Why I Constantly Wonder, 'Is He Happy?' as a Young Mother With Anxiety

“Raising boys is not for the faint hearted.” That’s how the saying goes, right? Well, I believe it’s also not for the young mother filled with anxiety either. Well, it is, but it just isn’t easy.

Now, let me tell you. I know there are mothers out there going through struggles harder than I could imagine. After all, I have a healthy 2-year-old, his father stayed and loves us unconditionally and heck, we’re getting married next spring. We own a beautiful house and have full-time jobs at the ages of 22 and 23. We are beyond blessed when it comes to love and material items.

However, having a beautiful little boy watching my every move and me knowing every choice I make impacts him and who he will grow up to be? That’s a lot of pressure for me. It has me in a constant state of restlessness.

Did he get enough to eat today? Did I hug him enough today? Did I kiss him enough today? Did he get to play enough? Is he happy?

Yes. Is he happy? It’s a question I ask myself daily. Multiple times a day. Because I couldn’t handle knowing for a second that the sweetest, most innocent boy I’ve ever laid eyes on is even the slightest bit upset when he lays down to go to bed at night. I know that you’re thinking. He’s 2 years old. What 2-year-old isn’t happy? Give him a lollipop and he’ll be on his merry way.

Since becoming a mother at the young age of 19, I’ve grown in so many ways. All of that growing in such a short time — something I think a lot of people don’t experience for years — has sparked a whole new fire of anxiety. I lay in bed at night with these thoughts and questions racing through my mind.

Sometimes, I don’t even want to allow him to leave my arms because I’m filled with voices in my head telling me this world is evil. That no one is truly just here to be nice anymore. All I want is to see him grow to be happy and healthy and to achieve any goals he has in life.

He’s only been gracing this earth for two and a half short years, and yet, he’s already the biggest dreamer I know. He’s got plans for this world, and Lord help us all when he finally gets going. The impact he’s going to have on this world will be mesmerizing.

I can’t wait to watch it happen.

I tell myself daily that I have to let him fly. I have to prepare myself for the day he no longer says, “Mama, help!” When it’s time for that day to come, I worry my anxiety and fears about this world are going to hold him back, when all I’m trying to do is protect him. 

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Thomas Northcut.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

When I Realized Anxiety Was No Longer My Friend

I don’t remember when I first met him. Perhaps, it was when I was in sixth grade when I had to first give a speech in front of my class. Or maybe it was fourth grade on an elevator when my face turned white and my mom asked what I was so afraid of. Maybe [...]
painting of colorful feet with flip-flops on sandy beach

Anxiety by Storm: A Poem

At 16, I have been diagnosed with neuro-psychiatric presenting Chronic Lyme disease. This means I often feel like a nervous wreck, can’t remember things and have dealt with insomnia and depression since I was young. I wrote this poem about how hard it is to be in a room of people and not really be [...]
woman's head just visible above stormy waves in ocean with dark blue sky

Why I Am Loud When My Anxiety Kept Me Quiet

I used to rarely speak. When I was in middle school, not yet diagnosed with both anxiety and depression, I was afraid to speak. I was afraid people would judge me. I was afraid people would know everything about me. I was afraid people would misconstrue everything I did and said. I was afraid people [...]
anxious woman looking out of window biting nails

The Difference Between 'Natural' Anxiety and a Mental Illness

Anxiety feels different for everyone. For many people, it’s a natural part of life — the quickening of your pulse when your child won’t pick up his cell phone; the beating in your ears when curfew comes and goes and he doesn’t appear. The apprehension in your stomach with every moment of silence. And then: the [...]