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Every mom struggles with it to some extent. Mom-anxiety.

  • Am I good enough?
  • Do I do enough for my kids?
  • Will they turn out okay?
  • How do I teach them without squashing their personality?
  • How much do I give and take?
  • How does any mother stay sane through it all?

 

Being a mom in this age of technology where Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest are “old” platforms and keeping up with all the changes can feel like an overwhelming task. And some days, it leaves me wondering if I measure up.

News alert! I don’t always measure up and can never be everything always. However, I am my kid’s mom and I love them. And I am finding out that being present and showing up with presence (not presents) is better than having the perfect summer vacation planned or capturing the perfect picture. But, there are moments when I still wonder if that’s good enough.

So in order to decrease my anxiety this summer, I have made it a goal to practice ways to stop looking to media for my inspiration, work on loving what I have (not thinking about what I don’t have), cultivating gratitude, and working to not apologize for the way I don’t measure up to media standards or perfect looking influencer moms.

Don’t get me wrong, looking like a perfect influencer mom is enticing (not the being, just the looking 😀). And cultivating habits of not comparing is and will not be the easiest thing in the world but it does take some of the pressure off.

Here are 2 ways I’m going to start doing this:

  1. Keep a list of what I am grateful for in a prominent place in my house: For me, this is my kitchen fridge.
  2. Keep time in my schedule to just play without an agenda WITH my kids.

I often try to do this, but I end up having an agenda like sneaking in a reading or math quiz, asking lots of questions to challenge them or just letting them play while I’m nearby.

Don’t get me wrong, those things are not bad in and of themselves but playing without an agenda reaps different interactions. I have been reading Dan Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson’s book, “The Power of Showing Up” and I have been finding inspiration around why showing up and being present for our kids matters so much – and this includes “playing without an agenda”.

Although it’s not easy, the more we show up for kids and put our anxiety of presenting perfection to the side, the more we can have genuine relationships with others and we can find the support that we need that helps decrease our anxiety.

Anxiety seems to grow when we feel like we can’t share who we are with anyone. It’s in the unknowns of parenting, the feelings of insecurity, and not measuring up.

But showing up, and being genuine with our kids can provide security and connection. When we experience connectedness with our kids, the perfect picture doesn’t matter as much and where you go is less important than who you are with.

So I invite you to join me this summer in tackling your mom-anxiety with me.

Why don’t you try to keep a list of what you are grateful for and review it often. And schedule intentional times to play with your kids.

I wish you a season full of the ability to be genuine through every moment, the interesting, the hard, the happy, the sad, the up the down and the sideways. And may your summer be filled with decreasing anxiety as you navigate complicated mom life.

 

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Susan Stutzman

Susan Stutzman

Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT

Parenting is hard! But you don’t have to do it alone. I work with children and parents to resolve emotional conflict, cultivate healing, and nurture hope.

We help anxious kids and frustrated parents. We serve Hinsdale & the Western Suburbs of Chicago.

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