A couple of days ago, I was reading Stephanie’s blog, and came across a post that literally made me laugh out loud, and do some thinking. Stephanie, a sweet, sweet blogging friend of mine is a new(er) mom to Allie, who is just about the cutest thing I’ve seen, with the juiciest cheeks. Anyway, in her post, ‘A Mother’s Intuition’, she talks very lightheartedly about the dreaded anxiety that comes along with motherhood. She mentions deciding to walk to the grocery store and in turn, picturing several different scenarios in her mind. In one of them, she imagines herself having a seizure while pushing her 5 month old, wherein the stroller goes out into traffic and is hit by an oncoming car. I literally laughed out loud when I read that. And not because I think a scenario like that is funny, because it’s not (and neither does Steph). Nor do I think seizures are a laughing matter, because they’re not. What I do find funny, however, is the fact that she imagined, in her words, these ‘absolutely impossible, yet highly likely‘ scenarios happening to her. You wanna know why?
Because I do that ALL THE TIME.
From the very first day I found out I was pregnant with PB, I read all of the books I could about pregnancy. I avoided caffeine like the plague. I heated my turkey sandwiches. I axed baths. I didn’t raise my hands above my head. I put myself into a state of sheer panic about anything and everything I did while I was pregnant.
|fishing, very carefullyv(!) , at 7 months pregnant|
And then about 6 months into pregnancy, I guess I realized how irrational I had become and how fear and anxiety had taken over my mind and body. My blood pressure was getting a little high around that time and I figured I need to chill out. So I prayed. And prayed. And prayed a little more, and God’s peace surrounded me during the last few weeks and I didn’t worry nearly as much as I had before. I thought all was good. I worried so much during pregnancy about my unborn baby and delivery, that I couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms. Then, I wouldn’t worry any more because my baby was here happy and healthy. And my worry and anxiety would just up and leave when we checked out of the hospital. Yep. That’s what would happen.
I gave birth to anxiety.
Yes, right there in the delivery room. I thought that the birth of my sweet, healthy baby boy would be the end of that epic anxiety I had felt during pregnancy. I thought that having him in my arms would ease the worry I had felt about him. And I really couldn’t have been more wrong. I really feel like I gave birth to a lifetime full of anxiety.
I messaged Stephanie and told her I could totally relate. She put into words my exact thoughts from these past 2 years. I imagine these impossibly crazy thoughts in my head and yet feel fairly certain they could happen.
An example: I remember the first outing I had with PB by myself. I think I actually took him to the Target. We had been couped up in the house for a while, and I felt like we were ready to venture out on our own, sans dad, or grandparents. Just us. I did pretty well on the ride over, and even initially while we were in the store. But after about 15 minutes in the store, I started panicking. Like a clammy, heart-racing, sweaty, panic. What if he fell out of the buggy (aka shopping cart)? What if someone came and swiped him straight from my hands? What if I passed out cold and woke to a missing baby? What if, what if, WHAT IF?!
And now two years later, what I thought was ‘new mom anxiety’, seems to be more like ‘lifetime mom anxiety’.
He sneezes. He’s caught the bubonic plague.
He’s tired. He’s got some debilitating disease.
He farts. He’s got a life-threatening stomach parasite.
And you know, the scary thing is I consider myself to be fairly laid back when it comes to parenting. I don’t really think of myself as ‘over-protective’. But I tend to let these unthinkable, worse case-scenarios consume my thoughts.
So how do you get rid of it? How do you relax, and free your mind of all the worry for your child?
Well, I’m not so sure you do get rid of it. At least all of it. I think some of it is a ‘mother’s nature’. I mean for Pete’s sake, we carry this little life in our body for 9 months. We become quite attached and fiercely loyal. I think some of it is our instinct to be protective and to be on our toes at all times. And quite frankly, I think it’s our job to worry, just a little.
The problem comes, though, when we let that worry consume us. And I have been guilty of this many times. In fact, just last week I had one of my “moments”. I managed to convince myself that PB had bacterial meningitis after he twisted his neck in an awkward position while at home with Ben. I insisted they go to the doctor, and I practically laid in my office in the fetal position, sweating to death and making numerous trips to the bathroom, until I heard the all-clear from the doc.
It’s crazy. I know.
It’s irrational. I know.
I do let it that worry consume me sometimes. I panic, and allow doubts and negativity to creep in. And when that starts to happen, I try to stop what I’m doing and pray. I remind myself that these thoughts are not from God, and God made me for more than worry and anxiety. And I ultimately remind myself that God is in control of His childrens’ lives. And PB is a child of God. No amount of worry or stress can change any outcome for the positive. I try to imagine myself simply resting in His arms. Sometimes, that’s all I feel like I can do. Just rest and trust in Him. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I cannot make it on the journey through motherhood without Him.
I imagine that I’ll be dealing with this until the day I’m gone. I know I will always worry about him. I mean for cryin’ out loud, ain’t nobody gonna take care of that boy like his mama does (remember that, potential girlfriends). I just need to make sure that I keep that worry in check and keep it from consuming me by constantly reminding myself that WE are His children, and He is in control. No amount of worry can change the outcome. Or His love for us.
Are you guilty of letting your worry for your kiddos consume you? How about worry, in general? What are your tips to keep it at bay?
Have a blessed Monday 🙂