I Live a Good Life . . . Even with Anxiety


I was asked once who takes care of my kids when I’m dealing with anxiety. “Um, I do, Karen,” I said inside my own head. Who else would it be?

That sort of martyr attitude has honestly been one of my biggest mistakes in dealing with life with postpartum anxiety after the birth of my second child. The idea that I still had to keep everything clean, orderly, pay bills, plan meals, and keep my children occupied in countless extracurriculars was absurd.

I just wanted them to see that everything was normal.

I didn’t want my anxiety to affect our daily lives.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I could say that I needed a couple of hours of alone time. To insist that we needed a housekeeper once a week so that the piles of laundry didn’t feed into both my anxiety and my sense of inadequacy. To budget money and time for small self care acts like a monthly facial and daily walks with the dogs.

In fact, it took me years to be able to do all of it. And my goodness, have things improved!

Taking care of myself and saying “yes” to offers for help means that I am a better mother. Period. I am better rested, better able to deal with a crisis, better able to pour from my own cup. 

I know, too, that this discussion comes from a privileged place. I was lucky enough to have family to lean on and funds to pull from when I needed to do so. Many women are not even remotely as lucky—I honestly think about that every day.

Here is my point: Mental health issues are not an indication of weakness and failure. If you need help, ASK FOR IT. It won’t work like magic, and it will take time, but it is worth it. We can be our own best advocates and cheerleaders just like we advocate for our children.

YOU are just as important.


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