Being a Parent Scares the S*** Out of Me
Am I the only one who gets a little bit of anxiety over everything? I know that it's just part of being a mom, but sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. I don't want to be that overprotected mom who won't let her children grow up, but life is just too scary, and I have no idea how I am going to be able to let go a little as Corbin and Lynley get older.
I daily have a wild thought run through my head about how my children one day might get hurt. For instance, the creeper who has been driving around our town recently slowing down at bus stops or the oblivious drivers who speed through the quiet streets when I'm walking with the babies in the stroller, or the thought of rattlesnakes in my backyard or bobcats or coyotes, or the babies falling off the playground equipment or climbing out of their cribs and falling, or when they are teenagers and want to drive somewhere by themselves ... This doesn't even begin to put a dent in the long list of scenarios that my brain conjures up. How in the world does anyone manage to raise children and stay sane?
The one that gives me the most anxiety recently comes from all the posts I'm seeing on Facebook and other sites about secondary drowning and water safety tips, etc. These are important pieces of information, but I find myself just scrolling past them or clicking away from the articles because it terrifies me. It literally terrifies me. I should be one of the advocates for pool and water safety because I know all too well the dangers.
My brother accidentally drowned 13.5 years ago. He was 15, and I was 14. I don't talk about it often, but it still haunts me. I wasn't there when it happened so I didn't see it, but his accident has crippled me around the water. I can count on one hand the amount of times that I have gone into a lake, pool or any other body of water in almost 14 years because I just don't like it. The feelings about the accident just overwhelm me, and I push them aside. It's time for me to face it.
It's very important to me that Corbin and Lynley take swimming lessons. In fact, they are about to have their first ISR (Infant Self-Rescue) class at 19.5 months old. Knowing how to swim well is something I feel so strongly about, but I feel like a hypocrite at the same time. I don't know how to swim very well. I have been talking about taking adult swimming lessons for years, but I've put it off. I just stayed away from water activities. But it's not something that I'm going to be able to avoid once the twins get older and want to go to a pool party. I don't feel like I can be a good parent if I let this fear continue to consume me. I will be that parent hovering over her children and making them stay in the three-feet water when they're 10 if I don't get over it. Also, how will I save them if a situation arose and there was no lifeguard or other adult to help? Maybe I would be able to get them, but what about me? Would I die trying to save them? These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night.
I have no idea where to start, but I somehow I know that I will overcome my brother's accident. He loved the water, and I know that he would want me to enjoy myself and my family.
What fears do you have as a parent that you've struggled with?
To my mom who I know is weeping as she reads this: I love you. I don't know how you are so strong. As I've grown in my parenting, I feel that I've grown weaker instead of stronger. Every feeling is intensified, and it breaks my heart that you know the pain of losing a child that I can only imagine. You are one of God's angels. I know this. You are my angel, my role model, my inspiration and my heart!