As parents we can think about at least 10 different things to worry about on a normal beautiful day; and by “normal day” I mean any given day in a flourishing economy, no climate change factor in play, no child trafficking, no gender based violence, no drunken driving and no evil nannies.
… now add all of the above and you ve sent us into a mental asylum. On so many occasions I’ve sat and wondered, just how do I shield my son from life? Where can I lock him up to protect him from this world and from the inevitable pain and disappointment he will have to experience as part of his life journey. And the truth is, I cant.
I’m sure you can remember a particular incident that was so painful, where you literally wish you could swap places and rather bear the pain your little or not so little one is experiencing, and yet you couldn’t.
By default, paranoia has become the acceptable state of mind for good parenting in today’s world. You worry about the upcoming school trip, you worry about the exposure the internet gives them, you worry about the nanny, you worry about whether the other parent will keep their promise this time, you worry about the friend that seems to be a bad influence. You worry about the string of bad test results you’ve been seeing of late.
You worry, you worry, you worry.
It’s normal they say. This constant state of anxiety. But is it good for us? I want to challenge the norm today. My son is turning 14 today and although we have had our fair share of drama, half of the stuff I worried about since the day he was born didn’t even happen. Moreover, life has exceeded our wildest expectations, against all odds and what the stats at the time predicted.
Today, apart from the parenting woes, the economic recession and the evident moral decay of modern society leaves us even more pessimistic. “Realistically speaking” they say before they release yet another prophecy of impending doom. A spirit of fear everywhere.
What to do?
Should we just go hide in a dungeon somewhere and wait for the end of the world?
How do we stay sane?
Release the fear.
Need I remind you that the specific order with which the universe operates cannot be a random coincidence. I am a Christian, so I believe that there is a God. And I know that before this child is mine, he belongs to God. Where I am not present, the omnipresent God is. What I do not see, He does. How arrogant we get at times to think that we are the ultimate protectors of our offspring. How many more eyes would we need to see every minute, every hour. How many more arms to catch every fall? We are but a part of the grand scheme. Guardians for but a period of time. Here today, gone tomorrow.
If we were the ultimate source for our children, does that mean the Mommies whose children have had horrible things happen to them have failed? No.
Does it mean the Mommies who happen to not witness the lives of their little ones by virtue of death, loved their babies less? I beg not.
The truth is our control is finite. Even with no drastic death or tragedy, our influence is limited.
How many Mommies do you know that would do anything possible to rehabilitate their drug addicted child?
Release anything beyond this current minute.
The mere fact that you have access to this reading material means you are blessed more than the average mother. That is a miracle.
Realize this truth, there is a mother in a shack somewhere, hungry, tired and broken and yet her desires and hopes for her children are no different than yours. If anyone had the right to be anxious, wouldn’t it be her?
Wouldn’t it then make more sense for us to choose to focus on the blessing this moment presents rather than everything else that could go wrong?
So much is wrong, yet so much is right.
What I know for sure, dear MonoMom,
Is that everything will be alright.