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My Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like a 'Mean Mom'

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I never pictured myself as a “mean” mom. I pictured myself as the mom who is carefree. The mom who can do fun things and enjoys being around her kids. The mom who can joke with her kids. I pictured myself as a mom my kids love to be around.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it is.

I can’t tell you how long I’ve had anxiety. It’s been a number of years. It started out not so bad, but gradually over the years, it’s gotten worse. Right now, it’s at the point where I feel anxiety has taken over my life.

I have three kids under the age of 12. I’m lucky enough that, for the first time, I’m able to be a stay-at-home mom. As sad and awful as it is to even say aloud, my two oldest kids trigger my anxiety.

Every morning we “start over” from the night before. Anxiety has two effects on me. One is constant and obsessive worry, and the second is anger. We have a playground right outside of our patio. My children cannot go out without me sitting on the patio because I fear they will get kidnapped. If my kids go anywhere in a car with anyone besides myself, I sit in constant fear of them getting into a car accident. I call my oldest non-stop until I know he’s safe. If my kids are sick, my mind goes to the worst case scenario. I think they have some deadly disease, so I sit and research every symptom. If my son has headaches, I believe he has a brain tumor. My son can’t play football for school because I fear that he’ll get a concussion and have brain damage. When my kids go swimming in the summer, I fear they will die of dry by drowning. I worry constantly about my son drinking and driving, doing drugs, etc., but he’s only 12 years old.

The anger side of my anxiety is what makes me sad. My kids make any sounds such as mouth noises, and I snap. They don’t listen and I have to repeat myself, and I snap. They argue, and I snap. They make a mess, and I snap. They don’t help clean up, and I snap. I am living in a state of anger. How unfair is this to my children? They aren’t allowed to be kids because of my anxiety. I’m either scared to death for them or I’m angry at them.

Anxiety consumes a person. It turns you into someone you don’t recognize. It makes you a person you hate. This isn’t the mom I want to be. I spend every day saying sorry. I spend every day starting over. And I will continue to apologize and start over until I can find my inner peace.

Unsplash via Patrick Fore

Originally published: November 14, 2018
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