New Mommy Syndrome

3 Sep

 

This is my third attempt at writing this blog. I can only hope that this one is effective, but considering I’m past the first sentence, I’m off to a good start.

My new baby isn’t really a baby at all. He is a 2-year-old dog, who I’ve named Jazz, that I adopted two weeks ago, yesterday.

In my second week, I’ve become more adjusted to having a dog, but in no way is my new mommy syndrome gone. From the moment that I first got the call that Jazz was mine, up until about a week later, I was 30 seconds from breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably.  At the end of that week, being in worse shape than I started, I finally lost control of my emotions and broke down – at work no less. I pulled myself together the best I could, but when I got home I laid down on the couch with my new doggy and cried. I cried, and I cried, and I cried some more.

I was at wits end. I was afraid to leave my home. I was afraid to come home again. I couldn’t think about tomorrow, because the prospect of being tied down by a dog for the next 12 years was too overwhelming to think about. I didn’t eat for the first 3 days. I couldn’t sleep. With every moment he peed in the house, my hopelessness increased. Every poop was unbearable. Plain and simple: I was a total mess.

Unfortunately, Jazz’s story wasn’t simple. I couldn’t just take him back because I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t take him back because I realized I wasn’t a dog person. The truth is there was only one other option. Either I adopted him, or he was put to sleep. It was that outcome that pushed me to adopt him. I had to fight through the pain, just long enough to find the light.

Its been two weeks, and although that doesn’t seem like any respectable length of time, I still haven’t found the light I’ve been searching for. I can leave the house without being sick to my stomach, and I have been eating and sleeping normally, but my life is no where near anything remotely close to normal. I feel guilty when I spend time with my friends, and I feel guilty when I would rather take him out for 5 minutes to go potty, than walk him for 45. I feel guilty when I see how great of a dog he is, and he is great.

Sure, he is indifferent about most things dogs love. He could care less about tennis balls, rope toys, toys, or generally anything other than rawhide. It has its perks, and it means he doesn’t chew my furniture or shoes. He enjoys water, and likes the cats. He rarely barks or jumps. He likes other dogs and is easy to train. He loves people more than anything. How can I have so much anxiety about a dog that is so perfect? These are things I think about every second, of every day. There isn’t a moment that passes that I don’t wonder where he is at or what he is doing.

Apparently, this is all just new mommy syndrome.

If I could rewind time, there is no way I would change my decision. I love Jazz, I do. He has had positive impacts on my life, and I do enjoy spending time with him.

Yesterday was what I like to call “a good day”. On good days, I wake up and don’t feel doom in the pit of my stomach. On good days, I look forward to being a dog owner. These days are really dependent on my schedule. When I got home yesterday, I sat around for a good 30 minutes to an hour, and then I packed up the pup and we went to the dog park. If I could spend every day at the dog park, all days would be good days. Being outside, and watching my pup play with the other pups is so pleasurable. I have no stress when we are at the dog park.

The day before that wasn’t a good day. It was what we don’t talk about. Days like that I find my fuse is just a tad bit too short, and my desire to be independent is all-consuming.

Fast forward to today, and although it wasn’t a good day, it wasn’t unspeakably terrible. It was nice to come home and love on him.

Two weeks later, my stress level is still more than doubled. I’m managing, though. I grit my teeth and try to come to a compromise. No one seems to quite understand what new mommy syndrome is like, and I don’t think I fully believe that it will go away, but that is the misunderstanding that keeps us all being individuals. Friends try to help, and in one breath I don’t want help. In the next breath, I’m just thankful that I’ve made it long enough to contemplate if I need help.

If there is one thing this experience is teaching me, it must definitely be that I will never be able to raise children. Oh, and that perseverance will keep your head above the water, even if its just barely enough to breathe.

Have you ever had “new mommy syndrome”? Was it with children or a pet? How did you cope?

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