Driving to work this morning, it dawned on me that all the anxiety I’ve been experiencing the past week and a half, and the sadness before that, is more likely a result of Jax having weaned than anything else on my plate lately. And trust me, there is a lot on my plate right now.
In short, I had a death in my family in mid-May, only a few days after Jax weaned; I assumed deep and unresolved emotions were to blame for the general anxiety and melancholy I’ve been experiencing since then. I’m also crazy busy (utterly swamped) at work, and so is my husband, whose new promotion has him working extra hours (and me picking up the slack at home every night). And then there is the usual insurmountable to-do list that comes with being a mom and wife. Let’s just say the dust bunnies have multiplied, and I’m considering attaching Swiffer dusters to the bottoms of everyone’s feet tonight.
Since mid-May, though, it’s often felt like too much all at once. This past Friday, for example, daycare sent home a note with Jax about how he may have been exposed to hand-foot-and-mouth disease. And then, don’t you know, Friday night he puked on me three times and spiked a fever. When he started to complain that his finger hurt and his lip hurt last night, my anxiety spiked too. However, upon close examination (many times, believe me), there are no tell-tale signs of the virus, so I guess the puking and fever were something else. He woke up at 5 this morning completely ravenous and fever free, so he’s back at daycare today so I can tackle my overwhelming workload.
Whoever came up with the name “hand-foot-and-mouth disease” should be severely reprimanded. Agree??
I left a voicemail for my trusted lactation consultant and am waiting for a return call. One that hopefully will reassure me that that anxiety and mild depression are completely normal after weaning (especially when weaning is combined with icky emotional stuff like death and a heavier-than-usual workload) and that it should subside any freaking day now. What I don’t want to hear is that I should consider medication or that this is not normal or that it should have subsided by now. (Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with medication. I simply prefer to avoid it at this time.) I got pregnant with Jax in 2008. I was either pregnant or breastfeeding for nearly 4 years. I should expect my hormones to be a little goofy right now, huh?
Kinda feels like super-PMS, with a side of insomnia.
Of course I’ll do whatever it takes to help myself return to normal as soon as possible. Like quitting coffee (again) altogether. Like forcing the time for self-care through exercise, bubble baths, and blogging. Like eating better. Like taking medication if I need it. Like talking about all this stuff instead of closing myself off.
On that last point, let me add that I am eternally grateful for both my real-life friends who have been so compassionate and for the friends I have on Twitter and through various Facebook groups, many of whom have also experienced the post-weaning blues (or anxiety) and are virtually holding my hand and encouraging me to do what I need to do to get through this rough patch–which I think means blogging about it a lot. For me, writing = processing. Always.
If you’ve weaned and experienced some anxiety or depression, how long did it last and how’d you combat it?