How my anxiety taught me to be the mother I always wanted to be

I’ve struggled with anxiety for 20 years or so. While it has been a demon of mine, it has also been a great teacher.

How my anxiety taught me to be the mother I always wanted to be

*Has an anxiety

problem, easily overwhelmed, may need extra attention.

These were the words next to my new

student’s name at the kids yoga class I’m teaching this summer.

Me too’, was

my first thought.

I’ve struggled

with anxiety in different capacities for probably twenty years or so. While it

has been a demon of mine, it has forced me to move in ways I probably wouldn’t have otherwise—it’s been a great gift and teacher.

‘May need extra


Finally, well into my thirties, I’ve learned to accept this

piece of myself. I’ve learned to carefully tend to the delicate line between


anxiety and ease, to gingerly care for my broken pieces. I spend a lot more time NOT being anxious

these days, so when I do head down that track, I quickly notice the stark


I know now that my ability to navigate my world without

overwhelm depends on where I am walking, talking, doing, and being from.  Am I in headspace? Or am I in heart space?

After years of dancing between the two I have tools more readily accessible to

keep my in my healthy place—the heart space.

Join Motherly

The two places look something like this:



I’m in my brain I’m thinking. List making. Noticing all the details of a project not

yet complete. Calculating how long bedtime might take and how much is left to

do.  When I navigate from headspace, I’m

generally snappier. I’m fearful. I worry. I never think I have enough time. And

then I commit to more.



magical place. The land where love flows like water, hearts are full, and worries

seem to slip away.  When I’m here, in my

heart, days are full of ease. Answers open in front of me and I know what’s right. I

feel rested. I’m a patient mama when I’m here. I know, deep in my core, that so

long as we’ve loved that day—we’ve done enough. I go to bed satisfied, worn

out, heart full of gratitude.

It takes care and attention to stay in the heartspace. But the

pay off is immense. For both me and for my family—they notice the difference too.

Sometimes my head needs to do its logical work. That’s just

life. The brain needs to do its calculations and time management and all

that.  But I’ve learned to stop listening

to everything my brain tells me.  It’s a

trickster, that brain, wanting to tell me stories that aren’t even true. Things

like, ‘You have to do more.’ ‘You don’t have

enough time to play piano today.’ Stop, brain.

The beautiful truth is that I have exactly the right amount of time that I need.

The truth is that I’m in the center of

exactly where I need to be. When my heart is filled with love—I am filled with

trust and abundance. And the more I dance with the love in my heart, the more

it grows. I tend to it and it expands, pushing the brain and all her logic

back where she belongs—waiting in the wings for the next time I need to figure

out directions or what time to leave for the

airport.  But not to tell me how to spend

the precious moments of my days. That’s not my brain’s job.

That is for my heart. For my soul to reach out and touch the

sun, the universe, to sparkle in all the poetry this world has to offer. This

is where I find my power, my grace, my truth.

My yoga teacher’s teacher, Baba Hari Dass, has a quote that

has been passing through my being often lately.

“Don’t think that you are carrying the whole world; make it easy, make it play, make it a prayer.”

This week, I needed this reminder—to remember

that I do have the power to commit to living with heart, with inspiration. That

is how I combat my anxiety; that is how I breathe again, how I give myself

extra attention.

It all depends on which place I am viewing the world—from

an inspired heart, or from an anxious mind. Nowadays, instead of allowing myself to spiral completely out of control

and into the abyss of all consuming anxiety, I stop. I breathe. I play gorgeous

music. I dance. I cry. I snuggle. I get out of my head.

*Has an anxiety problem, easily overwhelmed, may need extra attention.

You and me both, kid. But we can do this. We are fierce and

we are full of love in this wild and crazy world.

Join Motherly

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.


"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

Keep reading Show less