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In the depths of my anxiety, my husband has been a constant force of love and support

When you text me to tell me you are proud of me, I feel loved and remember that I do not have to prove my worth.

In the depths of my anxiety, my husband has been a constant force of love and support

Dear husband,

Long before I met you I decided I didn't measure up.


I spent most of my life disappointed with who I am. But do you remember that day you told me I was beautiful, in one of the hardest seasons of my life? I believed you.

I’ve worked so hard to order my world—to develop rhythms and strategies to be able to love you and the kids, do the work I love and not fall apart. I know my perfectionism made you feel at times like I cared more about the house than you, but it isn't true. I just didn't know yet how to make peace with imperfection and trust that my world would not come crashing down around me if I loosened my grip.

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I am so sorry for the times I yelled or freaked out—it had absolutely nothing to do with you, but was rooted in fear. I didn't know then how to ask for help, or even how to admit what I was really feeling, so all my grief and fear poured out over you and the kids.

There is nothing more important to me than family.

Here’s what I need you to know about my anxiety: for much of our marriage it made me feel broken and inadequate but I have decided to learn to love myself even as I learn to love you.

You don't understand procrastination, but I have fought it my whole life. I want to do well at everything, so when I doubt my ability to do so, I freeze and do nothing at all. I have slowly learned to face things head on and your understanding helps.

When you text me to tell me you are proud of me or to cheer me on, I feel affirmed and loved and remember I do not have to prove my worth.

The days you find me curled up in bed with Netflix are usually days I'm feeling small and afraid. Afraid of failure or afraid of my success. My brain never stops scanning for what needs to be fixed or what I ought to do better, and sometimes the way to shut this down is to numb out for just a little while.

When I forget something or make a mistake, I need you to be patient, forgive quickly, and remember that I am always doing my imperfect best. Otherwise, this feeds my hungry inner critic and confirms what I have known since childhood—I don't have what it takes.

Sometimes I wrestle with shame because I cannot do all the things some other women do and I've wondered if you wished I was different. But if I sacrifice sleep or nutrition for productivity, if my life is packed to the brim, I crumble.

Here’s what I need you to know about my anxiety: sometimes it lies heavy in my chest and takes my breath away and I wonder if everyone has to work this hard just to show up to life each day.

You see me craft mantras to guide me: I am enough. Don't try so hard, just enjoy yourself.

This isn't just a feel-good exercise but one of the ways I fight for life.

It is so hard and uncomfortable for you to talk about my past—but we need to be real if we are to grow old together and if I am to heal.

Sometimes you think I am mouthy or stubborn, and it is true. But what you might not see is how these fiery traits have helped me persist and fight for wholeness when I am in despair.

Your willingness to hold and touch me without expectation, even though this didn't come naturally to you, has been huge. Your touch is one of the best things in my life and I feel safe wrapped up tight in your arms.

Here’s what I need you to know about my anxiety: even though I have worked hard and come far I can’t always control when it shows up and I am always a little afraid of it.

As I build resilience and develop a healthy stress mindset, I love how you grow alongside me. You recognize that this is not only my journey; our lives are forever intertwined.

Your willingness to practice vulnerability by opening up about your own fears reminds me I am not alone.

When I tell you I need to quit wine because the numbing has gotten bad again, hear me. Do not downplay it and suggest I have just one drink; I don't know how to have just one drink anymore. If I have the courage to tell you the truth, then you need the courage to hear.

You see me as proficient and reliable, but I mask well. I have lived with chronic pain and anxiety so long that I deal with most of it on my own. I keep so much inside. So when I tell you my anxiety has spiked and I need help, I really mean it and I need you to listen.

I can't always advocate for myself when things get bad. I need people watching and speaking truth into my life. I need you to take me to the doctor or drive me for blood work. At that point asking for help feels like the straw that will break me and sometimes I can't see what you see.

Here's what I need you to know about my anxiety: I am still learning to heal and live with joy and I'm so grateful I get to walk out this messy journey hand-in-hand with you.

Love,

Your wife

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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