So there we were. Our son standing on the edge of the pool, about to jump in, and it hit. He was having a total meltdown! I mean full on trembling, tears, snot…LOSING IT! I was helplessly watching my anxious child.
Now, he had jumped into the pool countless times before, but somehow this time was different. He was absolutely full of anxiety and fear over the thought of jumping.
I wish that I could tell you how patient I was, and that I deserved an award for being an awesome mommy during that moment. Unfortunately, that is not the case, but I did learn something from the experience… so there is that! 😉
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This is not the first time our son has had anxiety hit him, at what appear to be strange moments. Through the years of being his mommy I have been able to figure out some of his triggers, loud noises, large crowds, etc., but sometimes there is just no tangible rhyme or reason to his meltdowns.
It can be so incredibly frustrating, to not just be able to FIX IT! I mean, that’s my job, that’s what I do best…#mynameismama.
So instead of staying calm I did absolutely everything wrong! I was dismissive, I was laughing to lighten his mood, and most importantly I did not truly listen to what my son was saying to me. Yep, that was me! #MomFail
We got out of the pool, and had what would be considered a pretty lousy rest of the evening. My son was really shaken, and I was feeling totally crappy as a mom.
Later that evening, when it was time for bed, and I couldn’t sleep. Hmmm…I wonder why? It hit me! I like to call them God’s whispers. 🙂
Every single thing that I could have done to turn that entire situation around was laid out before me. What steps I should have taken, how I could have kept myself calm, and the big one…I needed to apologize to my son!
You see I myself have struggled with moments of anxiety. AND, here is the big kicker…it typically happens doing something that I have done a million times before, and I freeze! I get very overwhelmed in that moment, and there really isn’t any explanation.
I also know that in the moments that I feel anxiety, being dismissive of my feelings, or laughing at me would in no way help me to come out of it.
I want to encourage my child to FEEL, and to never ever feel less than for any of it!
So through my A-ha moment of clarity, a discussion, and a heartfelt apology with my son, I wanted to share with you the lessons I learned from my anxious child.
Stay calm mama
Mama, I know it’s hard. You see your baby hurting and terrified, and you CAN’T fix it! It is the most helpless feeling ever, and you are feeling pretty low. But, mama keep breathing.
Your energy and essence are feeding your child with anxiety right now. They really need you to stay calm and present with them in these moments. Maintain eye contact, and breathe with them…through all of it.
Sometimes those little spirits just need to get it out. If you have ever had anxiety, then you know the constant rolodex of thoughts cycling through your mind.
Listen to them, and truly hear what they are saying. Acknowledge their thoughts, and let them know that you are there and hear them.
If your child in that moment wants to be held go for it! Hold them tight mama, and embrace them.
Please note: They may not want to be held during a full on anxiety attack, so I would definitely ask them first. But, rest assured when it passes, they will fall in your arms.
They Are Not Alone
It’s important to let your child know that they are not alone. Reassure your child that you are not going anywhere, and that you will be right by their side.
Anxiety can feel very isolating, and knowing that they are not alone through these overwhelming feelings can be very reassuring.
This Too Shall Pass
Mama, this moment will not last forever. It may feel like it, but I assure you it won’t!
You have done everything you can, and your child knows this. Just keep being your awesome self, and you will get through it together!
Being a mom is so incredibly hard. And not being perfect ALL.THE.TIME can be downright infuriating!
But, you know what? Thank God we are given grace! Grace to start another day, grace to start over, and grace to try again!
I am so grateful that I learned something beautiful from my complete #MomFail, and turned it into a total #MomWin. 🙂
I truly hope that these lessons help you, and if you are struggling with a child with anxiety…please know that you are not ALONE! XO