Family,  Motherhood

Anxiety as a Parent

As most of you know, I have and still do, struggle with anxiety. Over time, I have been able to understand what my triggers are, where some of it stems from, and how to manage it better. There is one area, that I haven’t openly shared my anxiety about. That is, anxiety as a parent. I know it may seem like a taboo topic, but I am always here to keep it real with you all. Parenting is hard ya’ll, and anxiety doesn’t stop, just because we have kids around.

I can go days, even weeks, without noticing my anxiety. Then all of a sudden on a quiet, lazy, Sunday morning–BOOM! There it is. I notice myself starting to get impatient, I want everything a certain way, I become irritable, I start lacking compassion, and can feel my nerves get worked up. While this is all going on inside of me, my 3 year old daughter is playing right next to me. My daughter is learning her way in this world, and needs me to be there to support her, to guide her through this life. But some days, some days are so tough to do that. There are days, I want to just lock myself in my room, and be left alone. Those are the days, I can’t shake the anxious feeling.  

My daughter living in the moment, playing her little heart out

This can be tough to explain, and maybe tough for some people to understand. Having a three year old, you deal with constant messes, melt downs, playing their favorite song on repeat a 1000 times, the constant questions, the going non stop, all day every day. On most of those days, that cycle I am ever so patient and calm in. Enjoying every minute of it. But why are there some days, that I can’t seem to handle any of it? Why are there some days, that my anxiety tries to take that good feeling away?

The more reflecting I do after these particular moments, I have realized, that I don’t slow down enough, when this starts to happen. When those feelings arise, I have been limiting my fun, putting unneeded pressure on myself, trying to have everything picture perfect, when that is not reality. When I am calm, in my true element, I have all the patience in the world. So how can I get ahead of this, before the anxious feelings even start?

Well today, was a prime example of how I was able to do that. I was putting groceries away with my daughter. I was getting worked up, for no reason. She was laughing and playing, but slowing me down. I wanted to hurry and get the groceries put away. But why? We had zero plans. Nowhere to be. Nothing to do. After realizing this, I stopped. I put on our favorite song that she and I love to sing together–‘Still Rolling Stones’ by Lauren Daigle, and we had dance party and sang as loud as we could. I needed to loosen up. I needed to have some fun.

Her smile is a reminder, that this life is a gift. We need to enjoy it and learn to have fun. We need to keep our child like faith.

Sometimes as adults, we get in our own way. We forget how to let loose and have fun. This past week, I was away on vacation with my husband and daughter, at a cabin in Asheville. It was so relaxing. I was able to completely be myself, be calm, patient and have fun. I accomplished this, because I was not putting on myself, for things to be a certain way. I was in the moment, just living.

Friends, for those of us who struggle with anxiety I get it. Sometimes we cannot control how we feel. There are days, where anxiety does take over, and we have to work through it. But sometimes, could it be, that we need to take a breath and have some fun? We can do this. Just because we are adults, or are parents, doesn’t mean we need to stop living. Look at your kids, the next time they are playing. They are not concerned about what is to come, what needs to be done. They are only concerned about the moment they are living in. Let’s embrace that child like faith and have some fun!