I’ve always been what you call a “nervous mother.” I am not quite all the way to helicopter mom, but I could get there if I wasn’t so self-aware. However, this past year I’ve been struggling with anxiety and I must say that it’s taken my nervous mother-ness to a whole new level. I am working on getting it under control, but in the meantime I have to tell myself certain truths over and over again when my anxiety tries to tell me lies about my kids.
Here are some examples of things and thoughts I battle with as a mom when it comes to my anxiety.
At school pick up, when my kids take three or four minutes longer to come out to the car, my anxiety tells me they’re surely missing. AWOL. Gone. I have to take deep breaths and tell myself that they’re just being slow pokes today.
When my teenager seems more quiet than usual, my anxiety tells me that there’s probably something very wrong that he’s afraid to tell me about. I have to remind myself that he is introverted and quiet by nature, and also, not talking to your mom very much is a very normal teenage boy thing to do and he’s probably not having a life or death crisis.
Sometimes at dinner when I’m having a rough anxiety day, I carefully monitor every bite my seven-year-old puts into his mouth. (Let’s just say he’s always eaten very quickly and doesn’t take great care with chewing.) I have to remind myself that at seven years old he’s pretty good at eating, and has never had one single choking incident.
When my seven-year-old has a paper sent home from school that he didn’t do well on, my anxiety tells me that it’s a huge deal and that I need to do everything I can to make sure he understands this concept or it’s going to have an extremely detrimental effect on his entire life. I have to talk myself off the ledge on this one, and remind myself that bombing one math test or getting a C on handwriting in second grade is pretty much meaningless in the grand scheme of things.