I have a confession.
I am a chronic worrier. There is no way I can deny it. I worry. ALL. THE. TIME. My friends and family would probably even tell you that my worrying ways are borderline crazy. What can I say? I am a worry wart.
The worrying thing isn’t new; when I was in grade school, I often worried about my grades and if I would get into college. (Yes, I worried about getting into college when I was 12 years old). When I was in college, I often worried that I would never graduate (I did!) and once I made it into the “real world,” I have always worried about the typical worries that come along with it. There is one thing that I can’t stop worrying about, and that is Andrew.
Ever since that cold December night when I took those pregnancy tests (three, just to be sure!) and saw the double lines and word “pregnant” show up multiple times, I started to REALLY worry. Since pregnancy was such a surprise for me, I immediately was cast with doubt and was concerned that something was wrong. Simple things became significant reasons for me to worry because I wanted to make sure that this little being inside of me was safe and that I was taking care of myself. Thoughts like “Oh Crap! I forgot my vitamin!” or “I just ate a ham & cheese sandwich without heating it first” were small things that I let creep in. As the pregnancy got further along, I would get filled with crazy worry when I didn’t feel him move over a period of time, and I wound up in L&D at EJGH for non-stress monitoring to make sure everything was ok. Honestly, some of my worries were with good reason – I did have several complications with my pregnancy – but as we know, everything came out okay and I was blessed with my precious baby boy.
Elizabeth Stone, author of the book A Boy I Once Knew, said “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
Every single day, I feel my heart swell with love for him. A love I never thought possible, my heart beating outside of my chest in his every giggle, smile, hug and kiss. With that love, I worry. A LOT. I think that’s normal.
I constantly worry about that little heart walking around outside my body: Is he eating enough fruits & veggies? Is he meeting his developmental milestones? Does he drink enough milk every day to grow and thrive? If he goes to preschool will he do well? Most importantly, I worry: does he know how much I love him? Does he feel loved and respected?
I am pretty sure it is my coping mechanism; it’s how I prepare myself for things. Part of my worry comes from preparing myself for the worst so that it will never happen. I constantly tell myself that bad things always happen when you least expect them, so maybe, just maybe, if you are expecting them, then, well, they won’t happen. Translation: constant worry.
Where does all of this worry get me?
NOWHERE. I am on a worry-filled path to nowhere. It’s like being on the treadmill in a dark room with not even an iPod to distract me.
It was in conversation with some other moms that I realized I’m not alone. Many of us have the same worries. And, if you sometimes have these thoughts, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We all worry … some of us, like myself, more than others. Part of the job as a mom is, well, quite frankly, to put someone else before ourselves, and well, with that, comes worry.
Did you know that the origin of the word worry comes from the Old English word “wyrgan” which literally means “to strangle?” If you go by the word origin, then, quite honestly, when we worry, we are strangling ourselves with unneeded stress.
There is nothing more eye opening to me than to discover that meaning when I was doing research for this post. One of the things I often worry about is being a good mother to Andrew. By worrying, I’m certainly NOT being a good mother. Instead, I’m strangling myself with worrisome thoughts that do nothing but make me more tired and stressed out.
I’m realizing that one of those expressions I used to hear all the time is REALLY starting to make sense to me now. Let Go and Let GOD. That I can only prepare myself for what is to come, but to leave the rest to God. Yes, I know, it sounds sort of preachy, or hokey, or whatever, but just pray for the best and let go. I need to do this more. I need to get myself on a path to less worry so I can enjoy EVERY SINGLE MINUTE with Andrew. Because we don’t get a second chance to live each day and I certainly don’t want to spend those days worrying! I want to relish every little yogurt covered kiss from my cutie.