Check me out on Scary Mommy today! – Confessions of a Worrying Mother

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You can read this post over on Scary Mommy!

*This post appeared on Scary Mommy Sept. 10, 2015

Growing up, I went to Catholic school, dutifully and regularly going to confession wherein we admitted our wrong-doings to the priest. I’ll never forget how much I’d tormented myself about the 3 check-marks I’d received for doing unapproved cartwheels in gym class (resulting in having to write a term paper about hockey, I still don’t understand hockey…), and how relieved I’d felt when I was told God had forgiven me for those blissful but sinful cartwheels.

I can’t explain why, but there truly is something cathartic about making a confession; to a co-worker, a friend, a significant other. It gives us the chance to unload a burden, and hopefully receive forgiveness, or the reassurance that we’re not alone.

Today, I need to make a confession:

I am a worrying mother.

I don’t mean things moms normally worry about; playing in the street, running with scissors, drugs.

I’m world class at worrying. For example, I worry about things like whether or not I may have had a toxin overload while I was pregnant with my daughter and if that affected her IQ. What if she doesn’t make it in to the college of her choice because there was too much fluoride in the water? I mean she may be in advanced classes now, but one day it could all come to a screeching halt and it’ll be because I drank caffeine that one time!

Most people laugh off all the conflicting information we receive about what to eat and not to eat. Are eggs okay? Did I recently hear that bread was okay again? What’s this about wine being good for you? Not me. I’m seriously worried that I’ll get it all wrong and my child will end up with an autoimmune disease because I didn’t know which lettuce to buy.

Last spring, after basketball season was over, my 12-year-old child was in phenomenal shape. I asked my husband if he thought she was too thin. He said, “no, she’s looks fantastic. She’s just been working out 7 days a week. You have nothing to worry about.”

Instead, I worried. And bought her a giant bag of Starburst in an effort to put some “meat” back on her bones, (and subsequently worried about everything scary that is probably in Starburst).

The truth is, though, that I WANT to stop worrying. You can imagine that we worriers have more than just parenting on our minds. We worry about the stock market, terrorism, global warming, politics and aging parents. Sometimes I’ll even indulge in my latest obsession and worry about Armageddon and The Illuminati.

I probably have enough worry and anxiety stored up for the entire human race, so if you’re a worrier, you can stop. I’ve got you covered.

Part of me knows that I’ll never truly let it all go, but the other part of me knows that the healthiest thing I can do is to at least let some of it go.

I’ve tried so many things throughout my life – medication, yoga/meditation, prayer, exercise (albeit not consistently…let’s be honest), diet changes, journal writing; yet I’m still a gigantic worrier.

The truth is that if I, and people like me, don’t get our worrying to a more manageable level, it can steal our joy. I sometimes feel robbed of a moment when I look on it in hindsight, because I realize that when I should have savored a sunset at the beach, I was worrying about whether or not we’d worn enough sunscreen that day (an then of course, what was in that sunscreen?).

I do take some small comfort in knowing that from the time our children are born and we’re up all night checking to see that they’re still breathing, until they leave for college and we’re up all night wondering if they’re still alive, we’re joined by millions of other moms doing the same.

To any other chronic, extreme worriers, please raise your hands and tell me you’re out there. I’d love to hear what you do to cope with your worry. In the meantime, I want to relax today with a glass of wine. But first, I just need to quickly worry about all those sulfates…



9 thoughts on “Check me out on Scary Mommy today! – Confessions of a Worrying Mother

  1. The slowest way to stop being a worrier is to get really old, and then look around and realize that life moves
    forward pretty much routinely whether you keep pushing, or just stop.
    I think life just lives itself….
    My favorite Beatles song is “let it be, let it be-e, let it be, let it be, speaking words of wisdom, let it be”

  2. If worrying could produce energy, I believe you and I could power a pretty good sized country. Even when I think Ive got it under control (or hidden) I clearly don’t. My boss just assigned some of my goals for the year and one of them was to take a course on stress management. Ha! For someone with anxiety (clinically diagnosed not self diagnosed) telling me not to stress or worry is like telling someone else not to breathe. If you ever figure out how to solve this problem, I’d better be your first call.

    1. Par, you’re right about the energy production, not that I’m proud of it. I’m going to make this a goal of mine; not to completely change (not possible), but to improve. To recognize when I’m worrying about what is not within my control and then find ways to let it go. Have you tried the yoga classes at your company?

  3. introspective and sweet.
    Meditation and the mat won’t eliminate the mama worry syndrome, but it will give you moments of peace and stillness.

  4. Hi Jess,

    I am pretty sure I told you before I am a worrier. I feel your pain. I like to blame it on growing up Catholic. Also, I hope to God that I was not one of those mean girls in 8th grade. If I was, I am truly sorry. I just remember you coming to public school and me thinking how nice you seemed and how much I wanted to be your friend.

    Love Jaymi

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