Monday, January 23, 2012

Nervous Nelly

I have always been a worrier. I worry about everything- food poisoning, dying, sickness, bees, family, job related things. I have never been a great sleeper and much of that is due to worrying. My brain just never shuts down. It never stops thinking of the hundreds of things I need to worry about it.

But two years ago I began a level of worrying I never imagined possible. Becoming a mother made me crazier than I was before. Hard to believe and I did not think it was possible but it happened. I worry about everything EJ related now and 24 hours a day. I never stop and sometimes I get myself in a tizzy. Even EJ has started saying to me, "Mommy, don't fuss!" I think he already recognizes that I am a worrier.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I don't want my anxiety to rub off on him and make him an anxious person. My following too closely behind him, smelling and tasting everything he eats, and telling him to be careful a hundred times a day has to rub off on him and I don't want it to. I want Mike's laid back personality to rub off on him.

I also want to be able to relax a little but I somehow don't see that happening. Even from the start, I was worried he wouldn't walk, worried he wouldn't talk, worried he wouldn't attach, worried about his health. It is never ending and so much deeper than the worrying I used to do about myself. That has basically stopped all together. I think my arm could be falling off and I would still be worried that he didn't drink enough fluids that day.

I know I am not alone in this. Just talking to my sister or other mom friends, they have all told me that they have elevated levels of anxiety since becoming a parent. I have often seen status updates of friends who feel overwhelmed or anxious and are unable to just relax. Finding the balance of relaxing and enjoying parenthood while still being careful, aware and cautious seems to be a difficult task. And I am far from finding that balance.

I recently visited a Buddhist Zen Center and attended a meditation class. They talked about the concept of being in the “now”. Not rehashing the past or worrying about what may come in the future but enjoying the moment you are in right now. It was eye opening. I spent so much time worrying; I am very rarely in the now. It is an extremely difficult thing for me to do all the time but I have been trying to stop more and focus on “the now”. When I do, I honestly feel more at peace and relaxed. I have also just started at a weekly yoga class. The dark, wood room with quiet music was just what I needed to “shut down” for an hour and a half and recharge. But I still have a long way to go.

The other night, EJ woke up at 2:30am and yelled to come into our bed. I placed him in between us and he rolled over to me, grabbed my head and gave me a kiss. He then said, "I love you Mommy! I love giving you kisses." Well, my heart melted. He then placed his hand on my forehead and said, "Do you feel warm?" Oh boy, it may be too late...

Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious 2 year boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.

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