When Cameran Eubanks Wimberly's husband, an anesthesiologist — which means "he’s literally in people’s airways every day — would go to work during the height of the pandemic, the Southen Charm alum admits she would cry. "I was so worried about him. He would come home, strip his clothes in the garage. It was a crazy, crazy time. It definitely heightened my anxiety," she tells Yahoo Life. "It was bad." The 37-year-old is "fairly certain" she has GAD — generalized anxiety disorder — though she's never been diagnosed "and I’m not medicated, but I’m pretty self-aware to know that I have it."
At a certain point, she remembers, she just had to let go. “I am definitely a control freak. It is a negative attribute of mine,” the reality star notes. “I'm trying to get better, but I finally got to a point where I said, you know what? This is out of my control. I cannot control it. And me worrying about this and ruminating on it is not going to change the outcome of anything. So, I tried to just let, go and have faith somehow that he would, that he would be protected and he has been thank God.”
She also relies on the self-care practices that work for her. “I took a course in Transcendental Meditation a couple of years ago that really changed my life and being able to access meditation has greatly helped my anxiety,” she shares. “I can't preach meditation enough. It's wonderful.”
Wimberly, mom to a 3-year-old little girl named Palmer, also weighed in on how motherhood has changed her perspective on her anxiety. “I don’t want my child to see me as an anxious person, because I don’t want her to mimic that,” she says. “So I try to do better. I try to hold it in. I try to let go. Easier said than done.”
According to Wimberly, Palmer is a lot like her. “We’re both hardheaded, we lose our temper easily, but she does have a great sense of humor I’m very grateful for that.” The author of the new book One Day You’ll Thank Me: Essays on Dating Motherhood, and Everything in Between shares that the most important thing she's gained as a mom is empathy. "Not to say that I was not an empathetic person before, but becoming a mother — it opens your heart in a way that you just can’t believe,” she says.
During those early months of the pandemic, Wimberly and her daughter were alone together quite a lot. “It was just the two of us at home all day, every day,” she says remembering spring 2020. “Thinking up little child games and ways to entertain a toddler does not come naturally to me, unfortunately. There were days when we would sit on the front porch and I would give her a bucket of water and a paintbrush and I would ask her to paint the house.”
But, she adds, the togetherness has its perks. “We definitely have grown a lot closer,” she says. “You are forced to spend more time with your child, and it’s something that I know can be very trying in the midst of it. But I do think for those of us that have had to, we’re going to look back one day and be grateful for this time.”
Palmer is back in school now and the masks have been doing their job. “When the school sent us an email and said, ‘we're going to require the three-year-olds to wear masks,’ I thought, ‘yeah, right. There's no way a toddler's going to keep a mask on.’ But believe it or not, they are so they're so moldable and they do,” Wimberly says. “It’s been interesting she hasn't been sick, not a cold, not a stomach virus, nothing. It makes me wonder if it’s just the mask that they’re having to wear in school. They must work.”
To do her part to accelerate the end of the pandemic, Wimberly has also been involved in vaccine trials. “I love science. I am grateful for it and when these trials started popping up, I did the research and I put my name in the hat for all of them,” she ended up joining the Novavax trial. “I'm happy to be a part of it because I believe personally, this is the only way out of this mess that we are in,” she says. “I know it's controversial, but that’s my belief.”
“One of the biggest challenges I faced in the pandemic as a mom is just the uncertainty and not knowing when this is going to end and when life is going to be back to normal,” she says of this year of parenting. “The silver lining is that she is so young and she's probably not going to remember this. If she does, it'll probably be one of her first memories. But I want my kid to not have to worry about wearing a mask and I want her to be able to free to socialize and take her places and do things. And that has really been limited, as it should be, due to this pandemic."
“I want my child to have a normal childhood,” she adds. “I'm ready for it to be over. Everybody, get vaccinated.”
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