Worry Wart

I was never a worrier until I had the Goose - I was calm.  Upon conception life is forever altered because it isn't just me anymore.  I remember when I was pregnant with the Goose I went to the fire station to have the car seat properly fit.  In my twenties I'd seen a movie that terrified me; it was the opening scene of Dead Calm (1989), with Nicole Kidman, she was driving, hit the brakes, and her daughter flew out the front window of the car.  That is how a mother's mind works:  I once saw that movie, I was pregnant, and then I began to worry about my own child's car safety.  When it comes to my children, my thoughts and worries aren't tied together in pretty, neat packages.  It is more like a pin ball game - my mind races from here to there, back there, over there, up there, and around to the start again.  Then just when I've decided on a position, relaxed around an idea, and the ball is settled - BOING!  Off it goes again - spinning thoughts that swirl, race, and spin.  

All that crazy mom mind applies to everything.  I over think the weekly meal plan, the work call I'm about to make, the work call I just made, the training session I am heading to, the training session I just left, the class plan for Monday, the schedule for the children, the birthday party plan, what to serve for the Super bowl, the entire day.  If I let it - thinking about the action of every day would consume me.  The thinking would take control and lead to inaction.

How do I quiet this storm?  Simple. I pray.  I practice a daily habit of reading Jesus Calling and having a little quiet talk with God to start my day.  I have to give him my worries and pin-ball thinking so that I can take the day by storm, with patience, and calm.  My kids know where to find me when they wake up in the morning, they come down one by one and climb onto my chair.  I know I'm not alone in how I handle and manage motherhood.  I also journal about my thoughts and the things I'm thankful for to keep my mind in a positive place.

My daughter, however, is a worry wart.  She can work herself into sickness with worry.  She and I talk very often about what to do with the worry of life.  For the past week she has worried about her loose tooth. Two nights ago she was in a panic about swallowing the tooth in her sleep.  We joked about pulling the tooth, as parents do, even though I have no intention of ever doing it.  My mantra for the past week has been: "The fact is the tooth will come out on it's own.  That is what teeth are designed to do.  Have you ever seen an adult with their baby teeth?  Huge mouth and tiny teeth? Nope."  I encouraged her to give the worry away.  She told me she doesn't understand what I mean when I say that.  I told her it's a simple practice - when the worried thoughts creep into your mind interrupt them with your inner voice and ask God to take them.

This morning she went to the bathroom before breakfast and she screamed at us, "MOM DAD THE TOOTH JUST CAME OUT!"  She ran into the kitchen and she said, "it just came out and it didn't even hurt!"  That's what I said would happen from the start, I told you so.You should listen to your mother more often and forever.  We put the tooth in a baggie and she placed it under her pillow so we're all set for tonight. All that worry - for nothing!  

When I think about the life she will live and the worry she will have --- I worry.  It is so big and heavy to worry about the kids.  It can be crushing.  It can send me into a tail spin.  I fear that her nature to worry will create agony and anguish.  I can't help her every time.  I can't ease her worry.  But I can teach her how to cope with worry and anxiety.  I can guide her in a positive direction to handle and manage her spinning mind. Modeling the tools that work for me to cope with worry is the first step to help her; I pray it works!


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