My Life Parenting Self Improvement

Anxiety impacts parenting

1663625258_e4c62ca446_z (1)Shortly after my first baby was born, the room cleared of the doctor, nurses and the baby catchers. It was just us and our nurse. I hardly knew how to hold a baby let alone what the heck I was supposed to do with her. I actually asked the nurse if it was okay if I breastfed her. I was waiting…for something or someone or I don’t even know what.

How could I be her mother?

When she was about 15 months old, she got a horrible stomach bug. She threw up for days.  I could barely handle that as I can’t deal with puke. Then she got dehydrated and we ended up having to go to the hospital. I was 9 weeks pregnant with her sister. I couldn’t go to the hospital. Then when the doc said they had to do a catheter, I had to step out of the room.

How could I be her mother?

This weekend, my two-year-old woke up in a bad mood. She was crying, which she rarely does. She was pulling her jammy zipper down and pushing her belly. She was not sleeping. She was a mess. All I could think was that there was something wrong with her. I took her temperature–normal. I cuddled her—nothing. I was calling her sick and treating her like so until my husband suggested I feed her breakfast. She ate a yogurt, toast and part of a bowl of cereal, then ran around the house. She was fine. Yet, I could barely breathe, still reeling over what could be wrong with her.

How could I be her mother?

Anxiety is one thing when it’s just me. I can check myself a million times a day. I can freak out and panic about something having to do with me because it’s me. I can’t check them, freak out about little things or panic about the possibility of what could be without impacting their lives in quite a negative way.

I don’t want them to become worrywarts or wonder if every muscle spasm is the sign of something more, if every rash is an epidemic or if every lack of a deep breath means that they are on the verge of a massive panic attack.

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How can I be their mother?

I have to learn not to project my anxiety. I have to learn not to share my fears and phobias. And in the case of their quirks, I have to teach them not to let them become sources of depression or panic.

They deserve to grow up without my anxiety and depression impacting them. Anxiety impacts parenting. They need a shot at being able to learn coping skills for dealing with the logical or illogical thoughts they have.

I’m not blind to this. I’m working on it. I’m praying about it.

It’s just another struggle that I face as a parent with anxiety. I imagine that as I work through this, I will find others, but the best I can do right now is recognize what is in front of me and take it on with all I have.

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