I used to consider myself a brave person. I wasn't jumping out of planes or scaling Mount Everest, but I loved visiting new locales and trying new things. And then I had kids. And in that instant, everything changed.
Now, I find myself scared of EVERYTHING! Every story on the news, every weird post shared by my friends on Facebook, every bugbite, every fall, I'm a nervous wreck. Here are just a few things that top my fear list these days:
- That my kids miss me during the day.
- That they don't miss me.
- That they're not eating enough.
- That I'll get sick.
- That they'll get sick.
- That they'll see the news.
- The big C. Every story I read of a mum battling cancer has me doing a breast exam and having a spot checked.
- School shootings.
- Friends who are bad influences.
- Wayward baseballs that can land in that one spot on their chest that causes instant death.
- That the decisions we are making for our kids aren't right.
- That we're too strict with our kids.
- That we're too lenient.
- That the video games they're playing are rotting their brains.
- That they're not happy.
The list could go on forever. I'm sure it is all just part of parenthood — this whole "wondering if I'm doing it right" mentality. Before we had kids, if we screwed something up, it was really just our lives that were affected. Sure, we had to suffer the consequences, but we got what we deserved. When you have children, your decisions directly affect their lives. And that's a scary thought. Every decision we make inversely affects them.
There are mountains of books out there telling us how to raise our kids right, but what about the things we can't protect them from? The school shooters and the so-called friends who spend more time bringing them down than raising them up? No one ever said this parenthood thing would be easy, but I didn't expect the hardest part to be all this worrying.
When my first son was a mere few hours old, I remember looking up at my dad and saying I was worried that the baby wasn't breathing correctly. My dad grinned and said, "Welcome to being a parent and all the worrying that comes with it." I smiled and said, "For the next 18 years, right?" He chuckled and said, "No, Bec, for the rest of your life." I'm only nine years into it, but I can honestly say wiser words have never been spoken.