We often talk about roses and sunshine, and there is plenty of that. But the bare truth is that it’s frightening to be a parent.
Fear and protection for my children. Only outweighed by a pure love so heavy that it makes my heart ache.
This, bare, raw, and real. This is what it is like to be a parent.
I experience terror on my child’s behalf. For my child’s physical well being, for their emotional well being. The table is too high, they might be hurt. Hey! What are they doing standing on the table, anyway?
When they come in crying from playing outside… and my mind immediately conjures blood and serious injury.
Terror because they are too beautiful and possible predators frighten me. Because, because, because…. terror could consume a parent literally every moment if we don’t learn to control it.
Equally ecstatic moments. Moments of pride and moments when I wonder at the wonder of it all. This, bare, and real… is being a Mom. When they smile, when they walk and leap around. Pride when they learn a new thing. When they put honey in their hair and smear it on the walls. Okay, maybe not that one.
From the moment you know that you are carrying a child within, fear is a primary emotion. What if the pregnancy has complications, what if there are problems too big for it to last to full term? Fear that the child will have physical or mental obstacles to overcome (and how would I ever be strong enough to help them)? Fear that I am not good enough to be a mother to this precious living human being inside of me that I could already see already perfectly formed during our ultrasound appointment. When we found out for our first, having a girl. And for the second, having a boy. I was so scared both times. Excited, but also super scared.
Fear of labor itself. Pretty big, pretty scary, pretty unknown.
Joy. Rightness, belonging. Holding her. Then 2 years later, holding him. This tiny infant in my arms. Miracle. Pure miracle and wonderment and awe and the terror already begins. When they cry, my heart cracks in two. When our eyes meet, there is nothing I would not do for them.
Terror. The first time they go out of your sight. Stark raving terror. What if they don’t come back from the nursery? What if something happens? I think maybe he should sleep beside me after all.
Fear. What will the future bring for my child?
Trust. God loves my child even more than I do.
Faith. God will lead my child, too.
I have a little boy, I get so frightened that I won’t teach him right. That he will grow up to be destructive and be hurtful. My little boy is the sweetest little boy, and I still fear that. I trust God to help me.
I have a little girl. I used to lay awake at night fearing for her safety. Because what if, someday, someone hurts her. I had to finally lay that at God’s feet, too. I know he loves her even more than I do, as amazing as that is to take in. I can sleep now, but I still harbor secret fears. My protection instinct for this beautiful golden blue eyed child is very strong and instinct based.
My little boy. He has no fear, but I have enough for both of us. I flinch daily at his antics.
Fear. I think we all experienced that today. I think that we all still will, possibly every day of our lives. It’s part of the Mom experience. Being a parent so often comes down to our basic instincts. Our child, our duty to protect and nurture and love.
Wonder, every single day.
Joy… a constant. Even when layered with pure exasperation.
Being a parent. Is there any experience more fraught with emotion than this? Please just be gentle with yourself.