So today, I decided to start a new category: Fear.
Well, there are several reasons. But primarily, everyone has a fear. Everyone has had to overcome a fear, or will eventually. And, personally, I think mothers know fear better than anyone else on the planet!
Let’s start by defining what fear is:
According to Psychology Today, fear is “a vital response to physical and emotional danger – if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats.”
Dictionary.com defines fear in several ways:
- A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
- A specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling.
- concern or anxiety; solicitude.
- reverential awe, especially toward God.
- something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of.
- anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur.
I felt all of this pre-baby and during pregnancy, but the fear was realized after the birth of my child.
Panic filled me. The fears piled up from the trivial, No don’t kiss my newborn’s face, to the never-be-able-to-answer questions: What kind of world am I bringing a helpless child into? How do I teach her to combat all of this while living the way God tells us too, yet still being knowledgeable, caring, and independent – strong.
After several weeks of this, I realized that I couldn’t control any of this. I couldn’t answer the big picture, long-range questions. I could stop people from kissing my newborn’s face, but I had to stand my ground and be mean about it, arming myself with research and horror stories as to why they weren’t allowed to do so. But I couldn’t do that with everything. I would be living in fear rather than combating it.
So, I quit.
I keep a list now (I’m a big fan of lists) of things I fear. I write my fears on the list and put it away. I occasionally add to it, but I try hard not to think about it or even look at it.
Diva is doing just fine. And instead of living in fear of everything around us, I acknowledge the fear and move on, trying to find solutions rather than dwelling in that fear. If I can find a solution, great! If not, I put it on the back burner to cook a while.
Right now, I fear Diva isn’t going to get the best education possible for her. I’ve prayed about it, but I have not yet found a solution. It’s on the back burner. I don’t need to worry about this fear or problem yet, as she is only a year and a half old.
However, according to Baby Center‘s survey of 2400 parents, the number one fear was “The Fear: I’m afraid my child won’t get the education and opportunities she needs to reach her potential.” It surprised them. But they quote an author, Pamela Paul, who it didn’t surprise.
“Paul believes this parental anxiety is a rational reaction to a scary economic climate. ‘Underlying a lot of parents’ fears is a broad sense of economic insecurity,’ she says. ‘Parents are afraid that their children won’t have an easy go of it because they aren’t having an easy go of it. Many parents today are struggling to make ends meet, and they want a different kind of future for their kids.'”
How does Paul and Baby Center say to combat this fear?
Paul is quoted in the article saying, “There is evidence that the best thing you can do for your child is to buy fewer things,’ says Paul. ‘The average American child gets 70 new toys a year. but it turns out that kids who are more creative actually have fewer toys. Having a small number of simple, basic toys helps children develop their imagination and resourcefulness.'”
Well, it’s too late for Diva’s first year, since I bought and bought. I’ve been trying to get better at that. But I know now how to release that part of the fear.
Now to figure out what school she is going to go to…That one will need to bake a little longer!
What are your fears?