Anxiety wasn't something I was familiar with before I had kids. Though I had weathered plenty of storms in my life, my ability to cope with stress (before kids) was rather impressive. However, after I had my boys, that all changed. My once rock solid emotional stability began to waver and, at times, it felt like the ground was crumbling beneath me. My partner became my rock during that time. Though I know he felt helpless at certain times, he stepped up for me anyway and in ways I didn't even know I needed. Dads can and should help their partner with anxiety, even when they're not exactly sure of how to do so, because every little effort, even those that seem insignificant, can make a huge difference for someone struggling with anxiety.
Since anxiety was foreign to me, I didn't even recognized the signs that I was struggling with it. There would be days when I would feel so overwhelmed by everything that I needed to do, that I wouldn't do anything at all. I would lock myself in a room and bury my head in a pillow and attempt to block out everything happening around me (kids, jobs, family, etc) so that I could try to focus on, well, anything. My anxiety caused me to isolate myself and become reclusive, like a vampire who was afraid to show her face during the day. I've always been a social person, so when my partner realized that I literally never left the house, not even for special events where I would get a break from motherhood to see my closest friends, he knew something was wrong.
I was always the eternally optimistic one in our relationship, and he had often leaned on me to brighten some of his worst days, so when he noticed that I was sinking, he offered me the life raft that I didn't even know I needed. Even though he didn't necessarily understand how to help me, he tried. Every single day he tried his best to make me feel better, and though I still struggle with anxiety, I finally feel like I can breathe again thanks to his help. So, if you're struggling with anxiety and your partner wants to help, but maybe doesn't know how to, show him the following ways he can lend a much-needed, much-deserved hand: