My anxiety has been a constant issue throughout my life, impacting me in ways both small and large. It has prevented me from trying new, exciting things, from getting to know awesome people, and from letting those same awesome people get to know me. And now that I'm a mom to two children, I know that I have to confront my social anxiety if I'm going to give my kids the lives they deserve. That doesn't mean parenthood is a cure-all, of course, but more of a motivator that keeps my anxiety in check and things in perspective.
Social anxiety is a difficult thing to explain, especially to people who've never experienced it. I could be going about my day as carefree as any other mom, only to be stopped in my tracks by severe anxiety, panic, and fatigue. And while I could remove myself from certain situations, or avoid them altogether, when I was a kid-free adult, now that I'm a mom it's impossible to constantly control every environment I might find myself in. My babies made me realize that something had to change, not just for their sake but for mine as well.
So while it may have taken me years to get the help I deserve — and while I still struggle to gain control of my social anxiety 100 percent of the time — I know my kids, and myself, are better when I'm working and focusing on my mental health. So with that in mind, and because us moms deserve to put ourselves and our wellbeing first, here's how my babies forced me to confront my social anxiety head-on: