Does Becoming a Mom Mean Constant Worrying?
A dear friend of mine always has great advice for me, and one of his favorite doses is, “Babe, sometimes you just need to put the crazy on the shelf, even if it’s only for a little while. Just give the crazy a rest.”
He has said this to me a number of times in the past 10 years. Many times this advice was doled out in a bar-like atmosphere and there was tequila involved, but that is neither here nor there. It is good advice regardless of whether or not there is an influence of alcohol.
Well I am here to tell you, that since becoming a mom, I cannot put the crazy on the shelf, or even move it in the direction of the closet – no matter how hard I try.
And that’s because something happened to my brain since becoming a mom that makes me worry about how I can prevent, manage, or handle any of the terrible scenarios that I see all around me every single day.
When that heart wrenching fire took place in Stamford, Connecticut on Christmas, killing Madonna Badger’s 3 daughters and two parents, I could not stop thinking about it. It broke my heart, and I pictured myself trying to get Ellie out of a burning room. Horrible, terrible thoughts went through my head. To make myself feel better, I went to Home Depot to buy 3 more smoke detectors for my apartment, which already had two installed. I actually contemplated putting two in each room, just in case one failed in a room that happened to have a fire in it, the backup one would go off immediately.
Have I mentioned that my apartment is only about 950 square feet? Even the most seasoned fire marshal would probably tell me 8 smoke detectors in 950 square feet is a bit much.
I saw the news story about an intruder that broke in to a new mom’s house, prompting her to call 911 while holding her 3-month-old baby, asking if it was okay to shoot the intruder. And I honestly thought, “I should get a gun.” Just like that, “Oh, I should get a gun.” The only thing is - I hate guns. They scare me. I never want to be near one. I wouldn’t even know where to buy one.
But I hear about an intruder entering some poor moms apartment and I get all Annie Oakley, and start looking for the nearest firearm. That is not normal.
I saw a story the other day about a man being buried alive after snowmobiling triggered an avalanche, and I thought, “Well, I guess I am not going near snow ever again.”
It’s constant. I am always hearing of dangerous, or fatal scenarios and going through the life saving steps I would take in my head. It happens all hours of the day and night. And I’m pretty sure that repeated thought process proves, not only is the crazy not on the shelf – it is strewn all throughout the living room.
The reason for this is very simple, as a fellow mom said to me today, you don’t see the world the same after you become a mom. You see a story on the news, and you relate it back to your family.
There is a switch that went off the moment I touched Ellie for the first time, that made me go from this carefree, tequila loving girl – to a mom that wants to protect her child from everything. And that is because something happened to my heart when I had Ellie. She opened it up, and made me capable of an entirely new level of love. I am able to care more deeply about everyone that is important to me, than I did before she was born. And I want to keep Ellie, everyone I love, and myself, safe and sound forever.
And that feeling, that love, can make putting the crazy on the shelf, impossible.