Mom Worries

There are a lot of things about motherhood that you can’t prepare for. Sleepless nights, the way the baby smell can melt you, dealing with other people’s bodily functions day in and day out for years on end. But the one thing I think has surprised me the most about being a mom is the worry that goes along with it.

Now I’m not, by nature, much of a worrier. I generally take a very zen-like, come-what-may, by-the-Grace-of-God-go-I sort of approach to life. Occasional tragic thoughts pop into my head, but I don’t dwell on them. Whatever happens, happens. There’s a reason and wisdom behind our lives’ twists and turns.

But OH, do I worry about my kids. I try not to let it show too much, but in any given day I worry about their physical health, their emotional state, their spiritual life, their connection with nature, their education, their friendships, their fears, their online safety, their offline safety, their self-worth and self-confidence, and their relationships with me, their dad, and each other. I question so often – Are we making the right decisions for them? Are we letting them make enough of their own decisions? Are we letting them make too many of their own decisions? Are we equipping them with the tools they need? Are we protecting them too little? Are we protecting them too much? How do I meet the needs of three such different little people at such different stages in development? How do I make sure each one of them feels special and loved? How do I empower them without pushing them? How do I keep my sanity while I’m pondering all of this so that I don’t inadvertently put pressure on them just because I’m feeling pressure myself?

And the answer always comes back to me when I start down this road of worry. Trust. Trust in God, trust that He entrusted these children to us for a reason. Trust that they have their own lifelong journey to take, and that we are capable of helping start them down that journey. Pray for peace and guidance so that I can be the calm, steadfast presence I want to be in their lives. Recognize that a lot of these worries may be more about me than about them, and try to get out of my own way. Trust that letting them see my mistakes will help them handle their own mistakes with grace and patience. Trust that by focusing on my own journey, at least as much as theirs, I can give them a strong example of living with purpose and enjoying the process.

Not that this actually removes all worry from motherhood. I imagine worry is inseparable from parenting, and it probably should be that way. Perhaps it’s what drives us to try our best, and enables us to adapt to the constantly changing landscape of parenthood. It’s interesting how linked these strong emotions of fear and love are when it comes to our children. Faith seems to be where the two meet, at the point where there’s nothing to do but trust that it’ll all work out as it should in the end.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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