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  • Writer's pictureCerissa Rhodes

Parenting with Anxiety

Parenting is both the most amazing experience you will have and by far the most challenging and difficult experience in existence (maybe a bit dramatic, but I am). And when you have you are lucky enough to add anxiety into the mix, those challenges seem nearly IMPOSSIBLE.

As a therapist specializing in anxiety (as well as a parent with anxiety raising a kiddo with anxiety), I've witnessed firsthand the unique struggles that mamas face when parenting with anxiety. Today, I want to share what it's really like to parent with anxiety, the struggle these mamas experience, and the signs that extra help may be needed.

The EXHAUSTION of Thoughts

Parenting with anxiety means having a brain that never, ever turns off. It means instead of the average 60,000 thoughts a day most people experience, these mamas experience millions. It's the questioning if you mad a mistake, of not being enough for your children, of something terrible happening to your or them. It's the never-ending cycle of "what ifs" that play on repeat over and over again in your mind. These "what ifs" and racing thoughts steal away precious moments of joy and peace and create an immense amount of exhaustion.

Woman anxious and stressed out.
The thoughts and doubt are exhausting.

The Doubt

Anxiety makes mamas doubt their abilities as a parent. It can make you question whether you're doing enough, whether you're making the right decisions, whether you're truly capable of being the parent you want to be. This is doubly so, if the mama is overcoming inter-generational or childhood trauma. These doubts can erode confidence and leave mamas feeling inadequate and overwhelmed.

The Pain of Parenting with Anxiety

Mamas with anxiety face a multitude of struggles on a daily basis. Its a struggle to balance caring for their own mental health while also caring for the mental health of their kiddos (and yes you should put your oxygen mask on first!) It's the guilt that comes from feeling like you're not measuring up to society's expectations of being the perfect parent (completely unobtainable by any parent). It's the loneliness of feeling like you're the only one going through this, even though you know deep down that you're not alone.

Signs that Anxiety Treatment is Needed

Knowing when it is help to seek an expert is crucial for mamas parenting with anxiety. Some signs to watch out for include:

  1. Persistent feelings of worry, fear, or dread that interfere with your daily life.

  2. Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep due to racing thoughts.

  3. Changes in appetite, mood swings, or irritability.

  4. Avoidance of social activities or isolation from friends and family.

  5. Physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, or stomachaches on a regular basis.

If you're experiencing any of these signs, it's important to reach out for support. You don't have to face this alone. Curious what treatment for anxiety looks like? Check out this page. If you are located in NC or VA and are seeking therapy for yourself, click here to schedule a consultation today!

Parenting with anxiety is an exhausting experience filled with ups and downs, but it's important to remember these two facts:

  1. There is hope!

  2. You are not alone!

If you interested in learning more about my parent coaching, and how I support mamas of kiddos with anxiety check out my coaching page here.

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