Lets be honest…parenting no matter what is scary and crazy. When you add someone like me with crazy anxiety it gets even more fun! Parenting with anxiety is a constant loop of always expecting the worst and making the most out of absolutely nothing.
I am always worrying about the craziest things and my mind is in a constant struggle of…should I say something…am I being crazy….or is this a legitimate concern. I may not seem overly anxious to most people, but I am known for MASSIVE panic attacks in my house! My poor husband has gotten so good over the years at calming me down and literally telling me when I am being bat shit crazy!!
So let the fun begin….Here are some of my constant and crazy worries!
- A trip to the park can be fun and exciting for most people and some moms even get a little break when they go. NOT ME!! I am constantly worrying about them getting hurt and how long it is going to take me to get to the emergency room. They climb up on a jungle gym and I am already calculating their fall and how bad the broken bone will be!!
- Most nights can be peaceful for parents…NOT ME!! I literally stay awake most nights just waiting for one of the kids to come running down the hallway screaming and puking….Literally!!! Any noise I hear I sit up just knowing it is going to be a week of vomit and sickness. In reality, it was just a bird outside the window.
- Which brings me to my next anxiety inducer…VOMIT…I instantly start going crazy when the girls are sick. I will never forget when Finley got her first stomach bug and I spent the entire night hysterically crying because I thought she was going to die!! I start to panic even if I hear my kids gag….
- The whole car seat forward or backward is another anxiety inducing moment. I mean when do I turn them forward?? These days you are made to feel like a horrible mother if your kids are facing forward before the age of 10! When I pull into a parking lot I am always looking around to see if someone is looking at the way my kids are facing!
- Road trips are the death for me and anyone else with anxiety!! I could go on forever about all the possible things that could happen during a simple road trip! A flat tire, run out of gas and have some crazy person murder us all, puking in the car, screaming kids and no where to hide from them, choking on a snack in the back seat….and YES…all of these run through my head!! SO FUN!!!
- Packing for a vacation is crazy for a person with anxiety. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I pack for a weekend at my in-laws house…it looks like I am packing the whole freaking house! I have to make sure we have all our “just in case” meds like benadryl, children’s Tylenol, gas drops, teething tablets…plus all the things that might comfort them at night as well. If we forget something I get so anxious that it can ruin my whole weekend!!
- The worst is when little Grey is scooting along on the floor and I see her hand come out of her mouth like she has just put something in there. I swear she does this on purpose cause she loves watching mommy come running over and scoop at her mouth while frantically asking her what she just ate!!
These are just a few examples of the things that can take my day from good to awful in a matter of seconds. Anxiety is something that is so hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have it. It is completely debilitating at times and the horrible part is you know you are being ridiculous and yet there is not one thing you can do about it. With anxiety your mind will always go to the worst case scenario and dwell on it. I can’t stop my anxiety, I can control it with medicine, but I can’t stop it.
My anxiety prevents me from being the mother I long to be. It drives me to a place in my mind that I can only concentrate on my thoughts and nothing else. It takes me away from my kids and forces me to not be present. I hate my anxiety and what it does to me. Even when I am having good days, I know that eventually it will return. It doesn’t always stay for long, sometimes I am only anxious for mere minutes, other times it is for a week or two. It is a small prison that I live in at times and one that more people need to be aware of. I am not embarassed by my anxiety, I embrace it and use it to help other people I know who struggle with it. It is not something to be ashamed of, but something to be aware of. You have to find what helps you cope and stick to it! I am blessed that my husband is my comfort and my medicine. One big bear hug from him and it usually helps calm me down.
Do any of you have anxiety? What helps you cope?