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Why Mothers Worry, And How to Stop (Habit #9)

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Habit of Happy Mothers #9:

Let go of Fear.

I’ll be the first to admit it: I am a recovering, albeit slowly recovering, obsessive worrier.  When we moms have nothing to worry about, we sometimes make stuff up.  I have had mothers bring kids to my office and point out rashes that I couldn’t see.  This is how crazy we mothers can become.  Of course, I don’t get angry with these moms because I am one of them.  At least they brought their rashy kids to me.  I, on the other hand, have jumped over my pediatrician’s head and ordered thousands of dollars worth of tests for my own kids for a whole lot less than an invisible rash.

But here’s what concerns me most: We are worrying more as time goes by.  Sure, we have always worried about our kids’ health, but these days we have amped up the list of things we worry about (technology and social media are just some of the many new things that concern us).  We worry more frequently than we have in the past and, most importantly, worry is crushing us.  We hear the horror stories on the evening news. We worry about our kids getting bullied on the Internet or happening on a porn site. Around every corner are more influences on our kids to worry about.

And there is more–many neuroses are genuine and based on fact. We fret over our kids, our jobs, our financial security. We are living in a volatile economic climate. Terrorism does threaten our security. But some of our fears are not well founded. Many mothers I see fret over their kids’ success when their kids are already successful. They worry about being thinner when they are already thin. Or they worry about being accepted by their peers when they have a lot of women friends.

When we get depressed or anxious, guess what? Our kids pick up on our anxiety and their health is affected.

So let’s get a grip on this. Life is too short. To whatever degree we can alleviate depression and anxiety, we’ve got to start. We have too much life to live, in spite of all the bad stuff around us. There is far more good than there is evil and far less to worry about than we think. Let’s take a look at the roots of our worry and knock them out of the park. We can. And we need to because when we worry, we get stuck in our own dark cage and life becomes miserable.

Moms out there, do you find yourself worried a lot of the time? What keeps you up at night?

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