“The opposite of anxiety isn’t calm. It’s trust.” 

I set my mascara down, scrambled to find the nearest notepad, and scrolled back the podcast 30 seconds to hear it again. Dr. Emily King, a Licensed Psychologist, spent thirty minutes unpacking the signs and symptoms of anxiety in children and how parents can best support them.

I scribbled notes up to the last second. I felt desperate for clarity and direction. 

This is how I parent the hard stuff now. I thought to myself. 

It’s come down to the podcasts, online research, phoning a friend, and my own single intuition, but at the end of the day, I’m alone. I don’t process and tag team the hard parenting choices. I decide on my own what’s the best next steps in training up my children.

This is a heavy feeling.

It’s like playing on a seesaw by yourself – it can be done, but the flow is all wonky. 

Today, happening upon an episode of the Vision Driven Mom Podcast pinpointing my exact struggle at home was exactly what I needed. Thanks podcast lords for helping me process my parenting choices.

What I’ve learned is that anxiety is normal for children who are going through a lot of change such as a new school, a move, or a divorce. And it seems our family has that triple crown for change – I moved my grade school kids to a new state after getting divorced. 

Regression in milestones, OCD behaviors, and trouble separating from a parent are all normal for a child experiencing anxiety. At a young age, they don’t understand the emotions they are feeling and how to best channel them. 

Like anyone experiencing change, it feels awkward and uneasy at first. It’s unsettling to begin a new thing. When a child’s world and social structures are uprooted and set in a brand new environment, it can be alarming and hard to trust the outcome of this new life. There is always that looming thought – will this person or place leave me soon? 

Dr. Emily King said, “Anxiety is a lack of trust in what’s going to happen.” She suggested giving children a sense of control and predictability through clear schedules and structured plans. 

I implemented this right away, and began incorporating the word “trust” in my language hoping to reinforce the solution that my children don’t know they need. Now I watch their little bodies relax and feel more at ease knowing that they can lean on something predictable. I tell them, “trust the process.” And they do. 

This is what I’m called to show up for as a single mom. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is actually a better life for my children when I see them struggle with the pain of fear and anxiety. I know they wish to feel like our family unit was whole, and it is difficult for them at times to find peace with their divorced family life.  

However, life has an interesting way of teaching us the things we need to grow into. This is what I find comforting on the days I feel discouraged and out of sorts about the right path for parenting my children after divorce.

Whatever path we land on, they will grow. They will find their way, and life will continue teaching them how to be their strongest self. No one can become stronger without some resistance. This is the best thing I could hope for as a parent – raising really strong kids. 

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Brittany lives in Austin, TX with her two children as a youngish divorced working mom. In 2019 while going through a divorce, moving to a new state, re-entering the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for 7 years, and rebuilding her life, she published her first book “Tap In Not Out: How Overwhelmed Moms Can Reclaim Peace, Cultivate A Better Life, And Thrive.” Why did she write this book during so many major life transitions? Because she knew what she desired for her life - to be an author, speaker, and life impactor in this world. And she figured out the steps to make it happen even in the worst of times. In her book, she opens up in a candid, old-close-friend kind of way about her struggles and breakthroughs in motherhood while offering great life hacks and perspectives to help any mom out there. Her heart is to help women tap into powerful mindsets that ignite their most authentic self setting them up for a thriving life. Here is what people are saying about her book: “I read a lot and love reviewing. But THIS book is authentic, real, and encouraging.” (T.A.) “Ah, a breath of fresh air-- it's a serious book that makes you laugh out loud!!! This book was such a refreshing look at our humanity as moms!” (Grossman) “This book is great with funny mom stories, authentic mom self talk and inspiration for living the best mom-life. The author shows moms a way forward into the abyss of motherhood, where we often feel like we are fading into oblivion. She shows us moms how life can be exciting and fulfilling even in the mundane.” (Jessica) Brittany is active in her new community in Austin, TX. Whether she is connecting with others through Austinmoms.com, Bee Women in Bee Cave, or mom groups in the online world, she is constantly reinforcing a mindset to inspire all women to live their best life. In a nutshell, she is just a mom who figured out how to live her dream.

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