Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Worry Warts n All

My mom once told me that once you have children, you never ever stop worrying. Naturally, having my parents worry about me when I was younger was more annoying than appreciated.

What Mom didn't tell me is how irrational those fears can become!

I would imagine most pregnant women have over-the-top fears because we all know that absolutely anything can happen in those 9 months. Or we feared giving birth, not only for the baby's life but our own. Then of course the fears that baby wouldn't be healthy or perfect. We can mostly blame hormones for those panic attacks.

But what is with the constant dramatic "what-ifs" that pop into my head all the time?

What if I'm turning a corner while holding the baby and practically knock her head off on the door frame? Okay, done that. Twice.

What if I'm carrying my baby, I trip and lose grip of her only to watch helplessly as she rolls 2 feet away on the parking lot. Yeah, that happens in slow motion it turns out.

I'm constantly doing safety checks.

Is the knife block far enough back on the counter? Should I just do without knives for the next 10 years?

With all the perusing of the fridge Bella does, could she possibly pull it on top of her? Is she Mighty Mouse and I didn't know it?

Cribs are supposed to be safe but can I really leave Ava in there to play freely? Is there some crazy way she could get a limb yanked out of socket through the bars? I did the coke can test with them. Is that enough?

In the past if someone cut me off when I was driving, I would yell or make eye contact, cuz we all know that is intimidating. Now I'm afraid someone will pull a gun on me or my family. Someone needs to create a baby-in-the-vehicle force shield.

While I don't own one and don't plan to, I finally understand kid leashes. I've had Isabella disappear into the clothing rack and I nearly passed out in sheer panic until I heard her giggles from deep within toddler pj's.

Being in public, I constantly worry that someone is eyeing my children for the perfect opportunity to snatch one. While part of me thinks that is extreme, the other sees those creeps in the pedophile section of the paper or hears the horror stories in the news.

I know that I cannot protect my children forever but as long as they are dependent on me for their well-being, it is my job to be on constant surveillance. At home, in public, it is my job to protect them to the best of my ability.

However, I don't want to be That Mom who doesn't know when to chill and let her child venture from the nest a bit. Fortunately, I don't really have to face that challenge until fall when we attempt preschool again. I was pregnant with Ava the first go-around with Bella's school, so we'll see if that was hormonal or I'm just always a frantic freak.

What do you fear most? If you have more than one child now, what is it that you have maybe loosened your grip on?

** Please note: In reviewing this blog entry, I do hereby acknowledge that I am about due for the return of Woman Week as it has been 15+ months since the last one **


louann said...

I just keep nodding in agreement as I read through your post. So true, everything you wrote down.
I have learned - a bit - to loosen up after having my second baby but the fears remain. I am just not that uptight.
I fear about my children's future. How it will be next year, or 5 years from now or 10 years from now. I always worry about this.

theAdelmans said...

Where do I begin....... My biggest worry is the same as louann's, what kind of future is in store for my babies? Will they have open spaces to explore? Will they have clean water and good food to eat? Will it be a safe world? What if it's not? What if it's so awful, my children won't want to bring more children into that crazy world?

Then there are the day to day worries:

*are they breathing?
*are they happy?
*am i playing with them enough?
*am i stimulating them too much?
*do i let her cry it out this time?
*how much damage have i done, aka how much therapy will they need :-)
*did they eat enough?
*did they eat too little?
*do i have enough milk?

THEN, the irrational worries. For example we were walking the other day and were crossing a bridge that spanned a substantial gorge. The girls were safely strapped into their stroller, snug as bugs, but all I could envision was falling babies. I mean come on!!

And finally, the more realistic, not so distant future worries:

*what happens when they are walking and each one takes off in the opposite direction and I am on my own? (this worry leads me to ponder the ethical implications of chipping your children, you know, like you can chip your pets....I am half joking, half not)
*what if their friends are mean to them?
*what will I do when they go through that stage of not wanting me around?

OK this is getting to be as long as your post! A Mom friend of mine recently said to me, "At least we don't have to worry about you neglecting your children!"-True. Yet another way to look at everything at the end of the day: the girls are in one piece and I am not addicted to crack, today has been a success!! I also look at my relationship with my parents, which is pretty good, and try to remember some of their parenting tactics that got us to where we all are today: a loving, albeit dysfunctional, family. What more could you want? Aliina

T-girl said...

Lucky lucky girl... I WISH it had been that long! ROTFL Sorry, that is a bit off topic but I HAD to throw that in!

Ok, the worry thing, TELL your doctor! I know, I know we as Mommies worry BUT I just found out that the number one sign of PPD is... WORRY/Anxiety! I had NO clue, the whole time I thought "maybe I am just going over the edge" "there is something wrong with ME" blah blah blah and I NEVER said anything and now... I wish I would have because I worrid that the house would catch fire if I left. LOL I know now that something WAS wrong with me... I had PPD! LOL I am SO not saying you do and worry is SO normal I think as a Mommy BUT... I just had NO idea and I had to pass it along. Now that I am past that I just wish someone had told me then about the worry stuff.

Anyways... I worry about the future, will she "make it" (God my absolute WORST fear is she will be one of those kids you hear about that you go "OMG that poor family but accidnets happen!") I worry that I am "damaging" her in some small way and totally clueless, I worry that she will hate me when she gets older (or rather our relationship will not be close), I worry that she will "turn out bad" (I am not sure how to phrase this in a way that doesn't take hours to explain this concept) I worry that I will lose her in "the teens"! Lord I just worry! I am not one of those Moms who goes "oh, no can't do this or that" you know what I mean... I guess you would call it overprotective but I worry... maybe I should be! Sigh... I am a Mommy I just want her future to be bright and cheery. I know this will not happen all the time, I know that she will have heartaches and fears I just pray that I handle them the right way and can teach her how to handle them appropriately and not in one of those "Mom get over it" or the total opposite "My Mom is a witch she doesn't care" kind fo ways! I just want her to ALWAYS know, no matter what "I love her and am there for her!"

T-girl said...

Oh I just read "TheAdelmans"... I STILL check her breathing and she is TWO! LMAO I am fairly certian she will be thirty and visiting and I will go in and check on her... and her husband since I am sure his Mommy will need to know also! LOL

Jennboree said...

HAHA...T-girl you are hilarious. Check Baby J's husband's breathing too. Classic.

I definitely think I had PPD with my first baby. I'm not nearly as emotional or panicky this time around, which according to what I posted yesterday isn't saying much :)

With terrorism on our land, I do worry quite a bit about our children and their children. But throw in the seven things that could soon destroy our Earth according to Dateline and I should just be happy if we all make it till tomorrow!

I'm Just a Girl said...

I'm right there with you Jenn...I'm always trying to find that balance between "freaky Mom" and "cool Mom!" I try not to think about the day to day worries, because then I'd be doing nothing but worrying! I think I worry most at this moment about him just behaving, LOL! He's a really good kid, his teachers rave about him and strangers tell me all the time how polite he is. However I've always been "on guard" so to speak, because he was such a tiring toddler. He didn't scale the curtains or break stuff, but he did go through a terrible hitting phase and it took me 18 months of time outs before he got the message! He obviously has much better impulse control as a 5 year-old but then again, he's only 5 and he's still learning. It's a tough position we Moms are in--we need to let kids make their own mistakes but we also have to make sure we don't blow off any offenses. I can't stand Moms who think their kids can do no wrong, so sometimes I take it in the other direction and make sure that I'm always on top of what he's doing, yet without smothering him. I'm getting good at having a conversation with a neighbor but always watching him out of the corner of my eye!

tallulah said...

My fear is that I'll be so busy doing the gazillion things I do...I'll forget to worry about that hot cofee pot sitting on the edge of the counter....sigh.

tallulah said...

Oh....and how much couch time they will need to have as adults. I'm positive I'm screwing with their heads mentally.

Jennboree said...

Amen, Tallulah, on both counts.

Kandace Groenewegen said...

Totally agree. I wait until I am laying in bed to go over all my obsessive worries: what if he's too hot? What if he is too cold? Wait - is he breathing? He is breathing too heavily. Maybe he is sick. Blaaahhh! I am not sleeping these days! But one thing for sure is that they are very loved!

Chaos Control said...

I think every mother on the planet can relate to what you've written here. And I'm no different.

It was much worse when my son was younger, but I do still worry. But I also work really, really hard at telling myself to relax and enjoy the moment. A good glass of wine helps!

Rose said...

Thank you for writing this! I have two children under two and I feel like all I do is worry and obsess over "what ifs." I just love them so much and the idea of anything bad happening scares me to the point of tears sometimes. I think I need a therapist or a bottle of wine not a glass. :) We are going on vacation and all I can think about is car accidents. It is so frustating. Where are my carefree youthful ideas? I guess they left in the delivery room. LOL