What I Miss Out On as a Parent With Anxiety


I tucked my 2-and-a-half-year-old into bed last night. I softly sung the words of “Rock-a-bye Baby” while cuddled up to him so tight. I rubbed his hair. I kissed his rosy cheeks.

After some pillow talk, he fell asleep. I held him closer. I looked at him, so innocent, so sweet. Listening to him breathe in and out, I whispered into his ear, “I’m so sorry for being me.”

Earlier in the day, he had jumped into the front seat of my car while I was trying to get him inside from preschool. He was pretending to drive the car. I was so stressed. It was cold. I am so pregnant.

I just wanted to get him inside so I could sit down. I didn’t want to stand in the cold. He laid on the horn. I looked around to make sure no one was disturbed by this, and I yelled at him.

“Mommy said no!”

“Stop!”

I felt my anger building. I threw down all of the stuff I had in my hands, and I pulled him out of the car. He threw a fit in the middle of the road. I hated this moment. I hated that he wouldn’t listen. I hated that I couldn’t stand to be out there any longer, and I hated mostly that I couldn’t “enjoy the moment,” a moment he was enjoying so much.

Anxiety robs you of so many precious moments.

So what is there to be anxious about in this moment? Well, it’s not necessarily one trigger in one moment. It is the anxiety that builds all day, every single day.

You grow tired. You physically hurt. You cry. You obsess. You struggle with simple decisions others wouldn’t think twice about. You wake up every morning wishing it were bed time. You count the days until it is the weekend when you can have some help.

You cry because you hate feeling that way. You feel guilt. You have a wonderful husband, a beautiful child and one on the way. You have a steady job, a home. You live comfortably. You are blessed.

You are ungrateful? That’s what you will tell yourself. Reality? You are plagued by your own mind.

Anxiety robs you of peace of mind.

There is never a moment you feel at ease. You will check everything 100 times. You will look for potential dangers, and you will fix them. You will worry about 10 minutes from now, 10 hours from now and 10 years from now in one minute. Your mind will race, and you will be completely exhausted.

You are a problem solver in your mind. If you don’t fix it all right now, then it won’t get done and something terrible will happen. It will be your fault. When someone, anyone, breaks your train of thought, you will lash out at them. Don’t they see how important it is that you figure everything out right now?

Unfortunately, it might be that sweet, innocent, rosy cheeked 2-year-old asking for more milk, or trying to jump on you for attention. You love him so much, and you’re trying to solve any potential problem for him. All he wants is a glass of milk and a hug.

Why is this so hard?

This post originally appeared on Jack’s Mom of Many Trades.

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