It’s a whole new kind of fear.
My baby is five months old now. I thought about sharing the ups and downs of my marriage, but thought that horse has long been beaten. I thought about sharing how as a first baby I mark every single milestone like its a new Olympic record. I thought about sharing how I take more pictures in a day of her than most people do in a month…but what I really felt important to share, what I thought others may relate to…was my new kind of fear.
Motherhood is scary as shit.
There is no classier way to make that statement. It is just that. Scary.
It was scary when I had my baby, scary through delivery as she made my body do things it didn’t want to do. It was scary bringing her home and being in charge of a new being who relied on only me for her every single want and need. It was scary the first time she slept four hours and I thought she stopped breathing and scary the first time she rolled out of her bouncy chair and I thought she might have a concussion from the 12 inch drop.
Fear rips through you as a parent. Are you doing enough? Stimulating them enough? Holding them enough? Putting them down enough? Making them laugh enough? Smile enough?
There are so many questions and doubts we have and that’s only natural, especially the first go around.
The fear I’m talking about, and just learning about now…isn’t the smaller things…the ones that all seasoned parents will tell you not to worry about…it’s the big ones. Like, the real ones.
Fear about how I’m going to explain that we live in a world where people can share their racist, nasty, ignorant beliefs on a platform that will share them without a second guess.
Fear about how I will explain boys turn to girls and girls to boys, and people hate on that…when it doesn’t even effect her.
Fear about how I will teach her to believe in a God that loves her and looks out for her, and died for her…and that someone will someday make fun of her for that and tear her down.
Fear about how she should work so hard to make something of herself and be progressive and self sufficient…and then she may struggle with her bills by paying all the taxes and living by the regulations that come with that.
But most of all…most importantly….fear that I will not be here for her…things happen, life happens. And just as I read stories of babies who could not make it into this world and I hold her tighter….I think about the mothers who are lost…and hold her tighter still.
You see as moms…we have all this fear because we think of our babies first and foremost. And the toughest thing we could think of is someone else thinking these things too. No one would really obsess like mom does. No one will hold them like you will, get up with them like you, put them to bed like you, rock like you, sing like you or read like you. No one will teach the good values like you would. No one would have the amount of patience like you.
But tomorrow is not promised. It never has been. We need to live each day to the fullest. Love to the max. Take advantage of every minute we can with those closest to us.
The fear is real. It should remind us to be grateful and cherish every moment. But we should work hard at not letting it take over every aspect of our being.
Seasoned parents will tell you, they didn’t expect to raise children in the technology riddled world they were given but they modified and things turned out fine. We will also modify and I’m sure our children will turn out fine. But the real fear of the loss…of you…of mom (or dad)…THAT….you can hang onto.
I wouldn’t be able to live without mine. Tonight I laid in her bed discussing my current life matters wondering where my family would ever be without her….we are blessed enough to not have to figure that out. Others are not. And it terrifies me that my baby may not be so lucky. But I will continue to just do the best I can, when I can. I will continue to cherish every moment. I will continue to sing, read, get up, love, snuggle and just be the mom I can while I am here.
And then I will pray. Loud and hard. Not just that I can stay with my baby longer but that I can impart as much of me as possible in whatever time I have with her. Fear is a robber of joy. That is the truth. When you are busy being afraid, you have no time to be content, peaceful and joyous.
Don’t let fear take over your parenting. Every day is a gift and fear will rob you of appreciating that gift. Don’t instill unnecessary fear in your babies. Our job as parents is to raise a better generation than the one before. So swallow yours, teach what you can, and love endlessly. That way when the unspeakable happens…and your baby has to walk this world without you…as all babies must do…eventually…you can rest knowing you did the very best you could…and never let fear take over.
I’m still crying about that at times. But I’m getting better.
**picture cred. me. but one fear my baby will never have…fear of dogs.**