HOW ANXIETY HAS HELPED ME BECOME A BETTER MOM...
last year i was so thrilled for the opportunity to write a few pieces about mental health issues, especially in the context of motherhood, on a platform i loved! sadly once the piece was handed over, i was told i wouldn't be able to share my writing on my own personal platform. i totally understand how content works & though not uncommon, it just really bothered me that this topic was once again being censored as that is the last thing i want to do when it comes to mental health issues & the way we share. i'm glad to say that they've since been released & recirculated, which means i can finally share them with you, yay! :)
hope you enjoy reading a bit about how i feel my anxiety has helped me become a better mom!
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i know i’m supposed to tell you about my struggles & how hard it is to parent with an anxiety disorder. and believe me, at times, it is so very hard. parts of it are ugly, tough & at times seem all consuming. but if there’s one thing i’ve learned on my journey of better understanding & accepting my chronic anxiety, is that it never hurts to look on the bright side. learning how to implement small shifts in my perception have meant the absolute world to my journey with mental health, so I thought it’d be great to celebrate some of the ways that my anxiety has helped shaped me into the mom I am today- an awesome one!
i’m sensitive. even “too sensitive,” as i’ve been told! but it’s helped me connect with my children in a way i never thought possible. by being openly sensitive & not associating any shame with my vast realm of feelings, i’ve made a safe, accepting space where my children feel like they can do the same. emotions run high in our house & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. we’ve learned how to be supportive through all sorts of feelings & we now know we can better navigate them together as a family.
i talk it out a lot. it helps me to share my challenges & victories with my inner circle. and it’s also gotten my children talking too. from the start, we’ve been using words to get ideas across about their feelings. i knew my new found love of sharing was paying off when in the middle of an emotional meltdown my three year old son was able to utter the words “i’m just having a tough time. i need help.” it may seem tiny & obvious, but to me it was monumental. open communication is key to my success & open communication is key to ensuring my children can properly identify the depths of how they feel & share it with us, the people who care about their wellbeing the most. one my proudest mom moments for me thus far!
living with chronic anxiety has given me perspective that i sometimes take for granted. when you live in an ongoing battle of sorts between you & what’s going on inside your head (sometimes your body,) it reframes life & highlights the most important bits. even in the depths of my anxiety, the most important things in life become crystal clear & thanks to that, i truly know the value of a unconditionally loving & supportive family. my comfort, my joy, my support, my everything- is my family. living my life with those family values at the very core shows my kids just how valuable we all are to each other & i hope one day they too celebrate our family unit!
though challenging, isolating &, at times, terrifying- chronic anxiety has not only taught me many important life lessons but it’s also given me a new found confidence as i learn to successfully navigate it. when we made the decision to have children, my own apprehensions about becoming a mother living with anxiety skyrocketed. i am so proud to report that with plenty of professional & social support, with a new motivation to cultivate personal growth with my anxiety (something i think is important to model for my children) & with plenty of affirmation & celebration of small victories, i can truly say I’m proud of the mother i’ve become- flaws & all!