Are moms allowed to have anxiety?
We don’t have time to battle ourselves, we are already battling our littles…
But it is there.
Whether we want it to be or not.
I never thought that they were directed towards me.
Sure I always knew something was wrong, but surely I don’t have anxiety.
Like all things, I was wrong.
First, I want to point out how when I was looking to see if I was alone and I came across a blog from Kay Bruner. Her post Driving on a Flat Tire made me think about how over the weekend I walked out of work at night to a flat tire. I wanted to just drive on home on that flat tire because calling and asking for help made me so very very uncomfortable. It literally made me sick.
I’m not medically diagnosed. However, it makes sense as I have spent a couple days looking back over my life and reflecting on how I handle things. It’s been a challenge with my relationships and with my life as a mother not understanding why I am the way I am, but now I think it makes sense.
So here is a pure and honest look into how I feel on a daily basis as a mother.
It is difficult because, as you will read, I feel like anything I do, I will be judged.
How did I think I may have some type of anxiety?
I walked into Victoria Secret about 2 or 3 days ago. My awesome fiancé got me a gift card there for Christmas because all I had was my nursing bra because you know, I just couldn’t part with it. (Not!) So I kept telling him how I wanted any kid of bra without nursing snaps! However, I refuse to splurge on anything for myself, totally not expecting for him to care nor get me a gift card. I mean, it’s just a bra.
So okay, I’m walking in Victoria Secret after pep talking with myself about how “I can do this. I have Little A, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. No one is judging you. You look awesome today.”
I walked around for like 3 minutes, other girls were in there with their friends giggling and laughing. Most likely not about me, but it made me very uncomfortable and embarrassed that they may be laughing at me and I had to leave.
Social anxiety is a feeling of discomfort, fear, or worry that is centered on our interactions with other people and involves a concern with being judged negatively, evaluated, or looked down upon by others. While it can often happen during the social exchange itself, it may also pop up in anticipation of a social occasion, or afterward when we review our performance in a given situation.
– from Social Anxiety Support
I think that pretty much sums up that visit to Victoria Secret, huh?
Literally, these were my exact thoughts:
(there are a couple more if you follow the link, but they didn’t apply here)
- “Everyone is staring at me.”
- “They’ll think I’m a loser.”
- “I don’t belong here.”
- “People will see how nervous I am.”
- “I will keep looking more and more foolish.”
– from Social Anxiety Support
This kind of anxiety interferes with my life because I told one of my best friends that Little A wanted to see her kids after I left Victoria Secret and I waited until she got there to go back in. Totally honest Little A did want to see them and asked about them as soon as we got there but I didn’t want to bother my friend at first because she probably has better things to do.
Waiting on my BFF to get there, I went ahead and attempted a trip to the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale. There were some people in there, but they were older, and didn’t really pay much attention to me, so good.
Bath & Body Works is also a place that I am more familiar with. I don’t really go in VS so that adds to the uncomfortableness – being as unfamiliar places make me really uncomfortable.
I was able to get what I needed from Bath & Body Works and then I went and waited in my car until my BFF got there. Then we went and I was able to successfully find 2 bras from VS because I had someone I was comfortable being around with me.
So as a mom, what does anxiety do?
Well on this particular day it made me keep my kid out longer.
Little A wanted to get back to see her doggy, but I had to wait on my BFF to get there and then go back in and try to ignore people and talk to her while finding what I needed from there.
It also hinders me doing a lot more with her.
I think about taking her to the zoo but I can’t get up the courage to go without my fiancé and with him working, that’s like a never type thing.
I want to take Little A to restaurants, like her favorite Mexican food place but I fear that if I go in there with just her and I people will stare and talk.
Also, a lot of times I want to go to the park more with Little A but that takes a lot of mustering up the courage to do so. I did good for a while and I think I took her a decent amount there for about a month (several months back) then I fell off.
Other things that make me anxious;
Too much talking/crowds
Crowds and lots of talking makes me anxious as in I can’t tune out people. It’s like my brain lets in all kinds of conversations and it overwhelms me and makes the world spin, I feel light headed and it makes my heart race.
Being in public
You read the issue that anxiety causes me in public above, but in the sense that, as a mom, it interferes because things like; Little A loves her dance classes, so I have to take her. In turn – I have to sit there and deal with thoughts of them possibly sitting there making fun of me in their heads.
This one is something that I struggle with daily. I’m sure if anyone is in the position wondering if they will be able to pay their bills the next month then they will be some type of worried. However, mine gets so bad that it causes internal issues. Nausea, can’t eat – I have to force myself to eat and then I think I over eat because I’m trying to look like everything is okay.
Being away from home
Yes, I want to cruise, I want to go to the beach and do family vacations. However, when I am away from home even for a day, it takes a lot of planning for me. Even then I worry that I will forget something the entire time until I am back safe an sound around all the things I use on a daily basis.
Weird huh? I mean personally I think I’m decent at my job. It’s the thought of getting fired that makes me anxious. It’s the thought that one of the supervisors or someone could decide they don’t like me or the way I work and try to find things to fire me over. Then I get even more anxious about this because I worry that if it happens then it reverts back to worrying about money and adds on to the pressure to make sure I keep my job.
Little A does not like to listen. As a parent, it is super stressful and literally all day I am so nervous and uptight about the thought of bath time because she always runs and tries to prolong it everything that has anything to do with going to bed.
Loud crying & excessive whining
Being a mom, that’s bound to happen. However, when it does it tends to make my brain go haywire and I get super irritated easily and yelling seems to be the only thing my brain wants to do.
* Please Note: I do not abuse my child. It’s sad that I need to put this in here.
Again, I do not abuse my child. There are probably going to be some “verbal abuse” police out there – but honestly – just go on. I am not a “perfect” parent, none of us are no matter what we want to make it look like on social media.
I do not caudal my child 100% of the time because she is insanely stubborn. So instead of verbally abusing those who you think verbally abuse their children, thank them because it slims your chances of your tax dollars going to pay for their stay in prison. So, you’re welcome.
What helps my anxiety?
Listening to music seems to “relax” my brain when something makes me anxious.
Whenever Little A starts whining in the car, I try to get her settled down and quiet and I make sure I’m searching for a good song to mellow me out.
If I am in a crowded place, all I want to do is listen to music.
At work I just want to listen to music.
When thinking about money I can listen to music and calm down.
Being away from home I rely on music.
Music is key for me.
It’s a super powerful thing.
If only there were a phone with built in headphones or at least a place to clip on those “bluetooth” ones I heard Apple is coming out with. I think it is necessary to listen to music anytime without disrupting the others around you.
Being a mother with anxiety is not an easy task.
Especially when it makes you anxious that your anxiety is affecting your child’s life.
That’s just not a good combo.
So personally, I would tell you to reach out to someone. I finally brought it to my fiancés attention 2 days ago and he says that now he understands. As a fiancee I get super anxious when we get in arguments or when he does anything that I, in my head, turn around to make myself think that I’m not good enough.
People with severe anxiety should see a professional, however the thought of that makes me anxious so I’ll stick to trying to talk to my fiancé.
Also feel free to reach out to me if you would like.
Hopefully now that I understand why I want to do stuff, but tend to find excuses not to, maybe I can conquer more of my 2017 Bucket List!
Do you battle anxiety? If so, how do you manage it?
Drop any thoughts or comments you may have down below!