How Anxiety Made Me a Dinosaur Mom

Picture this: you've finally put your child to bed and you're just about to enjoy some 'me' time when you hear a cry. You figure it will take five minutes to get back to where you stopped. But the five minutes lasts the entire night as you realise something isn't right. Teething, night terrors, an illness or just the universe conspiring against you, your child clings to you and needs you more than ever.
If you spent last night waking up a million times to soothe your toddler, you might not be in the happiest mood right now. There are days like these when you feel so sleep deprived and anxious that even the tiniest thing can make you a dinosaur. And it's not just sleep. Before I had my baby, I liked the fact that I could salvage any situation without sounding like an angry, cranky dinosaur. But everything changed the day I brought home my little bundle of love and together with that came a never ending supply of anxiety often aggravated by the stress of new parenting responsibilities. After I became a stay home mom, my entire world revolved around my child leaving me with very little time to do anything for myself. I remember days that would go completely out of control simply because my baby would refuse to eat or fall asleep and I would find myself right at the start with not a single task completed. Such situations would never go down well with me and I would invariably end up stressed and upset with everything and everyone around me. 
Anxiety made me irritable, irrational and made me doubt my capabilities as a mother.
It didn't take long to realise that I was not getting anywhere by allowing myself to be angry, anxious and irritable at the drop of a hat. Looking back, I realise I had complete control of my situation because I was the only one responsible for letting myself slowly burn out. Raising a toddler is exhausting especially when they can quickly go from chilled out happy kids to screaming, uncontrollable (for want of a better word) monsters. I cannot say that life with a toddler will be anxiety free but I certainly know that making a couple of changes with a firm resolve to follow them helps ease the stress and tension. 
Some of these include: 
  • Taking time for yourself and by this I mean tuning out to everything: your work, phone, every small household task and just spending a few moments connecting with your self can works wonders and rejuvenate you. It's okay to be away from your baby sometimes and recharge your 'mommie self' to be a better, more patient mommy.
  • Remaining calm and accepting the chaos. There are days my son will refuse to eat or try every trick not to sleep. I have invariably learnt to accept that somedays will be happy, funny, simply super days while most days will be spent in a battlefield of toys, food spills, pillows, (you name it) and I'm lucky if the day ends in a peaceful truce, with some injuries.
  • Finding a hobby that will give you reason to do something you love or haven't done in while. I had several hobbies that I'd quite forgotten after I became a mom but getting back to writing gave me so much happiness. It can be anything from reading a book to becoming a star chef churning out all those recipes you wanted to. Make the time and you won't regret it.

These are just a couple that will serve as stress busters when anxiety threatens to attack. There will still be days when you will have to treacherously resist the urge to yell in public simply because you cannot imagine how someone so small can arouse your emotions and stir up a storm. One step at a time dear Mom, you're doing the most incredible thing in the world by just being a 'MOM'. So look in the mirror and smile! Now replace that Dinosaur expression and you're all set to go!
Happy Parenting!!
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