Monday, October 8, 2007

Fighting the fear...

Twice in the past week, Hannah has ended up in our bed sometime during the night. Both times she's said it was for the same reason - she had a bad dream. When I ask her in the morning what her 'bad' dream was about, she can't remember. So I'm left wondering what kind of dream has been waking up my child and scaring her so that she feels the need to sleep in our bed.

I know what kinds of things scare me. And they're not the ghosts, witches or bats of this Halloween season. No, what scares me the most - what scares the heck out of me - is the thought of something bad happening to any of my kids. Or my husband. Or myself.

I grew up around a nervous, worried, "glass is half empty" kind of a mother and apparently more of that has rubbed off on me than I previously thought. It started about the time that I first got pregnant and was strengthened when that first baby miscarried after only a few weeks. When I got pregnant with Abby, I could hardly let myself enjoy the pregnancy because I feared losing another baby. And then once she was born, there were so many new things to scare me - is she eating enough? Filling enough diapers? Do we have the right carseat? Is she strapped in tightly enough? What if she won't sleep enough? What if something bad happens to her? To us? Who would take care of her if we weren't here?

The first-time mom fears have left me now, two additional babies later, but those have been replaced by a host of new ones. Like when to let them play outside by themselves or cross the street by themselves. Putting them on the school bus for the first time, sending them off to school or daycare or lessons without being with them every moment. What if something happens while I'm not there? What precious moments of their lives will I miss?

I try not to let the fears overwhelm me - after all it would be just too easy to give in and let the fear win. I know that we could get into a car accident any time on any day, and yet I still drive and let my kids ride in our car or others'. I send them to school, even though I know they could be teased or bullied or worse. I send my husband off to a job that requires climbing up ladders to electrical poles and cable wires, even when I know someone who fell and broke his ankle doing just that. Not to mention every stranger's house that Ron enters every day, not knowing what or who to expect. And I know there are many jobs out there that are more high-risk than his.

So far I think I manage to keep a fairly tight lid on the fear. I try to use it to keep us as safe as possible, but not to let it rule me or our lives. I've learned that there will always be things to worry about and be scared of. I can live and learn through the things that scare me.

Even if I can't climb into my mommy's bed in the middle of the night anymore.

This post was written as an entry for the October Write-Away Contest at Scribbit on the topic of "Things that Scare Me".

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5 wonderful people said...:

Candace said...

well the first sentence about hannah getting in your bed is so my life. my hannah is in my bed all the time! she has bad dreams too.
and the feel the fear and do it anyway stuff. ah...
it is my daily mantra. I still get in bed with my mom.
we all need a place to regroup before we get back out into the sometimes scary world.
sounds like you provide a safe haven for your clan.

crazy working mom said...

Our 4 year old wanders to our bed sometimes too...

Great post.

Scribbit said...

Oh I completely agree, the older they get the worries change. And there tends to be more at stake.

Corey~living and loving said...

Great post. Fear can be so hard. I am a worrier, but I find that I manage me fears pretty well also. YOur fears are mine. I fear for my daughter and what the world has in store for her.

Summer said...

I have these same fears about my children.