No one tells you this, but having children can ratchet up the mind-grind exponentially, turning it into a major liability. That’s what happened to me when my twins were born 16 years ago.
For those who are not anxious puppies: Anxiety physically feels like fear, except that what you’re afraid of isn’t actually happening. Let’s say the pediatrician sat you down and told you that your kid had a serious illness. Understandably, you’d break — your heart would beat faster, your face would flush or go pale and your chest might tighten, making it hard to breathe. Perhaps your brain would even glitch briefly, making you feel far away. That’s how it is to have anxiety, except that you’re reacting to the idea that your child could conceivably become sick one day in the future, and it’s hard to shake the thought — it feels as bad as if it were happening at that moment. Anxiety can be triggered by something obvious, like reading a news report, or seemingly nothing at all.
For me, anxiety drained a lot of the pleasure out of being a mom. When my kids were little and ran out giggling ahead of me in the playground, I’d flash to the thought of them splitting out and permanently marring their wee soft faces. If our food didn’t arrive quickly at a restaurant, I’d sit, braced for a screaming meltdown and the wrath of other diners &mda