My struggle with perfectionism and control

I wonder often why I did not struggle when Munch was born. I worried about everything. I know that I had anxiety then, but I talked about all my worries and fears. I leaned on my extended family and my friends. We struggled on our breastfeeding journey. I felt uncomfortable nursing Munch in front of anyone except a handful of people.

With Skeeter I felt more confident in my parenting choices and decisions. To that end, my beliefs left no wiggle room. I was adamant that I would exclusively breastfeed for six months.  When Skeeter required formula after birth to treat low blood sugar, I was so upset. I wasn’t able to control this situation. Thankfully that was a tiny blip. Skeeter latched on and nursed like a champ. She and I had a great nursing journey. I nursed my sweet girl for nineteen months. With Skeeter as my husband so eloquently put it, I’d “feed her anywhere and everywhere”.  I was not going to feel shamed for nursing in public like I had been with Munch.

To that end, my staunch beliefs kept me from reaching out and asking for help.  When I started struggling, I did not call anyone.  I retreated into myself. I focused on my family. I felt like I had to soldier on. The mantra of “our choices, our family” left me stuck feeling like it was just my husband and I against the world. How could anyone else possibly understand our reality?

In hindsight I realize how flawed my logic was. My anxiety and depression manifested in black and white thinking. I had to maintain a veneer of control. What kind of person or mom was I that I could not control my thoughts? The intrusive thoughts came at me like images from a movie. I hated myself so much for being an utter failure as a wife and as a mother. I could not make any decisions. The depression paralyzed me. I prided myself on being detailed and focused. I lost all of that. Gone was the ability to plan and organize.

I still struggle with my need to be perfect and in control. My self esteem took a beating when I struggled with my PPD and PPA. Now I recognize the negative thoughts and beliefs in my mind. I can stop that tape and turn those thoughts into affirmations. I am perfectly imperfect. I hope to instill that in my girls.

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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7 Responses to My struggle with perfectionism and control

  1. Charity says:

    You are teaching your girls that. Every day they are learning from your fantastic example.

  2. Ruth says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I had a hard time leaving the house early in my PPD, because I only felt in control at home. The fact of the matter was, I didn’t feel in control of much then and was grasping for anything.

  3. Laura says:

    I feel ya sister! I so desire perfection and control and they are so unattainable.

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