Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I notice the lump in my throat getting bigger and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest.

It seems as though the walls are caving in and I can’t find my way out.

It’s hard to breathe and I can feel my face start to flush.

Anxiety has a way of stopping me dead in my tracks.

Sometimes it creeps up slowly and I feel the internal struggle and the intense emotions it causes.

Fighting back the tears as my two young sons stare at me wide-eyed wondering if I’m OK.

RELATED: It’s OK To Admit You’re Not OK, Mama

And then there are days where it hits fast and with unbearable force.

The weight takes my breath away and I find myself running to the bathroom to catch my breath and splash cold water over my face.

These moments are getting more frequent and more intense as the days go by.

It’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re always taking care of everyone else.

And I’m struggling to find the balance between keeping it all together without falling apart and realizing when I need a break.

RELATED: Take That Break Before You Break, Mama

I’m really good at the “I’m OK” act and have been doing it for years.

Truth is my friends, anxiety is real.

It can be debilitating and life alternating if not controlled.

I am working hard to gain that control back.

I know this rollercoaster all too well and I will continue to fight for better days ahead.

Days with less anxiety and fear.

Days with less panic attacks and more time enjoying things I love.

Days with less tears and more laughter and smiles.

RELATED: Check On Your Strong Friend, She’s Faking It

Days filled with more time enjoying the little moments and less time worrying about things that are out of my control.

Life is too short to live with so much weight on our shoulders all the time.

Tonight, I’m throwing in the towel.

I’m praying and asking God to help me carry this weight.

And to give me the strength I need to take care of myself too.

This post originally appeared on Love Hope & Autism

 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Christina Abernethy

Christina is a dedicated wife, mother of three, and passionate advocate for people impacted by disabilities. She is committed to spreading a message of heightened awareness and acceptance of differences, ultimately inspiring hope. Christina enjoys connecting with others through her blog and Facebook page, Love Hope and Autism. She is also proud to be the coordinator for Changing Spaces Pennsylvania, a movement to build accessible restrooms with powered height adjustable adult-sized changing tables to promote inclusion. She is a two-time best selling co-author, most recently including You Are Not Alone: Stories, Resources and Hope from Autism Moms.

The Ravages of Schizophrenia: A Mother’s Perspective

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Hands holding dandelion fluff

Our bright, beautiful, beloved son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his late 20s. Although the manifestation of his illness surfaced in his late teens, it took an excruciating 10 years to receive a formal, medical diagnosis. As a child, Mike was a delight. He was a popular kid who loved his family, his friends, wrestling, and basketball. He giggled sometimes and acted silly, which just made him more endearing. His life was filled with joy, happiness, and promise. After Mike’s 17th birthday, behavioral changes began to surface. He smoked marijuana. He drank alcohol to excess. His friends disappeared, one by...

Keep Reading

Sisters Know When to Step In and Step Up

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two young girls, older color photo

She didn’t have to do the dishes. She was there to give us a break while my husband and I went out for our monthly date night and my birthday dinner. The dishes weren’t a part of that deal, but she did them anyway. That’s the beauty of sisters. They know just when to step in and step up so you don’t completely lose your mind. They can see it on your face when life catches up to you and you’re close to breaking down. They know when you’re drowning, and without a thought, they dive in to save you....

Keep Reading

I’ll Miss This When My Kids Grow Up

In: Motherhood
Mother and young daughter hug

Recently, I had a friend ask if she could interview me and several other mothers for a class she was taking. I obliged, and she called me on the phone. Her first few questions were simple: How old are you? How many kids do you have? What are their ages? etc. Easy answers. However, her next question stopped my heart. “What will you miss the most when your kids are gone?” “Gone?” I sputtered. “Yes,” she said “When your kids are grown up and gone from your house what will you miss the most?” I had never dared to picture...

Keep Reading

As a Mom with ADHD, I’ve Learned to Be Kinder to Myself

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler next to elaborate birthday cake, color photo

At 2 a.m., I put the finishing touches on the three-tiered birthday cake. It was perfect. My 2-year-old would certainly know how much I loved her when she saw this cake, I smiled. This, of course, was a lie. Although I had convinced myself it was for her benefit, my 2-year-old didn’t measure my love in cake tiers. Thirteen years in, I know the truth. I now understand why one cake took two weeks to plan, one week to prep, and all night to create. This is where ADHD thrived—the 2 a.m. slot where the discontent met the creatives, and...

Keep Reading

Graduation Means One Last Party

In: Motherhood, Teen
Little boy smiling

My head is about to explode. My youngest, AKA my baby, is about to graduate high school this June. While that is a huge deal, I know what goes into graduation. It isn’t a simple thing. There is no “just a graduation.” Or a simple “end of the year” summation. I have an older son who already graduated high school and college. I’ve done the parties, planned the events, and lived through the end-of-school-year activities. And I’ll be honest—my first thought with my second son’s graduation was this: I don’t want to do it! Please, don’t make me do this....

Keep Reading

Friendship in Motherhood is Beautifully Unique

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Three mothers sitting on lawn watching kids on trampoline, color photo

Friendships in motherhood hold a unique and treasured place, distinctly different from any we’ve experienced before. The ones we meet in the trenches of parenting, as we nurture our kids and rediscover ourselves after becoming mothers—these are the relationships forged amidst the chaos of early morning T-ball practices, the joy of trampoline birthday parties, and the occasional playground meltdown. Motherhood friendships have a distinct depth that sets them apart from the rest. Of course, the friends from our youth are treasures—steadfast companions through the awkwardness of adolescence, through every scraped knee and heartache. Then there are the friends of our...

Keep Reading

My Teen Is Always Changing His Mind—And That’s Okay

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy with neutral smile

My teenage son changes his mind about everything around him. And it’s driving me crazy. My sweet 17-year-old son chooses one thing, only to change his mind about it a second, a minute, or a day later. And he does this all day, every day. At first, I didn’t notice this trend—the swapping of his choices—until it was about things that were more expensive or more serious like careers and cars. And then I began to wonder about his mind. Was there something wrong with him? “I think I want a Mustang,” he would say about the future car he...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

The Baby I Prayed for Became the Daughter I Needed

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother and teenage daughter, color photo

It started with pain, doubt, and prayers just moments before they laid you in my waiting arms. The cumulation of months of planning, anticipation, and excitement all ended in a small, brown-haired little doll who we could dress in pink. I quickly handed you over my head to the eager hands of your older sister, who promptly took her spot in the rocking chair, welcoming you into our family. Many nights, I would hear your tiny sounds as you rooted around, waiting for me to pick you up, carry you to that same rocking chair, fill your tummy, and pat...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for These Moments I’m Living with You

In: Motherhood
Little girl smiling on couch

There’s a half-eaten, yellow Dum-Dum sucker stuck in the console of my dashboard, right in front of my gear shift. Every day when I pick my daughter up from daycare, she gets a Dum-Dum sucker from the director as we leave. Once in the car, she usually eats some of it and either puts it upside down in the cup holder of her car seat, or she hands it to me, and I place it in the console until we get home when I can toss it in the trash. This is nothing new. This has been part of our...

Keep Reading