We Are All Worriers
Some days are super easy, when the sun is shining and you are off to a running start, slaying that to-do list, puffing out your chest a little, and giving yourself a pat on the back for everything you’ve accomplished. What a great day!!
Other days…not so much. Those days when plans unexpectedly get derailed, nothing goes right, when the guilt and fear creeps in. When the worry takes over, and you’re so tired of fighting these losing battles.
We are all worriers to some degree. Some people manage okay, some just hide it better. As single moms, we have to shoulder the burden of worries all alone. Are the kids doing okay in school? Do they have enough friends (or the “right” kind)? Is that sniffle a cold or just allergies? Will there be enough to cover the bills this month? What can I make for dinner tonight? Wait, did I turn the stove off when I left this morning?
Sometimes those worries trickle down to our kids too. They see us struggling, and they start to worry all on their own. Is that kid going to trip me and push me down in the school line? Did I forget to do my homework again? Will mom and dad ever stop fighting? It’s not easy being a kid these days. And while our jobs as parents is to help teach them skills to manage and overcome their worries, sometimes we are so busy with our own worries, we fall short.
Cue the mom guilt.
My Own Worriers
My kids are big worriers. They have both been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Not serious enough for medical intervention, but it definitely rules some days. Big C has had problems with making and keeping friends, so anxious and awkward in social situations that he feels paralyzed, unable to make decisions. Little C experiences irrational fears of being trapped in the house during a fire or tornado. They’re both afraid of the dark, so much so that it can creep into the daytime and make it hard for them to be alone upstairs in the house.
Counselling and psychologists have helped immensely, and both boys are doing so much better as time goes on. But it hasn’t always been easy.
Many years ago, I remember one particular conversation with Big C, sitting on the couch, tears rolling down his face over how much he hated going to school. He felt alone, isolated, worried that he would never fit in, that the kids were always teasing him. Being the “fixer” that I am, I launched into one of my “lectures”…the kind where I talk and talk (and talk), and the kids kind of tune me out after a while, and then finally they say “Okay Mom, I got it.”
I’m still working on this…
We Are All Warriors
But on that night, he latched on to one part of my spiel. I was explaining that worrying is just a normal part of growing up, and that he comes from a long line of worriers…I’m a big worrier. My mom is a huge worrier. And her father? An epic worrier!! Our family is full of worriers!
When I paused a moment, he looked up at me through those adorable, tear streaked lashes and sniffled, “Do I get a sword and shield too?”
I was talking about worriers. He heard warriors.
Laughing and pulling him into my arms, I kissed his head and said “Absolutely, my love! You get a sword and shield just like the rest of us!”
Life may not always be easy. Sunny days will be interspersed with the cloudy ones. You may feel alone…a lot. But you do have the strength to overcome, to get back up when you’re pushed down. To gather your children in your arms and comfort them, and in that, find comfort yourself. To pick up that sword and shield and go into battle again. This time, victorious!
We are all warriors.
P.S. We are all warriors, but we’re also human. If your worries get too big, if you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope anymore, it’s okay to ask for help. There are always other warriors willing to step in. Reach out in your community, ask your doctor, call your employee assistance program. If you are in crisis, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.
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