From the innocent age of 6 or 7 I always knew I wanted to be a mum because i love children. They bring so much joy and have a fantastic view of the world, and a great way of keeping thing’s very simple, a much healthier way to go through life I think, my anxious adult mind definitely wants to complicate everything how ever small and insignificant it may first appear! I knew that when I grew up being a mum and having a family of my own was the main thing I wanted to achieve, I was never really driven by a career it was always having a family that I strived for.
I grew up in a reasonably large family myself having 3 sisters, and honestly I loved it, always having some one to play with or someone to talk too, it was great. Obviously we argued and got on each other’s nerves at times but after all 4 girls in one house with all those emotions and hormones flying around, it’s never going to be plain sailing! On the whole I loved it and it just made me want children of my own even more.
Fast forward 20 odds years and here I am “living the dream” I have a husband, two wonderful daughters and Winston our dog who I also class as one of my children. I have all I ever hoped for, a family to love and take care of!
What I didn’t anticipate is that i’d be a mum, a wife and also have to manage an Anxiety Disorder.
Worrying has been a life long gift of mine, it’s something that has always been top of my list of things I do well and do regularly. From a very young age, right through to being an adult, its not something that has ever improved with age, it’s actually just getting worse! Everyday I manage to find something new that I need to add to my worry list. Here I am now at the ripe age of 33 “living the dream” but through the eyes of Anxiety.
Any mum will tell you how much worry comes with the responsibility of being a parent, its obvious really, an entire human being is solely reliant on you, every decision you make impacts them and their life, and all you can do is go through each and every day praying and hoping not to f**K it up too much!!
Dealing with Anxiety makes being a parent a little more of a challenge, the level of worry spills over into every thing and then you start to worry that your worry will make them worry and then you start to believe you are going to be the reason they end up with Anxiety too!
My children are obviously very aware that mummy worry’s about them because I can’t hide that but they don’t know the extent that it goes too, they just see the “normal” every day mummy worries, they don’t know how it consumes my every last thought and is the reason I don’t sleep at night.
It can be especially hard when there are things that your children want to participate in but the idea of it fills you with dread and straight away what you want to say is “No, Absolutely not” but you know that going on a School trip is something that every child does. You have to quickly come up with a plan in your mind, an idea that will make the entire ordeal easier for you to manage! Then you take a moment to realise that secretly following behind them in your car is not a reasonable thing to do, you are reminded that your mother never did that when you were child and how mortified you would have been if you’d turned around to see her frantically waving whilst trailing closely behind the coach in her car! Of course it is something I would definitely do but the voice’s of reason that are my family and friends keep me from actually doing these thing’s, thing’s they would describe as “over reacting” or “going to far”, although inside my anxious mind they seem completely expectable and actually very effective ways to deal with the situation….. the situation that it is a school trip.
Looking back now I am able to make light of the “situation” and laugh at myself, but actually in the moment and when faced with that same scenario again it will feel just as huge, consuming my every thought, cause me sleepless nights and make me wish I was a little more…… ok a lot more academically minded that I could have homeschooled them and not had to ever worry about a school trip ever again. Its definitely a process, the fear and panic is real and its awful, I have to take those irrational fears and go against my every instinct and ignore them, it is the most difficult thing to do. By ignoring them and not responding to the fear as you want to, it then creates an entirely new fear that is, “if something happens to them it’s going to be my fault because I didn’t do as my anxious mind was telling me too and follow them to ensure their safety”. Its a vicious cycle of fear and worry and it is absolutely exhausting!
This post was just a little insight that I wanted to share with you, Writing about how I manage my Anxiety and being a mum, it is not something I have written too much about in my blog so far, I have always feared the judgements I would receive, but I feel like its something I definitely want to change. My children and my family are my absolute world and sharing with you my experiences with anxiety as a mother, wife and doggy mum feels right to do.
I would love to know your thoughts? Would you like to read more blogs like this or be interested in another possible mini series that looks at life as a mum, and or wife with Anxiety, let me know in the comments below what you think?
Like my school trip story do you have any stories to share that were entirely influenced by Irrational thoughts or fears?
Share a smile not a judgement
Lead with kindness