I thought I would take my mom confession in a different direction today. Instead of talking about my parenting, I thought I would talk about myself and confess a struggle that I have.
I struggle with anxiety. It isn’t much of a secret to those that are close to me. It is a burden, and something that I pray that God would take from me. It does affect my parenting. I don’t like to admit that, but this is a confession after all.
Moms want to protect their children from things that can harm them. We want to nurture them and bring them up in the best possible environment. My anxiety stems from the inability to protect my children from all things. As my children have grown, the anxiety has worsened because I can’t protect them from everything. And I shouldn’t. I know that.
They say knowing is half the battle, but most of the time that seems like the easy part. I know I have to let my kids do dangerous things, but it is so hard. It would just be easier if I could protect myself from that feeling of being out of control.
Because as the kids get older, we have less and less control. Isn’t that the goal? Aren’t we raising them to take care of themselves? I don’t know why I struggle with this so much. It seems to come easier for other moms. Or maybe they just pretend better than I do.
I think about my kids driving. Driving a car is dangerous. It is very difficult for me to watch my kids drive away. It is the ultimate loss of control. Yet, this is something they have to do. All that I can do is pray that God will keep them safe. They do belong to Him after all, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
Freckle Face went with a friend to Florida and Busch Gardens this past week. I knew that he would be riding roller coasters. I knew the boys would be doing this by themselves. The thought was brutal for me. My friend that took him told me not to think about it. I did anyway, but when I did, I prayed. Freckle Face had a blast and has made plans to do it every year. Haha! Good luck with that! I am sure that he has grown. If in my anxiety I had not let him go, how could he have grown? As I type this, it sounds like it was easy for me, but it was not. I had to fight every urge to say no. To keep him close at all times.
And if you don’t think your kids notice that you are nervous as they try new things, you would be wrong. Freckle Face had a swim meet where he had to jump off the blocks. This made me nervous because the pools are fairly shallow. He knew it made me nervous. And because of that, he thought that he would not do it so that I wouldn’t be scared. (He did jump off the blocks and did it well.) When he told me that, my heart broke. I don’t want him to be nervous to try new things because he is worried about me.
I think in these days, we moms worry about more than our moms did. For example, I walked around Disneyland with my friend when I was 12 years old. We didn’t have cell phones, we did want we wanted, and it was wonderful. We knew we were so grown up. Can you imagine letting your 12 year old do that? It was the best time. I want to encourage you to let your children have the best time. I know that things seem different than when we were kids, but we shouldn’t let our fears keep our children from learning and growing and doing wonderful, hard things.
And we definitely can’t protect them from failure, but that is a different topic. Or is it?
I am a mom, and I have anxiety. I want to protect my children from everything even though I know that I can’t and I shouldn’t. That is my confession.