Being a mom is hard enough.
The other night I was lying in bed and I picked up a book that I’ve been wanting to finish reading for ages and just kept putting aside.
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, if you must know.
So anyway, I picked it up and a piece of paper fell out of the back cover. I opened it up and saw it was a receipt from a Psychiatrist I had seen quite a few years ago. (Yup, just admitted that.)
The diagnosis code stared at me.
So yea…being a mom is hard enough. Being a mom with ‘problems’ is even harder.
We all have problems, right?! What’s yours?
Mine? Panic Disorder.
Well, that’s one of my problems, anyway. 😀
When I was a teenager, a beloved teacher of mine pulled me aside and handed me a book called ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’ by Elaine Aaron.
Yes, that is actually a thing, and boy did she hit THAT nail right on the head.
Being a HSP doesn’t exactly mean that I go crying over every little thing. Let’s just say…HSP’s are hyper-aware. Panic Disorder just comes naturally after that, I guess.
But I digress…back to the other night. As I was staring at that little piece of paper, I was reminded of the exact moment in my pregnancy that I realized I had some huge decisions to make.
Much of my life had been ruled by fear, and if I wasn’t careful, fear would rule the life of my child as well.
If I became the worlds most over-protective parent, so many *other* fears of mine could be realized down the road.
He could rebel.
He could grow up so sheltered that he won’t be able to take care of himself in the real world.
He could grow up only having half the fun he could have had.
He could grow up with no sense of adventure.
He could develop Panic Disorder.
No…I didn’t want that to happen. If it’s genetic, then so be it…but I could not live with the thought of my actions possibly causing my child to panic.
That day, I made a conscious decision to keep calm around my child.
I fail…a lot. But I’m getting better.
Today, I want to share my top 5 tips for keeping sane and calming the heck down so you don’t scare your kid:
1) Instead of saying no, say ‘Ok, but let me help you.’ Kids want to climb walls, scale boulders, and jump into the pool. Let them know they’re allowed, but that you need to be close by to help until they have conquered the task.
2) Don’t over-sanitize. Kids need germs – they help them to build healthy immune systems. No, I’m not saying they should go lick a toilet…but force yourself to not wipe down the entire jungle gym with alcohol before they play.
3) Let them fall. Before you call child services on me – I’m talking about little mistakes, here. Let them try to step up on a curb without clinging to them for dear life. Graduate to steps.
4) Die Google, die. Never, ever google every little symptom your child has, or you will be convinced that your child will be a victim of secondary drowning every time their drink goes down the wrong pipe.
5) Know your limits and take time for yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, switch gears for a while. It is ok to not conquer the world every single moment.
6) (I know I said 5, but this one is important.) Pray, a lot. One thing that this big decision DID do was bring me closer to God. I had to be ready to fully trust God with my son before I could let go a little.
It is so hard being a mom in such a scary world…
…let’s try our best to make it a little less scary for our kids.