The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Trying to alleviate yucky, anxious feelings July 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 4:17 pm
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble with anxiety. Not “worrying” that something bad will happen, like a car crash, but more of a generalized feeling of anxiety that feels like butterflies in my stomach or tightness in my chest.

I’ve had a lot of this anxiety today. I realized that it may stem, in part, from all of the loose ends and unfinished business I have right now. What does the rest of July look like? What still needs to be done to plan my son Adam’s birthday party? What steps can I take right now to move certain projects forward? Which projects can be put on the back burner for now? How and when will I get back on the low-carb wagon (low carb is how I manage my weight and my health)? When will I work on photos from our recent European trip?  What’s for dinner tonight?

At the moment, I’m insisting that the kids play outside so that I can work out some of these things. I do get pretty antsy when I want the kids to just play on their own for awhile so that I can work on things. Surely mothers of previous generations did not spend their days constantly entertaining their kids and taking them on fun outings — there were too many other things to do!

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3 Responses to “Trying to alleviate yucky, anxious feelings”

  1. Sabrina Says:

    I have often wondered the same thing… what did they do with there children?? The answer was simple for the most part… the kids worked too. The kids were in the fields or kitchen or back yard digging the gardens and out houses. They washed clothes (on a wash board and it took ALL DAY) and beat rugs scrubbed floors and so on.

    When I look at my daughters childhood I laugh a little (shes 8 years old). She has it so easy. When I was 8 I washed dishes, folded laundry and helped in the yard. I also played out side… (yes in the heat) all day. Is a far cry from doing laundry on a board taking all day. My daughter does none of these things. She cleans her room (kind of lol) and complains about even that lol.

    Babies back then played in a controlled area, ie a playpen like area. They didnt entertain them all the time. And most mothers did everything the same way we do… with a baby on the hip. One big difference is that kids didnt have “toys” the way we did and our children do, and priorities were different. Big birthday parties didnt happen. You were lucky if you got a cake. I remember planing my daughters 7th birthday party. She asked if we could have a bouncy house… Not a horrible thing to ask for IMHO nor my husbands who is by far the more frugal of us two. So I began planning… bouncy house food invites cake etc. it got to be around 500$ :-0! My husband and I just could not believe it… a kids party that costs 500$??!?! THAT WAS INSANE! So we decided it would no longer happen. Parties because a family event. There could be cup cakes at school but not a big crazy party at home.

    I remember reading the little house books and how the young children weren’t allowed to have “real” dolls until they were older. They had corn stock dolls and only when they were older (6-7 years old) were they given a “real” doll. Toys cost money and most didnt have 2 cents to rub together, and if they did… it went for something important like nails to put a roof on the house, more seeds for crops, chickens a cow ect. .

    I will have to say that the BIGGEST difference between then and now is the mindset and training. Girls KNEW and UNDERSTOOD from a very young age what was involved in being a full time work at home mom. Why, because they watched and worked right along side their moms. The boys knew their rolls because they worked with their dads. Thats how it was, you were a cobbler because your dad was a cobbler and he taught you how to do it, or you were a farmer because thats what your dad did and he taught you how to farm.

    Sometimes I get depressed because I hate where we live. Because I KNOW that if we were secluded we would be forced to do things differently. But here, with other people having more and doing things the pressures to “perform” to a certain standard is more evident. Its tough to have so many things placed at a higher level of importance even though in reality when you ask the question “Does it REALLY matter that this gets done” Like on the grand scale would the world STOP or would someone DIE if this didnt happen”? The answer is almost always No.

    Sorry I appear to be writing a novel here. This just happens to be one of my biggest concerns/thoughts.

  2. Yoga Mama Says:

    I think mothering comes with a big dose of anxiety no matter what loose ends you have or don’t. But it may be worse for us these days than it was. There is so much pressure and yet we are so much less connected to each other. Even when I lived in the states the moms I knew barely had a moment to make dinner, much less get together.
    I have also often wondered what the heck the moms of the last few generations did with their kids!
    (side note: here in Palestine I have gotten a glimpse of what that might have been like. Ramallah is like the US circa 1950s. Seriously. No car seats, kids play in the streets, if they get into a fight they work it out, big brother who is 5 walks little sister who is 2 to the store and back alone….stuff we would never do. The people who have more money tend to have house help with meals and the people who don’t put their kids in day care or school and work long hours. Discipline is a physical. Kids conform to their parents’ needs. Kids come LAST.)
    Sometimes I feel that it was easier back then because, like Sabrina says, the roles we were to play in our lives were known from an early age. We didn’t have to think about growing “better” human beings, or parenting for a “peaceful world”. Being a SAHM was not a political move in any way nor was it completely a choice. Spanking was practically mandatory, we didn’t have to consider the real emotional consequences of those actions. Kids were “seen and not heard”…Etc etc etc.
    I think being a SAHM is so difficult, especially today with the burden of knowledge that we have about what’s actually good for our kids. And I am sure that you are doing so much more for your kids than you give yourself credit for…if the house goes untidy for a week or so, or the laundry doesn’t get done, or dinner is take-out more than you’d like—I’m with Sabrina. Does it REALLY matter?
    Here’s to frozen pizza and a glass of wine….;-)


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