Why Worry?

Many years ago Emily looked at me and asked "Should I stress about it?", "it" in this case being a buying decision, and I said "Well,that's a choice, and I have found it to be an ineffective method of change."

As parents, we worry.  We worry a lot. From the moment of conception until, well, my mother has been known to ask me if I've had my flu shot, so, maybe forever!  Worry, and therefore stress, are choices, and while there are some things that it makes sense to act on-teach your child to not run into the street, there are others that are completely out of our control.

The first worry of parenting might be "Can I conceive?"  Then, after we conceive we go straight to miscarriage.  This is a not entirely unreasonable fear, and losing a pregnancy is heartbreaking and real.  Depending upon a number of factors it might happen, 10-25% chance in the first trimester.  And. There is nothing that you can do to prevent it. According to the Mayo Clinic most happen as a result of chromosomal abnormalities.  None of this changes the loss or the pain, but worrying about it changes nothing.  There is no preventing it. 

These days(as opposed to 100 years ago) people know that they are pregnant at 5 weeks often, and the common practice is to wait until your 12th week to tell anyone.  Why?  Fear.  We don't like pain or loss and we don't want to make others feel it.  As I worked with someone in her 7th week, who was clearly optimistic and recognized that the odds were with her, I wondered, where is the self care in living in fear? I have known many people who have suffered this loss, this pain.  It may be fine for some people to move through it on their own, others may want support and acknowledgement as they mourn the loss of the dreams for that pregnancy. 

I have a friend who's baby2b had a chromosomal abnormality and we brought her meals and love.  My sister-in-law lost her baby later, once the fear had past, "It's not suppose to happen like this" my wife said to me.  No.  It's not.  But it does.  And what that mom wanted was to be showered with flowers, to be surrounded by beauty.   This loss was many years ago, after her first was born, and before her second, now 11, and the pain will never leave. She wrote a beautiful book about it.  I still weep deeply when I read it. But. The odds are very slim.  And worrying would not have changed a thing.

There are many things in life that we can actually change-don't text and drive, don't drink and drive, wear your seat belt-these things will actually decrease the odds of being hurt in an accident.  Period. There are a bazillion more ways to take care and be safe and keep our children safe.

There are even more things that we cannot change.  Especially one they're teenagers! We do the best for our child, but if we are doing it from a place of fear that they will not grow up "right", we are doing it for the wrong reasons. 

Our job is to love, to set clear boundaries, to buckle them up.  For me as a parent, worrying about doing it "right"(which, if you follow the bazillion experts is constantly changing on many subjects)?  That just makes me a more crazy, less good parent.

So, have a good day. Take care of yourself. Show love to those you love.  Accept love given. Live in the present, not the fear of an unknown future. Be honest with yourself. Appreciate the sky.


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