“Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.” –ADAA, Anxiety and Depression Association of America. I found this website to be particularly helpful in many ways. They have a variety of articles and first hand stories through blog posts from PTSD survivors, helping introverts, and how to handle numerous types of anxiety. My favorites are humor based solutions. 

 

Often times we are too serious. It is the worst when you feel like you can’t really find humor in anything anymore. I have been there so many times. My boys are a constant source of entertainment. They are fluent in sarcasm. I guess not all mothers would consider this a character trait to be proud of for their children, but they are also extremely mannerly so I will take the balance. 

 

I have been working on a stand-up routine in my head for at least a decade. Coming from a family like mine, you have to just roll with the humor and not take things too seriously. My sisters and I often ask why we don’t have our own show. We don’t, and no network would probably hire us, but if it brightens someone’s day then it’s a win for me. Some of these bits come from personal experience…ok, all of them do. So, here goes nothing and PLEASE comment with a funny story from your family!

 

**You know you’re raising boys if:

  • You have to ask if they remembered to wear undies and you keep an extra pair in the glove box.
  • You can’t quite put your finger on the stench in your car and then realize there were a pair of football shoulder pads left in the very back overnight.
  • You reach under the seat while cleaning trash out of the car and accidentally grab a protective cup.
  • You praise them when they actually reach the trash can with any and all items.
  • The word balls cannot be uttered without a laugh and you literally search your brain for any and all other ways to word something without saying BALLS (this also pertains to my job of teaching 7th graders).

 

**At a family reunion and my oldest saw a boombox with a stack of CD’s next to it. He asked me if that was an 8 track player??!!!

 

**We always say that our family tree is best described as a flow chart.

 

**My sweet niece who lives in a large city near us and has a magnificent pool in her backyard once asked if our pond was heated. Ummmm, no sugar.

 

**My husband used to tease me relentlessly while I drove the riding mower and he weed eated nearby that if there was an American Idol for lawn mowing mommas…I still wouldn’t win.

 

**Kids are always using the wrong words in the cutest ways. Teaching 7th grade science, without fail a student will use the word ‘orgasm’ for ‘organism’. Try not laughing or even cracking a smile when that happens and part of the class is wide-eyed awaiting your reaction. Could be a Freudian slip at that age, but so many of them still won’t catch it that a straight face is the only solution.

 

I remember as a kid at church camp hearing someone tell us if we were worried about something out of our control, to write it down and then tear it in a million pieces and throw it away. Remember, I was a kid, so they didn’t likely say ONE MILLION pieces but work with me here. I am going to write out some irrational mom fears that seem ridiculous once they are out of my mind. I am going to guess that many of you might be caught shaking your head, yes, at the screen. And, again, I would love a good comment or two on your very own irrational worries. I’ve got ONE MILLION more, but here are a couple that come right to mind.

 

**Why do large discount stores put cement structures in front of their doors leading to the parking lot? My logical guess is that they think if a rogue car is coming at the entrance, they will hit those first? My mom brain tells me it is to drive me crazy. Since conception, my boys have been plotting ways to launch themselves over them and into the building. When mine were younger, I could envision the top of the red target cement ball like a mini trampoline launching them back into oncoming traffic. 

 

**Ever forgotten the bug spray or sunscreen? I immediately think that mine are getting the West Nile virus if they seem overly tired on the drive home from the 4th of July BBQ. Ummm, no crazy lady, they have just been running wild for the last 6 hours. Swimming in an overcrowded pool, eating preservative infested junk, dodging smoke bombs, taking mental notes on how to light a fire, inhaling toxic fumes, probably have a 2nd degree sunburn, possible botulism from under-cooked hot dogs over the fire, and let’s not forget they might already be developing a staph infection from an untreated stubbed toe while playing tag in the dark.

 

In all seriousness, I developed an anxiety disorder about a year before my husband passed. It was a hard time in my life. Everything at home was in near perfect order, but I was beyond worried for a friend that was dying right before my eyes. There was nothing I could do to help her and it was bringing up all sorts of emotions that are out of my control. I have discovered that I like to be in control. One example is that I prefer to drive if going somewhere in a group. I feel out of control if I am a passenger. I don’t consider myself a dramatic person and would never throw a fit to be the driver, I will sit quietly and mull over all of the things that could possibly go wrong. I guess behind the wheel, my mind is busy. Too busy to think of the things that could go wrong at my own expense. 

 

These are things I have discovered by being honest with myself. Anxiety is very scary. People joke all the time, “I nearly had a panic attack!!” Well, I pray you never experience a real one. The science behind it is fascinating, but I don’t wish it on my worst enemy…not even the mom who was yelling my kid’s jersey number at a game once because she was wanting someone to ‘take him out’ since he was clearly doing his job by dominating her child…and I wished a lot of things on her. Even nudged my neighbor and gave her the go ahead to pull that woman’s lawn chair out from under her the next time she stood up to scream something ridiculous. We’ve got to have each other’s backs!

 

About 

Jennifer Farley is a 44 year old mother of 3 boys. A veteran educator, she enjoys teaching 7th graders the wonders of STEM. She is just 4 years into her journey as a widow. Her husband Shane passed suddenly at the age of 41 on April 27, 2015. Her boys are each competitive athletes and Shane was their devoted coach and biggest fan. Both children of divorce, Shane and Jennifer never wanted solo parenting for their children. She gains strength through her faith and her fierce community of family and friends. Jennifer finds solace in writing and sharing her story. She has a blog of her own and has written for TulsaMoms. Jennifer was asked to speak recently at a Women’s event and will soon be featured on the podcast ‘A Frayed Knot‘. When she is not chasing the next big tournament with her boys, Jennifer enjoys her monthly book club, vintage finds, and gardening.
You can also find her on Instagram : @jjo_farley