Have you ever had the following experience as a mother?
You’re busy doing something: working, cooking, doing chores, scrolling through Facebook, closing your eyes before you go to sleep. Suddenly, like the rudest awakening you could imagine, amidst your everyday thoughts of what you’re going to do next, how you need to pay the electric bill or when you’ll make it to the grocery store, you’re struck with a vivid image of something horrible happening to one of your children. You shudder and wonder why on earth your mind would go there. Why, instead of thinking about the fun evening you’ll spend with your child(ren), or the smile on their face when you tell them they were invited to a classmate’s birthday party this Saturday, did I envision THAT?
It terrifies me that we live in a world where shootings are basically a monthly topic happening in places my sweet girls may happen to be, like their own school. It terrifies me that women are still constantly taken advantage of, raped, abused mentally and physically and not treated equally.
Becoming a mom has made me realize I trust no one and I have zero emotional freedom. Even if all my kids are accounted for and I’m out on a date with my husband, I am never able to fully relax and detach. I’m always worrying to some extent. A little gnat in my brain is always flying around whispering thoughts at me like, “Are the girls eating? I hope they’re being good and listening. Is someone crying or having a meltdown or missing Mommy and Daddy. Hope the baby isn’t fussy the whole time”. The list continues and I’m never fully at ease until we are all together again and they’re under my watch. As much as I need the time away from them sometimes, and as much as I fully trust their grandparents and other family members, I can’t escape this stuff.
From one end of the spectrum to the other, be it worrying about a kid not eating their dinner when I’m not with them, t0 vividly envisioning the worst of the worst thing happening to one of them, I will never be the same woman I was before becoming a mom.
I call this “a mother’s woe”.