The Fragile Place of a Mother’s Heart


The Fragile Place of a Mother’s Heart

When you are carrying your first baby every mother you know will want to tell you about the love you will feel as soon as the baby is laid on your chest. A squirmy, squishy precious newborn brings an overwhelming, yet, expected love. There is no other feeling in the world like that one. I can close my eyes and still feel the love in that moment.

In my personal experience that expected love brought an additional, unexpected emotion. The emotion I was not anticipating was fear. If you are a mother, you understand the love, you have experienced it. Maybe you have felt the fear as well. In those early days as a new mother I felt completely alone and gripped by fear. 

Fear would wake me from a sound sleep to make sure my baby girl was breathing. It would cause me to rethink every decision I made. It would cause my stomach to turn every time I left her with someone else. The emotion persisted and grew, just as quickly as my little girl, from a manageable yet uneasy feeling to a paralyzing fear.

Overwhelming love brought along great fear of loss. I felt the full weight of the responsibility for keeping this tiny baby safe, for making all the right decisions for her, and protecting her from any danger. Those kinds of burdens can wreak havoc on a new mama’s heart.

Fear is a thief. It robs me of my joy. It steals my ability to love fully and freely. It drives me to control rather than guide. It turns peace into panic. It quiets laughter into worry. 

So, I had to let it go. I decided I did not want to live my whole life as a fearful mother. I did not want to pass that spirit of fear onto my children. It was so easy for me to get caught up in worst case scenarios. Maybe you have been there, maybe you are there. I would like to share a few changes that I made to help me manage my fears. 

Skip the tragedy related articles online.

I began to intentionally scroll past tragic stories online. It only takes a minute or two of scrolling on social media sites to read the latest scares, illness breakouts, or other dangers threatening our children. I stopped taking in every news alert. It certainly is important to be informed; I can be a bit of a news junkie, but we must be certain to take in news in moderation. Feasting on every heartbreaking story is not healthy and it perpetuates fearfulness. By decreasing my access to these types of media, I can control how much fear mongering I allow in my life. Remember, everything in moderation; nothing in excess will keep the fear at bay. 

Assess the real fears.

I decided to focus on the reality of my fears. What is the actual risk? A ton of my worrying comes from perceived risks. How likely is it that whatever I am afraid of is actually going to happen? For example, letting my children swim in the local pool with a lifeguard on duty is most likely perfectly safe. Is there a risk involved? Yes. Should we skip the pool just in case? No. By making decisions based on facts and not emotions I can allow my children to have fun without being limited by their mother’s fears. 

Change your thought process.

I changed my way of thinking by directing my thoughts toward gratitude. I was surprised to learn that when I focused more on being thankful for the good things in my life, I did not have a whole lot of time to worry about the what-ifs. It was simply a shift of my thinking that helped me enjoy my children a little bit more.

I hope that you find some of that to be helpful if you find yourself struggling with fear. You are not alone. The truth is I cannot control everything that happens to my children, so I resigned from the job of worrying about it. I want to live fully present, joyful and fearless.

With such great love we risk great loss; that is the fragile place of a mother’s heart. We do not have to live gripped by fear. There is a better way. Lay down your fears, Mama, and embrace the reality of today.