From the moment we find out we are pregnant, to the moments before birth, to feeding, sleeping, eating, and on and on, we worry. Worrying is passive. It takes no action. It helps no one. But, we all do it. And it's normal. Moms worry if their children will grow out of their pacifier, if they will fall at the playground, if they will be accepted by their peers, and if they will be successful adults. Today, it seems there are so many more factors for concern because we simply know more about behavior, health, psychology, and physiology more than ever before.
I never thought I was a worrier until I had hormonal issues leading up to my daughter's conception. When I found out I was pregnant, I would lie awake every night wondering if I would miscarry. The next major worry came when I was found positive for gestational diabetes, and the doctors informed me she could [potentially] be too large to deliver vaginally and could have health issues (none of which came to be).
Now that she's a toddler, it seems like every week there is a new hurdle for us: teething, sleep regressions, viruses, eating habits, tantrums, and so on. To be honest, I am constantly second-guessing myself. When I catch myself worrying, my logic reminds me that none of my worries can be solved with more worrying, but the cycle continued until one of my wisest friends dropped a pearl of wisdom that comforted and relieved me almost instantly. She told me that Stephen and I are the perfect parents for our daughter, which is why she is ours. No matter how we mess up, or what good and bad is thrown at her, we are the best people to raise her.
I melted at those words. Inherently, I knew what she said was true, I just needed to hear it. It stopped the cycle of doubt much like throwing a stick into the spokes of a bicycle wheel. So, I want to tell all of you mamas: you are the perfect parent for your child, no matter how imperfect you are. No trial or tribulation is match for the guidance, love, and support you can bestow upon your kids. The thing is, our job is to teach our children wrong from right, and how they choose to act rests on their free will. My dad always says, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" and parenting is a lot like that.
Our children are under our care. Our decisions affect their lives. And that's a lot of pressure.
So how can we stop worrying so much? First, we can make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Motherhood is not a job to clock in and out of, it requires almost every minute of the day, especially in the beginning. In order to be the best version of ourselves, we need the essentials: sleep, inspiration, exercise, romance, friendship, faith, and good food (maybe some wine). In my estimation, when I actively pursue those essentials, it is much harder to be robbed of peace and fall into worry. Second, we can acknowledge that our best is good enough, and the rest is up to God.
I pray that I can strike the perfect balance between unconditional love and discipline, and teach her how to have healthy relationships. I pray that I can teach her what it means to be kind, and strong so she grows into a confident, wise woman. I am far from perfect, but I know that if I take care of my needs and rely on God, I will worry less, and in turn be more present to her.