Motherhood

Dear Sweet Mom Who Is Parenting With Anxiety

“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.”

I want more than anything for you to know that you are not alone.

I have anxiety. I have had it as long as I can remember.

I have left restaurants because I was having a panic attack. I have cancelled plans because I couldn’t leave the house. I have had to say ‘no’ to my daughter when she wanted to do something because I just couldn’t in that moment.

Dear Sweet Mom Who Is Parenting With Anxiety

That all too familiar feeling can come out of nowhere, like in line at the grocery store when you have all the kids with you and a cart full of food. Or when you are sitting in the carpool line at school, trying to breathe and hoping that your little one comes out soon.

I know anxiety is something most people don’t talk about, in fact I usually only share this part of me with the people closest to me but that is something I want to change. It can feel like a lonely place where you just want to hide inside and pretend like you aren’t counting to ten so that you don’t start crying but you can’t because there is soccer practice to go to and dinner to make. I have been there, so many times.

Sometimes you can go weeks, or even months, without feeling one pang of anxiety and then all of a sudden it hits you like a ton of bricks. And if you are like me, you may even feel like a horrible mom because you got SO upset that the paint spilled on the carpet in the midst of an anxious moment.

But deep down you know, it wasn’t the paint at all. It was the days of holding the anxiety in so that you don’t let your little ones see you fall apart. It was the times you have worried that you will pass this anxiety on to your children so you bury the feelings and go through the motions.

Give yourself a break mama. You are doing great, even if you did yell today and lock yourself in the bathroom for 2 minutes so you could cry it out.

Parenting with anxiety is exhausting. It can literally rip you apart at the seams and make those everyday stresses or frustrations so much harder. It can also make you feel like you’re failing. You are not failing.

Let me repeat that, you are not failing.

Today, give yourself the grace to love you for you. Don’t be so hard on yourself and allow your imperfections to show. They make up the person that you are and you, mama, are amazing.

Even if you feel like you don’t know how you will get through the day, you can! You have been doing it this long and if you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Turn that “I can’t” into “I can and I will!”

Do you know what the most important thing is mama? You are showing up. You are there, everyday, trying to overcome your anxiety and being the best mom you can be.

Something I have learned over the years that I have dealt with anxiety is that it does NOT define me. It does not. It is just one part of me and there are so many other pieces of the puzzle that make up who I am.

Breathe. Meditate. Go for a walk. Explore nature.

Find what makes you feel at peace and know that you are more than enough.

How do you calm yourself down when you are feeling anxious? Has your anxiety ever made you feel like a bad mom?  I would love to hear from you! XOXO

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