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14th Oct 2022

Musings: Being anxious about getting it all right means I can’t live in the moment with my kids

Melissa Carton

It’s a catch 22.

I don’t think I could ever say that I was a chill person, not even as a child.

I sort of assumed that as I got older I’d get better at managing my anxiety (don’t ask me why), but adult life just doesn’t work like that.

Now between maintaining a home, working and being a parent I’m more anxious than ever about getting it all right and it’s taking the joy out of a lot of moments.

Every day I tell myself that I’m going to slow it down, I’m going to put less on my to-do list, I’m going to live in the moment.

Does that ever happen? Rarely.

I could probably count on one hand the amount of times this year I’ve ‘lived in the moment’ and ironically, that adds to my anxiety because I feel like I’m cheating my children out of a calm mother.

A mother that’s not always rushing, one that can take the time to play out the garden with them and watch a movie with them without checking my emails incase something work related has been sent over.

I know I’m not alone in this. I know a lot of parents but this kind of pressure on themselves.

In the age of social media and the perfect parenting aesthetic with happy quotes about breathing deeply and how meditation fixes everything, it’s hard not to feel inadequate.

I’m turning 33 next week and while it’s not a milestone birthday I’ve decided to make some birthday resolutions and one of those is to actually take it easier.

To learn how to say no.

To stop taking things on when I’m already over loaded.

At the end of the day, just about everything else can be done some time down the line, but raising my children can’t, I only get one chance at that so I intend to make the most of it.