anxiety, anxiety in kids, family, inclusion, mom, respect, Uncategorized

High school mom fears….


My oldest daughter starts high school in a few short weeks. How can that be possible? Wasn’t it just May 2001 when we were getting her from Korea? Wasn’t it her first day of Kindergarten as she ran onto the bus with no fear? Wasn’t it the day she lost her first tooth? Wasn’t it just the day she rode her bike without training wheels? Time certainly does fly by. They always tell us “Enjoy this time, it all goes by so fast”. Fast is an understatement…

While I am super excited for her, I also am nervous for her. Neither one of us are sleeping well lately, I think it is the anxiety we both share. Hers about getting to class on time, opening a whole new locker, getting up earlier, getting good grades. Mine about making friends, be accepted, doing well, and having people see the awesome young woman I see.  I had the same fears as she entered middle school. A whole new school of people that didn’t know her, her challenges  and all her great qualities.

She made a goal list the other day for the new upcoming year. I will share a few…

~ Find some friends that are girls.

~ Try to get mostly A’s and B’s.

~ Really challenge myself and STUDY!

~ Start with saying HI and be smiley and friendly.

~Get to classes quickly and on time.

~Finally, be the best 9th grader I can be!

I love her list. While most kids her age see that list and think “piece of cake!” – for her each statement is a HUGE thing for her. I love the confidence she has. I believe she can accomplish all those things on that list. As a momma bear, I need to let go a bit more and let her succeed on her own. With that also comes letting her fail on her own too. That is the harder part. When you have a child that struggles with social skills, school work, and fitting in – you can’t help but worry 24/7. You want her to be the girl with friends, not fake friends that roll their eyes at her and bully her because she is different. Her “different” is beautiful. She is funny, talented, smart, strong, fashionable, goofy, confident. I want others to see the beautiful in that.

I need to have her confidence this year! While I can’t wait for school to start by this time of the summer, I also can wait for it – my girl is growing up…too fast.

anxiety, anxiety in kids, depression, mom, Uncategorized

Evil Twin…

Image I have an evil twin. She looks just like me, talks just like me, has same mannerisms as I do and most people are fooled that it is me. I don’t like my evil twin. She comes in out of nowhere – usually in the winter. She comes in and yanks the rug out from under me in a slow unnoticeable way. She makes me feel so tired and always craving sleep. She takes my creativity and stomps on it til its dead. She takes my energy and tosses it out the window like a dead limp cat. She swats away my patience and self esteem with the ease of shooing away a pesky mosquito. She takes my love and thoughtfulness towards my family and turns it into annoyance and dislike. She makes me want to eat and drink away my feelings, so yes I blame her for weight gain. She turns me into a no good,lazy, helpless, worthless pile of sadness. She makes me just get thru the day just barely and sends me to bed early, crabby and spent. She takes a day full of possibilities and opportunities and turns it into a day I just need to get through. She makes me grind my teeth at night, toss and turn and get bad sleep. She puts me into hiding and gives me the “poor me” syndrome. She keeps me away from my friends. This evil twin has a two names;  Anxiety and Depression. She is always with me – but in winter she is the annoying guest that never leaves. When you take the depression checklist quiz at the doctor and check most of “severe” column, it makes you think…maybe there is a reason I am feeling this way. I know we as a nation think people are over medicated blah blah blah. But I AM on medicine now and this is the best I have felt in a long time. I have the spring in my step back, my creativity is bursting at the seams, I have joy again. I am fun with my children and husband again. I embrace each day happily instead of dreading it and wondering how may hours til I can go home and nap…then when can I go to bed? I no longer have thoughts of not being good enough. I no longer want to say :screw you!” to anyone that crosses my path or upsets me. I am happy to see my kids and hear about their day. I feel happy when my husband comes home from work instead of dreading it because it meant I had to have an idea of what to make for dinner. Each day flows smoothly and the bumps that come get worked thru instead of being coated over with food or wine. I never really knew how anxious about things I was until I wasn’t. I didn’t realize what a depressive funk I was in until I wasn’t. To always feel exhausted, overwhelmed and anxious on a normal day isn’t right. I shouldn’t have to breakdown because I need to unload the dishwasher. Yes, we do have days in our lives that can be tiring and overwhelming…that is not depression/anxiety. Anxiety is when you worry all the time about things you would normally not be so consumed with, worrying all night if your teenager will have a successful day at middle school or worry that you aren’t taking care of your family….then throw in the depression piece and all those things you still worry about, but you don’t care. All you care about is being left alone to sulk and sleep. The house is a mess, dinners are less than thrilling and your family annoys you. It is not fun having this evil twin – but my medicine gives her a one way ticket out of here. It feels good having her gone. ADIOS! And don’t let the door hit you in the ass!

anxiety in kids, believe, mom, tooth fairy

Don’t Stop Believing…

Journey sings “Don’t stop… believing..” ah, something to ponder. Don’t Stop Believing – I want to say that to my children. Perhaps that will keep them young and sweet. My 10 1/2 year old and 8 year old still believe – in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny….They both react differently.  Olivia (8) loves everything about it – writes notes, leaves all kinds of treats, and dreams about the wonderful icon that marks a certain holiday or event. Last night the Tooth Fairy came (she had 2 teeth pulled) – first thing out of bed she runs downstairs, unlocks the door to the garage and gets her Tooth Fairy Pillow from the garage – in such aw…so excited…carefully reading the note from good old TF and seeing what treasure/dollar amount she left for her. Oh, wait…”out in the garage???”  I know that is what you are thinking. Most people just hang their Tooth Fairy pillow on their bedroom door knob – or perhaps put the tooth under their pillow. But it is Maddie (10)(with anxiety disorder) that we need to make some changes and tweek the way we do things. She believes, but has a list of demands. She gets so upset with the notion of someone sneaking into our home in the middle of the night. “What if I have to get up and go the bathroom in the middle of the night and I see them?” . For the longest time we would dismiss her feelings and tell her that is silly…they can tell when you are awake…only come when you are sound asleep. Then one year (I think she was 5 or 6) she was so upset, scared and borderline hysterical Christmas Eve at the thought of someone coming in. Then I realized it is more than just something silly. My husband said “Lets just tell her” and I said “No, she believes – why take the magical part away from her” – so we adapt the way we do things….Tooth Fairy pillow gets hung on the garage door knob IN the garage, Christmas stockings are hung out in Mike’s shop (heated!) along with cookies and milk for the big guy, and the Easter Bunny leaves Mike and I clues for a scavenger hunt that leads the kids outside for Easter Baskets. Sure, it all seems silly…but the way their faces light up when they wake up and find the end result – AWESOME!  My husband and I always laugh – the girls are SO different – Maddie will believe until she is 16 and then be SO MAD we lied to her all these years and Olivia we will tell and she will be “Daaa. I knew that all along”…But for now – I love that they still believe. One of those few innocent things of childhood. And if we need to slip on shoes and run thru the ice cold garage Christmas morning to see what Santa brought, then we will.