The Truth About Parenting with Depression & Anxiety

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Living with Depression and Anxiety 

Since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a child, I have endured many years of heartache.

I can remember so many occasions where I have cried myself to sleep and assumed that I was the only person that felt this way. That I was completely alone in this world.

Sometimes I have even felt undeserving of life itself.

There are still many days where I believe I am unwanted or unloved, and it has taken me a long time to see that my depression and anxiety is the culprit.

Many people who do NOT have depression or anxiety believe that you can just change your mood and choose if you are anxious and depressed or completely over the moon happy.

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For me, this has never been true. I have my good days and my bad days, and then my REALLY bad days. There is often no rhyme or reason.

Challenges of Parenting with Depression & Anxiety

How to Parent While Depressed and/or Anxious

Parenting is hard enough without adding all of the extra baggage that comes along when you struggle emotionally. I wish everyone could see inside my head at how I am thinking constantly. Then maybe you could see why I act the way I do.

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For Example:

  • I am afraid to let other people babysit my children because I fear they will not watch them like a hawk as I do. Also, I worry that their house is not clean and they may have something that my 1-year-old could swallow or choke on. I fear that my 5-year-old will run off from them and get lost.
  • I am afraid to try new things or even to go to parties I am invited to because I am afraid of not fitting in or being good enough.
  • Being too happy is also scary because in the back of my mind I am always worried something bad will happen.

There are so many facts people don’t know about suffering from depression and anxiety while trying to parent.

Anxiety Causes Irrational Thoughts and Worries

Having irrational thoughts and worries is very common for people with anxiety. It can be very mild, severe, or even in between.

This is a big problem for me personally. Unfortunately, I have irrational thoughts and worries on a daily basis.

Sometimes it is something simple such as getting worried about touching the doorknob because it has germs and it can make me sick. Other times it has escalated to rewashing dishes that have fallen into an empty sink due to the fear that the sink is not clean.

There is no 5-second rule in my mind. If a fork falls into the sink my mind automatically classifies it as dirty. Just like if I touch the dirty laundry I have to run and wash my hands because they are filthy.the truth about parenting with depression and anxiety

My extreme anxious thoughts have gotten so bad that I have worried about eating food that other people have prepared because I don’t know if the washed their hands or cooked meats to the proper temperature. It was even worse during my last pregnancy. I worried that I would eat food that was not properly prepared and would have a miscarriage.

Although I do know that these thoughts are irrational even at the time I am thinking them, I feel like I have no control over them at that moment. It’s as if it is a life or death situation.

Depression & Anxiety Messes with Emotions

Having anxiety messes with your self-esteem BIG TIME. Oftentimes you feel inadequate and like a failure or a burden.

Even though I know I am a good mother and that my family loves me, I have a horribly low self-esteem and am constantly trying to better myself. I often have no confidence and believe that I am unworthy of love.

This is one part of my anxiety that I believe is developed when you are growing up. I can remember my mother putting herself down and making suicidal threats in front of us all of the time.

I truly believe it has affected the way I view myself.

That is one reason I try not to let my children see me upset or crying. Although it is sometimes unavoidable.

My daily struggle is to put on a happy face for my kids and try to remind myself that I am a good wife and mother. I am definitely not perfect by any means but I do need to and wish I could love myself more.  I want my children to love themselves as much as I love them so I have to try to love myself first.

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Depression & Anxiety is NOT just Emotional

Anxiety and depression also affects people physically.

For example, I frequently have migraines and tension headaches caused by my depression and anxiety.

Depression and Anxiety can cause other symptoms such as:

    • Muscle Aches and Pain
    • Fatigue
    • Racing Thoughts
    • Nervous Energy (such as how I am bouncing my knee as I type this)
    • Nausea
    • Sweating

When to Talk to Your Doctor?

I am not a physician or any kind of health care professional. If you or someone you know is having any of the feelings or symptoms above I would urge you to speak with your doctor. They can evaluate your concerns to give you the best possible advice.

If you or someone you know is having any of the feelings or symptoms above I would urge you to speak with your doctor. They can evaluate your concerns to give you the best possible advice.

Do Your Best

After seeing my doctor, I was prescribed an antidepressant to help me establish a balance. And with the medication, I am able to enjoy life without constant negative feelings.

I enjoy my children and don’t feel like a bad mother anymore. Now when my children want to play with me I am able to run around with them and create memories. I love my kids and I want them to have a mother who can be happy and healthy all of the time.the truth about parenting with depression and anxiety

Although I know my depression and anxiety will never be cured I will keep doing my best to make myself and my family happy.


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If you or someone you know is having trouble please share this post. You are not alone.

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38 thoughts on “

The Truth About Parenting with Depression & Anxiety

  • Thank you for sharing your journey, I hope that it can really help others struggling with similar issues. As a mother sometimes it is hard for us to ask for help, but it is so needed.

  • this was really in-depth. i loved it. i’m hoping to touch on this topic more on my blog as well. it really is hard to be a super involved parent when anxiety, depression, and their associating symptoms are always present. its always nice to know you are not alone <3

    to be completely honest, i probably will come back to this post and re-read it often. keep up the good work <3

    • Thank you so much. I would love you to come back also. Please share to anyone you think would benefit from it.

  • I also suffer with depression with anxiety. I will pray for you and your journey, always here from one mom to another ❤️

  • So true that people who are not going to through depression and anxiety do not understand the challenges. I have a cousin who is going exactly through this, so I can relate to it. She is trying yoga and meditation to alleviate her condition. It has slowly begun to help her, although she still has her good and bad days. Just that the intensity of panic attacks has come down and she feels better now.

    • Oh wow! I hope she continues to get better. Thank you for the comment.

  • I swore that I was the only mom who was living this way. Thank you for admitting everything. This parenting thing is hard, it’s even harder with anxiety and depression.

    • Yes, it is! It is the hardest job I have ever had and it is 10 times harder with depression and anxiety. Thank goodness for Zoloft. LOL

  • Great post, thanks for sharing your journey. I personally have never had this but I know a lot of people that do.

  • I didn’t realize these were symptoms! Several of the things you mention are things I deal with–and everyone tells me how irrational they are. I tend to catastrophize everything, meaning I take everything to the worst case scenario and it becomes real in my mind. Ugh. Thank you for shedding light on these issues!

    • I know exactly what you mean. For years I wondered why I acted the way I did and now I know. The best advice I have is to talk to your doctor to see if they have any suggestions for helping you.

  • Love this post. I’ve had serious anxiety since my first son was born over 4 years ago. I love doing things naturally but I eventually gave in and went on an antidepressant. Best decision I’ve ever made! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • I’m so glad that you were able to get the help you needed. I did try doing natural things to help also but the antidepressant makes me the happiest I have ever been in my life.

    • Can I ask what the doctors prescribed you? I was prescribed. Paxil and xanax and I am terrified to touch them. They say you have EXCESSIVE WEIGHT GAIN AND HORRIBLE WITHDRAWLS. I’m so scared.

  • Recently, I’ve been experiencing mild versions of some of these things. Like overly worrying about my children’s safety. I didn’t realize these could be signs of anxiety. This post is really informative. I hope you continue to find ways to cope.

    • I did not realize that all of the feelings and worries I was having were anxiety either until just a few years ago. Thanks so much for you comment

  • Heather, thank you for sharing your journey and letting people know they are not alone. Thank you for letting mamas dealing with the same thing know that there is hope. I think that this post will be very helpful to many.

  • This is a great post, thank you for sharing your story. I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. My daughter also suffers from anxiety. I am learning how to manage mine so that I can help my daughter.

    • Awesome!
      I love that you are trying to take care of your anxiety so that you can properly help your daughter with hers. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • So glad you were able to find a medication that worked for you! I was getting anxious reading this!!!

    • Yes!
      My husband is too. LOL
      I am so much happier on my meds. It makes me feel like a completely different person.

  • Thank you for sharing. It is so nice to know that you are not the only one out there who deals with this on a daily basis. Glad that they got your meds right. It took two different doctors for me and over two years and I still have bad days and I never truly feel happy. At times it seems like the harder I try to be happy the worse I feel.

    • I completely understand what you are talking about. I truly hope you can one day get to a place where you can find happiness.
      I myself have just signed up with Young Living Essential Oils and they have so many products that help with emotional health as well. I am hoping they will help with my depression/anxiety.
      If you are ever interested please let me know. Just a thought. Thanks so much for your commet also.

  • Beautiful post and thanks for sharing x
    I can see bits of myself popping up in this post, especially from when I was younger xx

    • Thank you so much. It has been such a long and aggravating road but I am taking it one day at a time.

  • I’m glad you posted this. I am a trained mental illness speaker. feel free to read my blog. I think it will help you. i have a lot of resources on it you can use to. i go through a lot you do and i am not a mom, yet. the feelings you feel people who don’t even have anxiety feel and those feelings are normal. don’t think you are any worse of a person cause you are not. i appreciate you even if you don’t appreciate yourself at times <3 xoxo

  • “Although I know my depression and anxiety will never be cured” – it’s not true and it is not good to spread this belief. Or rather, if you limit yourself to taking only drugs, it may be true, but if you find a good therapy, like EMDR for example, you can be better. And it would be also better for the children, instead of just ‘putting on a happy face’. I can tell you, I’m also a mother, I’ve been there (and my mothers does still threat us like does, a real nightmare). Be strong, you have the right to progress and blossom !

  • Thank you for posting. I went through this as well before being prescribed medication- the exact same thoughts and worrying about worst case scenarios all of the time. The thoughts I had normally got to the point where one of us or all of us would be severely hurt or dead. For example, we will be driving, a car will pass in front of me- my mind says “if that car just came over two seconds sooner he would have crashed in to us or I would have veered off the road and we would all be gone or only I would die and my daughter will grow up without a mother for the rest of her life GAHH!!” Anxiety is a terrible thing to deal with, glad you were able to get help as well. Best of luck to you!

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to find others who have similar experiences.

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