What's Your Biggest Mom Fear?
We've talked before about Mom Anxiety and how worrying about being a perfect Mom can overtake your life.
But what about Mom Fear. Totally different from anxiety because it is concerns that you have about your child's safety and well being.
I've had so many biggest fears since becoming a Mom. Before Leo was even born my biggest Mom Fear was our child becoming ill at some point in his life.
Then shortly after Leo was born my Mom Fear came true.
When Leo was born I was pretty relaxed about everything. If he cried it didn't phase me. He was a baby, he was supposed to cry. I never panicked or hovered or worried excessively. I got allot of compliments from friends and family about what a competent, seasoned mother I had quickly become.
All that changed when Leo became sick. He developed a severe case of acid reflux and would cry non-stop day and night.
I felt utterly helpless to do anything to ease his discomfort. Other than giving him his medicine, taking him to the doctor 3 times a week and holding him in a completely upright position all the time (including overnight). There was nothing else I could do.
I went from being relaxed, calm and laid back to hovering and extremely rigid about Leo and his routine.
When my parents came to visit I stopped handing Leo off and taking a nap, to sitting right by them, making sure the bottle was at the right angle to reduce air intake into his stomach.
Everything had to be precise and exact to keep Leo's pain and discomfort to a minimum.
It sounds extreme. But knowing he was in pain was the worst feeling I have experienced in my life.
I was a stress ball!
At first we were told he would be better at 3 months, then 6 months than 1 year. It took until Leo was 14 months for all the symptoms to subside.
There were so many times I worried he might never get better. So many times I worried about his food intake and his development. Worried about the lack of sleep affecting his growth.
There were even times I felt like I didn't want another child because if he didn't get better I wouldn't be able to handle caring for two at the same time.
I'm very fortunate because he did get better. Leo is now healthy and thriving.
I can let him play on his own and stand back to watch. He can feed himself and even sign to me if he wants or needs something. I can even leave him alone with my parents again without worrying about medicine and feeding amounts and differentiating between different crying noises.
It's a complete 180 to where we were just a few months ago.
It was taxing both emotionally and physically getting him through that first year.
The positive that has come from his health issue is the close bond he and I have.
We've come out the other end in an extremely fortunate way. Everyone is happy and healthy.
We know it's not the same for other parents whose children become ill. But we were lucky enough that Leo had something which didn't and won't affect the rest of his life.
Marcelo and I got through it by being a strong support system for each other. When it was too much for us both we were lucky enough to have family who could help and give encouragement.
His getting better has allowed me to move on from my original Mom Fear and into other ones. Crazy drivers on the road. Baby proofing the house. Now our newest one. Leo trying to climb EVERYTHING!
I know now I'll survive these fears. I also know that for the rest of my life there will be some Mom Fear I'll have. Leo driving, Leo getting into college, Leo being happy in life.
They'll change as he grows. Some will fade and be forgotten. Some like his reflux I'll never forget.
I think the trick is knowing that the biggest Mom Fear for you won't last forever. You just have to breathe, guide them, care for them and let them grow. Then brace yourself for the next one. As long as they are happy you know you are doing it right.