My Anxiety Makes Me an Angry Parent
Dear Husband, This Is Why I'm Always Angry
It starts as a typical day. I need to get the three kids dressed, repeat everything to them more than five times until they actually do it, and try to manage our son's demand to find something random five minutes before we have to head out the door for school.
As a mother, my head feels like a computer with at least 100 tabs open and running at all times.
Since our twins go only half a day and part-time, I get about three hours to finish errands, clean the house, or go to an appointment before rushing back for pickup. And then a new cycle of snacks and activities starts until our tween gets home and I have to deal with even more drama and screaming. She usually comes home with that sad look in her eyes, because apparently there's a new category of friends called frenemies who one day are her best friends, and the next they make her life (and mine) a living hell.
I have to constantly be a referee, cook, snack provider, driver, accountant, medical researcher, and so much more, and at the end of the day, I'm too overwhelmed to want to do anything but sleep.
I appreciate everything that you do for our family. I know you work all day while I work hard at home, and I'm sorry that I sometimes don't act like it. It's just, as a mother, my head feels like a computer with at least 100 tabs open and running at all times — one for each child and then sub-categories for their needs, the house's needs, a to-do list, and so on.
Because of this, my anxiety sometimes presents itself in the form of anger. I get angry because I'm exhausted. I get angry because I feel like I'm not doing what I should be doing as a parent — that I'm never doing enough. And on these days, I just lose my sh*t. I shout or get mad — at you, the kids, or myself — and I immediately regret it. I tell myself I should know better, because I should, but my anxiety doesn't care.
I know it's hard to know what to say to help. Sometimes simple comments make me angrier, and no response at all can make me think you don't care. But I know that you do. Next time I get frustrated and my anxiety makes things feel overwhelming, the only thing you need to do is take the kids or entertain them for a little while. I need to de-stress and feel normal again. I need more me-time, and I realize that I haven't told you that enough.
My anxiety makes me feel like I'm alone sometimes, even when I'm not. And instead of trying to get through those hard times by myself, I know I need to lean on you more. Because I know you'll always catch me.