Being a mother that struggles with anxiety can be exhausting and downright defeating.
There are some days where I feel like my world is crashing around me. And most of the time it is for no good reason. I try to do the best I can to be fully present with my daughter and husband but my thoughts and worries are so loud that I can barely focus sometimes.
Instead, I am caught up in the worries and irrational thoughts that are circulating my head causing my body to release the physical response of fight or flight.
These times remind me that I still have work to do dealing with my anxiety.
To most people, I probably seem shy or a bit reserved but the truth is I just have really bad anxiety, especially around new people.
I have come to realize that I have had anxiety since a young child. And I see now how it has affected many of my most valued relationships.
It all started…
About a year and a half before I had my daughter I had the first panic attack that landed me in the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. I couldn’t concentrate on anything other than my heart and the intense fear of death.
It was beating out of my chest and the sheer panic that ran through my body caused me to feel in a daze. I felt as if I had lost all control of not only my body physically but also the thoughts in my head. I didn’t know what was happening, I just felt as if I was dying. I know that sounds dramatic, but that is literally how it felt.
Unfortunately, during that time, I suffered several of these panic attacks that sent me back to the ER, convinced that the doctors had missed something. I was convinced something was being missed and I was experiencing some serious medical issue.
I had endured some pretty stressful life events and never had panic attacks so why now all of a sudden?
I guess I hit my breaking point in a way. I was overstressed with personal issues that were going on while dealing with the pressures of a new job.
But honestly, I think it was the fact that I was heading down a path of living a life that was not meant for me and my body knew it.
I think that puts a lot of stress on your mental state when you are not living a life that is true to who you are.
That was November 2015 and here we are March 2019 and anxiety still shows up in my life and now motherhood.
Ever since experiencing panic attacks I have been hyper-aware of every little change in my body, causing even more anxiety about my health. It is very true when they say you become what your thoughts are about.
When I became pregnant, I was a few months in to giving antidepressants a try and made the decision to get off for the safety of the baby.
I was determined to tackle anxiety naturally with the help of a professional and seeking out all of the information I could.
I am proud to say that since then, I have not gone back to medication to treat my panic and anxiety attacks. It has been a long process to learn how to accept and cope with the attacks, realizing that fear fed the feelings even more.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still times where I feel robbed by my anxiety.
Looking back I can see that I suffered from postpartum anxiety, yes that is a real thing. I know the doctor’s screen for depression but often postpartum anxiety goes untreated just being classified as “mom worries”.
There are many days that I struggle with being fully present. My thoughts are relentless and I have this need to be constantly doing something to keep my mind off my worrisome thoughts.
In a way, I guess it is nice because I am a pretty productive person. Although it saddens me how hard it is for me to just be still and enjoy the present moments, especially with my daughter.
I know our time together while she is this little is short and I want to soak up all of these precious moments that I have with her. But there are so many times when my anxiety gets in the way of me fully enjoying motherhood.
There are days where I am just in an anxious state of mind and become irritable at the littlest of things, especially on the days that I did not sleep well.
Trust me, an anxious person does not get the best quality of sleep.
I know it is not fair to her, especially during these trying toddler times where every bit of my patience is needed. I can’t help but become angry and guilty for how I respond to her in those times, but I cannot help it.
Somedays, that is just the best that I can do.
I am learning that it is okay not to be the perfect mom. I do my very best to try and make sure that I am pushing forward in all areas of my life.
Pushing to be the do it all mom, maintain a peaceful home, and build an extraordinary marriage with my husband. While trying to dive deep into my own personal development journey and overcome my anxieties.
But the truth is, it does not always go that perfectly. And I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay.
All that matters is that I am continuously striving to become a better woman, mother, and wife each day.
Even if I just make a little bit of progress in one of those areas.
Because the reality is, I am the only one that has put all of this unnecessary pressure on myself to make sure everything is perfect. Those expectations are all in my thoughts, and I am learning to let those go, and fill myself with grace and gratitude for the progress that I make each day.
My daughter does not know what a perfect mom looks like. She just knows me and wants me to be there for her to snuggle and kiss her boo-boos and run around the house chasing her because I turned into a crazy monster.
I know I am not the only Mama that holds herself to these high expectations only to get frustrated when we cannot accomplish them all the time.
If you are a mom struggling to get by somedays, remember that tomorrow is a new day. For today, hug your little ones a little longer and notice their smile and laughter in moments of pure happiness. Try to be present as much as possible during those times because that is the best fix for your stress and will help get you out of an anxious state.
My journey with anxiety and motherhood is the reason I started this blog. I know I am not the only Mama that deals with anxiety or depression in motherhood. In fact, I fear that so many of you are suffering in silence, not letting anyone see your struggles.
My hope for starting this blog is to help moms that feel overwhelmed by the pressure of motherhood and to remind you that it is okay to take the time to work on yourself. Just because we are on the journey of motherhood, does not mean we can’t achieve anything else.
I am determined to continue my self-development journey while raising my daughter. I want to show her that even when we are struggling in hard times, we have the choice to overcome our burdens and create a life we envisioned.
I know that the more effort I invest in creating the best version of myself, the better of a mom I become as well. I will not let my anxiety continue to rob my motherhood and you shouldn’t either.
Join me in building a community that helps women become the best versions of themselves while raising beautiful children as well.