The other day I wrote about worrying (here), about my mind spinning into a tornado of concern. I wrote that it is because we live in a society with access to too much information, of being bombarded with do’s and don’ts and “this is what i did that worked” messages. I do firmly believe that all of this excess noise can lead to an increase in our anxiety and our inability to be confident in our own instincts but, I want to clarify that I also know that it is simply a fact that Mother’s worry. It’s what we do. It’s what I do, it’s what my mother did (does). I can’t help it. I”m a worrier- it’s in my DNA. I suspect that mothers are hard wired to worry about their children and I know this is a definitive component to our survival as a species.
Last night, as I was rocking a sleepy and under-the-weather Casey in my lap, I was thinking about my capacity for worry. I had a vivid recollection of the first few times that I took him out on walks in his Ergo carrier and the tornado of worries that rushed through my mind. I remembered nestling him into the infant insert, making sure his little arms were tucked in and all of his tiny clothes pulled down and tucked around him before I strapped him in, creating a cozy nest for him to snuggle against me in as we walked. I thought about the baby hats we would always put on him before going outside, what it was like to get used to strapping him and myself into the Ergo those first few times. I remembered walking around the streets of Seattle, returning library books and picking up groceries. On each trip I was overwhelmed with a barrage of questions that worried my mind with each step: “Is he warm enough? Is he too warm? Can he breath? Should I have put him in a jacket? Is he bouncing too much? Will the siren’s be too loud? How can I shield him from her cigarette smoke while we wait for this light to change? How can I protect him now? How will I protect him as he gets older? Is he warm enough?”
Laughing at myself, I recall that I actually wrote about this before here (see the bottom half of the second paragraph). Good to know that I haven’t changed all that much in the past year. I’ve always been somewhat of a worrier (somewhat?), always been a bit anxious (just a bit, huh?), prone to spinning thoughts. I’ve learned how to manage this as I’ve gotten older and, now that I’m a mother, I’m learning more each day about the importance of slowing down and living in each moment as it passes, the importance of taking care of myself in order to be able to take care of others and how to calm my mind when it starts to run. These days I generally feel able to trust that I am strong enough and smart enough to handle what may come. I still worry- about how to protect my child, how to keep him safe and shield him from the ugly parts of the world for as long as I can. It’s what I do. I’m a mom now. I can’t help it.
Here’s a look back at some photo’s from around the time we first started taking him our in the Ergo. Our first official walk was four blocks away to the grocery store, when Casey was 10 days old.