The worries of motherhood



Porta400++_45When my daughter wakes in the night from a bad dream, I blearily walk her back to her room. Snuggling her down in her bed, I pray over her:

“May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

This prayer is my paraphrase of Philippians 4:7. And as I pray, I place my hand on her head and her heart. Walking out of the room, I quietly sigh, and worry a little.

When I became a mother my worries in life increased exponentially. It is almost as if, when my daughter was born, I also gave birth to her twin, of all the worries I had for her.

They came right from day one. Worries about how cold she was, or how hot. Worries about whether she was eating enough. And worries about her sleep, whether she was sleeping enough, or too much.

Actually that last one’s not true, my girls never slept too much!

With the birth of my children I gained worries for their physical and emotional well-being, for their friendships, and for their education. I worry if they will get hurt because they are being too bold, or if they are too shy. I worry about whether they are too entitled (probably), and not thankful enough (maybe). Oh and I still worry about whether they are too hot or cold, or sleep enough.

Add to that worries about their future, and I am just one big worrying machine.

I have only been a mum for 6 years, but friends of mine who are grandparents have told me the worry never goes away. So I have to accept that this is part and parcel of being a mum. But with that, I need to make sure it doesn’t define me.

Worry is a paralysing force. My life becomes ruled by the fear of ‘what might happen’ and therefore I am unable to move forward. In parenting this means that I become the kind of mother that doesn’t allow her children to take risks, make decisions or even just get a bit cold sometimes!

As the verse from Philippians acknowledges, worry involves both the mind and the heart. It is a product of our imagination yes, but those that we worry about are those we care about.

So these mummy worries, how do I deal with them?

I find it helpful to actually speak my worries aloud or write them down. “I am afraid …”. When I do this I am able to examine the worry with my more rational self, not ruled by the paralysing fear “of something bad happening”.

Then I take my worries to the one who guards my heart and mind. And as I release them into His care, I feel His hand gently on my mind and on my heart and I accept His peace.

Join me for the journey,

Jodie

onlyhalfwaythere.net


About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a full time mother, part-time writer and sometime poet. As a third culture kid she lived in Europe and Asia for ten years. While now living happily in Perth with her husband and two daughters, the travel bug has never left her. She writes about the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging others wherever they are on their journey. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can follow her journey at onlyhalfwaythere.net