It's a bad word, it's a bad thing. It is not productive, it usually produces the very thing we are dreading and speculating about, it's nasty energy.
I am consistently reminded about how worry permeates and infiltrates my world of motherhood, and being in the business I'm in it's easy to see why. These habits begin before we've even laid our eyes on these little beings we call our children.
I have been doing some work with tapping (EFT), trying to consciously release worry, and have had a few opportunities to have Reiki treatments over the last few months. I have learned a few things about myself, what causes me to worry, and the connections between what I am worrying about and the physical and emotional toll it takes on my body/mind/spirit.
As I reflect on the worries and fears that women report to me as we work to prepare for labor and birth, I am called to pass on a few bits of knowledge, experience, and wisdom that I have gained by openly acknowledging my fears and worries and calling on women who have walked my path before. I hope this post will give other mothers a chance to create healthy habits, coping skills, parenting support, and be better able to avoid the pitfalls of helpless and useless worry.
- If the thing that you are worried about happens less than other "risks" you take everyday, like walking outside in a thunderstorm, getting in your car and driving, or getting on an airplane, Let it GO.
- I know this sounds like a cliche, I totally know that. But really, sometimes things become cliche's because they are true. The anticipation of whatever you are worrying about is a magnification, a caricature of the actual scenario if it were to happen. We forget to look at how an alternative, even a less desirable outcome could still be positive, perhaps more amazing than you can imagine. Learn to spin doctor your own experiences, not in a shallow way, but in an honest introspection, how could this be positive? What am I learning? How might it impact others in a positive way? What can I gain from this experience?
- We are not actually in control. You can not control (in any concretely evident way) the position of the baby, the length of your labor, any complications that may arise. We can not control every aspect of the health and well being of our children, try as we might. We can control as much as we can, encouraging good positioning, staying active during labor to encourage a faster labor process, avoidance of drugs and interventions that can increase risks that are not present, live a healthy family lifestyle, eat nutritious food, exercise, play, learn, but actual control….we don't have. Trying to cling to controlling the minutia rarely offers more control, usually it's less.
- We can not control others. We can not control our care providers, we can try to inspire them. We can not control our friends, our family, our pediatrician, our children's friends or their parents, or our children's teachers. Much of life is spent responding to the choices of others. That, we can control, how we respond. Worrying about all of these variables can make your head spin. Do your best to create a loving, supporting circle around yourself and your children, but know that we can not, nor should we, protect our children from every little "bad" thing. Broken bones, a kiss on the playground, or a bike ramp gone wrong, or falling out of a tree, or getting bitten by a dog, or scraped knees, or fights with friends, the loss of a friend or family member, being called names, feeling lonely, feeling insecure, scary illnesses, having regrets…..many of these will happen. It is not easy to go through, and it is painful to witness, and not be able to fix it all. But the only recourse is to keep our babies from experiencing the world. Be wise about what you try to protect them from, they can't learn from you alone.
Motherhood is an incredible journey. The challenges will shift, sometimes under your feet, but the tools and techniques you gather, that you use to manage stress and worry can be a constant, solid, reassuring, familiar space that you can enter into whenever you need to. Namaste.