I’ve been absent from the blogging world for the past month. A month that has zapped me of my energetic soul. A month where I feel I’ve been put through the wringer and I’m trying to dry out. A month that has seen us all sick and battling this exceptionally cold winter we are having. A month that has been very trying to say the least. Although the kids are still at the tail end of being sick, I’m feeling so much better than I was as I can feel my head is above water once again!
If you are a regular follower of my blog you would know that two out of three of my children (eldest and youngest) suffer anxiety and my son’s anxiety is accompanied with OCD and a motor and vocal tic. He’s been having therapy since the end of last year and up until a month ago he was in the best place he’s ever been.
His anxiety had almost vanished, his OCD was minimal and his tics were so mild you could hardly notice. Then term 3 hit and so did Bailey – like a tidal wave!! The past month has seen so much work that we’ve all done become undone and it’s left us feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable at the prospect of the future. Just when you feel like you’ve got a grip on things a curve ball is always thrown…
Anxiety or any mental health issue for that matter, can be so debilitating and not only for the person suffering with it, but for the people who surround them on a daily basis. Going through the same speech pattern to reassure them everyday, picking up the pieces after a melt down, handing out consequences for inappropriate actions, waiting for the next situation to occur…it’s extremely hard work and intense.
I’ve changed my whole attitude towards it all as of late. Whenever my children’s anxiety are at a peak, I always find myself using it as a reflection of our parenting. But the reality is, there isn’t anything we’ve changed, it’s something in them that has been triggered by something that surrounds them and all I can do is put the measures in place to help them deal with the rough times and always enjoy the good times.
As the parent dealing with what feels like a cyclone, it’s important to find a balance in life in order to maintain your own mental health. Instead of constantly laying there at night wondering what the hell am I going to do next, I find ways to help bring out my inner calm and peace. If that means, online browsing (and few purchases lol) then I do. I make sure I regularly get my hair done and I’m even going to treat myself to getting my nails done every few weeks from now on! Exercise and running is my savour and having chats with my mum and sisters…well I don’t know what I’d do without them. My husband and I are lucky to have wonderful friends who we enjoy having time out with and of course if we get the chance to have a date night – we jump at it!
When I read this last paragraph back to myself, it made me feel vein and like I’m giving up! But it’s the complete opposite. Doing the things I love for myself gears me up to be the best parent I can be, to children who suffer anxiety and if having pretty nails while dealing with this is what I have to do – then I will lol! It’s not an easy gig by any means and having one child who doesn’t suffer anxiety (finally her separation anxiety has passed) I know how much easier parenting could be if my two other children didn’t carry a monkey around on their backs – so to speak.
All of these things that I do to keep myself sane, allows me to get up each day and face whatever is thrown my way. This all needs to be balanced with fitting in one on one time with each child. I believe families who live the cycle we do, need to make a priority to each individual child. You not only have the child who suffers, but the child or children who don’t put up with a lot and give up things just to keep the peace. I find that having time alone with each child is a lovely way to get back on track if the pathway to happiness has had a bump in it!
Keeping positive amongst everything is a key to my daily mantra. I try my hardest everyday to maintain a positive attitude towards life. Don’t get me wrong, I have my people who I sound off to…we all need someone who we can release our inner thoughts too. I’ve had quite a few people lately message me and tell me how positive I always am. Such a lovely compliment. I would far rather celebrate the good that’s in my life rather than reliving the daily struggles we face at home. These moments are moments we learn from…the great moments are memories created and they are the things I want to share and shout to this world. Because although life throws curve balls, the goodness always out ways them!
Our life for now will always be full of consistent routines, clear rules, boundaries and consequences, early bedtimes, debriefing sessions and conscious thought put into down time. We always plan new outings and go through new experiences with the kids well before it’s going to happen, to help eliminate any anxiety attacks. But our life is full of greatness. We don’t ever miss out. We may go through hell to get to the goodness, but we always get there. One day we’ll be able to take the short cut, but for now most of our journeys involve the long way round but we always get there in the end!
I wish everyday our anxious annies didn’t struggle. It breaks my heart when I see them faced with a situation that is overwhelming for them. But together my husband and I will never give up. We will always go above and beyond to help them be the best version of themselves!