As a mom, it is in my DNA to worry. It just comes with the whole mom territory. I lay awake at night creating all kind of crazy “what if” scenarios and then getting all worked up and worried over them. I would say it’s because I am crazy, but I know I am in good company.
Us mamas, we love our babies no matter what their ages, and we will always, always worry about them.
Lately, I have worried about my oldest far more than usual. We are approaching the teen years and things are getting harder. Hormones, boys, gossip, bras……all things I wish to pretend won’t happen are unfolding before my eyes and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it. I had been particularly stressed about all kinds of “what if “scenarios. That’s when a sweet friend spoke the words I had needed to hear for a long time into my life and let me tell you, it was a GAME CHANGER.
Last week I was supposed to meet with my boss about an event we were throwing. My boss had become ill and so one of my co workers/friends was going to meet with me in her place to get some details ironed out. We had some time left over when we were done, so we started to chat about our kids. Our daughters are friends and so I was just sharing my frustrations and struggles that I had been experiencing. It was funny to me that how in those 30 minutes I realized how much pressure I had been putting on myself as a mom as I shared with her my fears for my “what ifs” as tears ran down my face.
” What if she gets pregnant. What if she repeats my mistakes”.
My friend looked at me and simply said “Would that be the worst thing that could happen”?
At first, I thought of course it would be the worst thing. I would hate for her to travel the road I traveled. To make the same mistakes I did. To struggle like I did.
But, as my friend sweetly reminded me, it was those struggles that have shaped me into who I am today. They have gotten me to this place. A place I could have never imagined. And that is when she lifted the burden I have been carrying for sometime now with these simple words…..She said, ” I think as moms we can’t worry about all the ‘what if’ challenges our kids might face. Sometimes they have to experience life’s hardships to fall and experience grace. For me, the worst thing that could happen would be that my children don’t know Jesus”.
And as we both choked back the tears, it became so clear to me. All this time I have been worried about the crazy “what ifs” and focused on things that may or may not happen. Maybe one day we will have to face teen pregnancy, or drugs or any of the other issues and pressures kids are faced with. I will fight with all that I have for my children to try not to get us there, but like I know all too well, it can happen to anyone. ANYONE. And I can’t continue to put so much pressure on myself as a parent. It isn’t realistic and it isn’t healthy. My kids are gonna mess up. They are gonna mess up big time. And I have to stop being so scared of that.
Instead of focusing on all the potential “what ifs” I have got to start focusing on the one thing I want most for my children. The thing that will prepare them and help them the most with all the hardships they may face and that is for them to know the grace, the mercy, the forgiveness, the freedom and the unfailing love that comes with having a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior.
By making that my new focus, and continuing to build that foundation in all of their lives, I can rest a little easier knowing that when they do fall, they will fall into the arms of our Father who will carry them through any trial they face. And when they do, I will be right there next to them holding their hand every step of the way.
Hang in there mamas. We are all doing a way better job than any of us give ourselves credit for.