Becoming a parent pretty much changes almost every single aspect of your life. It ranges from the simple things like how you go grocery shopping to the bigger things like the way you think about everything. For me, before children, I was pretty much one of the easiest going people I knew. I rarely worried about anything. After kids has been quite a different tale. Parenthood and anxiety are just two words that seem to go together oh so well.
I now consider myself to be an anxious person. I don’t think I have any kind of serious disorder and it’s not anything that I can’t manage on my own. It’s just a complete 180 from where I was emotionally before I had children. There is so much more to worry about now and so much more to lose than there was before.
First, I worry about myself more. I worry about what I’m eating. I worry about how much I’m exercising. I worry about getting enough sleep so I’m not too tired to play with them or take care of them. Okay, who am I kidding? I am a mother of two young children. I could sleep for an entire week and still not be completely caught up. I just know that my children need their mommy and I need to make sure I’m taking the best possible care of myself to make sure that they have me for as long as possible.
Next, the anxiety with having children is just ridiculous. Just on a daily basis some of my concerns can be:
- Did the kids get enough milk and water today? Are they hydrated?
- Did they eat enough? How much of that food they ate was actually something reasonably good for them?
- Is this toddler ever going to eat anything healthy in general?
- Sleep habits are something that every parent deals with I’m sure. I have issues with crabby kids who won’t nap and then if they do fall asleep for a nap, it’s late and then they have trouble going to bed at a decent time. This is a cause of anxiety for me.
- I want to go get the mail but I also don’t want my child to run out in the street and get hit by a car because sometimes he has issues listening to me.
- I want to shower in peace but if I go in there and close the door they’re probably going to find some type of poison that I don’t know is in the house and drink it.
I feel like children are basically on a suicide mission and it’s our jobs as parents to try to prevent them from doing things like hanging themselves on the curtains or eating an entire bottle of pain relievers. You turn your back for 1/2 of a second and they’re into something they shouldn’t be. All of this is a huge cause for anxiety since you pretty much have you be on your toes at all times with toddlers around.
I’m sure it’ll get better as they grow. Actually, as I say that I think about all the stress parents go through when their kids are in school. Oh, and then when they’re driving. It’s a lifetime of worry from here on out.
Thank god for wine.