I recently turned 31. A week after I turned 31, it was time to celebrate Mother’s Day. Turning 31 and celebrating Mother’s Day made me think about where I am now compared to my twenties. So many lessons… Well, 23 to be exact. (I’m sure there are more. I wanted to hit 30, but was drawing a blank lol) Some from my experiences, some from my Mom that have just now sunk in, and some from becoming a mom myself. (And a lot of Mindy, Tina, and Amy quotes to back up my lessons… because everyone needs a few funny ladies in their life!)
It’s an exciting, wonderful, totally terrifying thing becoming a mother…and there are lots of things that no one tells you. The good things that just can’t quite be communicated, like the all encompassing crazy love you will feel for your child. The stuff you expect, but hits you harder than you thought, like the intense responsibility you feel. And… the part that I personally wasn’t expecting, the fear you will feel for your child.
I’m not writing this to warn you. I’m sure this particular piece of parenting is more intense with some than others. I admit, I’m a bit of a worrier already, so let’s rewind a bit.
I’m told I was somewhat of a fearless child. I flipped myself out of my crib at 15 months, loved to climb and jump off of things, did gymnastics until I was 12, bungee jumped at 14, and in college was a bit reckless at times.
As I’ve gotten older that fearlessness has taken a back seat. I’m sure I’m not alone here. I imagine that part of this phenomenon is biological and seeded deeply within our genetics. Possibly to ready us for bringing future generations into the world?
I think the shift for me, started when we brought our two furbabies home. (yes we’re dog people and I call them my furbabies) Within a week, our sweet little 5 pound Madison had a reaction to her first vaccine. I flipped into Mommy Mode faster than you can say “dog mom” and my husband thought I was completely insane. (Maddie is fine by the way!)
When I was pregnant with Jack, I googled everything you can imagine about pregnancy, and I wasn’t satisfied that he was completely safe until he was in my arms at the hospital.
After he was born, I constantly checked on him. When he started crawling my mind twisted everything in his path into a baby weapon that could seriously hurt him.
When he started walking and becoming more independent I chased him around all day and cleared a safety path. It is both mentally and physically exhausting being a
constant vigilante mother!
Again, this is not to warn you. Everyone’s experience is so different and like I said I’m a worrier. What sparked me to write this post, was actually an email from my boss (dad to 4 kids).
Title: My daughter is going to give her father a heart attack with her summer bucket list
Attached: Picture of 12 year old daughter jumping off of a bridge into a river
My Response: Brave girl and I don’t even want to know what else is on her list! LOL.
(I have reported to him pre being a parent and post being a parent…I wonder if he’s noticed my shift!)
After I read that email I realized that everyone fears for their kids in varying degrees. I know that that fear will never go away. What I can do is teach them, protect them as much as I can, and be proud of their fearlessness once in a while because sometimes a jump and a leap of faith is necessary.