How to deal with feelings of postpartum rage while caring for an infant and a toddler? Here’s my story on how I was able to overcome it.
What you can read in this article?
- What led to my depression and postpartum rage
- How to deal with postpartum rage while taking care of two small children
- My learnings and how I dealt with it
Mom confession: I had postpartum rage.
Postpartum rage is a behavioral disorder where a mom who just gave birth can feel intense anger and struggle to control her temper.
Why did I have it? Was I able to manage it, and lastly, how did I cope with it? Let me share with you my story.
When I found out that I was pregnant with my second child, I started panicking. My mind was inundated with too many questions particularly how my 2-year-old son, Ace, would react to having a little brother. How would I be able to take care of the two of them at the same time? Will I still be able to take care of myself?
Ace and I were inseparable since his birth. So as my third trimester drew closer, my level of anxiety was unexplainable. I started thinking, how will I leave him when it’s time for me to give birth to his baby brother? What will happen if he looks for me and starts crying? The thought of leaving him was so stressful.
How to deal with postpartum rage while taking care of an infant and a toddler
I stayed in the hospital for several days after giving birth to Genji, and during that time, I was so depressed over not seeing my firstborn. My heart shattered every time I checked on Ace, knowing I wasn’t there for him. The day I got discharged from the hospital, however, I experienced this weird feeling. It was a mixture of excitement and distress.
Of course, I was excited to see Ace and see his reaction when he meets his sibling. But at the same time, I was worried about how our routine, our whole life would go.
How am I going to deal with having a toddler and an infant who would depend on me? I questioned myself if I could handle being a mother of two. Just like other moms, we all know that caring for a child is challenging especially if we are doing it alone.
As the days passed, the level of anxiety became unbearable, but I tried to keep myself together to fulfill my responsibilities as a mother. However, it was really hard for me to cope with my new role.
My husband works night shifts so when he gets home, he needs to get some sleep to prepare himself for work at night. Since I breastfed Ace before his baby brother was born, I tried to do tandem feeding with both of my sons. There were nights that Ace would want to breastfeed in a side-lying position, but it was impossible to do it that way with his brother.
During those instances, Ace would give me such a hard time. I had to deal with his tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants. There were so many instances that I lost my patience and started yelling at them particularly when both of them were hungry and started crying. It was heartbreaking to see my two sons crying, but I just couldn’t breastfeed them at the same time the way Ace wanted.
Stress, exhaustion, sleep deprivation and recovering from giving birth took their toll on my body. I started to become so irritable and had trouble controlling my emotions. I started feeling agitated with little things. I became so impatient.
Until one day, I realized that I had to do something to get over the postpartum period and to be able to manage my time effectively and efficiently without losing it to my children.
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How to deal with postpartum depression and rage
For me, the following actions were essential to survive postpartum depression and how to deal with postpartum rage:
• Physical, emotional, and mental support. Always talk to your partner, family, and friends. Share your feelings. They are there to provide care, support, and motivation. Remember, you are not alone.
• Balance your time. I do my best to balance my time and attention for my two kids. It is not easy, but I have to consider the needs of my newborn, skin-to-skin time, and affection. When the newborn sleeps, I make time for Ace by doing some activities together to make him feel my presence and provide his needs the same as Genji.
• Be calm. When you feel heightened emotions or feel out of control, try to breathe in and breathe out.
• Rest. We all need this to keep going. You’re not a bad mother if you give yourself time to rest.
To those mommies who had the same experiences and survived postpartum depression, we should be proud of ourselves. And for those who are still suffering, please know that you are not on your own. You can do it too!
To those who will give birth to their second child, prepare yourself. Keep in mind that motherhood is a journey, and in this journey, you are not alone!
While it’s not as well-known as postpartum depression and anxiety, postpartum rage is a real thing. If you think you are exhibiting any of its symptoms, don’t hesitate to ask for help.