Anxious Parenting 101

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Last night I laid awake from 2:00 until 3:30 am worried I’d gotten the back to school dates wrong and we’d be out of town for the first day of school. It spun into a terrible spiral of wondering if I’d be ruining football careers or family ties. I literally had the cold sweats till I found the Patch article with the approved back to school dates. The dates I knew but worried about. It was insanity. It was anxious parenting 101.

This morning I tried to shake it off and start the day right. But quickly that turned into a trip down anxious road where I worried that my children didn’t understand that had to take the blame for their own actions or that I wasn’t equipping my daughter for real future life, because I don’t always make her walk to school or home from practice. It finally completed it’s insanity spiral when I weighed in on a post about Aldi and left it feeling like a jackhole mother because I choose non-organic so that I can afford things like Peco and baseball gloves. And then when I buy the stupid baseball glove, damn orange bat, then green bat, I worry it’s not right and I am teaching them the wrong things and I should be more worried about feeding them grain fed, organic tofu steaks or something.

Parenting Anxiety 101. I could be the principle of that school.

And I don’t get it. I was a perfectly calm brand new mother. I felt almost no anxiety when Devlynn was  born. And despite thinking I would never be a parent, I was so comfortable in the parenting roll handed to me that I just didn’t worry. Progressively, with each child, it’s turned into insanity. Pure insanity. I worry I don’t worry enough about what they’re eating or if they’re taking AP classes or if they’re making friends or if they know the dangers of internet strangers. I am worrying about worry. It’s insane. I am insane.

Sometimes I think I worry because it’s the only thing I truly can control, as backwards at the sounds. I can worry that I left my camera bag in the car and cure it by running down, in my pajamas at 3am to fetch it and save it from the thievery lurking around the corners.

Only most of the time, it turns out my camera bag was never left in my car. Because I never leave my camera bag in the car because that’s insanity. I just needed something to worry about, because I think I am in control then but really, I am really, really out of control.

Horrible.

I think as parents we all want the best for our children. We do what we can and we work as hard as we can to provide them with the very best we can. The older my children get the more I worry I am sending truly stellar adults into the world. I worry that because I never took these roads, that I don’t know how to send them out there with properly filled bags. Bags that know how to pay bills and attend college and do all the things I am not so sure I know how to do.

Gosh, why is parenting so hard. And why do I have to have this stupid anxiety mixed in with it? And how do I change it?

 

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The cakepop queen

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I made almost 300 cake pops last week. I had help from my teenager. They were for her fundraiser afterall. I managed to make, package and deliver them all in a few days with only one order mistake. I officially hate the smell of cake but I have darn near perfected it and if I wasn’t so sane, I’d have me a little business. I know better though. 300 in one week is enough to make my back throw curse words in my direction for at the very least, 24 hours.

I am however, the local queen of cake pops. Even if I never want to see them again.

I feel  very fortunate in that I am really pretty good at a lot of things. I can sew. Well. I have made more costumes than I care to admit. Each one was hand sewn. Davis’ costume last year literally made my fingers bleed. It was wonderful and I will someday get his Daryl Dixon vest signed and framed. Because I love that costume, that kid and that man (hello Norman Reedus, wanna sign my vest?) I have made money for very tight Christmas’ with felt food and I have made many, many babies blankets. I can crochet. Pretty well. I can make a hat, a sweater and even pants now. I don’t always close my rounds just right but I am not embarrassed of my work. I’ve taught myself web work, I consider myself an illustrator and I am not bad behind a camera.  I am good at lots of things but I never feel  great at anything.

Maybe I am great at cake pops. I don’t know.

It’s really hard to work at things, with your whole heart and not reap what you feel the benefit of the work should be. Shouldn’t I be internet famous by now? Shouldn’t I have people beating down my door for my wares? Nope. That’s not in my cards and I get that but it doesn’t make it an easier pill to swallow.

It’s tough to do the work. Really do the work. And when you really nail it, it’s hard not to reach out for that pat on the back. But if we’re doing it for the pat, we’re just not doing it for the right reasons. That’s an even bigger pill. Damn pills.

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We bought a new car last night. It’s older than my oldest child. I wasn’t very happy about the choice but it’s bigger than the other car we looked at and seems like it maybe a good fit. But some highway shaking and tough turning says it may have issues I wasn’t prepared to deal with. I hate cars. I always have. Working for a car lot taught me more than I care to know. And it makes me anxious to know we have an older car that will need care. When we bought the van I added a package that covered all the care throughout the lease. You can’t do that with an old car, bought from a person and so now I think about all the extra costs and work that are paired with a car this age.

But we needed a car and this is the one he wanted. The benefit of it is it is a automatic where the last was a stick. My daughter, learning to drive, has enough on her plate driving in this area.. it would have been killer to then add shifting to the mix.  It’s also AWD and has more room then the last car. It will be helpful to have the trunk space for sports gear etc. Also, it’s a Honda and I know if Honda’s are well cared for, it will do it’s job for a long time. I just have to make the effort to take care of it before it goes down that old car slippery slope.

I’m trying to find the positives here. It’s hard.

Hopefully, HOPEFULLY it ends up being a wonderful car. That lasts more than a couple years. Because I hate the car buying process and I just want something to last a lifetime. I know that’s a lot to ask.

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The lemons of life

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My husband has wrecked almost every car he’s had. His first blue Honda met with a guard rail, if I remember correctly, on a winding road in Colorado. My favorite car, a purple-ish blue Passat Turbo slammed into a curb deploying the air bag and some other awesome-ness and then after a very bad storm, hit a tree and it probably got crushed after we sold it to a junk yard a year or so later. So when he texted me last week that he had an accident in this car, I was neither shocked or surprised. I was not very happy however.

The week  before I’d just texted my dad asking if he thought I should pull this 1999 car off of full coverage. We’ve added a teen driver to out policy and I was looking for way to cut some financial corners. Seemed like a good idea. Original my dad said yes, cut it but after I explained why I felt maybe it wasn’t a great idea (sometimes I just need to bounce ideas off people, even when I know the answer), he agreed, it was worth keeping. I think it was a premonition because that above? It is a totalled 1999 VW Jetta. Thank God I didn’t drop that insurance.

They towed it away Monday. I watched briefly as the man pulled it up onto the tow truck. The skewed Broncos sticker in view and I this time I didn’t feel sad because it’s just what it is. There is nothing I can do about it and it worked out. They’ve already cut him a check for way more than I expected and he will likely have a new vehicle by next week. Nothing more to worry about except maybe a higher insurance rate and how I am going to buy a car for Devlynn now that her car has left the building. But things work out and we make lemonade out of the lemons of life. Because it gets really tiring to be mad at people all the time. Equally so to be  upset at things you can’t change. Hindsight, it’s such a silly thing. Although I admit, I dropped a few F-Bombs.

By nature I am a glass half empty kind of person. So it was hard for me not to go off the deep end on this one.  If it can happen to a person, it will happen to us. Although by some grace of God we have avoided anything catastrophic. Our children are all healthy, wonderful and wise and though I feel very lonely at times, we are often surrounded by the loved and kindness of people when we really need it. I take that as God’s way of knowing that I can only take so much people and he offers up who he can when he knows I need it most.

This year we decided to allow Devlynn to join a mission trip to Belize. A huge, huge jump for me. I am sort of on the fence about short term missions and out of the country missions in general but, I want for her all the things I didn’t experience and this mission seemed like one of those things. Floating around is an article about how short term missions don’t really help and when I first read it I felt a pang of guilt as I raise money and apply for passports for just that, a short term mission but I think for a teenager, it’s different. She isn’t yet equipped to change the world but this might the first push in the right direction. For all we know, it’s not their lives we’re trying to change. Those we serve on these missions.. but our own. Because sometimes it takes building a house for someone else to push us start building our own. I can’t wait to put Devlynn on that plane and hope that it’s the first steps into something life changing. I won’t let that half empty attitude tarnish that. Especially when, by some grace of god, 300 cake pops later and the love and support of friends far and near, she was able to raise the money plus extra to take this journey far before her deadline. And not without some tears of humility, joy and thanks. And a REALLY BIG teenage grin.  It just proves to me it’s where she and I needed to be. Her on a plane and me trusting that I am doing the right thing by her. Even if the cake smell may forever be embedded in my hair and I will never be able to thank those who supported her enough.

So the lemons of our life end up sweet.. even if we only have a half glass.

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Ps- Thank you to everyone who supported us thus far on Devlynn’s journey to Belize. In thought, in finance, in prayer and in love. All mean the world to us.

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.