Thursday, 11 February 2016

I don't do well with change


I've thought a little too much about writing this post, the words to say, how to explain myself properly and why I need to say it. I'm just going to do it and hope it comes out okay. 

Since the new year began I have begun feeling anxious, something I've never really experienced before. I knew it was coming because I do not like change at all. In September my youngest will start at school. I realise this is a nice thing, she will be ready for it and I'm sure she will enjoy it. I will not, well maybe I will eventually, but it's going to be hard. 


I realise this is not a disaster, I do truly know how fortunate I am and am so grateful for all the happiness and love in my life. I can't help how I feel though and part of me is crumbling. All I ever wanted since being little was to get married and have babies. Everything I did before was just the preamble to living the life I wanted. Two degrees, a couple of careers and a previous serious relationship that taught me a lot, led me to find the love of my life and we created the family we wanted. It's not all roses all the time, I had post natal depression after we had our son and three kids is a lot of work. There are times I feel like screaming, times all I do is shout and days that feel like years but it's all worth it when one of the kids says or does something cute, wonderful, caring or just perfectly them. 

I have spent most of the past 8 years being a stay at home mum (I prefer full time mum but I know that can cause offence - sorry) and that time will end later this year. I do now work part time but currently only about one day a week. I'm not having an identity crisis, I know I will be able to find something else to do and hopefully a career I will enjoy. I am just going to miss it. I'm going to miss seeing this face all day...


even with food all over her!

I cried when the other two started school - I'm a total sap - but this time I will walk home alone. That sounds dramatic but that's how it plays in my head. 

There are so many wonderful things about seeing my kids grow, watching them become more independent, seeing them find their own joy in reading, drawing, writing, learning. Doing work like this:


I did think about home schooling (for like a second, I don't have the patience!) because I love being around them. I enjoyed primary school and my kids do too so I'm happy about it. I'm just not great at letting go or change.

There must be other mums that have dealt with this? 

source: image by LoVE

I'm not trying to be 'woe is me', really I know this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of everything, but I am struggling. I hope by even this time next year I will be totally okay with them all being at school because my life will be filled up with more good things. So I'm working on setting up plans for things to do once she's at school and I guess what other 'hat' I will be wearing along with being a mum. That gives me focus and I can get excited about it. But then I think about what's going to happen and I just feel a bit sick. My heart beats so fast and I am dreading her starting school. I cry thinking about it and have feelings of being overwhelmed. It's like waves of panic. If my anxiety gets any worse I think I will go and see a doctor, currently it's not all consuming and I would like to avoid that. I've joked it's like pre-anxiety anxiety but it's not really funny. I don't want to waste the next few months worrying about September when I could be having fun with Lois. 

I have tried not to think about it but it doesn't work and I'm worried if I just 'suck it up' then I'm going to get a lot worse. I'm having bad days and good days, honestly even bad hours and good hours. The back and forth is exhausting!

I decided to write this because I know a lot of you are parents and/or you might be able to relate to what I'm going through. I would so appreciate any ideas or advice you can offer. Any general advice for dealing with anxiety? Please leave a comment or send me an email if you prefer. Thank you xx

I'm being brave and hitting publish...




49 comments:

  1. I get it. I get it and my eldest hasn't started school yet. My youngest is 4 months and when I say I want a fourth I'm not joking - I sound like I'm joking when I say I can only cope with the eldest getting older by having another baby (but I'm not joking!?). So I'm no help to you but I get it. Anxiety is the worst coz it makes you feel sick, I think making plans will help you.

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  2. It feels funny to be the older one here - I just sent my youngest to college last September. That being said - I (much to my surprise) finally sought the help of a therapist after my youngest started school. It changed everything in my life to 150% better. I think that having this much anxiety this early would be very hard to live with and it doesnt have to be like that. Taking care of your mental health has to be a #1 priority - you have lots of people to care for:). Get your courage up and do it!

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  3. Lucy,
    I was a stay at home mom for 19 years, and I was rarely home! I volunteered at my children's schools all through school. They loved it. I only had 2 children and volunteered one day for each teacher at the elementary school level. I also volunteered for school-wide functions and at the district level.
    As my children grew, I was a welcome volunteer at the jr. and high schools, but I didn't volunteer in their classrooms. At that age, they still enjoyed having me around for an occasional lunch or just to see me as they passed between classes. They also appreciated that I was there for them, but also helping others.
    Watching the students I worked with graduate from high school and college was so rewarding. Perhaps this is something that can help you through the changes.
    Please try to see this as a continuation of your parenting, not an end to something. Your children will still need you, but in a different way. Best wishes.

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  4. Thank you for being brave enough to post this. That is a big first step.
    Christine from Ontario

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  5. I feel you, but from the other end of things. My youngest is 16 and my oldest is fully launched into her own life. My best advice is to not let the future rob you of today's happiness and make a little list of things you'd love to do and make for yourself and the kiddos. Schools (at least where I am) are in need of what we called "room moms" when I was small. You will always have a vital role to play. Try to relax and know that all will be well (and, by all means, consult a doctor if needed. ..thyroid disease can be a part of post partum depression as well as anxiety. It may be that am underlying physical cause is cranking up your anxiety.) Thanks for your beautiful honesty. I identify with you.

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  6. I am probably the oldest one to comment but here is my twopence worth anyway;
    Like you I worked hard at school, college etc. Constant pressure there. I lived carefree for a few years, working and playing until I met my husband. We had two daughters 3 and 1/2 years apart and I can still remember my youngest's first day at school. I was bereft! (even though I would be collecting her at 3pm). Now before she went I planned all the spring cleaning and coffee mornings etc I was going to do in between but the reality was I did a lot of pacing the floor, looking at the clock and generally feeling that I was useless. I did go to the doctor and got introduced to cognitive behaviour therapy which is drug free and generally it gives you coping mechanisms to adjust how you feel about things and I was soon back to feeling myself. I am a Grandmother now and have had the pleasure of seeing my own children become mothers and I have helped my oldest through severe postnatal depression. If you do have to have meds temporarily until you are feeling well again, it is not the end of the world. These emotions you are going through have been gone through by generations of women but things happen to change these feelings and you will soon be helping your little angel with homework, after school activities etc. and life will have a new rythm for you. Take heart, we are all on your side.

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  7. hugs to you! I remember feeling that way when #3 went off to kindergarten.... 15 years ago! Now she is a sophomore in college & my other two are full grown adults, but guess what? All three still need me! It's changed over time, the ways they need me, but I'll always be their mom. Do enjoy the next few months with her and look forward to new adventures in the future! great post...

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  8. It seems like just yesterday you told me you were going to have her and now she is going to school! There I said it. As you know mine go from 30 to 10, when David (youngest) went to pre-k I thought I would go nuts he was excited and I was crushed. Then his teacher ask me to come in and read anytime I wanted. I think she knew when the tears started flowing after I started out the door. So, my friend you are not alone. Volunteer in her class, visit, go on field trips. Then find a hobby, oh wait you have a career started right here. As she is learning new things make goals on new techniques you want to learn. You will be amazed how much dirt you will find when they are gone for a few hours a day, clean and redecorate! XOXO it does get better. My David is now in 5th grade going to Middle School in Sept so I am scared too!

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  9. Seek help if needed, defiantly look into a mommy group that you can share how you feel with, look into some things you can do at her school, and enjoy these moments at home with your little until Fall! (And if you decide you want to homeschool, do it girl!!

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  10. Oh Lucy, I can soooooo relate to your sadness. I'm putting off enrolling my littlest just one more year until TK but even thinking about it leaves me choked up. My babies are no longer babies and at times it is positively heartbreaking.

    The only thing that has helped me this far is prayer. When my anxiety and sorrow is at its worst, I try to imagine myself standing at the foot of the cross. When I see Him there on the cross, I ask to share His suffering (through my own) and imagine myself taking a tiny splinter from the cross. That is my cross... That little sliver that is so very tiny but so heavy at times. And yet carrying it willingly makes a difference somehow.

    I highly recommend the book, "I Believe in Love." It's a personal retreat based on the writings of St. Therese if Liseaux. It changed my perspective on suffering and made my own trials much easier to bear. They are still there, still heart wrenching at times, but now more bearable.

    I'll put you in my rosary intentions tonight. xoxo

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    1. Its great that you opted to keep your little one home an extravyear. But these are the tricky parenting spots. We cant let our fear of letting go hinder our childrens personal growth and their needs. The decision has to be based on the child's needs, not our own. Its the hardest part of being a parent.

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    2. You're right, letting go is absolutely the toughest part about being a parent. I am always seeking to do what is best for my children, and for my youngest staying home until she needs to go to school means waiting until she is four years old. My apologies for any misunderstanding regarding my comment. I was simply mentioning that I can relate to Lucy's feelings about the upcoming change in her life with her youngest starting school.

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  11. I still wish I could keep both my kids home every day. But we can't. We need to let them grow, and learn, and experience. But it is hard to give that up. I have no real advice, but I can say I understand!

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  12. Oh Lucy, this must be so hard for you, especially as it is causing you such anxiety. Maybe you can go and talk to someone about it....I can hardly believe your baby is almost old enough to go to school? Where did that time go? I remember when she was born!!! Of course you will miss that sweet, and cheeky face! Does your school offer the opportunity to help in the classroom or library? Maybe that would be a way to spend some extra time with your children? Be gentle with yourself Lucy- you need to be well and healthy for each of your children. Susan x

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  13. Hi Lucy. I don't have kids so can't relate. But i CAN relate to anxiety. I have severe depression and general anxiety disorder though my anxiety is now under control which is a massive relief. I am medicated as the depression is very severe, but ither things helped my anxiety. Meditation is really helpful. There is a three minute breathing technique (just look on youtube) which works well at the point of anxiety. A body scan meditation takes 20-30 minutes but if you can find time a couple of times a week it is really very helpful. I also studied mindfulness, i used a book with cd i found on amazon (can't remember the title, something about peace in a frantic world, it's green and is very.popular) and it really did calm me down.
    Your other option, instead or alongside, is to go to the doctors but i bet they'll want to give you citalipram. Now, meds can be very helpful and are often the right choice. But what docs don't tell you is that you get side effects and withdrawal is very unpleasant. It's a choice you have to make but if you do feel.you need them, don't let that put you off and remember, there's no shame in it.
    In case i'm coming across as a hippy chic talking about meditation and.mindfulness, i'm not. I was very sceptical when i was advised to try but it's been very helpful to me.
    Email me if you want.more advice or you want to chat about it. Talking about it really really really helps

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  14. Change is something that so many of us find hard to deal with but standing up and admitting that you are having a hard time is not only incredibly brave (well done you) it is also the first step you need to take to help yourself to deal with the anxiety. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed then do go to your doctor or get whatever help you need to help you to cope. Look after yourself, not only for you but also for your children.

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  15. It seems to me that you have already answered all the questions yourself :) Try if you can to do something with the energy that feeling anxious brings. For example, go for a walk, hit something (!), do some kind of physical exercise… Your body has good and sensible coping mechanisms for stress, fight or flight, but we're not cavemen anymore and we're not running from a sabre tooth tiger, which would have used the adrenalin that your body has created! A walk, run or a dance to some happy music releases that built up resource that you have. If you don't let it go, it makes you ill over time. Hope this makes sense! I am a full time mum too of only one who went to school in September. I didn't feel the same, but still my time is filled somehow when he's not here. Wishing you well and try not to worry :) XXX PS) I realise that I sound like a loon. I trained as a reflexologist and I feel quite strongly about this stuff. Maybe you could also find a reflexologist in your area and treat yourself to a chilled session (check the AoR website).

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  16. I totally get what you said, it was so hard for me as I adore my children being at home, the school holidays are always too short for me and I long for weekends. I don't work so I decided to learn new skills , joined a craft group and more recently the WI. I use the time too to do more home cooking and Friday is always "happy Friday " which we all look forward too, we take it in turns to choose our favourite tea, treat, movie and of course popcorn and that starts our weekend off to a great start ...I need something to look forward to, I'm that sort of person. Good luck, be kind to you, talking these thoughts through are so important and I am sure your post has hit a cord with many people facing the same or who has been through it.

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  17. Lucy!! I have been living with panic/anxiety for a couple of years, you may remember last year I had a meltdown..is always in the background...however I'm learning to accept and to live with it. I'm going to email you with helpful ideas xxxx

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  18. Change is always difficult and often thinking about it is much worse than actually doing it. I don't share your feelings with regards to my children starting school or nursery, in fact I was excited for both of mine to go because I knew they were ready for it and they'd have an amazing time on their learning journeys. I did however suffer from anxiety while I was on maternity leave because I had to go back to work after having both my children, and full-time after my first. I spent months stressing and dreading what lay ahead rather than enjoying the time I had. I was up and down from hour to hour, in floods of tears, just as you described, feeling physically sick at the thought of handing my baby over to someone else during the day (even if that person happened to be my own mum!) I'm not sure I have any useful advice, but you will get through it. And you've been incredibly lucky to be able to spend the majority of your time with your children in their early years. Try to focus on what your daughter will gain by going to school rather then what you will lose. Think about the the next exciting chapter of your life and the possibilities it holds xxx

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  19. Lucy, what a great post, it's good to get these things out there. Anxiety is an absolute bugger, I have been struggling on and off with it for about 4 years. I haven't seen a GP, but did self-refer for some CBT, and it was so helpful for getting out of the spiral of negative thinking - there is loads of online and stuff and apps (there's a lovely website called Excel at Life which has some excellent resources). My biggest advice is to make sure that you are kind to yourself, nurture yourself, and give yourself time and space in a non-judgey manner, I have no doubt it will all come together for you. Oh yeah, the other thing to remember is that feeling anxious about change is perfectly natural, so don't be scared of the anxiety! Just notice it, and then do something else... Being anxious about the anxiety is really bloody hard work, I don't recommend it...!

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  20. Hi Lucy! I think it's good you wrote this out. I don't have kids but I agree with Wendy and Paula. I have some experience of general anxiety and depression. At the moment I have found some kind of way to deal the anxiety (for ex. breathing, drinking enough water!), concentrating my thoughts to things I enjoy (new quilt project etc). I hope you find your way and can feel good and enjoy the coming months. I'm thinking that perhaps when the school starts, you shouldn't stay alone at home. Meet then your friends, go for shopping, hair dressers etc. Remember that your daughter is away only few hours and if you do then house works, you can do something fun together when she returns home. I can understand that this is a huge thing for you (you can't guess how small thing can start the anxiety). If I were you, in first days I would meet my friends. Also I would pick my favourite, happy fabrics to start a new quilt. When ever I would have a difficult moment, I would go to see the project and if time, work with that. Make a special quilt for your daughter so every day she's anxious to see what you have made and how the quilt grows. Good luck! x Teje

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  21. I will email you later when I have morevtime x

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  22. Aw Lucy change is really hard, I'm sorry you're having a tough time. Rescue remedy a few times a day can be helpful as can writing a journal and exercise can be really helpful once you find something you really love doing, a family member suffers quite badly with anxiety and these have all been helpful along with some CBT. Be kind to yourself x

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  23. The struggle is real....and I have to continually remind myself that my job is to raise them to become independent young adults....one day! I'm in the other side of coin....where my first born flew the nest for college a year and a half ago. Still miss being his mom everyday and I haven't seen him in over one year. The pain isn't as acute now....but time and space have given me some perspective. Praying for comfort as your family dynamic changes.

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  24. Change is so difficult whenever it comes. I have no practical advice I'm afraid, I really really struggled with Oliver as a baby but am finding this stage a bit easier, although he won't start nursery until next September so perhaps my time will come! Thank you for being so honest, especially when the temptation is to just talk about the good things. Hope you feel a bit better soon. See you next time I'm up (Easter?) x

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  25. remember when I first proclaimed my love for you? at the first FQ retreat? You were pregnant with Lois then. My wee man goes to school in September too and, at the same time, my current part-time job contract comes to an end and I (hopefully) will be starting a new full-time job. Whilst I am ok with H starting school, I am anxious about the simple logistics of getting him there and back (even though the school is a 10 minute walk from our house) whilst trying to get a full time role and trying to establish myself. It can't be difficult - everyone does it, but it makes me anxious just thinking about it. I can't offer you any adult advice but I can be your buddy through this time of change. Hugs xx

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  26. I was once in your situation. My baby was starting full time kindergarten, and all my SAHM friends were going back to work. What we did was evaluate what we wanted for our family, not what others were choosing for theirs. Our decision was for me to continue to stay at home. Let me tell you, being a Stay at Home Mom of school age children is amazing. You can go to all their school functions, volunteer in their classrooms, be there at the drop of a hat if they need you, keep up with housework like you never have and continue to support your husband and family by keeping things going on the home front. Because we weren't struggling financially, we decided to give it a try. Every year as the star of school approaches, we revaluate and take a casual poll if this is the year I find part time work. My baby is in middle school this year-- 6th grade! and we still think this is the best option for our family. Yes, we make sometimes have to make choices like not buying shiny new cars, or taking several expensive vacations, but we still do vacation,on a budget and our vehicles get us from point A to B reliably.

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    1. Me, too! Our family functioned so much better when someone was home to keep the household running. There was so much less stress...meals were cooked and everyone got to soccer games, piano lessons, band practice without having the crazies. I worked part time on and off. But my child always came home to mom in the house and an after school snack ready. I never felt "lesser" even though society tries to make stay-at-home parents feel less useful. We didn't have income for extras...drive an older car, lived in a smaller house than our friends did. But I think we were happier at the end of the day.

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  27. hi Lucy. Been there done that and yes you survive though it is tough. I really thought the world would come to an end when our twins went to school. I felt physically sick with anxiety for months in advance. Strangely when the youngest went to primary school I was ok. But the feelings all came back when they changed to grammar school. A lot of it is what my husband calls my worrying about worrying. Trust me, everything will work out. xxx

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  28. Sometimes I think women don't talk to each other enough, you know? About things like this. Or what menopause is really like. All the big life changes. My only child is going to be 31. I can still feel him against my body, about 2years old, legs wrapped around my waist, sweaty head against my chest, little wet spot where he drooled in sleep. Seriously... it is a physical memory in my body. And it will be in yours, too...and this is a wonderful thing. And also, the other day my son sent me an email. It said "Hi mom, I Love you." The man wrote it, but I heard it in the sweet little child's voice. Your small children will be with you forever. :)

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    1. Oh, and sign up for a morning yoga or other exercise class. So you have a morning routine that involves something physical. . :)

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  29. I can relate to a lot of this. All I ever wanted in life was to get married and have babies too. I always worked with children and then married at 31, we had 3 children in three and a half years. I was always a full time mum and actually only went back to work in December after 19 years at home. I really enjoyed being a full time mum/housewife and had quite a traditional lifestyle and marriage. I only went back to work because finances were so dire. I cried each time a child started school and even every September when they went back after the summer break. When my youngest started I was a sobbing wreck in the secretary's arms after I left him in the classroom. When I went home I couldn't stay there alone and so went out for hours to keep myself busy and not dwell not he emptiness. It took me a long time to get use to not having children around all the time. I didn't suffer with anxiety but was terribly upset for a long time. I did have post natal depression with two of my children and along bout of depression (lasting a few years) when my oldest was 13 and she was so awful I couldn't cope. We can't always control how we feel and sometimes need some help to get us back on an even keel. Being anxious is not good for you or your young family, if it doesn't settle you may want to choose to get some kind of help. Change is so hard, I cried everyday for a while when I had to start work because I was so scared I couldn't do it. I wish I could help but at least I can send virtual hugs and love. xx

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  30. When we moved to England two years ago I was prepared for the move but it didn't dawn on me that my youngest would be starting school! His birthday was August. We moved in June. So it hit me hard! After 9 years stay at home mom, same as you, I love it. I still miss them during the day. I try to make sure we have time after school to relax together and play. It works well. And I'm thankful for the half terms. They probably keep me sane. But you're right, you will eventually fill your days. Everything is a phase and we just can enjoy them as we're in them.

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  31. Yeah, sweetie, it's like that. You're not alone. There will be other milestones later on, too, and they also feel weird. You'll get used to the idea of it, though. Take comfort in the idea that things are progressing they way they're supposed to, though. Your little one is able to go to school! Yay! That's what's supposed to happen. And you're freaking out! That's also what's supposed to happen.

    You can still see her during the day sometimes, though. You can be a homeroom mother. Volunteer to be a reader for her class. Go on field trips. Have lunch with her occasionally.

    My best friend started reading to her son's kindergarten class, then his 1st grade class, and so on throughout elementary school. He's in high school now, but she still goes back and reads for those teachers' classes regularly.

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  32. Oh darling, that was indeed brave and I thanks you for feeling you could share with us. Your little girl is adorable and of course you will miss her and change is scary. I am Mum to a 27 year old and I wonder where those years went. There have been very difficult times, but when I look back, but it all turned out OK. Take heart lovely girl, it will be OK and we are here for you.

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  33. This truly resonated with me. When my oldest (now 32) was in her last year of high school, I realized that the next year, she would be living at college. That she would never, ever, ever live under our roof again. (God willing and the creek don't rise.) I was sad. I was beyond sad; I was despondent.

    And this was *while she was still living with us because she was STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL*!!! Furthermore, her 2 younger sisters were still at home! So, it wasn't as though I was going to have an empty house syndrome.

    I was just lamenting ... and *grieving* ... the fact that our 5 person family was going to be changed forever. Sure, she would come back to visit and even have some overnight ... or multiple night ... stays, but it would never be as when she was growing up in the house. And I was missing that (or actually, anticipating missing that) even though nothing had currently changed.

    Talk about being bizarre!

    The upside was ... by the time the next Fall rolled around, she had enrolled in college and we had moved her into her dorm room, I was fine. I had done my grieving; I had done my stint of being sad. So when the act finally occurred, I was OK. After all, I still had 2 daughters at home. :-)

    So, I don't find your story the least bit strange. It sounds quite normal. :-)

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  34. I have no kids or advice, but have a (((((HUG)))))

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  35. And a hug from me too Lucy, so brave of you to pour yourself out here. Lots of great advice, worrying is definitely part of a mum's job description but sounds like you need a bit of extra support.
    Can't believe Lois is old enough for school, once you see her thrive there and develop even more, I am sure that will help you. Take care.xx

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  36. I was second to comment and have just enjoyed all the other wonderful comments. I guess the question for you is - has your level of anxiety crossed a line. A little anxiety is good - it makes us sit up, pay attention and prepare. Too much anxiety is when it starts to interfere with your everyday life - are you making choices based on what relieves your anxiety or what is best for each of your children. Are you tired out from worrying, has it affected your mood? Are you short tempered with the husband? Only you can answer this for yourself. I also think being a stay--at-home mom can be isolating - there just arent that many people home during the day. This complicates things. I also have watched lots of moms become so involved in their child's school that they forget its there kids school and life. As a parent its also important to develop your own interests - sets a good example for your children and makes your life more interesting. Again - I think everyone no matter how healthy would benefit from therapy - teaches you a lot about yourself. Good luck!!!!

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  37. I don't have kids but have been struggling with anxiety on and off over the past couple of years. Like some of the other commenters I have found CBT and mindfulness meditation helpful, as well as the work of Brene Brown (her book The Gifts of Imperfection was a lifesaver for me) and Kristin Neff (check out her book Self-compassion and her website) which have helped me learn to be kinder to myself and less frustrated with the anxiety when it comes around. Wishing you all the best. You've taken the bravest and most important step, and talked about the issue out loud. You're so not alone!

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  38. Oh Lucy you are brave. I've been there, I'm still there on and off. I'm worried about my oldest starting high school - 4 yrs away. I couldn't bear it if his sweet tender spirit got broken there. I found vitamin D(my natural level is 0 now) really helped. When my mind goes to dark thoughts I know I'm getting low. My Doctor also recommended an online therapy course which helped and was free. And like other commenters meditation and relaxation were good too. I also found having a plan for each day helped even if it was just what order I did house work in. Gave me something to concentrate on. You will find what works for you. We are all here if you need us. :)

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  39. Lucy, you are so brave to share your feelings. I can offer you this, bigger kids seem to need even more parenting, and you will be so involved with them for a very long time to come. And just when you think maybe they are big enough to move on, it seems that they still need you then too. I do understand the regret, the desire to just keep things as they are, but I hope you will enjoy being in the moments now and as they come, and know that they continue to be amazing and fun and hard and rewarding. Now on anxiety, it is a real thing and hard, usually help is a good idea.

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  40. Lucy I seem to be having to be more mothering now than when my kids were younger - I'm not dealing with the physical stuff they can do that themselves but supporting them emotionally which is different and more challenging - this is not the end it is a new beginning! Big hugs to you! And I'm sure you are able to do this next phase brilliantly...xxx

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  41. I can't believe Lois is old enough for school! If you don't feel she's ready then remember that she doesn't have to go full time until she's five, and if it's school nursery she's starting then she doesn't have to go to all the sessions in a week, or even stay for the full session until she's ready. I'm not sure it'll be any help but, as a teacher, I can tell you that lots and lots of parents (mainly mams) feel exactly the same as you (which is why there's often around a three year gap between children!) and that lots find it difficult to go from being a stay at home mam with bairns there all the time to a stay at home mam with bairns who are in nursery/school. You can ask about volunteering in either nursery (depending on whether Lois would cope with you being in the same room but not with her all the time, once she's settled) or in the main school, if that would help. If you feel the anxiety is taking over, then I urge you to talk to your doctor about it, as well as perhaps trying something like yoga or walking. I hope that this is one of those times when the thinking about something happening and the run up to it is worse than the reality of the situation when it does roll round. I'd have plans for the first few weeks of her being in school - meet someone for a walk or a coffee, make a detour on the way home and buy yourself some flowers, have a long bath in the middle of the day, etc. And shout if there's anything I can do to help!

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  42. I think everyone has pretty much already given the advice I was going to give you. I just wanted to let you know I understand and feel your struggle. My littlest is about to start full time school as well. 3 years ago I was forced to go back to work when my husband was laid off. I've been working full time since then and he's been doing the bulk of the childcare. That was difficult enough for me to let go of. But now that my youngest is getting ready for school full time, it's really hard to let go of this phase of our life even though he's not home with me.
    I would definitely recommend talking with your husband about what your next steps would be. And also trying an outside therapist as well. They have helped me deal with letting go of being a full time mom and all that has come with that (without meds).

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  43. I went back to work after a year - and I am still struggling to see him happier at nursery than with me - and sometimes asking to go to nursery rather than be with us. Of course he loves us, and wants to spend time with us, equally he loves having his life. Having a plan is good, but also keeping time for myself is good too. I am sure you will find what you want to do, just enjoy these last months together!

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  44. I've read through the comments and what wise people quilters are! The reality of feeling loss and sadness as change becomes inevitable is grim but we don't always, unlike you, have the courage to share these feelings with such clarity. When I faced something similar and had potentially long days at home before the children came home from school I was anything but a stay at home mum. With a bit of encouragement, alright nagging from friends, I took up many out of home activities, some social, some Iearning new skills and took on responsibilities in volunteer organisations. I deliberately chose things that couldn't have been done with a child in tow. Best of all I was free to help and get involved in school. The children loved it and as someone else has said back at home everyone can share their adventures. But that's the future, as of this moment if your anxiety is affecting your daily life then having a skilled person to help you work through things is no bad thing. It certainly helped me to get things in perspective and acknowledge it was OK and normal to feel that way.

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  45. Oh, Lucy, I feel your pain. Change is really hard for me too, and I have resorted to medication to help me with my anxiety and depression. It took a long time, and a lot of fighting with myself, to see that it is ok to need help, mental health issues get such a bad press it is really difficult to admit when you are struggling. (At least it was for me)
    I could waffle on about everything being ok when Lois starts school, but you already know that! You've done it twice before! I am a reception class teacher and I deal with stressed out, tearful mums every September. And every year I get to watch mums adjust and settle into new routines as well as their children.
    You have been amazingly brave writing this post, it is a huge thing - admitting that you are struggling, and I hope that the fact that you have been so brave, and seen all the support that is out there from all your readers, really helps you.
    Lots of love
    Karen xxx

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