I am diagnosed with clinical anxiety. It’s not something I like to talk about openly but here I am so that you too can realize that having anxiety does not make you any less. Anxiety has a horrible stigma. The sufferer just needs to “calm down” or “take a break” but plain and simple it does not work like that. It is a disorder that floods you with excessive worry and irritability. It is fear driven and fatigues you. Many assume that this disorder makes you less of a parent because of the symptoms that accompany. But it doesn’t. I am a good mother and you reading this, you are a good mother too. Having anxiety has made me a better mother. It does not make mothers who don’t have this condition any less but, makes me as an individual more whole. It makes me who I am and I fully embrace it. Yes sometimes it can make life feel a bit debilitating. But I work through it and I try to use the best techniques to control the panic attacks, the irritability, the restlessness, the continual freight train of worry that is always bustling through my head. You see my anxiety is a blanket that cloaks around me persistently clinging to my every thought and move. It allows me the ability to think of danger before it happens, to logically think of every outcome of every variable at lightening speed. It is a warrior who stands in front of me like a watch dog telling me all the places to look, and look twice. It tells me of all the dangers at an annoyingly persistent rate. Lock the door, buckle her in right, make sure EVERYONE washes their hands before they touch her. It shows me every possible surface where my baby could bump her head. In my world, this is my motherly super power. It’s like having two sets of eyes when I’m in public on watch, at all times. The grocery cart is dirty and could lead to sickness, wipe it. The toy she has in her mouth, if she falls on it she will choke, take it away. I see something that she is going to trip on, move it. I see a plug that doesn’t have an outlet cover, fix it. I have these red flags that pop off like fireworks in my mind.
It’s also given me a sense of understanding. When my baby cries out, when she hyperventilating, clinging to my leg I have a bigger and better heart for the situation. I am empathic to her want for me because I understand. I embrace that she doesn’t feel safe or that she is scared. We work through it together because I know personally what it’s like to be in those shoes. I still make her face new experiences on her own sometimes but she always knows I’m there.
I feel that as her mother I will always have this extra anxiety that she will be in harms way. So maybe I have a few more red flags than others but I am not ashamed to admit I have this disorder. It has allowed me to protect and love better. My child may think I’m over protective or that I’m a little bit of a freak but I know that I will always have her best interest in mind. My child is what makes me, me. Another part of what makes me, me is having in anxiety. What makes me a good mother to my child is having anxiety. Having anxiety doesn’t crumble you down to nothing, it doesn’t make you less of a person or subsequently less of a mother it makes you a better mother in your own unique way. Embrace who you are, and what adds to your power of being a mom.