Coping With Feeling Unappreciated As a Mom With Anxiety
Living with anxiety is difficult. To offset our anxious thoughts, many of us seek reassurance from those around us. We find reassurance from people who are close to us, like loved ones, or even strangers. When you have an anxiety disorder, you want to be assured that you are doing the right thing, whether that is being a loving mom to your kids, being a good friend, a good sister, a good employee, and so on.
When you’re a mom with anxiety, and you don’t receive the reassurance that you’re doing a good job, you might feel unappreciated, and feeling unappreciated is a tough thing. You’re trying your hardest to do the best for your kids, and if you already live with chronic anxiety, your inner critic is in overdrive, telling you that you aren’t doing the right thing over and over again. It’s not easy. You can tell your mind to stop racing with intrusive thoughts, but it doesn’t always listen, which is hugely frustrating and causes more anxiety than you already have to start. To cope with those feelings of being unappreciated, first, we need to look inward and find out their origins.
Why do we feel unappreciated?
We don’t feel valued when those that we love don’t tell us we’re doing a good job, but the reality is that the world doesn’t operate like that. So, what you might need to do is appreciate yourself. That may not be what you want to hear, but as a mother, you’re regularly taking care of other people, and it can be difficult to get the appreciation you deserve. There’s nothing wrong with asking to be appreciated or asking for gratitude for the things that you do, because moms do a lot. If you live with chronic anxiety, you likely worry even more about if you’re doing enough, and if you’re doing the “right” thing. It is a genuine and common reason for someone to feel unappreciated. One of the best things that you can do if you feel unappreciated is speak up.
You’re not guilt-tripping
Wanting to be appreciated is not the same as asking people to feel guilty for not recognizing you. It’s likely that your family does appreciate you — even if they don’t always show it — and you know that, so making people feel guilty isn’t your intention. Your kids or your partner might say, “You’re making me feel bad” when you express your needs to feel validated. That’s their way of saying that they feel guilty. Remember you didn’t try to make them feel guilty on purpose, and you can let them know that. You wanted to express yourself and what your needs are. Sometimes when you tell people what you need, they might feel bad that they’re not providing you with your emotional needs. You don’t want people to feel guilty because you do not feel appreciated; you’re merely asking for your needs to be met. It’s OK to ask for what you want. Again, as a mom, you are so used to taking care of others. Don’t be ashamed of having your own needs, too.
When you’re feeling unappreciated, in addition to telling the people you’re close with about it, you can also discuss their emotions with a therapist. Therapy is a great place to talk about your feelings as a mom with anxiety, and about the gratitude that you need. Whether you’re getting therapy online or in your local area, you have the chance to work through your anxiety with a professional and establish healthy ways to get the reassurance and gratitude that you’re seeking from your family.
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