Worry for moms starts before our babies are even born. It never stops and changes as kids change through the years. In this post, Legit Moms-Tawnya and Jessica-help you get through moments that keep you up at night and give you knots in your stomach.
Tell a story about your child of when you were really worried and something terrible actually happened.
Something terrible happens usually when I don’t follow my gut. I have this eternal positivity that everything is going to work out great. And sometimes, I want it to work out great so badly that I ignore what is really happening. I see the best in people and don’t believe there is anything more than that to them. This has gotten me caught by surprised and in a mess more than once. My daughter has literally been a picky eater for her entire life, but she has always loved milk. At one point, she was drinking way too milk, so much so that one day we had to take her to urgent care because it was more than her body could handle. I knew she needed to eat other foods, but I defaulted to just doing what she wanted.
Most of the time it’s when I don’t know if I’m deciding to do the right thing for them. Should I call the doctor? Should I let them stay the night at that friend’s house? Should I trust them to ride their bike across the street? Once I let my then five year old go outside to say hello to a friend who lives across the street. When I went to call him in a couple minutes later, he was gone. Not in the front yard, not on the side, not with the friend. How could I have let him go outside by himself? He’s only five! Now I’m panicking and I can’t find my son.
You’re still here, so how did you survive the terrible?
My daughter was fine after a doctor’s visit and we made sure to offer and give her a variety of foods to keep her healthy and well. The bigger problem though was that I’d try and avoid feeling uncomfortable with worry or panic or any hard feelings that I’d end up doing the wrong thing. I went to therapy for while and worked on it specifically, and it helped a lot. There is a power of instinct within me and it’s very empowering to use it. I took it a little at a time. I knew it wasn’t the worst anyone had been through and I relied on my best friend Tawnya and my husband to get me through. They’ve been through way tougher things than I have so I knew I’d eventually be okay.
Turns out, he was on the other side of the house talking to our good neighbor. The way our houses sit, he was just out of earshot and my view. I’m sure I couldn’t find him for about one minute but it sure felt like four hours. I made sure to talk to him about making sure I know where he is at all times and if he can’t see the front door, I can’t see him. He shrugged and said “got it”. The end.
Tell a story about your child of when you were really worried and it turned out that everything was okay.
My daughter was super cautious about playing with other kids at playdates when she was little. When she was 2-4 years old, she’d often just stick with me chatting with the moms. It frustrated me for sure because I wanted the time to chat, but it also scared me-What if she’s not good with friends? What if other kids don’t like her? What if she doesn’t know how to play? Fast forward to now, she’s 8 and…she does great. She makes friends with boys and girls and with a little coaching along the way she’s found ways to join in and play. I work hard to make lots of playdates for her and although they are not always perfect, they give her lots of opportunities to play and be with kids.
My youngest child is small for his age. He had started kindergarten at a new school and after two weeks, he was being bullied. There was one boy that kept picking on him and pushing him at recess. It happened for about three weeks. Not everyday but a couple of times a week. I was livid but I didn’t know what to do. The teachers were aware, took recess away from the kid and talked with him. But he’d still find a way to do something when no one was watching. My son finally went up to him and told him to stop and that no one likes him because he’s mean. But if he stopped being mean, he could be friends with him. The boy stopped. He was upset he didn’t have friends and didn’t know how to communicate it. He’s in my son’s class in first grade and he’s never pushed him again.
What can you say to reassure moms that everything will be okay, and for the not-so-okay things, what helps to survive?
I think if you build a foundation of love and reassurance for your child and you show them that you are there for them no matter what, then that connection will strengthen them for most anything. Most everything they need to learn and know and do they will. You need to keep helping them and guiding them, but there a lot of days and a lot of opportunities and with all the experiences kids have they will learn and grow and everything will be okay.
I think we need to find a happy medium between allowing our kids space and using our mom instincts to not living in fear that something can happen to our kids everyday. It’s okay to be aware but we also can’t drive ourselves crazy. You know your child the best. Keep listening and working with loving and raising your child. You know what is best. Trust in yourself.