The Worries of Motherhood
It was just this past weekend, that I was sitting on the couch, reading an article on the recent accidental death of Bodi Miller’s precious daughter, Emmie. And well, if you know the story I am referring to, you can most definitely assume that I am in tears. Absolute tears. No, I don’t know the Miller family. No, I have never personally lost a child. However, I am a mother. A mother to a 6-month-old angel of a daughter. A being I brought into this world half a year ago, who has forever changed me and who I have an unmeasurable amount of love for. A little girl my body created, nourished and is now raising. She is the reason I exist, plain and simple. And well if anything ever happened to her, I just don’t know how I would go on. I shudder at the thought. In a perfect world, I would like to think nothing will ever happen to her BUT unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and that is something I can’t say. No mother can. And here is where I am left with that notion, facing the thing I knew (and dreaded) would come with motherhood: fear.
I was lucky after having Cassidy that I didn’t suffer the “baby blues” that I had so often heard about prior to going into labor. Did I have a few days after her birth that I was a bit more weepy than usual? Of course! For starters my body just went through this crazy trauma, my poor lady parts were in unbelievable pain, and to top it all off, it was Christmas. And let’s be honest here, who doesn’t get a little bit emotional during the holidays? But did I ever have moments of depression, lack of energy, sadness? Not in the slightest thankfully. In fact, I was in absolute euphoria for the most part. Well that is until about month later…
Anxiety has never been a big deal to me. Have I felt it before? Yes, but I can’t say I was prone to it or ever felt that I needed help for it. I like to say I am a pretty level-headed person most of the time. Over the past couple of years, I have grown better at teaching myself to “not sweat the small stuff,” to not overthink, and to just enjoy the moment. Most of the time, this way of thinking has really worked for me. However, now that I am a mother, I have encountered this new type of fear that has been giving me a bit more of a challenge to navigate through.
How do I keep you safe forever? That was the question that randomly popped into my head a month after Cassidy came into this world. I remember sitting on the couch sobbing, trying to hold it somewhat together so that I wouldn’t wake my sleeping babe whom was in my arms. I can’t say what sparked my worry but all I know is that I immediately started to think of all the things that COULD happen. Things that I may not be able to prevent. Things that may not be a threat right now but one day would be. I was absolutely overcome with terror. The world of sweet baby bliss that I had been in felt like it was crumbling around me.
Now I’m not naïve. I knew that this was something that was a part of motherhood. “You think you worry now, just wait until you’re a mother,” is a quote I had often heard prior to having Cassidy. I knew I’d worry about my babe but I don’t think I realized just how paralyzing that worry can be. Some days it makes me want to stay inside and keep my daughter away from others. It causes me to be on edge, want to cancel dates/appointments, and act/think irrationally. And worse of all, there are times when this anxiety takes away from my true happiness because I can’t help but think pessimistically at times and tell myself that “nothing can be this good for too long.”
Talking about this has taken me a bit of time because I was afraid that people would think that I was struggling. I was afraid that people wouldn’t understand and just think I was being dramatic. However, after talking with friends whom are parents as well, I realized just how common this type of anxiety is. That’s why I wanted to write this post. To show you other mamas out there, whom are perhaps feeling similar, that you too are not alone. Additionally, I wanted to write this post to perhaps shed a new perspective for those on the outside looking in. To those who perhaps pass judgement and fail to understand why some of us moms act the way we do. Love can drive us do some crazy things that many won’t understand unless you’ve walked in our shoes.
Finding a method to help me when this type of fear/anxiety strikes has taken time and honestly, I don’t think I will ever have it fully figured out. Working out for one, eating right, and most importantly talking it out with loved ones has been my solace. Of course, I’m not a therapist at all so please don’t think that my remedies are exact prescriptions on how to deal with this type of fear. Especially since every person’s story is different. I haven’t personally felt the need to seek professional help at this point but if you, dear reader, are in need for more I encourage you to not hesitate and ask for help. Oh, and don’t be afraid to comment on this post. I’d love to listen and be your shoulder. Us mamas have to stick together!
At the end of the day, there will never be an end to this fear that has unfortunately tagged along with my new exciting role as a mother. It will always be a part of my life, even when my children are fully grown. That is one of the many sacrifices we make in order to enter into this joyous part of life. BUT let’s try and not allow it to hold us back. Let us enjoy the simple moments, soak it all in and put our faith in something higher. Why, because at the end of the day isn’t that all we really can do?