However, when those feelings of anxiety become extreme and start to take over every thought, a deeper problem could occur. And if you’ve already struggled with anxiety in the past, a baby could also trigger it again or make your experience of it magnified.
Let’s dive a little deeper into why you might be feeling anxious now that you’re a parent and what you can do about it.
When you’re a new parent, your life completely revolves around your baby for quite a while. That means hardly getting a break or time for yourself. For many parents, things like loud noises throughout the day (or night) can be extremely triggering. Babies cry, toddlers interrupt and want things, and even as your child gets older, they’ll repeat questions and won’t fully be able to understand your boundaries.
Even children’s toys are noisy and often repetitive. This is usually enough to make anyone a little “annoyed,” but when too much noise causes you to worry excessively, it’s a sign of something more.
All of the examples listed above are normal behaviors for kids, but they can trigger someone with anxiety. If you’re bothered by noise or interruptions, it’s important to understand beforehand that your household is going to change. And one of the biggest changes is it’s going to get noisier.
Finding ways to manage the anxiety that can come with that noise and other stressors is important to having more enjoyable experience as a parent.
Finding Yourself in a Vicious Cycle
If you do find that your anxiety is triggered by your child (for whatever reason) it can trigger other things like feelings of guilt. You might feel like your child or parenting gives you anxiety, not realizing that it may all be triggered by sound. But feeling this way can make you feel bad.
That guilt can cause you to become even more worried about your ability to parent or make you feel as if something is “wrong” because you feel a certain way about your child. Unfortunately, while you’re feeling guilty, your child is still noisy, and your anxiety persists. So, the cycle continues.
What Can You Do?
If you’re feeling this way, it’s important to understand where the trigger is coming from. It’s likely not parenting or your child giving you anxiety. Rather, it’s the noise and interruptions.
One of the most common misconceptions about anxiety is that you have to feel it all of the time. That just isn’t true for some people. Many times, you might not experience bouts of anxiety unless something triggers you. It can cause a flashback or a memory from your past to come up. Certain triggers might just make you nervous to the point of overthinking and worrying.
Identifying your own triggers is hugely important, and understanding what they are will make it easier to avoid them, when you can. When you can’t (in the case of a noisy child), you can learn how to manage them.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it on your own.
Feel free to contact me if you’re struggling with anxiety now that you’re a parent. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of your triggers, work on different coping skills to help you deal with each one, and you can take comfort in knowing this stage of parenting shall also pass. I offer a complimentary phone consultation to all potential clients. To schedule yours in a matter of seconds, please check here.
To learn more about how counseling can help you during your postpartum journey, please click here.
BRINGING BABY HOME: A NEW PARENT WORKSHOP IS GOING VIRTUAL!!!! A workshop for couples who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who are expecting a baby or who have children already. Based on years of research and experience and developed by the Gottman Institute, this 12 hour workshop is designed to repair communication skills and jump start your relationship with your partner. For more information, please click here.
Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New Jersey via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.