I read an interview in People Magazine recently with Sandra Bullock and they asked her what advice she would give her younger self. She said she would have told herself not to worry so much. That she wasted so much time with worry and that she wishes she could get it back. Great advice!
The moment I became pregnant with our first, the worrying began. Not that I didn’t worry before, but being responsible for someone’s life (someone you love more than you could have ever imagined) was frightening. And two more blessings later, the worrying has just multiplied.
What if something happens to them? What if something happens to Brandon or me? How would they or we carry on? Those are the big worries in addition to all the little day-to-day worries of being a mom (they have a cold, they didn’t eat dinner, they got in trouble at school, etc.). It’s real and I know every other mom out there experiences it whether their babies are newborns or adults. I’m sure my mom still worries just as much about me as I worry about our boys.
I’m really trying to work on this because worrying truly is worthless and I know that. As Brandon tells me every time I bring up a worry: “Maegan, stop worrying because it’s making you miss out on their lives right now. Live in the moment and cherish what we have.”
He’s right. Why worry? The act of worrying will not change what’s going to happen so I just need to live in the moment.
Sure, it’s easier said than done. You can’t just turn off the worry switch. Life happens. I hear and read and even experience family and friends going through something awful like the loss of a child, loss of a parent, a terminal illness. These make me worry even more and rightfully so. It can happen to anybody at anytime. You just can’t let it consume you or you’ll never fully live.
When I start to worry, here are some things I do or I’m striving to do more of to minimize my worrying:
- Pray. First and foremost, I pray. God blessed us with these children and has entrusted us to raise them and therefore, I hand my worries over to Him. I have faith in His protection and if something does happen, that He will give me the strength and courage to keep living. The power of prayer is amazing and can bring so much comfort.
- Talk to someone. For me, that someone is Brandon. I know I can tell him what I’m worrying about and he will reassure me that everything will be okay and that worrying is worthless. Whether it be a spouse, a parent, a good friend, a therapist…find someone you can turn to in times of worry that will reassure you everything will be okay and help talk you through your worries so they aren’t as consuming.
- Find comfort in motherhood and be confident in the mother you are. More than likely, being a mother is something you wanted and have been blessed with. Take pride in that and enjoy it! Know that you’re doing your very best to raise and protect your children and strive to cherish all the beautiful moments right before your eyes. Every time I start to worry, I tell myself to turn the worries into wonders because motherhood is truly wonderful.
- Love on your kids. If I’ve heard or read something awful that has caused me to start worrying, I’ll just wrap my arms around the boys and kiss them and tell them how much I love them. It brings me so much comfort just having them close to me and reminds me how blessed we are that they are healthy and happy. Seeing their big smiles when we love on them is definitely therapeutic.
- Try not to let your kids see or feel your worry. We sometimes think that worrying is a way of showing we love and care. I don’t know about you, but I hate it when people worry about me. It makes me sad. Well, I’m sure our kids would feel the same way if they sense that we’re constantly worried about them. If I’m always hovering or being so cautious about everything they do, they are going to feel like we’re walking on pins and needles through life. That’s just sad! Let them see and know how much you love and care through loving words and gestures. And let them make mistakes. They need to learn what it’s like to make mistakes and cope with the challenges of life. And we, as moms, need to see that they can handle the challenges that life has in store for them.
- Journal. If I have something I’ve been worrying about over and over, I’ll write it down along with why I’m worried about it. Just writing it down really does wonders for my mind and soul. It helps me process it all the way through instead of worrying about it in my mind over and over. It’s releasing and something I’ll look back on if I start to worry about it again.
- Think happy thoughts. Try to fill your mind with happy moments leaving no room for worry. The little moments like waking up to their sweet smiles, snuggling during a show, watching them ride their bike, walking hand in hand through the grocery store parking lot, seeing them wave goodbye when you go somewhere, having them run to hug you when you show back up, laughing at them being silly. Those are the moments you want to fill your mind with. Leave no room for worry.
- Trust your instinct. Mother instinct knows best. If you’re worried about something and your instinct is telling you that you need to do something about it, than do so. I’m not saying go though life completely worry-free, we have to be careful and cautious to protect our children and there are certainly times when our instinct tells us to take action and we do so. That’s our role.
Why worry? We’re moms. We’re going to worry. But we need to realize how much time we’re wasting by constantly worrying about things that are more than likely out of our control. Time that could be spent making wonderful memories with our children and living life to the fullest. I’ve challenged myself and I challenge you too to minimize the worrying. Don’t let it consume you. Enjoy motherhood!
I’m starting Mama Mondays as a way to discuss life as a mom with other moms. We all have our ways and opinions, but I find it so encouraging and inspiring to discuss motherhood with other moms. Therefore, your feedback is so encouraged as long as it’s respectful. We’re all in this together!
And I’m no expert, as I’m just learning as I go and leaning on other moms for advice, support and encouragement. I hear we will survive! 😉
If you have any topic ideas for Mama Mondays that you would like me to start a discussion about, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment below!