Saturday, October 21, 2017

Top 3 worries that keep mothers awake at night

Being a mom is a full-time job. Fact. And despite what non-parents might smugly sniff, it definitely ain’t simple.
Sure, it’s about grocery shopping, and ironing, and baking cakes and school runs. But it’s also about watching/worrying about your kids constantly – even when they’re out of the house. And even more so when they’ve eventually flown the nest for good. 
Motherhood is a rewarding, wonderful experience. You can’t imagine love like it until it happens to you. But it also means that your life will change forever. Because your new job has no holidays, no sick days and no retirement plans in store.
You’ll be a mother for life. Which means that you’ll worry about your children, for life. Sheesh. 
Don’t worry – this is completely natural. Because mothers all over the world spend their nights lying awake with worry, just like you. And here are the top 3 worries that prevent them from getting to sleep:

1. “I have no idea what I’m doing”

This is a worry of epic proportions for pretty much all new parents out there. Wanna know a secret? None of us do! All those pristine-looking mums who somehow manage to keep a spotless house, bake their own bread and mind a set of newborn triplets are probably cracking up on the inside. And as great as their facade appears, they’re bound to have niggling fears and insecurities at some stage. Unless of course, they really aren’t human, after all…
My advice? Try not to let it get to you. Like anything, practice makes...well, if not perfect, at least an improvement. You’ll soon go from wild-eyed, terrified, flailing newbie to the kind of woman who can change a nappy with one hand and pick out her kiddies’ clothes with the other, all whilst singing a soothing song to her bemused bubs.
It may take weeks or months but trust me on this – you will start to get a grip on this whole ‘being a mum’ thing. And if you don’t, Google offers up some handy life hacks. ;)

2. “My child is too loud/quiet/solitary/sensitive/boisterous”

We can combine all of these worries into one common fear – “What if my child isn’t ‘normal’?”
Let me answer your question with another question: what is ‘normal’, anyway? Luckily, in a more liberal society, this word seems to have fallen by the wayside. After all, didn’t Gaga champion the ‘freaks’ out there, so that being different is finally seen as A Good Thing?!
Still, many mothers – naturally – fear ‘abnormality’ and its effect on the future wellbeing of their child. Will he or she be bullied at school for being smaller than everyone else? Or, heavens forbid, will he/she be the bully? Will he/she get a decent job even though he/she isn’t ‘academic’? And what if he/she is gay – will his/her life be more difficult as a result?
You probably know this already but it bears repeating – as long as your child is happy and safe, nothing else matters. And there’s really nothing you can do except let them live their life, offering support if they need it. Any late-night fretting won’t do a thing except make you sleep-deprived – which has all sorts of bad effects.
My advice? Take a leaf out of the Buddhists’ book and allow whatever will happen, to happen. John Lennon could let it be; so can you.

3. “What will happen if I get sick...or when I die?”

Again, a very common worry...and again, completely futile because we’ve no control over sickness or death.
It’s natural to worry about what will happen to your children when you’re gone. After all, you’ve spent all that time raising them – and then you’re powerless. Suddenly they need to look after themselves, to stand on their own two feet, all the while coping with your illness or absence.
My advice? Give them some credit. Trust them enough to be mature, responsible adults who can face the world without your aid, if and when they need to. After all, they must live their own lives at some point – just like you did – and those lives will include sadness as well as happiness, pain as well as joy. You can’t block out the things that will hurt them; but you can prepare them for what’s to come. 
When they’re old enough, talk to them frankly about death. So many of us fear losing a loved one because it appears to happen so suddenly, without any warning. One second they’re there and boom – they’re gone. How are we supposed to go on as normal after that? But if we are more prepared, even regarding funeral wishes, it can really help the grieving process.
It may seem morbid, but it really isn’t. It’s just practical.
And if your children happen to be very young if you do get sick, or pass away...again, there is no point in worrying about that now. They will be fine, eventually. So try not to lose sleep over it in the meantime.
Phew, sorry if that got a bit overwhelming! Just know that we all have these worries, so you’re not alone. The best tip I can give you is to enjoy the present, without worrying about the future or regretting the past.
Hopefully, once you start thinking this way, sleep will come easier to you at night. And for more practical tips on getting a decent night’s sleep, check out what these guys have to say. The good news is, as soon as you start feeling more rested, your mind will be less overactive and you’ll notice those fears melt away.
Giving you less time to be a worry-wart, and more time to enjoy being a mom.


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