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Does this make sense to anybody?

I am a 43 year old 1st time mother, I have a healthy beautiful 4 month old dd, I have a wonderful dh and supportive family and friends. But I have had a nagging feeling since the day we brought dd home from the hospital. I think at first I had a touch of ppd and spoke to my dr at my 8 week checkup, we decided that meds were not necessary because I was already feeling better and I have continued to do so. But I still had that nagging feeling that I could not put my finger on. Today a church an older lady said to me "you are such a natural at motherhood" and I found that odd, because just last week a former co-worker said something similar. After thinking about it I realize that I don't feel natural anymore, not as a mother or even a human being. life just doesn't seem normal. Does this make any sense to anybody. I feel that even when my daughter is asleep in my arms I'm not completely relaxed and never will be again.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 9:15 PM on Apr. 25, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • i never could completely relax after having my son...i don't think i slept for about 2 wks after he was born because i was too busy hovering over him making sure he was breathing. I'm not sure if every first time mother does that but i did. 5 yrs later i still don't completely relax. Sure i can get a good nights rest but nothing like i did before i ever had a child. I can hear a pin drop!
    shay1130

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:21 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • i think its relatively normal. honestly, you probably wont be completely relaxed. you now have a child that will depend on you and love you and need you and brighten your world. you have someone other than yourself to take care of and influence. you have someone to worry about getting hurt, to worry about what will influence them, etc. there is so much that comes from being a mother. i love it all...but that is how i have always been...

    like right now, i am "relaxing" but i am still half listening for my DD's cry...worrying that her asthma-like symptoms are going to keep her up and down tonight like last night...i am thinking about all the errands i have to run tomorrow, about taking SK's to school tomorrow, getting homework done with SK's, doing dinner with SKs, going to SS's baseball practice and worrying if I should even go since DD has been having trouble...worrying that BM isn't going to show up and let Sks down..
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:22 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • Welcome to motherhood!  Haha!  It will also be years before you have a decent nights sleep. 

    carlye828

    Answer by carlye828 at 9:27 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • I have 21 month old twins and I feel your pain. I had PPD after they were born and was on meds. But I think that thing you're feeling is just a part of first time mommyhood.

    You really can never relax. Even sleeping you are in the perpetual state of listening with your "mommy ears". When they are little babies and unable to communicate if something is wrong, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what could be making them cry or if they don't feel well. I think you will see in time that although that feeling doesn't go away, it does subside a bit. I get anxiety when I take the twins out by myself but I make myself do it because it's not fair to them to be cooped up all the time.

    So after my babbling reply all I will say is YOU ARE NOT ALONE :)
    Allergic2Stupid

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 10:04 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • I would have another conversation with your doctor about ppd. But it may just be you're articulating what many moms don't admit or don't have the time to realize. I'm not a therapist, but I do know that motherhood is destabilizing for all of us... for some, who are still looking to find themselves, I'm sure it seems like the perfect thing to base an identity around. But as a new mother who has been not a mother for maybe slightly longer than the average, I can imagine that could be unsettling. I mean, what does it mean to have someone dependent upon you for everything? It can be beautiful and wonderful, but "relaxed" simply cannot mean the same thing it used to mean. You cannot just come and go as you please. You cannot just check out... heck, you can't even always just cry when you need to (as my almost-3 year-old reminded me every single time I broke down during my latest mental health struggles).
    EmilySusan

    Answer by EmilySusan at 10:06 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • (cont'd). I still feel like I'm struggling to find the "me" in the mother and to have an existence if not separate from motherhood, at least one that isn't entirely based on it. Also, as another implied, sleep deprivation and hormones are not a good combination for figuring any of this out... You may find a little clarity when sleep returns... Hang in there!
    EmilySusan

    Answer by EmilySusan at 10:08 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • Makes sense. A lot of people complement me but my kids act way better in public and I guess some of the things I do are nice and may be different than what people are used to, but I know "me" and know when I am depressed, which i have been for years and years. I am on antidepressants to help.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:27 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • I'm wondering if it has anything to do with you starting motherhood after many years of not being a mother? I've never had PPD, so I can't share about that. I just know motherhood was an instant fit for me. I've heard the same from the women I know who delivered naturally, but I have heard some other women talk about feeling disconnected. I do believe labor interventions, especially epidurals can have that effect sometimes by interrupting the natural bonding hormones. Are you breastfeeding? I hope you find the contentment you long for!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:33 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • Well everyone here knows how completely life changing having a baby is and I can imagine that being even more so at an older age. You've already lived half of your entire life without children and have had much more time to adjust to that lifestyle than women who have children in their 20's. On top of that, many women aren't "natural mother's" so regardless of you age that's nothing unusual. I think people just like to say that as if they think you SHOULD be a natural since you're older, but that's not necessarily true at all.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:38 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

  • I think it's normal and I can relate. I had my son at 28 and it was definitely a shock. I don't think I realized how strange the adjustment would be. It's been 21 months and I'm still getting hit with that feeling. For example: I used to enjoy shows like Law and Order SVU, this show is no longer fun to watch - all I can think of is my son and it makes me want to go up to his room, wake him up, and hug him forever. Things I never thought I'd be afraid of scare the daylights out of me now.

    I imagine that being 43, this feeling of how different things are is a lot more pronounced for you. You've had more time to grow into yourself, to mature, and to become accustomed to the life you had before your child - it makes total sense that the adjustment would nag at you this way.

    PS You probably are a natural, no one who is truly a natural can actually see it for themselves - their too busy worrying about their babies!! :)
    beckcorc

    Answer by beckcorc at 11:03 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

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