher, and a certified holistic health coach. She writes about motherhood, parenting, education and overall health and wellness in an effort connect, inspire, educate and empower women from all over the world. She'd love for you to join her in her journey by following her on Instagram and Facebook, or you can visit her website here.

I Would Relive Every Moment of Sorrow Just To Hold You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, black-and-white photo

As I sat there rocking my child to sleep, I caught my mind wandering to the past. Not my recent past but my before . . . Before my son was born. Before my stressful pregnancy. Before my positive pregnancy test. Before . . . when I was praying every day for a miracle—six years back. Infertility is a messy journey that few (and many at the same time) are chosen to take. It’s lonely and heartbreaking and dark and will make you hate yourself at times. You feel helplessness and anger and despair. RELATED: This is Infertility Your relationships...

Keep Reading

When a Rainbow Baby Meets Mama

In: Baby, Loss, Motherhood
newborn baby on mother's chest

This week, one year ago, was one of the most difficult weeks of my life. Fast forward to exactly one year later, and here I am cuddling you, my sweet boy. I never truly understood what “rainbow baby” was all about, but I get it now. Sure, I knew what it meant and what it represented. I had read the articles and heard the stories. I had seen the meaningful images and understood the definition. But I never truly and deeply knew what happens when a rainbow baby meets their mama . . . until you. When a rainbow baby...

Keep Reading

How Do You Know it’s Really the Last Baby?

In: Baby, Motherhood
Selfie of pregnant woman standing next to child, color photo

I love being pregnant. I love everything about it. I am, however, one of the lucky ones who has been blessed with stress-free pregnancies. I get the typical morning sickness in the first trimester and the utter exhaustion in the third trimester, but other than that, it’s just pure enjoyment. I know not everyone has that experience, some have horrific pregnancies, but for me they have all been relatively easy. Trust me, I do know how fortunate I am. I’m currently pregnant with my fourth child. The little man is due this summer. From the very beginning when I first...

Keep Reading

It’s Hard on a Mother’s Heart To Watch Her Last Baby Grow Up

In: Baby, Motherhood
Child walking away in grass

My youngest son turned two a few months ago and still has a binky. He actually calls it his “mimi,” and he loves it so much. This morning I  looked at him with a mimi in his mouth and a mimi in his hand before I walked him into daycare and realized something. I am not ready to let go of the baby stage.  Getting rid of the binky would be the last step of the baby stage. He is already in a big boy bed. He doesn’t want to sit in a high chair for meals. He tries to...

Keep Reading

Some Babies Are Held Only in a Mother’s Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Ultrasound of baby

“Whatever may come and whatever may pass, we have faith that our God will bring us to it and through it.” That’s what I wrote in a post after we announced our third pregnancy. It was the first pregnancy we went public with, but it was the third time we had two positive lines on a pregnancy test. You see, we had miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. We went from surprised optimism to guarded yearning and finally stolen joy. The first baby was nothing more than a what-if before that test. It was a surprise to two people who loved...

Keep Reading

Because There Were Two

In: Baby, Motherhood
Sonogram image of two babies, black-and-white photo

Because there were two, there were gasps and tears and disbelief. There were spreadsheets developed before you even got home from the initial ultrasound appointment and fears and relentless morning sickness and books to read and endless worries and what-ifs. There were extra ultrasounds and extra fears, extra heartburn and floor plans for extra bedrooms, extra back pain and extra cribs, extra strollers and extra car seats. Because there were two, you will always be outnumbered. There are 20 fingers and 20 toes, too much laundry, and never enough hours. There were missing socks and missing pacifiers, dirty bottles and...

Keep Reading

Finding Wonder in the Waiting of Secondary Infertility

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler son, color photo

Secondary infertility is hard. It’s an all-encompassing phenomenon that hyper focuses your brain on a single goal: another baby. The perplexity of secondary infertility is that you’ve done this before. You fertilized an embryo, carried the growing child within your womb, and delivered your bundle. It was the most challenging and yet seemingly effortless event of your life. Looking back, you wonder how you achieved such an amazing feat without assistance. Now, with Clearblue ovulation tests pouring from your pantry, period trackers abounding, basal body flow charts, and the pineapple (so much pineapple) you are unable to do the one...

Keep Reading

What I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me About Gender Disappointment

In: Baby, Motherhood
Pregnant couple holding boy or girl sign

I was in the corner of my closet hiding behind my wedding dress and every formal I’ve ever owned. It was dark, stuffy, and felt like a good place to hide. I’d just found out I was having a boy, and I was devastated in ways I didn’t think possible and was trying to hide what I was feeling from the world around me.  What kind of mother isn’t completely enamored with her baby-to-be? Did this make me a monster? I should have been happy. After all, I was having a healthy baby. That’s like winning the lottery. Instead, I...

Keep Reading

The Conversation We’re Forgetting To Have About Birth

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman having a baby man holding her hand

My husband lay sleeping, his head resting on a fluffy, down-stuffed pillow in our hotel room. His bag was packed neatly, ESPN was playing quietly in the background, and he had unopened snacks at his disposal on the end table. Our hotel phone rang, and my husband groggily answered, ”Yes? Oh, sorry. Yeah, we’ll keep it down. Sorry.” He hung up and found me miserable and shaky in the shower, the thin shower curtain clinging to my legs.  “Steph, we got a noise complaint. You have to keep it down!” he whispered. This is not how I expected labor to...

Keep Reading

Bathtime Washes Away the Struggles of the Day

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

It’s 7 p.m., which means bathtime at our house. I close the drain and fill the tub with warm water. I pump Johnson’s baby soap—the water and soap swirl together and form bubbles. The bubbles dance on top of the water, just waiting to cleanse my baby boy. I toss in your foam alphabet letters, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Penguin.  I place you in the bath and lather baby soap in my hands and give you a soapy mohawk. You are barely one and still my baby, but your four fat teeth make you look older. You chew on the...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime

Mother Holding Baby

5 Secrets

for New Moms


Encouragement for the newborn stage