One of the things I struggle with now and then, or sometimes on a weekly/daily basis since becoming a mum is fighting the parent fear.
It started on day one, just after the birth of my baby. Complete fear at the realization this tiny precious life was in my hands, and I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. (Do I even own a first aid kit eek?)
That parent fear continued with worries about temperatures, choking, falling over, traffic and illness as my baby grew into his toddler years.
I had hoped that the worry would become less of a problem the older he got, but I have realized it just gets worse.
Fear of his friends being mean to him, fear of him getting into the wrong crowd, fear of him getting knocked off his bike, fear of medical emergencies and so the fear continues. I constantly fight with my brain, fighting against the parent fear, pushing it away and trying not to let it take over my everyday mind.
Life before being a parent was relatively care free for me, I was not someone who would dwell on the things that ‘could’ happen. I never gave it a second thought, when I went on holiday or a road trip I just did it. The thought of dying never gave me much cause for concern. I never knew this was such an issue until having my own children, then of course every parent I know says they suffer with the same thing, so I kind of wish I knew what I was letting myself in for. Mind you, would it have made a difference? I don’t think you can prepare yourself for such a shift in your mental state from having no kids to having kids can you?
The worst time I find is when I am laying in bed at night and the random worries come into my mind. Re-playing over and over what ‘could’ have happened when my child nearly fell down the stairs earlier in the day, or what ‘could’ have happened when he came within inches of hitting his head on the corner of the table. It’s not enough to worry about what is actually happening, I have to worry about what ‘might’ happen too.
Before children I obviously had people I loved and cherished, my family, friends and so on, but when you have children it’s like another level and you have created something so precious to your heart that it’s like nothing you have ever imagined before.
However, I will not allow these thoughts to haunt me and turn me into a constant anxious wreck, so I will keep distracting my mind when the thoughts creep in, and I will switch all the negatives around to positives. I want to be a chilled, relaxed and cool guardian and channel my inner ‘Duggee’ Woof?!
I am not going to be a helicopter parent and I will encourage my children to be wild, to be daredevils and have fun in the outdoors and the great big world – yes go travelling and have great adventures live your life don’t be scared, what is it they say? A life lived in fear is a life half lived. (Even if I am a quivering wreck behind their backs!)