This is a guest post by an amazing fellow blogger. Rachel lives in the Midwestern USA, where she can be found hiding in the garden, petting her cat and generally keeping household chaos at bay. She blogs at The Buttercup Lamb, where you can find her sharing thrifty tips, motherhood stories and her love of natural living. Check her out!
If you want to know what it’s like to have kids without anxiety…I couldn’t tell you.
I had my first-ever panic attack when my son was barely 2 days old. I don’t tell many people that, but it’s the truth. Motherhood was the catalyst to activate my anxiety.
It was not the cause, but definitely a contributing factor. It was like motherhood hormones was the electricity that jump-started this Frankenstein-like monster of anxiety.
Without my say-so. Without my permission.
I struggled again 2 years later when I got pregnant with my daughter. And I’ve been on this 2+ year journey that’s been up and down and everything in between.
As a parent, the same as in life, things are really, really difficult and other times they will be easy as pie.
Sometimes there are storms.
Sometimes the seas are clear.
Sometimes the hurricanes come and go.
But they will not last forever.
Bask in the beauty of the sunset.
Bide in the rain kissed sand.
Enjoy the beauty of the moment.
Trust and believe that there is peace where you stand.
I’ve had to learn and grow as a parent. I will not lie. Being a parent, being a mom while dealing with anxiety, depression and panic attacks is incredibly hard.
But I’ve made it through. So have you So will you.
These are some things I’ve learned to ask myself over the years and I’d like to share them with you.
5 Things To Ask Yourself As A Parent When You Are Facing An Anxious Moment
1. Am I eating well?
As parents, feeding our kids good food is numero uno on our list. But when it comes to ourselves do we do the same?
Often when I find myself in the midst of an anxious moment, I realize my diet hasn’t been all that it should be. We’re human, it happens.
So when you’re planning snacks, drinks and meals…don’t forget about yourself.
2. Am I being fair to myself?
Anxiety is really good at handing you a slew of limitations. But don’t give in. Bad days happen. But here me loud and clear: it does not mean you have failed.
Don’t be afraid to let go. Give yourself permission to have an attack. Letting go will help you relax.
Be kind to yourself. Recognize that anxiety is a part of you. But it does not define you. It does not have your future. That power, that decision is yours.
3. What is moveable and immovable in my life?
Responsibilities are important. Your kids still need you, anxiety or not. So decide for yourself…what is necessary, and what is not?
Going to a theme park that day= probably not. Diapers? Breakfast? School? Yep.
It seems like a no brainer, maybe. But you really have to set limits depending on how you feel. Don’t be afraid to cut playtime short when you’re out and about. 10 minutes instead of an hour is still playtime. Your kids will enjoy it and you will still be operating within your limits.
Compromise makes the world go round my friend. 😊
4. Have I brainstormed creative ways to cope?
I’ll be honest, this is the fun part of having anxiety. Finding ways to cope that still let you be active in your kids lives.
So for me, I am a fidgeter. I also like art and natural living stuff. Hence, knitting, adult coloring and aromatherapy have been my ultimate go-tos for taming my anxiety.
I can do all 3 within proximity of my kids. I have a car diffuser that I use with my essential oils to give me more peace of mind while I drive. And the knitting I take pretty much everywhere.
What things do you like? I’ve found that an activity that is fairly easy/repetitive helps me the most.
5. Do I have help?
Help comes in many forms. Someone can be physically there for you, or maybe just available on the phone. Or you know, any other method for you tech-saavy folks.
Make a plan for yourself. And don’t feel foolish for doing so. Don’t be afraid to go the medication route. To talk to your doctor. To go to therapy. These things can really help you out and bring you back from defeated to definitely awesome.
There are people who love you! Small people and big people alike. Call on your support team. Share your feelings and share your day.
Parenthood, I feel is hardest in isolation. Don’t let anxiety take away your connection to others. Some people might not understand your struggle.
That’s ok. That’s them. But many people will be sympathetic and understanding, especially if they struggle with it too.
Take care of yourself and stay strong. You got this!