Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

Anxiety as a Mom & Wife

Do you ever feel like you are in a fog? Like an all day fog?

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do you can’t get ahead? Do you ever have days where every little thing makes you cringe or every small noise makes your skin crawl?

Anxiety is a REAL thing! It is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. It is also one of the things that society views as a weakness. There are so many bloggers and vloggers and social media influencers that are trying to break that view. But, still we look at moms and think… “It is her job to have it all together!”

“You have an amazing life, there is no way you suffer from anxiety!” YES! I have actually been told this! Yes, I do have an amazing life! However, anxiety does not discriminate. I have 3 kids, that means 3 different schedules, 3 different personalities, 3 kids needing my attention at the same time. I also have to make sure that I make time for my husband.

There are mornings I wake up ready to start the day… then there are mornings that I wake up and hope that it’s 2 am so I can go back to sleep. I use to be the person that has to set 15 alarms and even have my husband wake me up. Now most mornings I am the first person awake (before my alarm goes off). I attribute this to my anxiety. My brain’s need for control. My body has adjusted to this need and automatically wakes itself up fearful that I have overslept and then my entire day is off track!

Over the years my anxiety has gone from mild to where I suffer daily. There are many things that are considered triggers for me, as well as ways that my anxiety manifests itself. One of those ways, unfortunately is anger. I try my best to control it, but I am far from perfect. I wish I didn’t have to apologize for being angry and ask forgiveness from the people who mean the most to me. I wish I could control it 100% of the time. I am learning to cope with my anxiety but it is an ongoing journey.

One is of my triggers is my kids. I absolutely LOVE my kids! They are my greatest accomplishments. However, they each have their own ways of triggering my anxiety. There are things that a ‘normal’ mom wouldn’t be so concerned with but I fret over daily. It could be something as small as a wet towel in their bedroom floor. Growing up I had a rough childhood that left me feeling on edge and uneasy. I never want my kids to feel that way and it pains me when I let them down. When I see my kids looking at me, almost pleading for me not to fly off the handle when they make a little mistake, it’s incredibly heartbreaking.

I also have a hard time when others (especially my husband) are critical of our kids. I take it personally and it makes me feel like a failure as a mom. I love my husband and I wake up everyday with the intention of being a perfect wife. Like I said, I am far from perfect but when I don’t reach the level of expectation I put on myself, it triggers my anxiety. The one thing that I would like for my husband to understand (well actually anyone that is involved with someone who suffers from anxiety) is when we are in the middle of an anxiety/panic attack if feels impossible to control. One of the worst things that you can say to someone having an anxiety attack is ‘calm down’… They will not ‘calm down’ they will begin to feel even worse because you’ve now made it known that there is a ‘problem’. This will just be one more thing for us to be anxious about.

Another major trigger for me is clutter. I walk into a room and I say “Ugh the house is a disaster!” My husband’s response is “The house looks great babe!” In his defense my house is very clean. However, when I see dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, pictures out of place, etc I feel very uneasy. In the 2 years that we have lived in our current house this trigger has gotten worse. I find it hard to get to sleep unless the house is almost immaculate. This goes back to my childhood, our house had to be pristine. Even the carpet had to have vacuum lines going a certain way. I was responsible for 90% of the chores/housework and the feeling of dread (now I know this as anxiety) when my parents came home from work and things were out of place it was all on me. As a mom and wife I have continued to be the one that takes care of 90% of the housework/chores and I still get that same anxious feeling when something is out of place. It is not because of what my husband and kids expect of me, it is what I expect of myself and I feel as though I am letting my family down.

I hope that my family knows how much I love them. I hope they know that when I’m acting like a complete lunatic, it’s not because I’m mad at them. In fact, most of the time what I need in those moments of anger; is compassion, a hug, some alone time or just some kind words.

I said all of that to say this, anxiety is a real thing and it is different for everyone! If you suffer from anxiety please know that you are not alone. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you have a loved one that suffers from anxiety, be a sounding board for them, hug them if they need a hug, take over household duties for the day, take the kids to the park or something and give your partner some alone time.

Lastly, we all need to go easier on each other. We never know exactly what someone has going on in their brain!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

Just Say NO!

*Ring Ring*

“Hello?”

“Hey! Uhm, can you do me a favor?”

Does this sound familiar? If you are anything like me you hear this often… Why is that? Probably because you just can’t say no!

I am a ‘YES’ person. A ‘yes’ friend, a ‘yes’ mom, a ‘yes’ daughter/sister/in-law, etc. I always put myself and my needs last. Last year was a really emotional and mentally exhausting year for me. I found myself more anxious than ever, I was pulled in so many different directions. The one thing I can say when I look back on 2019 is that I did not make myself a priority. Not only did my health suffer (I had a major epileptic seizure), but my relationships suffered.

I started feeling resentful and frustrated. I was putting the needs of others before myself and sometimes before my own family. Why? Honestly I have no answer to that! All I can say is January 1, 2020 I woke up feeling different… My mindset was different. My entire outlook on my life and the direction I want it to go was different. How? I made a vow to myself that I would no longer be a ‘YES’ to everyone else person, but I would be a ‘YES’ to me person.

This includes my own children! I have always been the mom that says yes to everything… “Mom, can you take me to so and so’s house?” “Mom, I forgot my uniform can you bring it to me?” “Mom, I have a project due TOMORROW can you help me?” My answer to all of these and so many more has always been YES! I never want to see my kids disappointed or upset. But in saying yes to everything it has become expected from me and that is just not okay! Especially when there is a lack of gratitude on their part. When they started feeling entitled to hear ‘YES’ from me I decided that I created this monster, so I need to tame it before I send them out into the real ‘NO’ world!

I always say yes to friends and family. I will be the first one to come over if you’re having a bad day. The first one that will drop everything and be there! There have been times where I have been in the middle of a project or doing something with my kids that I have gotten a text, a phone call, a knock at my door, etc and I have dropped everything to be that ‘YES’ person! I love being that friend and confidant. I love being a shoulder for someone to lean on or an ear if you just need to vent. However, I have realized through the awful year we had last year that just because I am a ‘YES’ person doesn’t mean that others are. I have learned who will be in my corner & my family’s corner when we have a need.

If I don’t make myself a priority how can I really expect anyone else to? 2020 is my year to get back to the basics of who I am! I can say no to others and it is up to them to be okay with that. I can put myself first and not feel guilty!

We all have heard the saying “Just Say No (to drugs)”… Well my new slogan is “Just Say No (if it doesn’t make you happy)”!