My bestest friends who have known since BC (before children) know I've always been a bit of a worry wart. I would obsess over everything...are my marks good enough? Is my new hair colour ok? How will I get everything done? These were some of the burning questions that were part of my adolescence and early adult-hood.
Then I got married.
My worries turned to how will I be a good wife? How will I make sure not to lose myself? How will I get everything done? Same type of questions, different scenario. Still I managed to keep my neurosis pretty much under control.
Then I had kids. Control out the window.
I now worry about every tummy ache being a sign of something more. Every fever leading to a trip to the doctor. Every tear meaning my amazing child will not see their potential. Every broken heart not fully healing. My neurosis moved from "how will I do it all" to "how will I make sure the kids never experience anything bad". Rationally, I know I can't protect them from everything, and most days I've accepted that and am willing to let things run their course. Then something happens that makes my "worry wart" nature come screaming forward.
Like there is a couple of kids in our area who are approached by strangers in masks to get into a car. All rational thought disappears and every ungodly scenario creeps into my mind. We were told today that there was such an attempt very close to my girls' elementary school (I remind myself to breathe every time I think about it). Very scary...and makes my neurosis rational, right??
When I get some perspective, I have a frank conversation with my girls to remind them of what to do if anything like that (God forbid) ever happens to them. And I try to have this conversation without letting my sheer panic show through. Then I hug them and tuck them into bed...where I am sure they are safe for one more night.
Truthfully, I follow this up with a little prayer. Please help to keep my girls safe. Please help me to keep things in perspective. Please help me to remember to breathe. And please help me to enjoy all the amazingness that I am blessed with and not focus on the what-ifs. For although all the stuff that scares the shit out of me is easy to focus on, I want to focus on the stuff that makes me smile. Then I check on the girls one more time before I turn in just to make sure they are still ok.