Okay, so I say this with sarcasm. The joy of being an anxious mother. Because being anxious, as a mom, or otherwise, does not usually bring much joy to anyone. Not the mom, not the kids, not the husband, not the guy walking by the kiddos that the mom is sure is planning to take her children.
I have bad anxiety, that has only gotten worse when I have had kids. It was really bad during the pregnancy also. If this is you right now, go check out this post for help. It is just kind of something I have dealt with all my life. But I feel bad because now my boys have to deal with it also. Even though they did not sign up for it, but just because I am their mother.
So I am always working on ways to help my anxiety. I have already written a blog post about how to deal with anxiety. But this is a blog post to deal with anxiety as a mother. So that your kiddos can still live relatively normal. Because we all know that moms with anxiety have problems letting their kids go.
Talk to Your Kiddos about your anxious mother tendencies
I started talking to my boys at a pretty early age, about safety and about my anxiety. There is a fine line between making sure my kids are safe and being overprotective because I am anxious. This is why I started talking to my kids when they were probably about two. I would tell them simply that I always wanted them to be safe, and that mommy was very anxious about keeping them safe.
They learned at a very young age to always tell me when they were going to a different part of the playground. When they saw something that looked suspicious to them. Or to just stay close to me when there are lots of people around, and we will go to where they want to go together. Since I started this at an early age, they do not know any different, and I don’t think it has made their childhood too different. They both know I have their best interest at heart and also, this is how I remain calm.
Your Kiddos Want to Help
My youngest who is eleven, will still hold my hand from time to time when we are out in public with lots of people because he knows it makes me a calmer mom. My older one who is fourteen, is obviously doing things on his own now, but he always tells me where he is going and where he is at. He knows that this makes me calmer, and is also just good sense that someone knows where he is at.
Just keep that communication open. My boys know I am not perfect, and they have known that since they were little because I have communicated that with them. They know that I am an anxious mother, and they are more than happy to calm my nerves by keeping me in the know.
Just do not keep anything like this from your kids. They are smart. And they know when something is different about their mama (notice I said different, not wrong!). They are willing to help you out, especially if all it requires is them sending a quick text when they go to a friend’s house.
Do Not Worry About Other Moms
I have a friend who says that when she takes her kids out in public, she is sure other moms think she is mean. Why, because she gets so anxious taking her kids out in public, and how they are going to behave, she gets her mean face on. Now, she is the nicest person in the world, but the moms that see her in public with her kids, are probably not thinking that. But, what I say, is who cares. Her kids are safe, and her kids are happy. Because they know that mom is more fun at home.
I am pretty sure I have the same face when out in public with my boys. Not so much now that they are older, but when they were younger. I gave EVERYONE the “step away from my child” look. That I am sure other moms did not appreciate. But my kids were safe, and that is all that was important.
If this is something you do, please do not worry about what other people are thinking. You have plenty of times to go out by yourself and make friends. When you are with your kids, they are your top priority and do not apologize for your mean face.
Rachel Hollis (who I love!) does the exact same thing! Did you know that? When she is in public with her children she is off limits. If she is by herself, ask for a selfie, go on up and talk to her. But when she is with her kids, she has her mean face on. And I completely agree with this of course. I am no public figure, but I feel the same way about my kiddos.
Send the Kids with Dad
So both of my boys are extroverts. My husband is an extrovert. I am an anxious introvert. I could stay in my house for days, and be very happy not leaving. My husband and boys crave being around other people. So one of our solutions to this, is I send the boys with dad. If there is some sort of event that will have a lot of people, my husband and boys will just go. To read more tips about being an introverted mama, check out this post here!
Sometimes this makes everyone happier because if I go, and am anxious, then I want to leave right away. But my husband and boys want to see everything. So if they just go, they can see all the things. And I can stay at home and work on my blog!
I know that not everyone has an extroverted husband so maybe you have a friend or relative that can take your kiddos to places. I had my sister take the boys to the school carnival last week. She loved it, the boys loved, and I loved it because I didn’t have to go.
There are lots of us out there who are an anxious mother. But there are ways to deal with it. And you know what, we will get through this together.