‘I heard footsteps. She was crouched down and started to cry. Her beautiful face full of fear, and her little lip curled.’: Mom struggling with anxiety says ‘I forgot to slow down and be kinder to myself’

“I cleaned up the last toy.

Put away the last dish.

I made myself a hot drink, brought out a packet of biscuits, and sunk into the couch with all the desire to not move. Happy to fall asleep on the couch.

I heard footsteps and I yelled at whoever it was to go back to bed.

I heard them disappear and not long after, they came back.

I felt RAGE.

Rage.

I’ve been working more hours, struggling to get everything done.

Cleaning more, trying to juggle everything with not one freaking minute to myself. Can these kids not just go the hell to sleep?

I was angry. I got up and stormed over to the hallway. I growled at the door in a voice I didn’t recognize.

I was ready to yell — no, BLAST — whoever was there.

I opened the door and I saw my little girl, Sofia. Her normally cheeky smile was replaced with big brown eyes full of fear.

She was crouched down and when she saw my angry face she started to cry. Her beautiful face full of fear, and her little lip curled…

‘You scare me, Mommy.’

I felt my anger melt all to the pit of my stomach and my heart thud right into there too.

I thought to myself, what a crap mother you are. You failed. You frightened a four-year-old because you wanted to eat biscuits.

I stared at her and she held out her arms for me.

Me. The scary monster. She wanted me. The same person who frightened her, she was seeking comfort from.

I picked her up and I hugged her. We hugged each other so tightly.

It wasn’t her fault she wanted to get up and be with me. I’m her safe space. I’m her comfort. I’m her mother.

But hugging her made her realize that I can’t be a bad mother who’s failed when I’m the one she goes to.

And it’s not my fault I’m burnt out. I’m trying to juggle balls that I can’t catch. I’m angry because my anxiety is through the roof that if I drop those balls, I fail.

I realized I failed myself.

I forgot to slow down. I forgot to be kinder to myself.

And her big beautiful brown eyes and huge strong hug reminded me that I’m so worthy of love right now.

That even when I mess up, I’m still worthy of love.

I whispered, ‘I’m sorry, Mommy is just feeling tired and overwhelmed.’

She pats my tears off my face (which broke me even more) and said, ‘That’s okay, I’ll look after you, let’s make some eggs.’

So, we did.

And without a word, a four-year-old made me realize that I’m worthy of being loved, even when I feel like I’m falling apart.

Remember, mamas, you can’t give yourself if you have nothing left to give. A happy mama is a happy child.”

Courtesy Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza, where it originally appeared. Follow Laura on Instagram hereDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Laura here:

‘She’s not broken’: To the man whose wife or partner has anxiety

‘My card declined at the grocery store. I forgot to bring cash. I stood outside my car door, ready to jump in, when a car pulled up next to me.’: Mom drawn to faith by random acts of kindness, ‘I’ve been getting signs for a long time’

‘No one is cleaning their house every day. No one is having sex every day. We are ALL losing our crap.’: Mom insists ‘you’re amazing’ at motherhood even when it doesn’t feel like it, ‘To them, you are everything’

‘The day a woman stops asking for your affection is the day that means she doesn’t want to fight anymore. Put your phone down, look at her and listen.’: Woman advocates for healthy relationships

Provide beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with your friends and family.

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: