Mom Lesson: You Really Are Going to Worry For the Rest of Your Life
Posted by Rachel Engel
It started when those two little lines on the test showed up and changed my and my husband's world forever: I was now a worrier. In the beginning it was worrying about my health, diet, stress levels, sleeping habits. And: Was she kicking enough? Did she get the hiccups too often? And on and on the worrying went. I couldn't wait until she finally came out and I could stop worrying all the time.
Ha! I still shake my head at how clueless I was.
Within her first 60 seconds of life, my worry-meter was already off the charts, because she hadn't cried yet. "Is she okay? What's wrong?" Worry, worry, worry. Eventually she cried. Whew.
But then I was worried because she was so tiny, so fragile. It felt like I could break her so easily, and I couldn't wait until she got just a bit older so that I could let go of that worry.
But then she did get older, and I started worrying that she wasn't holding her head up enough, and that she was behind on her milestones. I would work with her for hours, and Google when babies are expected to roll over, sit up, do a jigsaw puzzle, and learn Algebra. She was behind, I just knew it; I was so worried.
But, she eventually did learn to roll over, sit up, crawl on her own time, and was doing great. She still hasn't mastered Algebra yet, but I try not to think about that.
After she learned to crawl, and pull herself up, I worried about her hurting herself, and getting into things if I got distracted. What if she hit her head too many times from falling and got a concussion? What if she crawled out the front door and crawled into the street while trying to escape her crazy, over-bearing mother?
She's had bumps, falls and tears, and is no worse for the wear, so it's nice to finally not worry anymore...
... except, now she's about to start walking. She can fall from higher up! Awesome. It's an absolutely never-ending cycle.
Looking into the future, she will start running, which means I get to worry about falls with momentum behind them. Then she will start getting into activities like gymnastics or t-ball, and there's the possibility for more injuries, or hurt feelings from other little ones.
Then school! I'm already worried about how to deal with bullies, mean girls, homework problems, school dances, junior high drama, the cattiness and pressures of high school, and then choosing the right college, and paying what will surely be out-of-this-world tuition in the year 2029 (her high school graduation year).
I just worried myself into having an 18-year-old, and that's not even the tip of the iceberg. The fact is, I keep thinking she is going to magically grow into a stage that requires no worrying of any kind, and I have to face reality and acknowledge that is never going to happen. The knot in my stomach that has been steadily growing every day she has been alive? It has a permanent spot.
My mom always told me that you love your child more than your child loves you, and I used to tell her no, that I loved her VERY much. But, it's true. There is absolutely no way my daughter can love me as much as I love her, and I can't outdo my mom's love. And with that incredibly strong love comes constant worry.
I can handle the worry, since it comes packaged with the awesome love.
Are you a worrying mom? How do you deal with it?
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