The worries of Motherhood! Like so many others out there, my son took a long time arriving. It took four years, and medical intervention, for me to conceive. A period of time which, naturally, filled me with worry, concern and unease. Becoming pregnant, at times, felt like searching for that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow; seemingly unattainable yet always ever hopeful. With every cycle of IVF, I’d imagine just what it would be like to clutch, my own, positive pregnancy test, convinced that, if we could only get the result we were so desperate for, all of my worries would cease to exist.
But how wrong I was! I discovered, the happy way, that nothing could actually have prepared me for the sheer amount of heart-stopping concerns that materialise with motherhood.
Heart Stopping Worries With Motherhood
Gone were the worries of injections, invasive treatments and the two week week. I was now plagued with fresh concerns involving my unborn, oh so longed for, child. The weeks between each scan, or midwife appointment, felt unbearably long and, despite spending so many years in trying to carry a baby, part of me now wished that my miracle could grow, to term, in the petri dish he was conceived in, so that I’d always be able to see just exactly what was happening. I downloaded apps, which were meant to detect baby’s heartbeat, then freaked out when they didn’t work. I drank fizzy water, so that my baby would jiggle around, and I’d feel him, and know that he was surviving and thriving, as he should.
And he did and was born, safely and beautifully.
Then, the worries multiplied!
I now had the hugest amount of responsibility I’d ever been bestowed with, and that terrified me. All of a sudden I was sustaining a human, keeping him alive and tending to every need, despite his not coming with a manual! Was he too hot, too cold, had he drunk enough milk or filled enough nappies? And then, just when I was calmer, and more on top of the new-born phase, along came more! Weaning, with its risks of choking and allergies. Then crawling and walking and running around, independently. Going at speeds which I simply never thought possible from my once tiny, frog-legged, bubba.
Yet again I found the worries increasing.
In general, I like to think that I’m actually a lot more relaxed, most days, than I thought I would be. I’m aware accidents do happen and that’s what they are; merely accidents that I can’t always prevent.There’s not one situation I’m in whereby I don’t scout out all possible sources of danger my son could encounter. Watching like a hawk, trying to keep my distance. Yet, knowing just how many strides I am away from the slide. The hovering and false-starting, just in case. A mum, attempting to create a world in which her child feels independent, safe and secure, in spite of all the dangers that he simply doesn’t see.
Children are A Gift
The constant worrying used to leave me feeling uneasy that I wasn’t taking motherhood in the stride I so desperately attained to. Anxious that my anxiety was a sign I wasn’t enjoying my child, as much as I should. Losing sleep to niggling concerns which, I’ve since discovered, go hand in hand with being a parent. However I’m, slowly, coming to embrace the worries and to see them as a gift; fortuitous that I, finally, get to experience such feelings over a child, my child.
I also now know that, in reality, I actually worry because I love him. I love him wholly and completely and with all that I possess that it’s absolutely part of the description for a job. This is simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging job I’ve ever done and will continue to do. A job without end.
I always knew I would love my child. There was never any doubt about that. However, what has shocked me is the ferocity with which I can love, and how my love for him develops and grows, as he does; daily. Being handed my child was the most moving experience of my life. I knew as I looked down at him that I loved him. I’d do everything I could to protect him and give him my all. Yet the love I knew then is completely different to the love I have for him now. Much like the way my worries will keep altering; ever present, but different.
So I Breathe
And so I breathe, and try not to hover, as much as I used to, accepting that I will, no doubt, always worry. I will, however, always be there to love him too. If that means a lifetime of worrying, then count me. I know, I’ll never want to stop.