Mom guilt for never leaving the house....

Sasha - posted on 08/02/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone. I joined Circle of Moms hoping to get some advice/feedback. I am 26 and I have a 3 year old and 1 1/2 year old. I suffer from severe anxiety and as a result never got my drivers license, so my kids and I never leave the house. My husband works in a city two hours away and is gone all day until about 8pm and uses the only car we have even if I did have my license. We live in a small town with a crappy bus system and we are pretty far away from anything within walking distance. My anxiety prevents me from even getting out because of fear so I don't really have any friends and I have no family where we live. Lately I have just been consumed by guilt because my kids never leave the house, we get out on Saturdays and Sunday's when their dad is off but M-F we are inside 24 hrs a day. I try to have them play in the yard but they get incredibly bored after five minutes. Inside, I try and do crafts and other activities but nothing keeps their attention very long and I know they are just dying to do something out of the house. Sometimes it feels like we are trapped in a prison. I feel so guilty that I should be doing more for them but I just don't know how to go about it. Sometimes even the thought of going for a walk sends me spiraling from anxiety. I am already on anxiety medication and have been trying to do small things with them to overcome my fear but every night I toss and turn from feeling so bad that they are going out of their minds from being so bored. The TV is on all day long and I know I'm not being the best mom I can be. Any suggestions?

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Beth - posted on 08/02/2016

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Hi Sasha,
I really can understand where you are coming from. I also have had anxiety so severe I could not function before so I can really feel your pain. I did not get my drivers licence until I was in my 20s because of the anxiety. I took medication for a while, Effexor and Inderal. The anxiety is close to completely gone now, thank God. Mindfulness meditation and the medication helped a lot and now I just take a little bit of Inderal occasionally. I know that your children are affected by the anxiety, but children are affected by any problem their parents have and parents all have problems of every kind imaginable. I'm afraid it's part of being a human. And the children grow up. Often these things makes kids stronger in the long run. Your kids will be OK. In the meantime though, a couple of ideas: I can't see anywhere in your post where you live, but would you have a playgroup in your town. Could you contact them and ask if someone would be willing to sometimes give you a ride if you pay for petrol or help them out in some way? Is there a church in your area with small kids? Would someone be willing to give you a ride? I would be happy to give you a ride somewhere but it would be a pretty big coincidence if you lived near me. Let me know how you go. You and your children will be OK and you will get through this.

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Sasha - posted on 08/03/2016

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Hi Beth, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I've got to say, your insight into the situation has really given me a new perspective and I actually feel a lot better. I even shared it with my husband and he agreed. Thanks so much! I live in Colorado, so it's a long shot you are close to me but you seem like a great friend to have! I don't have anyone who can give me a ride anywhere because no friends and no family close. And we live on the very far end of town and would have to walk along a highway to get anywhere, so walking anywhere is kind of out of the question. But I guess I've just got to keep trying to find a way. Thank you!!

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