Parenting With Depression and Anxiety 

So, I’ve already opened up to you all about my battle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in my Black Girls Have Anxiety too post, but I didn’t go into detail about the struggles that come along with it. I’m currently writing this post in the middle of one of my “episodes.” I’ve been anxious and in a mood all week and I just cannot shake this feeling. I’m hoping that writing this will kind of ease some of these emotions running rampant in my head. I also hope that this may help others currently going through the same thing.

Just to bring you all up to speed . . . I turned 26 four months ago and these last four months have been the hardest I’ve had all year. I let go of the person that I thought was my soul mate, I got laid off from my WAH position after two years, and I’ve had all kinds of family drama. It has been one thing after the other since June and it’s beginning to be a bit much.  To be honest. I’m kind of surprised that it took this long for my anxiety and depression to kick in. I think having all of this free time has allowed me to come to terms with everything that has happened and my brain isn’t happy about it.

Parenting with anxiety

People respond to situations differently, so there are many different symptoms of anxiety and depression. Symptoms can last hours,days, and sometimes weeks. Below are a few things I’m currently struggling with.

Tiredness: When I’m having an “episode” I sleep A LOT. I nap for hours at a time because when I’m sleeping, my problems don’t exist.

Hyperventilation: I started “holding my breath” shortly after Aubrey was born and I’ve been doing it ever since. Whenever I’m feeling anxious, I hold my breath for long periods of time and struggle to get my breathing back to normal.  It sucks because in the moment, I know that I should calm down and breathe but I can’t. It’s gotten to the point that I keep brown paper bags in my apartment because sometimes I do it to the point where I feel light-headed.

Irritability: I’ve always been moody and short-tempered, but throw anxiety and depression into the mix, and I turn into a different kind of monster. When I’m feeling my feelings, everything bothers me. Something as simple as breathing too hard could send me into a blind rage.

Worrying excessively: I worry about everything. I worry about stuff that happened yesterday, stuff that might happen today, and stuff that may or may not happen in the future.

OCD: I can’t control my emotions, so I focus on what I can control. Everything at home has to be clean and in place. There has to be organization in everything I do. I have a planner for everything and I’m real big on my appearance. If one thing doesn’t go as planned, it usually throws my whole mood off.

My children don’t know that I battle with Anxiety and Depression because right now they’re too young to understand. I don’t want my mental illness to affect them, so I do everything that I can to at least pretend to be happy in front of them. For anyone else struggling with the same thing, here a few things that have helped/are currently helping me get through it.

Talk it out. As parents, we’re our children’s maids, chauffeurs, and counselors. To our children, we’re real life superheroes. We’re the problem solvers. You can’t help your kids with solve their problems, if you don’t get help with you own. Talk to a therapist and if you don’t feel comfortable, anyone else would do. Just talk to SOMEONE. Don’t keep those emotions bottled up. Speaking from experience, nothing good will come from that.

Get out of the house. When you’re feeling down or having an “episode,” it’s easy to sit at home and sulk. Trust me, I’m the queen of cancelling plans and putting my phone on do not disturb JUST to sit at home alone feeling my feelings. If you don’t feel like being around others, treat yourself to a dinner or movie. DO SOMETHING besides sit at home being miserable.

Spend time with your children. Our children are the best parts of us. When you’re feeling depressed and anxious, hug your little ones. Feel the love they have for you and hold on to that. Depression and anxiety will have you thinking and feeling like you’re alone in the world, if you let it. I have a movie night/game night with my daughters every Friday night. They look forward to cuddling with mommy, and spending that time with them helps me forget about my issues for a little while.

I’m not an expert, and I don’t have all of the answers. However, I am a mother of two currently struggling with depression and anxiety. I don’t want anyone reading this to feel sorry for me, but I do want other parents going through this to know that it is okay. We have kids, things happen, and sometimes we literally worry ourselves sick. Take it one day at a time.  It can only defeat you if you let it.

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Hi, I’m Chantal. I’m a mom of two, self proclaimed naturalista, and Author of Growing Girls With Curls: Short Stories For Girls of Color. Being a mom is hard. Pair that with being a single, black, millennial in America and it’s a whole different monster. Feel free to join my mailing list and follow along as I blog through this crazy thing called life.

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  1. October 12, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    This was a great post and something many moms don’t talk about. Thank you for sharing

    • Chantal
      October 12, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Thank you so much for reading.

  2. Tiffany
    October 10, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Thank you for this post! As a mom who has anxious episodes I can totally relate. These we were great tips and such a good read!

    • Chantal
      October 12, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      You’re so welcome! Thank you for reading.

  3. October 10, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Thank you for your candor. The world needs more of you to advocate for you and your children. Know that there are strangers out there (me!) rooting for you!!

  4. October 10, 2017 / 9:37 am

    As a child whose parent is suffering from depression thank you for this post. Some parents are not willing to express that they are battling depression because they are afraid of looking weak. It is important to acknowledge the struggles we face and push through.

  5. October 10, 2017 / 9:05 am

    What a great article. I love your strength and know that from reading your words, you’re going to be an awesome advocate for others who suffer from anxiety.

    • Chantal
      October 10, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Thank you for reading !

  6. October 10, 2017 / 9:00 am

    This is so real! Great article!

  7. Anecia
    October 10, 2017 / 8:14 am

    Thanks for sharing. This was a really great read.

  8. October 10, 2017 / 8:13 am

    Thank you so much for being so open. I know this will help so many women out there that struggle with Anxiety and Depression. I struggled with PPD but I’ve suffered from anxiety my whole life. My worst point was when my husband was deployed. Now it has gotten better but I feel like it is always there. And it never lets me breath, think, or even sleep peacefully. I just try to ignore it as much as I can. And prayer and devotions help a lot.

  9. October 10, 2017 / 5:47 am

    Thank you for writing this and for your honesty. I struggle with manic depression and have three children, now 9, 9 and 7 – and it is easier for them to know that there IS something wrong with me, not all the time, but sometimes… I find walking helps a lot – also I have a very understanding partner (and my children are so mature and wonderful too). I suppose life is what happens when you are making other plans. Ali

    • Chantal
      October 10, 2017 / 4:45 pm

      Yes. I went on a walk today before it started raining and I felt alot better.

  10. October 10, 2017 / 1:57 am

    I so admire the strength it takes to share something so personal! I pray for you to find peace of mind and spirit and thank you for your honesty with something so difficult!

    • Chantal
      October 10, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment!

  11. October 9, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    Thanks so much for having the courage to share this mama! I’ve also gone through my fair share of Anxiety and Depression and it’s straight up tough. I’m glad you used your blog to bring light to this subject because so many women suffer in silence. Amazing post! Hang in there!

    • Chantal
      October 10, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Thanks love!!

  12. The Unfiltered Momma
    October 9, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! You did a great job breaking everything down. I use to suffer from horrible anxiety as a teen, it has become much better as an adult. Maybe I’ve just learned to manage

  13. October 9, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry you are going through this. It happens to so many of us and I have been there!! Great tips for busting the anxiety and depression.

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much for reading.

  14. tiara
    October 9, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    This is an amazing post. I’m right there with you. I haven’t been diagnosed (That’s a hiccup on my part) but I don’t need anyone to tell me that I deal with anxiety and OCD. I DO have anxiety and OCD lol. I do however, really need to take control and have someone help me through it. It gets harder and harder to deal with calming myself, and trying not to worry. If I can’t start to continuously working through my struggles, I’m no good to my kids and my husband, and I would never want that.

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Don’t feel bad, it took YEARS before I was diagnosed. I knew what was wrong, but I thought I could handle it on my own. Now that you know what you need to do, the next step is for you to do it! I’m here if you ever need to vent to a fellow mama. We got this!

  15. October 9, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I love that you’re so open and honest about your depression and anxiety. Thanks for sharing all these tips as well.

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  16. October 9, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    I think is great advice for parents struggling with depression and anxiety as I’ve always thought of parenting as pretty stressful by itself!

    How are you feeling now by thew way? Did writing make you feel better? I hope it did! ?

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you for reading! I feel a little better now that I wrote my feelings down. Thanks for asking. 🙂

  17. October 9, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Thanks for raising awareness of this, it’s so important to spread the word as not everybody knows how depression really affects people

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_


    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you for reading!!

  18. October 9, 2017 / 11:33 am

    Thank you for posting something so personal and so raw. Vulnerability will bring you healing. Also, do you have time to meditate? It has TOTALLY helped me… right now I’m into Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s guided meditations.

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you for reading! I haven’t tried meditation yet, but I’ll definitely look into it.

  19. October 9, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Anxiety and depression are so common now a days, almost every other person experience anxiety attacks but people don’t speak about it openly. You are such a strong woman to speak openly about it and spreading awareness. Much power to you mumma.

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you so much!

  20. Michelle
    October 9, 2017 / 7:53 am

    Thank you for being so open! I love how you mentioned spending time with your children. They bring out the greatest amount of joy and can always help when days are hard!

    • Chantal
      October 9, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you for reading !

    • Tifanee
      December 20, 2017 / 10:03 am

      I loved that too! Sometimes as a mom I feel like they will make my anxiety worse, but this is a great reminder that if I do quality things with them they are an amazing distraction and the perfect thing to cheer me up ?. I’m loving your writing.

      • Chantal
        December 24, 2017 / 9:23 am

        Thanks so much for reading Tifanee.<3

  21. October 9, 2017 / 7:29 am

    Our church just started a series about slaying giants. One of them being anxiety! 57% of those surveyed said they suffered from anxiety. You are not alone Mama.