Parenting with Anxiety and Depression

Let’s state the obvious: Parenting is difficult! Now let me state the other obvious: Parenting with anxiety and depression is an added challenge! It is difficult. When a parent has mental health challenges or a mental illness (these are two different things) it can create a stressful environment for the child. It can also lead to mental health issues for the child as they grow into adulthood. They can develop their own emotional and behavioral problems.

I have been well aware of my emotional issues and my mental health (anxiety and depression) before I had a proper diagnosis. I recall reading books and reading articles about childhood trauma and parents having mental illnesses before I became a parent. I recall movies with parents that were abusive or ill. Somehow, I say through God and some emotional intelligence, I knew that I had to separate my feelings from my words and actions. But, just like every parent, at times I failed. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

Parenting through my depression when my daughter was younger was extremely challenging. She had to get to school no matter how I felt. She had to be bathed and dressed. I had to help with homework. I had to smile and be playful when I did not want to because of depression. I had to cook or I had to get up and go get something. Sometimes, we ate unhealthily a few days straight as a result because fast food was the solution and it was what was convenient near me. Overall, I cooked healthy meals (and I still do) so I don’t blame myself for the times my depression was so bad I made choices I wouldn’t normally make. For me, parenting through depression was more challenging during those elementary and middle school years. It got easier as she got older because I was able to explain to her what was going on with mommy. She was able to do much more for herself and for me. Yes. I needed help and I need help sometimes. However, this is not a responsibility I placed on my child. Moreso, mom needs help at times fixing meals or with the laundry or maybe she locks up the house at the end of the day instead of me. Perhaps, it was my turn to wash the dishes but, she gets them. I was careful not to “burden” my child. I also returned the favor in times when she too was going through things or playing sports and overloaded with homework. We were a team and when she is home from college, we are still a team.

I would say anxiety became a challenge with parenting when she reached an age, she could make her own choices that would have positive or negative consequences or impacts. The teenage years and now young adulthood. My anxiety has been through the roof at times with a side of depression here and there. It’s regular parenting concerns and woes with an exponent. The exponent could literally be from 2-20 depending on what is going on.

The team is changing again into this young adult game and I must say I am feeling all of the normal parenting stressors on top of my own mental health issues. As I continue to research and seek therapy, I know somehow, I will find my footing once again in this new phase of parenting. So far, the things I rely on are:

  1. Professional help such as therapy.
  2. I rely on my faith.
  3. I try to stay healthy in all areas of my life because this helps your mental and emotional “wits”. I mean if you are diabetic and your sugar level is too high or low it’s going to affect how you interact with anyone including your child.
  4. I research tips and read as much as I can about parenting at different phases.
  5. I ask for help and advice from proper (wise counsel, godly and spiritual source) people. I may ask my dad what does he thinks about the situation. I may seek out other people who have a parenting style like mine who’s gone through or going through the same phase. If you are going to do this, make sure you can trust the person.
  6. Vent. Journal it out. Woosah.
  7. Find joy in the little things and create more memorable moments with my child.
  8. Forgive myself over and over and make attempts to do better.

If you have mental health challenges or mental illnesses, it is important to understand how it affects parenting your children. It will help you to make the necessary changes and develop skills to get you through the already rough patches of parenting.

Rarely are their perfect parents. Most of our parents were not perfect and neither were/are we.

~Nikki

Spiritual Renewals

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Spiritual renewal happens as a result of endings. Usually, in the midst or endings or the cusps of endings, you can’t see anything good coming from it. Especially, if the ending of something was tumultuous or not what you desired. It can take some time to “see” what can come out of things ending. Endings can be scary for some because it’s the unknown of what’s next that creates uncertainty. Uncertainty can create fear and doubts.

A renewal of connection with spiritual things can happen such as a deeper faith or a stronger conviction in beliefs. Resilience can develop. A new perspective can be gained. These things can lead to a different way of doing things and a different way of seeing yourself! It doesn’t always happen immediately and usually happens over time.

Who can see anything good right away about the death of a loved one, the sudden loss of a job, or the ending of a relationship? It’s rare unless you have a greater spiritual understanding of things. I couldn’t see anything good about the sudden death of my brother last year. But as days went by, I started to see he no longer had to suffer or struggle to stay in this world. I also remembered that it’s not right for me to hold on to someone that is ill and wants to give up or to judge them if they give up on fighting. It’s there right as it is my right. I know what’s best for me and he knew what was best for him. Plus, I felt it was between him and God.

No one immediately sees the benefits of losing a job suddenly. Of course, they should have concerns and worries. It’s natural. But then they find another job, go back to school, or change careers and life goes on. Perhaps, their faith was strengthened or they became resilient during the process of finding another job or reinventing themselves. I never thought I would become ill at 35, go through the disability process for 3 1/2 years, and not be able to work a full-time job. It was the worst time of my life but, I gained so much spiritually and learned about finances, budgeting, and how to enjoy life frugally while still reinventing and reimagining my life as we speak (or as I type). I learned more about myself and grew drastically in numerous ways. It deepened my relationship with God and myself. I am still learning.

None of us will get through this life without endings. It is what we gain from the endings or how we respond that gives us value or perspective. Or maybe, perseverance.

~Nikki

Woman Powered Up CO-ED 2022

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This year, which is the fourth year, WOMAN emPOWERED UP will be online and I could not be more excited. It is CO-ED! It is created by Woman emPowered Up but, it is created for EVERYONE!

You get 3 nights of 3 speakers with incredible life improving information. I have made it affordable due to the economy. I am sure it will increase next year. There is a limit on tickets as we will do it by Zoom on the free platform. 45 minutes each night to improve your life on the topics of Money, Meditation and what exactly is “The Power”. The link is below. Please, check it out and read the details.

This is a non-religious and non-denominational event. It is indeed spiritual and human 😀 It’s all inclusive of all people. You are very welcomed in this space.

https://fb.me/e/2kOrwVqv3

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: An A for Effort

God speaks: Your efforts are blessed.

I’ve been called to 18 Days of Solitude and was given permission to share this: Your efforts were blessed and they are blessed. If you’re coming from or came from a place of TRULY good intentions, your efforts are blessed. If it failed, if it didn’t work, if it wasn’t received, your efforts that came from a place of truly good intentions are blessed.

~Nikki

Weeding Out What Doesn’t Belong

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Wrap it up. Pull it together. Things are coming to an end. Weed out what does not belong (like a garden).

Correlating some of your life with the seasons is a good way to know you are in season. (Remember, things can happen in our lives in and out of the earthly seasons and that requires using your intuition or the Holy Spirit for Christians. It requires guidance from Source but, that’s not our topic today.) March is a time where you should prepare your space, your mind, your heart, your life, for what is to come. What’s lurking in your garden?

What is in your home that you don’t use or no longer need? Get rid of it. What situation needs to end or change? End it or change it for the better or what is best for you. What thoughts, patterns, activities are not in alignment with how you want to live or how you see your life? Observe and find a way to change them. Your thought patterns are so important to how your life is going and will go. What you think about predominately, how you think about yourself, God, others create your life experiences. Your patterns, the way you do things, take care of things, your habits are a direct result of your thoughts. It’s time to weed out the garden of your life: physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is time for a clearing and a change.

If it’s not serving you or no longer represents who you are now, then it’s time for weeding it out.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: A Call to Solitude

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Coffee on the porch this morning before service. I’m being called to some form of solitude by God/Spirit. I have no idea what’s being taught or what I’m supposed to do. It’s unfolding. I’m researching. I’m asking for guidance. This is new and strange. I may as well embrace it because I’ve learned that resistance to a call only makes it harder. 18 days of solitude. God speaks to me with the Word, through others ordained/sanctioned to speak to me, wisdom that is everywhere, by spirit and Spirit, with dreams, visions, signs and numbers. Speaking of dreams… nah, I can’t share that one yet.

Have you ever been called to solitude? What did you do during those times alone?

~Nikki

February’s Gems for My Life

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It feels good to no longer be in love with a person that was never in love with me.

It feels good to file them in the proper category. Associate. Everything and everyone in their proper place.

In order for me to make a clean break from a relationship, entanglement (on and off again), I first begin the process of emotionally disconnecting BEFORE I leave. I write down everything said or did that affected me so that I can REMEMBER why I need to leave. I read it every day or anytime I think about staying, continuing, or prolonging the inevitable. Once I am ready, I make a clean break. There are no emotions or no significant emotions to pull me back in. I figured this out years ago.

It’s time to practice work-life balance. I don’t have to prove to people what I do is important.

Self-love is a lifelong practice.

Life goes on…and it gets better for me! (Is what I now say instead of the “life goes on” part).

It’s okay if they don’t like or love you. It’s not okay if you are still there trying to make them.

Get them out of your system (by fasting from contact and conversation) because their way of liking you and loving you was poison.

Self-respect is a form of self-love. Don’t lose your self-respect in the name of love. I did. I have.

You will not always get to decide when things end and sometimes things will end abruptly. It’s okay for emotions to be all over the place. However, with time determined by you, you will find your footing. Emotions will settle and you will be able to see and think clearly. Then you will gain the power of decision. A decision to decide how you will respond to the ending.

~Nikki

February was CHOCK full of LESSONS. WHEW! (Heavy eyeroll)

Hello March and the 9 Energy

The 9 (3-6-9) Energy:

Wrap it up. Pull it together. Things are coming to an end. Weed out what does not belong (like a garden).

Spiritual renewal happens as a result of endings and weeding out things and people.

A purge of emotions is happening. Look at it. Why is it happening?

What are you fed up with? Job? What and who is holding you back from what you want to do? You have to make space for what is to come. Release with love.

~Nikki

28 Days of The Self Love Project: Day 28 Knock, Knock Housekeeping!

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Protect your peace.

Erase (get rid of) toxicity.

Cleanse your space.

Cultivate love.

Protecting your peace helps to maintain self-love. You want to keep a peaceful environment as much as you can wherever you are. Yes, at home and at work. You want peaceful relationships as much as possible. Having peace in your life helps maintain self-love.

Get rid of anything and one that is toxic. I know the word is overused these days but, if it’s not good for you and to you, you don’t need it. This could be hoarding in your home. This could be a bad habit. This could the obvious, such as friendships and family-ships. Can you get rid of family? Probably not. But you can keep your distance and set those boundaries we talked about.

Cleanse your space. Clean up. Clean up your space at home and your office or desk space.

Cultivate love wherever you are. Cultivate a loving environment at home. Take love with you to work and to the grocery store. Be compassionate and kind to those you come into contact with. Be patient.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a (ESV) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

~Nikki

28 Days of The Self Love Project: Day 27 Experience, Teacher of The Year

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In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you. -Andrea Dykstra

~Nikki