It gets better.

In those crazy newborn days of no sleep and too many hormones, that’s what everyone seemed to be telling me.

There will be a day when you’ll feel like a pro. You’ll get in a groove. You won’t have these fears.

They lied.

What I’ve come to understand about anxiety and parenting is that the worries never go away.

When I was trying to conceive I worried that I might never get pregnant.

When I was pregnant I worried that I’d miscarry, or that we’d get test results that I feared I wasn’t strong enough to hear.

When I was in labor I worried about the delivery.

When my baby had colic I worried it would never end.

I’ve worried about speech and social development, vaccinations and tubes in the ears. I worried about strep throat and antibiotics, allergic reactions and MRSA.

I’ve worried that I was a bad example. I worried that I was teaching them the wrong things.

And after all these years of worrying, the worry itself hasn’t changed one single thing. It hasn’t helped me gain control in an out-of-control situation. It hasn’t calmed down and it hasn’t eased up.

More than anything, the worry hasn’t stopped or lessened in intensity. No matter how long it’s been part of my daily life, I haven’t grown accustomed to it, either.

But I have learned one trick that has helped me cope with my daily Motherworries: Placing my individual fears into one of two categories, the things I’ll worry about all my life and the things that will pass like the changing of seasons.

All my life worries- Their safety. Their health. The way they’ll be treated by the people in their world.

Passing worries- Are we making the right decision? Is this punishment appropriate? Will he make the honor roll?

When I find myself worrying, waking in the middle of the night, distracted by my fears, I ask myself which box to place this worry in.

Passing worries will come and go. I recognize that I’ll probably have a new list of them tomorrow.

If it’s an All My Life fear, I try to remember that this is a struggle that comes with motherhood. With loving. With my heart beating outside my body.

Motherworries never go away. But by learning to process them, I can reassure the new mother inside myself that it can, in fact, get better.

How do you cope with your own Motherworries?

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  1. Great post…I use those boxes too ;)
    Practical Parenting recently posted..Porch Swing StoriesMy Profile

  2. Jenny Hobson says:

    I like those categories. I’m going to try this. And I’m sure you’ve found this in your life, too. I can be super-calm and “objective” with other people’s children and help calm their fears. But with my own kids, it’s just different and the worries bloom.
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  3. Heather says:

    I’m not a mother but I want to be someday and already I catch myself mulling over what ifs. Thanks for the reality check!

  4. Nicolas Cailot says:

    I think I need to share this post with my wife. The reason- We are planning for a kid from the next month and just because she had one abortion two years back she is worrying if she will be able to conceive now. She has been doing that from the day we took the decision. But now I think every woman has such worries. Just pray God for us!
    Nicolas Cailot recently posted..Nombre de Dunbar : ce que notre cerveau de primate implique pour Facebook et la politiqueMy Profile

  5. Not very well.
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  6. Leah says:

    Beautiful post! I know exactly how you feel too. The worry never ends, it just changes as the days change.
    Leah recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Snow Day in San DiegoMy Profile

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