Before you welcomed your first baby, you may have expected to find life blissful and enjoyable all the time. At least that's what society tells us to expect!
"Enjoy every moment! It goes by so fast!" shouted at us by everyone it seems.
Motherhood looking easy on TV shows.
Glittery Instagram pictures, etc.
If you were anything like me (any many other moms) you were surprised to have many different scary, unwelcome or disturbing thoughts pop into your head. Usually these thoughts are around harm coming to your baby.
Was this you too?
If you have experienced this...you are like 91% (probably more like 99%) of mothers.
This is so common. (Statistic from "Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts" by Karen Kleinman...excellent book by the way)
When we don't expect these thoughts, they can feel really alarming.
Here are some "scary thought" examples of thoughts that I had:
...What if my baby flips out of the sling in the bathtub and drowns?
...What if I trip while carrying them down the stairs?
...What if my baby stops breathing?
...What if my car falls into the river and I need to undo the car seat?
...What if the instant pot explodes while I'm holding him?
...What if lightening comes in the window and hits us while I'm nursing him?
Etc, etc, etc...
What would you add to the list?
One theory for why we have these thoughts is to help us be an attentive caregiver for our baby. Our brains goes through worst case scenarios to help us prepare and be able to respond if something does happen.
Intrusive or "scary" thoughts are very normal for the vast majority of mothers.
However there is a point when it's not and then it becomes a red flag that you need more support and help.
If you are:
...constantly worrying and it's affecting your quality of life and enjoyment of your baby.
...you can't concentrate on other things, it's interfering with your sleep or ability to enjoy your day.
...your thoughts tend to spiral out of control when you start thinking these scary thoughts and you can't seem to stop them.
...you think that you intend to carry out harm to your baby.
If you are worried, you can reach out to your health care provider or call/visit Postpartum Support International. https://www.postpartum.net/
If I had better support with my first baby, I would have been able to experience a lot more joy in those early weeks. Unchallenged intrusive thoughts were just one of many ways I suffered.
Did you experience intrusive thoughts when you had a little one or do you experience them now? You aren't alone.
With warmth, light and love,
P.S. - Did you have a difficult postpartum experience with a previous baby?
Do you want to take control and create a better experience for your next newborn?
Reach out to me by my contact form below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can be supported this time. I can help you.