To The Mom Who Struggles With Anxiety. I Get You.

being a mom with anxiety


Dear mom who struggles with anxiety,

Parenting our growing kids is worrisome for anyone, but if you’re struggling with anxiety, it can be downright brutal.


I know. I get it. I get you.


It’s hard enough to worry about the well-being of our kids, the safety of our children, and all the details of raising our big kids every day, but when you suffer from serious anxiety, the worry can easily unravel into deep angst and impending panic.


I know. I get it. I get you.


While most parents become anxious when their kids grow older and more independent, we tend to take it to a whole new level.

When our kids were young, we worried about every single thing: Will they reach this developmental milestone? Are they finding friends, are they doing okay in school? Will they be safe there and there and there? And we over-analyzed everything because when you have anxiety, that’s what you do. All our worrying kept us up at night and vigilant by day. It drowned us in despair when our children struggled and caused panic and dread when we faced new challenges or unpredictable changes.

Now with our older kids, the anxiety grows with bigger issues and challenges that are impossible to predict.

It can sometimes feel like each day brings new things to fret about. Instead of worrying about milestones, we unravel in the crashing waves of our teen’s choices. Instead of worrying about language development or physical abilities, we diligently detail our kid’s moods and social media accounts looking for any signs of pain or conflict. Instead of constantly thinking about their little world being safe, we now grapple with the unforgiving world that has expanded beyond our control. Letting go is so hard when you suffer from anxiety.


I know. I get it. I get you.


If your kids are competitive athletes, you sweat more than them when they compete and you sometimes sneak away to cry in your car or pray in the bathroom stall because everything seems so magnified with you. You worry non-stop about how they feel about themselves: Their performance, their self-worth, their abilities, their friends, their future. When your kids get behind the wheel, you imagine the unthinkable and fight the never-ending battle of worst-case scenarios every time they drive anywhere- with anyone. When your kids hang with new friends, or go to new places, or try new things, you want to grip control tighter, because you fear the unknown, but you know you can’t hold them back from living, from exploring, from experiencing new things and growing up in new ways.

So, you allow them to go, to try, to learn, and you secretly hold your breath, terrified of what might happen, wondering if you should have said no. When your kids go through hard situations and hurtful conflicts, you break down behind closed doors, crumbling in despair, overwhelmed at the weight of it all.


I know. I get it. I get you.


You lose sleep over things most people might think trivial. You wring your wet hands through the simplest of circumstances. You constantly wonder if you’re doing this parenting thing right and you never feel at ease, at peace about anything because anxiety is a prison you can’t escape. Then there are the busy schedules you try to manage along with all the household chores that can catapult you into a tailspin because when you have anxiety, too much can sink you, paralyze you, or bring on a full-scale panic attack. Busyness can be so overwhelming to muddle through when you have anxiety.


I know. I get it. I get you.


And then there’s the big things. The huge turns in the road of parenting that just about do you in. Those big things that take your teen down can so easily bring you to the depths of your disease. When trying to survive a hard season, you are consumed with what to do, how to do it, where to go, who to talk to, and most especially if your kid’s going to be okay. These are the circumstances where your anxiety becomes monstrous and malicious in its torturing internal voice and there’s no escaping it. The stress of it all depletes you and defeats you and you do everything in your power to not let it take control.

You try not to let it rear its ugly head in front of your kids, so you expend all your energy putting up the façade that you are strong and competent and dependable when they need you most. But inside, you’re one hot mess and you’re sure it shows. So, you add that to the list of all the things to be anxious about too.

It’s so exhausting and maddening being a mom who struggles with anxiety.


I know. I get it. I get you.


And although there are many effective ways to manage our illness, ALL of which I practice, I’ve learned that anxiety will rear its ugly head no matter what we do. Nothing will change the fact that parenting our older kids is full of toxic triggers for the mom who suffers from anxiety. It just is.

We are fearful of the smallest things and terrified of the biggest things and it can dominate our thoughts and our lives, but we can’t let it dominate our kids’ lives. We fight hard every day to not let it show, not let it affect our kids because they have enough to deal with during these teen years. But it can seep into our decisions and surely impact our parenting in so many ways. Sometimes that’s not all bad. Sometimes it keeps us vigilant in our quest to keep our kids safe. But often times, we fight to keep it under control in the presence of our kids because the last thing our kids need is to worry about their mom who suffers from anxiety.


So, I join you in your fears, your incessant worries, and your angst. I join you on this exhausting road we travel to somehow keep it all together for the sake of our kids. But most of all, I just wanted you to know you are not alone.

Because I understand all too well what you go through.

Oh, dear mom who struggles with anxiety-


I know. I get it. I get you.


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