This is my story.
You hold your newborn in your hands for the first time and you feel a sense of awe. “Did I really do this? Is this baby really mine?” you hear yourself ask. Your baby squirms in your arms, you adjust and baby falls asleep right there in your arms. This is just one of the many scenarios that take your breath away.
You settle into a routine at home and slowly awe is replaced with fear. Baby cries and you have tried EVERYTHING, but nothing seems to work. Should you visit the hospital, you wonder. Was it something you did wrong; something you could have done better? Finally, baby settles down and sleeps; you heave a sigh of relief.
Maternity leave ends and it’s time to return to work. Someone else is in charge of her care and suddenly, you are barraged by fearful thoughts invading your mind; what if someone drops her accidentally and they don’t tell you? What if she contracts a terrible disease? What if she drowns in her baby bath? What if the food they give her is so hot it burns her throat causing permanent damage? What if she is poisoned or worse still, kidnapped?
From that point on, you become obsessed, over-protective, and even obnoxious. Parenting becomes a huge burden more than anything else. And on the days when you feel like you did not worry enough, you feel guilty. You may even go as far as asking yourself why you had a kid in the first place, or if you will ever be a great mum. You become a prisoner of your fears.
Take the Pressure Off
If this in any way describes you, you may wake up one day and realize that your child is all grown up and you missed it because you were so busy worrying. While it is normal as a mum to worry about your child’s care, this kind of obsessive worrying is unhealthy; both for you and for your precious one.
The first thing you need to tell yourself is that if you have these fears, then you are a better mum than you think you are, because it is evident that you love your little one and want the best for her. That being said, when thoughts like these come to your mind, remember that millions of women have done and are doing what you are doing right now; and succeeded, so, why should you fail? You are not alone.
Rather than obsessing about the negatives that have not even happened and more often than not, will not happen, consciously focus on the beautiful things you want your child to experience as she grows. Fill your mind with thoughts of all the fun you two will have as she grows, the people she will meet, and friends she will make.
Let Go and Trust People
Another important step is to learn to trust people. Not everyone wants to sexually, verbally or physically abuse your child. This is not to say that there aren’t bad people out there, but not everyone is bad. Create a circle of people whom you know you can trust your child with and let her enjoy being around them. Believe it or not, sometimes, mummies need a break from their babies. Grandparents, if they live close enough to you, are a great source of help and support.
Never Stop Praying
This is really important! Pray for your children always. And when those thoughts invade your mind, give thanks to the One who loves them abundantly and is constantly watching over them. Motherhood, though filled with many challenges, learning processes and days of worrying, should not be bereft of joy, laughter and pretty awesome memories. Being captive to our worries and fears can deny us of the greatest part of being a mum…enjoying watching your child grow. Let’s live free from fear.
Life is beautiful!