She shares that although her mother's anxiety comes from a place of care it can have adverse effects on the grandchildren.
Parenting extends beyond the physical tasks; it's a holistic endeavor that demands engagement of the mind, body, and soul. The inherent challenges can be draining, and when compounded by personal anxiety and unresolved issues with one's own parents, it may feel like a disorienting struggle that tests the limits of one's sanity. In a recent TikTok video posted by millennial mom Gabi Day–who goes by @itsgabiday on the platform–she addresses concerns about her boomer mother and her anxiety issues that are rubbing off on her and her children as well.
Day begins her video by asking fellow TikTok users, “Does anyone else have a boomer mom whose primary love language is anxiety at you?” She jokingly then says that she thinks “we need a support group” because it is “beyond exhausting.” She quickly jumps to a disclaimer about “boomers in the comments getting real fragile” and explains, “I understand I love my mother. I know that she cares about me. But this, this gotta stop. This is too much. This is exhausting and this is unhealthy.”
She then begins to decode where her perspective was coming from and recollects her “whole childhood,” where her mom “was always very reactive and nervous and anxious,” which rubbed off on her and her sister. “My sister and I then absorb that energy and surprise we are anxious adults. Also, anytime she was worried about us, she made sure that we knew and that we understood the full essay version of why she was worried about something. And then compound that with the fact that she is definitely an anxious person who is in denial that she has anxiety. So she’s just always like giving that, giving off that vibe,” Day shared.
She then moved on to talk about her own kids, 18-month-old twins, who are actively taken care of by their grandmother. Day shares her concern about how to ensure that her “kids don’t end up so anxious.” She gives an example, “Say one of them is playing on the nugget couch and they’re near the edge and might fall off on a few inches of height onto a padded mat on the floor, she’ll immediately go ‘aah’ and gasping just really exaggerated physical reactions and that, of course, startles my kid again.” Day accepted that she’s aware that her mother’s reaction “comes from a place of caring,” but it’s a lot sometimes. She also explained that when her toddlers fuss, her mother doesn’t approach them calmly and instead starts panicking and persistently keeps asking, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?”
Day laughs, holds her head and says, “Oh my, oh my! This has shed light on my childhood more than I could have ever realized.” While Day tries to be “the calm in the room” and “breathe through things,” her mother gives her a “confused” look that seems to convey that her “not anxiety at-ing on her children” equals not caring about them enough. She further revealed, “Mind you, I went through years of unexplained infertility, a high-risk twin pregnancy, a very traumatic birth for all three of us. Like, I really wanted to be a mother and love my kids so much. So yeah, it’s frustrating, this like unspoken assumption that like I just don’t care. I must not care.”
She concludes the video by asking the viewers how they cope and deal with the situation when that parent is involved as a grandparent and how to save her kids from not becoming as anxious as she did. The video has gained over 890K views and nearly 83K likes. The comment section is flooded with helpful information and advice on how to cope with this. User @conuresoup recommended a book called “Adult Children of emotionally immature parents.” @brooke52525, suggested, “I have made a deliberate effort to not *gasp* around my kids. My mom’s sharp intake of air as a reaction to literally anything has ruined me.”