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

SAHM… Is it a REAL ‘job’?

My journey of being a stay at home mom began 9 years ago. I was working full time, 50-60+ hours a week. My husband worked from home and I was becoming resentful. Resentful because he was watching our kids grow up. Resentful because he was able to be involved at school. Resentful because I didn’t know my kids as well as he did and the only time I really spent with them was bedtime & the weekends.

One night I finally just poured out my heart to my husband. I finally just let him know all the things that I was feeling and do you know what he did?!? He wrapped his arms around me and just said to me ‘Give your notice at work, we will figure it out’! I just broke down… was this going to become a reality? Was I really going to be able to spend all my time with my kiddos?

The next day I went into work and gave my 2-week notice. Even though I was so excited, I was also super nervous! I have been working since I was 15 and I always enjoyed working but ever since my oldest was born I knew my ultimate goal was to one day stay home and spend my days with my kids. I went full force into the stay-at-home-mom role! Throughout the years I have been the room mom, the PTA/PTO mom, the team mom, etc.

So, is being a SAHM a REAL ‘job’? I have been told NO! Since all 3 of my kids are in school all day, I’ve gotta be just sitting home and watching tv all day, right? “You don’t ‘work'”… “It isn’t hard”… “Your kids are older so you don’t have to do anything for them”… “All you do is hang out with your friends during the day and go to Starbucks”… Just to name a few things that I have been told! Yes, people have actually said these and much more to me! Well, in all of the jobs I have ever had, none has a schedule like this one!

My day starts at 6:00 am. I get my oldest up and out the door for school (yes, I wake him up, yes I know he is old enough to get himself up, but I remember how hard it was for me to wake up in the mornings, so I don’t mind). Then my youngest gets up at 7:00-7:30 to get ready for school (she is a morning person most days so this isn’t really a struggle), I take her to school at 8:15. I am back home by 8:30 to shower, get ready, and get my middle schooler up, then we head to her school at 9:00. And once all 3 kids are at school, this is when I make my Starbucks run, the one thing that gets me through my morning is my Starbucks Refresher, so yummy!

Once I get home I begin my cleaning routine. I do, at the minimum, 2 loads of laundry a day, I clean the bathrooms 4-5 times a week (teenage boy, need I say more? lol), the kitchen is the center of our house, so that gets cleaned 3-4 times a day, the hardwood floors get vacuumed daily (we have 3 dogs, that shed… A LOT!), the carpet gets vacuumed at least twice a week, once a week I deep clean the kids bedrooms (they clean them throughout the week, but I like to do a deep clean just for my sanity), all of this takes like 2-3 hours (sometimes more, depending on the day and how my cleaning OCD is that day). Ok, so now my day is done right? Uhm, nope! I get started on organizing our calendar, go through emails (so many emails… school, sports, etc), and now working on my blog.

The momi-van pulls out of the driveway at 2:50 to pick up the youngest kiddo from school. Thankfully the oldest’s school is super close to our house so he usually walks home, unless he has 2 1/2-3 hours of soccer practice, then we will pick him up at 5ish. At 4:00 the middle schooler gets picked up. Dinner gets made by me on nights that we don’t have sports or other activities, the other nights everyone has to make their own dinner. The nights that we do have sports/activities I am back in the car again, to football games, soccer games, etc. On Thursdays I take Madisyn & her friend to volleyball, thank goodness for moms that carpool! Some days there are field trips, class parties, sports games, theater plays, errands that need to be taken care of, on top of the daily to do’s.

I know there are moms that work from home, work outside the home, and still do some of these things that I do daily. But stay-at-home moms (& dads) don’t seem to get the same respect because society doesn’t see it as a REAL ‘job’. Just because you don’t get a paycheck doesn’t mean you don’t work.

So, is being a SAHM a REAL ‘job’? ABSOLUTELY!!! It is the hardest and most rewarding JOB I have ever had!

*Side note – I am very grateful that I have a husband that works from home so I do have help with the kids, if I have to ‘call in sick’ or can’t be in 2 places at once.*