No, I Cannot Just Relax: Mom Anxiety and Worry

“Just relax” is actually a common phrase out of my husband’s mouth. Why? Because I’m an anxious person. I hate being late, I hate dishes in the sink, I hate the laundry piled up, I hate so much, and I say hate but really it is that these things all make me anxious.

I’ve said previously that since becoming a mom my anxiety has changed.

Situations that cause my anxiety have changed.

Since becoming a mom, a lot of my anxiety centers around my children. I worry about them. I worry they are eating enough. I worry they will get sick. I worry they’re going to fall and hurt themselves. I worry they’re going to eat something they’re not supposed to. I worry they’ll choke. I worry. I also worry that others think I’m a bad mom. That one I do admit, I need to get over, I need to not care about other opinions and judgment. But it’s easier said than done.

My anxiety causes me pain and stress.

Believe me, I wish I could just relax. When I go to the store I wish I could just not care about the other people’s looks and side-eye as my toddler screams when I put her in the cart. I wish I could ignore the whispers as I just hand her my phone because then she’ll sit down. I wish I could ignore the attempts at small talk by the cashier as she points out my daughter sitting their engrossed in her YouTube video rather than looking up when given a sticker. But I cannot. I cannot just not care. This means that often times though I’m stressed out, I’m anxious, I’m annoyed and after long days on the verge of tears. I know it’ll just get worse for a while too.

My 10-month-old son is usually pretty good just sitting in the seat along for the ride…. For now.

My husband thinks I should just relax when it comes to planning our weekends and my insistence on getting the babies home for a nap, or not going out until after they’ve had one. He’s able to ignore their tired cries. He’s able to ignore the looks of judgment and disgust. He’s able to, I’m not. Yes, I want them to get a nap for them, I want them to be well rested and happy, but I also want it for me. If they are not rested and happy, going out is hell.

My husband thinks I should just relax when we go to family events. It doesn’t matter which family, they make me stressed out and anxious. My kids running around everywhere or crawling in the case of the 10-month-old. My kids grabbing at anything and everything they can. My kids climbing the stairs.

I cannot just relax because I need to watch my kids.

I need to make sure they are safe, but I also need to make sure they are well behaved. I need to make sure they don’t break anything. I need to make sure they don’t eat the dog food or dump over the trash can. I need to make sure they do not crash into the fireplace or steal toys from their cousins.

I want to be able have conversations. I want to be able to build relationships with family members, I want to be able to relax and just be easy going. But, I have to watch the kids.

Why is that all on me?

It shouldn’t be. I’m sure most people would tell me it’s not, but it sure feels like it is. I have been the one judging others before I had kids. I judged others for not watching their kids. I’ve judged others for their kids touching things, breaking things. Now, I do realize as a parent, that kids just do that, but when they’re in other homes, they need to be watched.

My two-year-old and 10-month-old don’t know better, they don’t know not to break anything, they are not being bad kids, but they need to be watched.

If I’m not being judged because people think my kids are crazy and ill-behaved, then I’m being judged because I’m anxious. I know an irrational thought. I know, probably not true, but it’s still in my head, and when it’s in my head it makes me anxious. Being anxious causes me to be anxious.

So, I do wish I could relax.

Because if I could relax then others would not feel my anxiety and reserve. They would not feel my stress, because I do not hide it well, it radiates off me.

I’m stressed, I’m anxious, and I’d rather just stay home.

The judgment hurts me, even when it’s just perceived. The judgment and whispers make me uncomfortable. My stress and anxiety cause me pain. My stress and anxiety cause me to be quiet and shy, because I’m in my head. My stress and anxiety cause me to focus more on the kids then the person actually trying to get me into a conversation. My stress and anxiety cause me the ability to build those relationships.

So, believe me, I wish I could just relax.

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 


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18 thoughts on “No, I Cannot Just Relax: Mom Anxiety and Worry

  1. Oh, I know that anxiety far too well, my friend! While I struggle with this beast in different areas of my life, the relentless weight of it is quite the same, I feel! One thing I’ve learned along the way is to accept my current state of anxiousness, even if it isn’t where I’d like to stay! Prayers for you and where you’re at!

  2. I know exactly how you feel, I have horrible anxiety bouts over various things lately it has been four fold because my job makes me depressed and I am worried about trying to find a new one with the pay we need for bills.

    1. I’ve been there but before I had kids. I had a job that caused me to get an ulcer. It’s terrible trying to find something else while just wanting to leave where you are as quickly as possible.

  3. As someone how suffers from chronic anxiety, I know all to well the feeling of that crushing sense of fear and uncertainty. I can only imagine how that can be heightened with the stresses of being a mum and taking care of your little ones. Wishing you all the best xx

  4. I have some issues with worrying too. I think of so many different scenarios and I have a tough time sending the kids off with anyone else. It doesn’t happen much but then I do a lot to prepare and make sure there aren’t things to worry about. Sorry you have so much pain and anxiety, it is tough to be constantly stressed.

  5. I feel your pain! I used to be so easy going. My toddler broke me, now I am anxious and worry about things that never even crossed my mind before! Life is so hard as a mama, and it never ends. Glad they are blessings too, love hugs from my little guy (which always help!)

  6. “Being anxious causes me to be anxious.” I’ve never related to any sentence more! Hang in there. And know you arent alone in your worrying. ❤

  7. I guess this happen to all the mom in the world! Most mom will be so anxious on little thing such as plates on the sink, messy bed and etc. One thing great is, you are still able to realize that you are in anxious mode. I believe there are many other moms out there who doesn’t even realize why they got anxious and just blow it out to their kids or spouse.

    1. Ya I agree. It’s good to be aware and many people are not. I still can blow up at my husband though even though I know I’m anxious. It’s hard sometimes to stop yourself from a blow up but it’s good to talk about. That always helps anyone that’s in that situation.

    1. Yes. My husband has his own anxiety but over much different things. I have to remind him it’s just like his. He cannot turn it off either. We are just anxious over much different things.

  8. We just talked about what is relaxing in my parent ed class, and literally every parent mentioned something without their children present. If my kid is in the room, I am at work, not relaxing!

  9. Oh, Sarah, I can somewhat relate, imagine I do not have kids yet – but how I react when I take charge for my nieces are over (as they say). Seems like I anticipate too much… I don’t know, but how I worry really stresses me.

  10. Yes! This is such a thing. As is mom guilt, unfortunately. Ug! We are all in it together, though. I find camaraderie with other moms for sure.

  11. Thank you for your honesty and openness. Anxiety is hard to talk about, and I imagine hard to manage with kids in tow. You’re not alone! I hope it begins to subside for you soon.

  12. I know this feeling so well! It hasn’t gone away for me yet, and my twins are going to be 9 next month. My son has autism so I’m still dealing with some of the same anxieties I had when he was a toddler, plus the new ones of school situations and how much to let them do without me hovering. My husband, on the other hand, grew up not only in a different time when life seemed safer but also, in Brazil on a farm where he was able to run free wherever whenever he wanted so I am always on top of him to watch our kids closer. My anxiety level is usually on a 10+ daily, and I just can’t relax either.

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