Through social media, news and tv shows were are bombarded with horrific stories,tragedies and graphic pictures and videos that make the paranoid, well… uber paranoid.
I'm a visual person, so when I read a story, I envision it. Then I think about it. Then I dwell on it. Then I imagine it happening to me, to my kids. Then the fear sets in and I become psycho paranoid mom.
When I'm at the playground with my kids I see all the other moms chatting, texting, reading a book. Then there's me. Frantically chasing my kids around the playground. Spotting them in case they fall, continuously saying "ooh be careful, oh be careful, oh watch out, wow that's high!" Through my sweat filled eyes I look at the other parents and think "am I crazy? how come they aren't worried?"
I never thought I'd be like this. I always thought of myself as a laid back "chill" person, so I imagined I'd be the same way when I had kids.
From day one, that all went down the drain.
"don't lay your kids on their back, they choke and suffocate"
"don't lay your kids on their stomach, you increase the chances of SIDS"
"don't let them eat small chunks of apples, don't let them eat apples at all they'll get stuck in their windpipe"
"don't do this.. don't do that… did you hear about this? did you hear about that?"
It's endless… endless endless endless.
I'm not saying the stories aren't true, important, or needed to brought to our attention so we are aware of the dangers our children face. I'm just saying, that as a paranoid mom. I need to let go of my fear.
From carseats, nap time, play time, public potty's and school. I have let too much fear in. So much so, that I let it rob me of the joy of today, living in moments, and ultimately trusting in God. That as much as I care and worry for my kids, He cares even more. He watches them and protects them so much better than I can, and I need to trust Him. TRUST HIM. So I pray, and I pray often.
So what does that mean. That I stop being attentive, aware and preventative? no… it means I do it with peace in my heart. Without fear as my driving factor and with freedom for my kids to be kids. That I let my kids get dirty, play with bugs, and try new things. Am I gonna be right next to them? mmm yes, probably. But instead of the paranoid mom hovering over them in a cold sweat, I'll be next to them playing with them, discovering with them…allowing them to live, love and be free.
I'm trying… and daily reminding myself that fear is not my friend.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and of sound mind
2 Timothy 1:7