So I haven’t always been in this fairytale romance of a marriage. At the wise old age of twenty I became a mom. My son wasn’t part of my plans but he made me want to change my plans, he made me want to be a better person. It was just my son and I and we did everything together. For six years I was filled with fear knowing that I was his world. Sometimes I wonder how I made it through those years because there were times I was so paralyzed with the terror of the “What If’s”. Then one day, I met my husband, fell in love and I thought my fears would go away. I’ve been married now for 11 years and we’ve added two daughters to our family but those fears didn’t disappear when I said “I do”. In fact, those fears seemed to worsen.
My Top Ten Fears As a Now Married Mom:
- I fear that my decisions will have long term ill effects and cause my children to require years of therapy. That fear doubles when I think about a second person having input on my children and I even worry that I might not see something that could cause damage.
- I fear that my love for my husband will take away from my children or my children will take away from my husband. I worry that I don’t have enough love to go around.
- I worry too about my son and his biological father. Although he signed over his rights, the man that is responsible for half of my son’s DNA is still out there and there is a very real possibility that my son may want to meet him one day. It was easy to push that fear aside while my son was younger but now that he is 18 and legally an adult I have no power to stop his curiosity. I know he loves my husband as his real dad but is that love enough to keep his curiosity at bay?
- Money is an issue in our home as well. We took the most twisted, unconventional route to our nuptials and the path as a couple hasn’t been any easier or uneventful. Two months after our swapping of vows we were told that Cancer would be our new money sucker. We have spent the last decade of holy matrimony learning the ins and outs of “in richer or poorer”.
- This is one of my biggest fears. I am terrified that something will happen to me. I am even more terrified that something will happen to me AND my husband. I feel that my one job is to raise my children to be decent real world contributing adults that can function in everyday life scenarios and I am almost a third of the way through but not quite there with that. I fret over the idea that if something were to happen to me no one else would be able to do as good of a job, and yes, I know that is highly conceited of me. An even deeper fear is that my husband would survive and fall in love with someone who wouldn’t fall in love with my kids.
- I don’t fear that I will have an emotional breakdown as much as I fear that I will become emotionally unavailable. I have endured so much that I have become quite good at putting up a barricade and I would hate if I became an emotionless shell of a mother unavailable to offer any warmth. I don’t want to become “Frozen”.
- What if I can’t be everything they need me to be? I want to be the mom who is involved at school but I also love working and having a purpose for myself outside of “mom”. I worry I will make the wrong sacrifices along the way in order to be everything.
- This is a carry over from the previous one. Will my inability to say “no” be a problem? I struggle with turning down requests and often this only ends up with me crying at 3 am finishing up some project because I didn’t want to disappoint anybody. I know it is ok to say “no” to other people but I really need to learn it is ok to say it to my kids every once in awhile.
- I worry about keeping my marriage together. Half of all marriages end in divorce and the numbers are even greater for couples who have chronically ill children. All too often, but not always, the children are the casualties in the broken homes. Of course I have no plans to split with my husband but if I do will my children be ok? Will they understand? Will they blame me? If it gets so bad should I stay for the kids sake or would that be more damaging? There are way too many layers to that worry.
- Will the kids learn from our mistakes? We walked a rough road and struggled to get where we are today. Will our kids remember where we began and heed our advice or will they choose to ignore and walk their own uphill battle? Will I be there to help or will I be forced to watch in exile? I will do everything in my power to try to steer them in the direction of an easier life but I know that I have been a big proponent of free will. My children may very well have to learn actions have consequences and I may have to stand at the sidelines for that difficult life lesson.
Motherhood is hard. I am sure this list doesn’t cover every worry a mom would have, but the one thing is for sure, a mom will never stop worrying when it comes to her kids.