Setting an Example for My Kids

With everything that has been going on with me lately — stress at work, feelings of anxiety and depression — I have been thinking a lot about how all of this affects my kids. There have been many times recently that I have tried to hide from them how mama is feeling, putting on a brave face and not letting them see. Yet there have been other times when it’s been difficult for me to keep my emotions in check, and they have witnessed my irritability or seen me cry.
I have to admit that parenting right now has been a challenge for me. There are days that I just don’t want to be responsible for someone else and wish I could focus on only me and my well-being. It seems selfish and I find myself worrying that I’m not there enough for my children. I am trying very hard to be present and give them the focus and attention they need from me.

I have been thinking quite a bit about setting an example for them. Right now they are young and might not really grasp what I am trying to teach them through my actions, but I feel the decisions I make and how I behave will be valuable lessons to my kids.
I don’t want to completely shield my moods from them. I want them to see that right now I am having a bit of a tough time. I think it’s important for them to understand that feelings of depression and anxiety happen, and I want to show them that these feelings do not have to overcome your life. I want to show them that I am brave enough to face my struggle; that I want to work hard at battling this in a healthy way by utilizing various tools to bring calmness, peace and positivity back into my life.
It’s important to me that I teach my children to always believe in themselves, even during times when it might be difficult to do so. I’ve struggled a lot with thinking positively of myself and having faith in my abilities. By taking steps to work through my depression and anxiety, my hope is that I am showing my son and daughter that I believe in myself; that even though achieving my goals might feel difficult right now I will make the effort to reach them. Because I am worth it and I am ready to thrive!

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