Not "just" a mom.
I am more than a butt and booger wiper.
For the past 17 years I’ve been “just” a stay at home mom. I had an occasional job here and there but nothing of substance. When I was a little girl I used to say that I never wanted kids. I wanted to be an FBI agent and study the minds of criminals. I was going to have a high power job and be a boss. I was never going to have time for kids.
I graduated high school a year early and started college. I met my husband who was a submarine officer, who graduated from the Naval Academy. I had my first baby at age 23. Long story short, we moved from state to state with the Navy and four kids later, I found myself as a stay at home mom.
You see, during these last 17 years I have always been known as “Paityn’s mom”, “Guys wife“, “Lt. Glennon's wife”. I never finished college, which as you can imagine lead to very embarrassing conversations with high ranking officer wives in the military. “Oh where did you go to college, where do you work?” 9/10 I’d lie because I was ashamed to say I never finished college. I was “just a stay at home mom!” I would get pregnant and take a break from college. I ended up being a career college student.
I begin to feel restless, anxious and lost. I am now 40 and done with being “just a mom”. I finally started to chip away at what my true passions are. Who i am as a person. Finding my identity outside of someone’s wife and mother. It is a slow and tedious process. But I am learning more every day. I am figuring out what my purpose is. Taking back time for myself and my mental well being, my hobbies and I’m learning how to make an income while being a stay at home mom.
It is possible to have your cake AND eat it too. You can have your own identity and be so much more than “just a mom!” Check out my amazing community of moms in this group I created on facebook.
Lots of our everyday anxiety is self-induced. We mean well but just can't say "No". Make sure that when someone asks you to volunteer, make sure that it is something you love and will feel fulfillment. Over-scheduling, clutter, making promises that are near impossible to keep and poor boundaries are among the culprits. Having so much on your plate can start to feel like tug of war. People pulling at you from all directions. Take a look at your priorities and get control of your schedule and life.
intrusive thoughts running through their minds endlessly. These thoughts create much of the distress we experience. Don't let your thoughts turn into a self full-filling prophecy. Learn ways to manage these thoughts. A great way to start is by using daily affirmations. Once you get the underlying causes of anxiety under control, this may get easier. Have you heard of Joy Triggers? If not you can read about it here.
People that suffer with anxiety often take shallow, quick breaths from the top of their chests. This type of breathing can worsen anxiety symptoms. Learn to take deep, belly breaths to calm yourself and to breathe slower. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stop and take 3 deep breaths. I can promise you that you will feel more relaxed.
It is so so easy to slip into a pattern of pessimism. It’s like falling down a rabbit hole you can never get out. The first few days of quarantine I felt ok. As the days went on however, things became increasingly hard. I started to notice a trend on social media. Illness, social isolation, loneliness and an all around bad vibe. It felt like I was being swallowed up by a dark cloud.