Getting Real: Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum comes with a lot of new things. My life dramatically changed and I realized I had no control over a huge chunk of my life so I began obsessing over something I could control; the state of my home. There are a lot of unpleasant things that go alongside the miracle of becoming a parent and today I’d like to share the first major struggle I’ve had postpartum. I have been struggling with a form of postpartum anxiety that has taken the form of obsessively cleaning and organizing my home. Although I have always been a “type A” personality and therefore have always appreciated the benefits of keeping a tidy home, it had gotten to an unhealthy place by the time I even noticed what I was doing. It was forcing me to dread the bonding time I had with my new son and simply look forward to when he would take his next nap so I could do something “productive”. Cleaning and organizing took priority over my physical needs, my relationship with my husband and even my enjoyment of my baby. I would lash out at my husband every chance I got when he would dare to leave his work clothes on the floor after his grueling 12 hour shift or when he would clean up “the wrong way” and I’d demand that he take care of our son so I could keep cleaning! My poor sweet lover has been nothing but patient with me… he was the first to notice my usual habits were becoming a problem and he gently and kindly encouraged me to take breaks and reminded me that not everything needs to be done right that second.

Luckily, since my Hubby brought it to my attention I was able to do some research (another thing I love) and found out that it was a type of “anxiety” I was suffering from (I never would have pegged myself as an anxious person but thats exactly what it is) and there are others who have gone through the same type of thing. Since then, although it is still a struggle, at least I know that it is anxiety and thats not who I want to be, so I can keep dropping it at Jesus’ feet and asking forgiveness of my husband and tiny bean.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides a simple definition of Anxiety:

1: fear or nervousness about what might happen
2: a feeling of wanting to do something very much

I Peter 5:6-7 tells us how God wants us to handle anxiety:

“6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

I have always looked at ‘anxiety’ as ‘fear’. To me anxious people were people who can’t relax and have a good time, but ‘worry’ and ‘anxiety’ are two different things.

I pray that God will help me overcome this for the sake of my family. I know He is able and with him all things are possible.


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