Monday, April 29, 2013

Guest post: I stopped worrying so much

I’m six months into motherhood and I’ve decided to stop worrying. My husband and I waited until well after residency finished to start a family, mostly to make sure that we were secure in our lives but partially because I know way too much. I was concerned that I would spend what energy I had left worrying about every last thing – did the baby move enough today, did I drink enough water, my feet are swollen and could that mean that my blood pressure is up? During pregnancy I decided to leave all the worrying to my obstetric colleagues (not that there was any worrying to be had – my pregnancy was uneventful and I delivered two days before my due date). After our daughter was born I worried about every last thing. What is that rash? How many times did she poop today? Is she sleeping enough? Can I get all the laundry done today? How will I go out to get diapers if she’s eating for 30 minutes every 90 minutes? Did I eat lunch today? Why hasn’t she started rolling over yet? What if she doesn’t like daycare?

Our darling girl is now six months old. She has turned out just fine despite all my distress and disquiet. I was fortunate enough to be able to exclusively breastfeed her for the first six months. She has had no major illnesses. She is developmentally appropriate. She sleeps through most nights without needing my services. She’s a champion traveler. She enjoys daycare and all the kids there. We have yet to run out of diapers.

I’m making a commitment to worry less. The laundry can wait – it’s more important for me to spend time playing with her while she’s awake. I can fold laundry after she goes to bed. It’s cheaper for me to make my lunch but if I don’t make it to the store because we’re having fun or because it interferes with naptime, then I can buy my lunch. I will worry less the more time I spend with her because it reassures me that we’re all doing fine. We’re alive, we’re breathing. We have a roof over our heads and (sometimes wrinkled) clothing on our backs. When I start to become distressed over something, I stop and remind myself that we’re quite alright. There will be plenty of things for me to obsess over in the future. Right now, I’m going to enjoy my baby girl and how much joy she’s brought to our lives.

5 comments:

  1. It's like picking your battles (a common pediatric/parenting them) though here you are wisely picking your worries, i.e. choosing not to worry! Will probably be good for your longevity (and blood pressure) and your ability to enjoy these precious moments. Thanks for sharing. A good reminder to us all.

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  2. Great post! Except for one thing. It's time to hire someone else to do your laundry and grocery shopping (and dry cleaning and package mailing)... Then you'll have a lot less to worry about.

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  3. As wonderful as parenting and development books can be in imparting knowledge and benchmarks, I sometimes had to put them down in order to enjoy my kids for who they are and what they will become. Good for you that you are already figuring this out - your daughter is so young! Good luck to you and your future un-worries. They won't ever entirely disappear, but your awareness will help you so much, mentally and physiologically, as T pointed out above.

    Getting help with cleaning and laundry revolutionized my life. I still do groceries, cooking, and mailing, but finding ways to decrease daily stress in your life with minimal stress to your pocketbook is key. Don't feel guilty - as a MiM you are already doing 200%. Use your income to help you enjoy your little free time with your family.

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  4. So easy to remember but so difficult to implement!!!!

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