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Am I Anxious, Or Just A Loving Mother?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

After what happened to DD last night, I admitted to DH that I'd pictured the dresser falling on top of her before, because it was something I worried about. I do this while walking with the kids down the street. One of them, getting out of my grasp and running into traffic and getting hit, or while driving down the highway, getting into an accident. I think of what would happen to the kids and it makes me sick to my stomach. DH says that doesn't happen to him and it never has. It made me feel like I was a nervous wreck for thinking of that stuff and what would happen. Does anyone else do this?

post #2 of 31

Um, all the time!  I think it must be a little more of a mom thing.  It's natural to envision what might happen and work to protect against it- that's largely what being a parent is all about!  I think it's totally normal to feel anxious when things go wrong.  When the dresser fell on dd I couldn't let her go for quite some time.  When ds escaped the house and was hiding in the garage for a while and we thought he had wandered down the street I was a total wreck all evening after we found him.  The same was true when he hurt his toe and his forehead.  While I'm pregnant it's worse, too.  Last night ds was coughing and woke up a few times more than he usually does and I was just on edge the entire night listening for him to wake up.  Same with dd when she coughs.  Meanwhile dh is out and doesn't hear anything.  I have to shake him awake to help out at night.  eyesroll.gif

 

I think it's all part of our natural mothering instincts and the trick is to weed out what is worth worrying about and what is out of our control.  It doesn't help to feel anxious, but I think that it can be a very good thing to be alert, aware, and prepared.  hug2.gif

post #3 of 31

I do it too. It kind of comes in waves for me. It doesn't help that DS is autistic. He's always been a runner and we've had a few close calls. Once, just before Christmas when DS was barely two, we were at a family gathering and my brother-in-law said he would watch the kids while I got something to eat. DS escaped and within 2 minutes a random motorist picked him up STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. At night. On a road without street lights where people routinely drive 35-45 MPH. On a blind curve. That was the worst one. Neither DH or I slept at all that night and I kept spontaneously bursting into tears for hours afterward.

 

He also escaped from the house before I knew he could open doors (he was about 20 months old, I think). We had been napping and he was naked, as it was summer and very hot. A neighbor saw him walking down the cul de sac toward the main road, wearing nothing but shoes, and brought him home. I answered the door all bleary-eyed, because I hadn't reallized he was gone until I heard him yelling outside as the neighbor was bringing him back. I must have looked like I was on drugs or something. I'm surprised the neighbor didn't call CPS.

 

When he was 4 we were in the library. I went down the next aisle to grab a book, peeked around the corner about 20 seconds later to make sure DS was there, and he was gone. I spent too much time looking down aisles on that floor before thinking he might have gone downstairs to the children's library. He wasn't there. Then I saw a security guard bringing him back into the main lobby from outside. He had left the library and was headed for the toy store across the street. The guard shamed me and made me feel like the worst mom ever.

 

So, needless to say, it's really hard not worrying that I'm going to turn around for one second and lose DS forever. It helps now that he doesn't run off as much or run into the street. But he's still very absent-minded, and I wouldn't put it past him to wander off and not tell anyone where he was going. It just wouldn't occur to him. And it's hard to get him to answer when you call his name. I go through bouts of worrying and worrying, but eventually I just have to tell myself that I have to do the best I can and there are some things that are just out of my power. It's no use thinking about them. This doesn't always work, though.

 

ETA: About once every few months I also start freaking out in the middle of the night, trying to shake DS awake because I'm afraid he's stopped breathing. I've been doing this since he was a baby (he's almost 6 now). I usually don't remember these episodes. DH tells me about them the next morning.

post #4 of 31

I think it's normal. Well, normal to a point... I've also read that too much visualizing disaster can go along with things like OCD and anxiety. I think I occasionally may lean to that side of things. So I guess I don't totally know what normal is! Dd1 is *exactly* like me, so I almost never have to worry about her. She would never in a million years do anything dangerous. She's been watching over her sister since birth and still does. I'll sometimes hear, "Mom! E's not being safe!! She's climbing down from the bunk bed facing forward!" Things like that. Now dd2 is my head in the clouds girl. She'll be 7 next week and she still has to touch the van when getting out until I am holding her hand. She just doesn't pay attention! 

 

But yeah, I see all the danger that could potentially happen. And I tell them, too. Especially dd2. Well, I tell them appropriate things like, "You can not jump on the couch because you could fall off and crack your head open on the table. Again." I don't tell them some of the really scary things I worry about, of course.

 

I think I am more concerned with safety (or paranoid?) than a lot of parents. Like, I take rules about car seats, booster seats, and seating position very seriously. State law is that kids are in a booster till they turn 8. So dd2 is always in a booster. Not sometimes, not when it is convenient, *always*. When I am taking her friends somewhere and ask for their boosters, some parents are more like, "Oh... booster.... you know, it's not that far." Same with where a 9 year old can sit safely. They are not supposed to sit up front until they are 13 at least. But I see her friends riding up front all the time. So I guess I am the not cool mom who follows all the rules. But to me, it's worth it for the added safety!!

 

Okay, that was a random tangent... these things just puzzle me.

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Oh my gosh! I'm relieved that it's not just me. lol I felt like such a worry-wart because you'd think that their dad would think of that stuff too, ya know?

post #6 of 31

..and while it might only be the law to sit in a booster until you're 8, you really need to be 4'9" before it's actually safe to sit without one.  My DS will probably be in a booster until he's 11 or 12.  We've set this expectation with him now, but we'll see how he feels about it when he's 11! 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkToMeNow View Post

I think I am more concerned with safety (or paranoid?) than a lot of parents. Like, I take rules about car seats, booster seats, and seating position very seriously. State law is that kids are in a booster till they turn 8. So dd2 is always in a booster. Not sometimes, not when it is convenient, *always*. When I am taking her friends somewhere and ask for their boosters, some parents are more like, "Oh... booster.... you know, it's not that far." Same with where a 9 year old can sit safely. They are not supposed to sit up front until they are 13 at least. But I see her friends riding up front all the time. So I guess I am the not cool mom who follows all the rules. But to me, it's worth it for the added safety!!

 

Okay, that was a random tangent... these things just puzzle me.


And to answer the original question.  Yes, I think that it's within a normal range.  So long as it's not hindering your life or causing sever disturbances..  However, it's my DH that worries more in our relationship.  He just worries more in general really..

 

post #7 of 31

I agree with Amanda (and everyone else here)- I DEFINITELY err more on the side of paranoia and anxiety though.  I need to get it under control.  I am always afraid- literally every single night- that someone is going to break into my son's window and kidnap him.  Irrational?  Definitely.  I think it is leftover from when we were living in Cleveland (the first 16 months of DS's life) and we lived in a really, really unsafe neighborhood.  There was a LOT of crime, I mean we were in the ghetto for sure.  So now I just can't turn it off, even though we live in a safe neighborhood.  And if DH takes DS to the park or to a restaurant or whatever I get nervous that he isn't going to watch him as closely as I do and that he'll be kidnapped or he'll run off somewhere or just get hurt on the slide or something.  I trust my husband but I definitely think a lot of the protective instincts are maternal.  My DH definitely doesn't worry about all the things that I do.  Not that I shouldn't worry less eyesroll.gif.....   But I feel like I am always envisioning bad things that could happen.  It makes me a little overprotective, I'm sure.  DS is also pretty safe and well-behaved, so I shudder to think what would happen if this baby is a more spirited child.  Eeek!  I'll be super anxious!  On the other hand, I think it helps that I kind of hover a bit more with DS because he is pretty OCD and seems to need/want me nearby in a lot of situations.  He gets that from his daddy winky.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkToMeNow View Post

I think it's normal. Well, normal to a point... I've also read that too much visualizing disaster can go along with things like OCD and anxiety. I think I occasionally may lean to that side of things. So I guess I don't totally know what normal is! Dd1 is *exactly* like me, so I almost never have to worry about her. She would never in a million years do anything dangerous. She's been watching over her sister since birth and still does. I'll sometimes hear, "Mom! E's not being safe!! She's climbing down from the bunk bed facing forward!" Things like that. Now dd2 is my head in the clouds girl. She'll be 7 next week and she still has to touch the van when getting out until I am holding her hand. She just doesn't pay attention! 

 

But yeah, I see all the danger that could potentially happen. And I tell them, too. Especially dd2. Well, I tell them appropriate things like, "You can not jump on the couch because you could fall off and crack your head open on the table. Again." I don't tell them some of the really scary things I worry about, of course.

 

I think I am more concerned with safety (or paranoid?) than a lot of parents. Like, I take rules about car seats, booster seats, and seating position very seriously. State law is that kids are in a booster till they turn 8. So dd2 is always in a booster. Not sometimes, not when it is convenient, *always*. When I am taking her friends somewhere and ask for their boosters, some parents are more like, "Oh... booster.... you know, it's not that far." Same with where a 9 year old can sit safely. They are not supposed to sit up front until they are 13 at least. But I see her friends riding up front all the time. So I guess I am the not cool mom who follows all the rules. But to me, it's worth it for the added safety!!

 

Okay, that was a random tangent... these things just puzzle me.



 

post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 

Well I'm glad it's not just me and that it seems to be more maternal than anything. It almost seems like a curse. Envisioning the bad things that can happen makes me almost physically sick, but at the same time, I think it also helps me to be calmer when something like that does happen. Didn't seem to help me last night, I was screaming and crying. But, who knows, in a different situation, I might act different.

post #9 of 31

I do think a certain amount of awareness of risk leads to diligence and hopefully less tragedy.  

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

I do too. I was looking up furniture safety straps online a bit ago and found a tragic story of a boy that the same thing happened to, only he wasn't lucky. He was just 6 weeks younger than DD is right now. greensad.gif

post #11 of 31

I'm really bad about car seat safety, I hate it when I see kids improperly restrained or not at all. Ds who is 5 1/2 rode in his new hb turbo booster this morning when the neighbor took him to school, I had to correct her on how to use it because she went to put the shoulder belt behind his back. With the baby I don't have room in my car for another kid so I can't drive the next field trip, just thinking about someone putting him in their car wrong makes me anxious, ugh.

post #12 of 31

Even my mom used to give me a hard time with dd1... this was before the law saying they had to be 8, but I still had her in the seat due to the height requirement. She's very tall (dd1 and dd2's dad is 6' 5), but still wasn't quite there. She's out now at 9 1/2 years, but she's around 5 ft tall. 

post #13 of 31

Oh, I do this SO MUCH. When we took a ferry to Victoria BC I refused to allow the kids outside on the deck. That particular paranoia probably comes from when I was a kid and didn't like going out on the deck myself because I was so scared of falling over (and how I thought I would fall over is some jerk would just run up to me and throw me over without warning... THAT probably comes from my brothers teasing me by dangling me over our stair railing when i was really little). And I've always been freaked out about the heavy furniture thing. I've been really picky about what kind of furniture we've had and the only time we've ever had something tall/heavy we did have it secured to the wall. Funny though, just a couple days ago dd DID pull her dresser over on herself. Its not very heavy and she was holding it up calling for help. I don't think it could have seriously injured her. It was actually more funny than scary since she was totally fine. I'm really, REALLY good at coming up with worst possible scenarios for any situation. It sucks! I've literally laid awake at night wondering what I'd do if I was driving alone with kids and went over a bridge and it collapsed and  I had to get them both out a window and tread water and OMG I can't tread water holding onto 2 kids, we'd ALL drown! I don't even have my license yet (#$%^#@$^ permit expired when I was SO CLOSE to ready and the DOL is only open when dh is at work or saturday mornings when we're busy and I can't just go there with kids! Tried.. never again) Anyway.. as soon as I get my license I'm investing in pool noodles to go under the seat. Not because I think I'll need to use them, but because if I know they're there I won't be up at night "what if?"ing

 

As for car seats, I don't consider my insistence on their proper use to be a paranoia thing, I think of it is a practical, even empowering thing. All I have to do is buy this product (that is required by law anyway) and put it in my car correctly (and there are professionals who will help with this if needed, for free) and use it correctly every time (just takes a few seconds to buckle everyone!) and magically, my kids' risk of death/serious injury is dramatically reduced? SIGN ME UP! It gives me confidence! I'm nervous about driving the kids around but I remind myself how wonderfully their car seats will protect them from my own crappy driving. 

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post

When we took a ferry to Victoria BC I refused to allow the kids outside on the deck. That particular paranoia probably comes from when I was a kid and didn't like going out on the deck myself because I was so scared of falling over (and how I thought I would fall over is some jerk would just run up to me and throw me over without warning... THAT probably comes from my brothers teasing me by dangling me over our stair railing when i was really little). 



Oh, man. I have a fear of railings too. When DS was about 3 months old we went to visit my best friend from childhood. We were walking around on the second floor of a mall and my friend was carrying DS. I was terrified that she would trip and he would go flying over the railing. I ended up physically moving her over and walking between her and the railing, even though everyone laughed at me.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viriditas View Post



Oh, man. I have a fear of railings too. When DS was about 3 months old we went to visit my best friend from childhood. We were walking around on the second floor of a mall and my friend was carrying DS. I was terrified that she would trip and he would go flying over the railing. I ended up physically moving her over and walking between her and the railing, even though everyone laughed at me.



YES! I hate those railings! I won't walk with a baby/toddler in arms near one, only secured in an ergo or similar. Seems a lot more difficult to fall out of than my arms if i tripped or something. same with escalators. If they aren't big enough to stand, they have to be in a carrier.

post #16 of 31

 

This is my single biggest fear about becoming a parent, because I worry about people I love all the time.  Even as a little kid (and I mean little, like 3 or 4), when my parents left us with a babysitter, I'd grow more and more anxious until my mom and dad got home.  And I grew up in a very stable, loving environment (with parents who bordered on overbearing at times).  And when I was older and did the babysitting, if my parents were running at all late, I'd call the house or restaurant where they said they'd be to check up on them (ah, the days before cell phones).

 

Sometimes I lie awake at night and just cry because I don't know how to live and stay sane in a world where you can't keep the people you love safe all the time.  Just the other weekend my little brother went on a camping trip and I was worried sick until he got home (he was out of cell phone range).  And he was just camping!  My little sister rides horses and competes and I'm a wreck until her shows are over and she's ok.  And even when she's not riding, I'm worried about car wrecks, rapists, murderers.  I'm petrified my dad is gonna keel over since he's a little overweight and very anxious and on lots of meds for various conditions.  I'm anxious my super-healthy mom is gonna get sick all of a sudden, or get in an accident.  Whenever DH is late coming home from work (which is very common, he's a friggin' bartender and it all depends on how busy the night was), I'm a total wreck if I can't reach him.

 

I was taking a walk a couple months ago and worrying about someone (who knows who it was - take your pick), and I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized that if I worry this much about my (adult, responsible, self-sufficient) family members how the HELL am I gonna deal with being a MOM?!?  I really want to get a handle on this worry.  I don't want to be a hovering, anxious mom.  But I've been this way my whole life, and I am not sure what to do about it.

 

Fortunately, DH is not a worrier.  He didn't get the gene.  So he tends to talk me down.  But I don't want to live such an anxiety-ridden life, and I'm worried that when the baby gets here it will be a thousand times worse.

post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 

OMG. Katie, you bring up a good(but strange) point. lol I worry about rapists too. I have a very irrational fear about being raped while pregnant. I only say it's irrational because that's the only time it's crossed my mind very often is while I'm pregnant. It's good that you have a DH to talk you down from your fears. Last night, when DD had the dresser fall on her, and I was shaking and crying and holding her, DH was trying so hard to take her from me, because I'm sure I was making HER crying even worse and he knew it. *heavy sigh* It's something that a loving mother will always deal with, I guess, is worrying about her children. Even when they are out of the home. I feel so bad for making my mother worry when I was a teen and sneaking out at night(ALL night) because now I know what the worrying feels like. Not knowing if your child is lying in a ditch somewhere, because they were walking and got picked up by some weirdo..... Gah, I hope my kids don't feel obligated to sneak out at night so that they can be out with friends.

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by IwannaBanRN View Post

Last night, when DD had the dresser fall on her, and I was shaking and crying and holding her, DH was trying so hard to take her from me, because I'm sure I was making HER crying even worse and he knew it. *heavy sigh*


This was me when ds hurt his toe and his forehead.  I was crying rather hysterically and my neighbors happened to be present for both incidents and were worried about my emotional instability.  I would think it would be obvious that a pregnant woman is going to react more strongly to these types of situations.

 

post #19 of 31
Railings!! No!!!! I am terrified. And stairs. One thing I really wanted in a house was no stairs. And we ended up in a three level house. I am up and down a million times a day. The baby's room is on the third floor with mine. I am already so paranoid about carrying him up and down all day. And of course there is a railing up there so I am worried I will trip and drop him over it. I'm sure this thought has never crossed dh's mind.
post #20 of 31

I tell my DH all the time now that I wish I had his personality type because it must be so nice to virtually never be worrying about this or that. The calm he must feel every second of the day... I'd give anything for that. I worry about carbon monoxide poisoning even though we have an alarm in the house. I worry about our space heater causing a fire while I'm asleep even though we do everything right with it and keep it on very low when needed. We want to replace our electric stove with a gas one but I'm terrified of the dangers of gas, like something could be hooked up incorrectly and leak, whatever the case, I'm just hesitant. I'm glad we live in a ranch style house so the only stairs we have to worry about are the basement stairs, and we can child-proof the doorknob to the basement when needed. We have some new tall standing shelves in the living room that I need to remind DH to secure to the wall. They're freaking me out now. I'm most afraid of the cords hanging from blinds all around our house. There was a woman on this Mothering.com forum who wrote a thread saying her baby daughter died from strangulation with blind cords... and the image is burned into my mind now. It makes me want to cry when I think of it. Even very careful loving parents can forget to tie something up or babyproof this or that and it's just an accident, you know? So I have to remind myself that I'm only human and can't be hyper-vigilant all of the time with everything in our house either. My siblings and I all survived in a huge tri-level house with three staircases and parents who didn't really pay attention in a lot of ways to babyproofing or keeping an eye on all 4 of us for that matter, so that helps me stay grounded in reality too.

 

I'm mostly afraid of cars these days. I've somehow just been unfortunate to know too many people who have lost loved ones in car accidents, and it has given me a skewed view on how frequent and easy it is to just die in an accident. I worry about a crash every single time I'm driving. It has to be an irrational fear since it affects me so much to the point that sometimes I just can't drive on the highway if I'm too anxious some days. And with a baby on the way, I'm that much more afraid. My DH has a very fast sports car and is an aggressive driver, so I worry about him being careful with the baby in the car. He gets upset feeling that I don't trust him but I have to explain to him that I just have all of these fears and it's not a knock against his driving (except when he gets a tad bit of road rage eyesroll.gif). I wish I had a teleporter so I could avoid cars altogether. Sheepish.gif

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