The worriers in the family all look similar.
We are the ones huddled together at get-togethers with furrowed brows.
We are the ones who carry the emotional burden and beat ourselves up about everything.
We are the ones up all night with worry while our partners are in a deep sleep beside us. They’re all showered and happy the following day while we roll out of bed in a sleep-deprived haze, eyes-glazed, breath stale.
Because we can't help the worst-case scenario fantasies on replay all night long.
And this is why:
From the moment we hear, "Get ready here he comes!" and that baby's put into our arms, magic happens. And every mother knows that moment, the one where we feel his soft breath for the first time and see tiny toes peeking through his hospital swaddle.
Suddenly we are responsible for a person who took a piece of our heart with her on that first touch.
So we worry.
We worry before each doctor’s appointment.
We worry when he’s up too high where we can’t see him at the park.
We worry about her eating enough vegetables and signing her up for enough activities to help find her passions.
We worry if that new friend is a good influence.
And the worry will never stop. It will only increase as he grows older and our hearts are doing big things: like going away to college, starting families, and getting a promotion at work.
Instead, we must try to focus on losing ourselves in the beautiful moments of motherhood: laughing so hard we fall to the ground, unexpected kisses and hugs, and picking dandelions, closing our eyes, and making a wish while we blow the seeds into the air.
Because we want our children to see us enjoying being their mother instead of caught up in the constant worry. We don’t want frantic phone calls to overshadow the laughter, the smiles, and shared memories and experiences.
And when we can’t focus on those things, let’s stick up for those anxious parents and understand their concerns. Because worry’s an inevitable part of the process of producing happy, well-functioning, and kind humans.