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My anxiety is at its peak when my child is sick

Tonight—right now—the only thing I can do is remind myself that this will pass. The fog will lift eventually, and the fear will slip away.

My anxiety is at its peak when my child is sick

It's 3 a.m. My body feels heavy and exhausted, but my mind is wide awake and racing. Your little body is next to mine, hot to the touch yet I can feel you shake with chills that no amount of blankets can seem to calm.

After hearing you cry out for me from your room, I carried you into our bed even though we usually don't allow it. I brought you in because you looked up at me and through tears you said, "Mommy, please stay with me. I really don't feel good."

It's times like this when my anxiety is at its worse. I feel like a heavy weight is pressing down on my chest, making it hard to breathe. My thoughts move quickly through my brain so that each one just seems to be a continuation of the one before.

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What if his fever gets any higher?

What if the doctor was wrong and it's not just a virus?

Obviously the rest of us are going to get this.

Now that I think about it, I feel like I might be warm.

He was around family yesterday.

Now everyone is going to get sick and judge me for bringing my sick kid around them.

If we're all sick, we're going to miss that party Saturday and I don't want to feel left out.

I wonder if my thermometer is working correctly.

We need to get more Lysol and hand sanitizer.

What if I fall asleep and his fever gets too high and I don't notice and he doesn't wake up.

I know these thoughts are a bit ridiculous because I have no business worrying about things I have no control over. At least that's what people tell me. All the time.

The thing is though, I have no control over my anxiety either. I literally can't just turn off my brain like a light switch. It doesn't work that way. I wish it did—more than anything. That I could just let it go and move on. I wish that I didn't have moments where I felt so alone, so scared, so helpless, so unsure about everything except the fact that something bad is going to happen.

Tonight—right now—the only thing I can do is remind myself that this will pass. The fog will lift eventually, and the fear will slip away.

I will remember that I am loved.

I will remember that I have faith.

I will remember that I am strong and resilient.

I will remember that I'm an amazing mama.

I will remember that even though I have no control over my anxiety, my anxiety does not control me.

Until then, I will focus on you. My sweet baby.

I will watch your chest rise and fall in a steady rhythm that almost matches the breath of your daddy next to you.

I will place my hand gently on your back and let my heavy eyes close. I will lay with you, and together, we will help each other feel better.

At least for tonight.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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    Superkin's line of focused essentials (launched by two retail execs, Miriam Williams and Tara Henning, who worked for world-class brands like Louis Vuitton, Walmart, J.Crew and Narvar) are meticulously designed with the needs of mamas in mind. Made from luxurious, wear tested fabrics and featuring thoughtful design details, they've created a line of clothing women actually want to wear. Each piece is a welcome addition to a solid maternity capsule wardrobe, making them a worthy investment from the first trimester.

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