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How to Stop Worrying About Your Child and Become a Good Mother

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The feeling of worry for their child is common to all mothers. There are many reasons for nervousness. The phenomena of terrorism, pedophilia or kidnapping, only present in movies in the past, have now sadly become our reality. We worry about the health of our children, we feel distressed to leave them alone at home or on the street, we fear the negative influence, and so so on … This list is quite extensive. A constant concern for the son or the daughter may lead to depression or anxiety. It can even be the cause of the mother’s nervous breakdown. This is without even mentioning the consequences that excessive parental care will have on the child.

If you would like to learn how to cope with constant anxiety for your child, to face your fears and to find their root as well as to become a good parent and enjoy motherhood – this article is for you.

Contents:

Face your fear: the causes of maternal anxiety

When a woman is expecting a child, she is surrounded by care and attention from her loved ones. She feels important and needed. But when the baby is born, everything changes dramatically. The needs of the baby are put first, and the woman forgets about herself: she faces a lack of time to eat, sleep and bathe. She spends most of her time alone with her child, allowing her husband to earn money.

And it is not surprising that mothers, especially young ones, accumulate fatigue and frustration. They begin to lose their temper on their child and husband, and then to experience remorse for being a bad mother. This pattern forms an alarmingly strong basis for anxiety and fear.

The fears that most mothers experience:

  • fear for the life and health of her child, fear of losing him;
  • fear of accidentally harming a child;
  • fear of being a bad mother, both in the eyes of the child and of others;
  • fear of being judged by more experienced mothers;
  • fear of being socially isolated due to long maternity leave;
  • fear of worsening the relationship with her husband.

Excessive anxiety for the child is also heightened by such phenomena of our modern life as:

  • the high crime rate, frequent cases of child abduction;
  • the popularity of drugs, alcohol, and smoking amongst young individuals as well as an early start of sexual relations;
  • the wide availability of any type of information and video content on the Internet;
  • the emerging of «death clubs» and «suicidal sects» on social media.

Therefore, the worried mother starts to control every step and every breath of her child, trying to always be with him: firstly at home, then in the kindergarten and school, all of this whilst depriving herself and her family of living a normal, complete life.

Dear Mommies, remember! The feeling of distress for a child is one of the key components of the maternal instinct. All mothers worry about their children and seek to protect them from the dangers in the world.

You don’t have to fight your fears, you need to accept them (to admit that «Yes, I do worry about my child, but I cannot be constantly restricting and prohibiting»), and to understand the underlying reasons (to say to yourself: «My worry can be explained: this is my first child, and I am scared to turn out to be a bad mother»). This way, these fears will be easier to overcome.

It is important to distinguish between the normal worry for the child and the neurotic, obsessive anxiety for the life and health of the child that negatively affects the whole family.

The ones more prone to become affected by neurotic anxiety are:

  • mothers who equate the birth of a child to the meaning of their life;
  • women who have experienced the death of a child or a close relative;
  • women who have had complicated labor or have had their baby’s life at risk in the first months of their life.

If you feel that the anxiety for your child has reached an alarming point, your nervous breakdowns occur more and more frequently, and motherhood is no longer a source of positive emotions for you, you need to contact a specialist as soon as possible.

What is the danger behind constant anxiety for a child?

Now let’s talk about the consequences of constant fear and anxiety for your child.

What awaits an anxious mother?

Living in constant anxiety and stress negatively affects the physical and mental health of the mother. Chronic diseases become aggravated. Coupled with depression, irritability, and nervous breakdowns, these can even lead to suicidal thoughts in worst-case scenarios.⠀

In March 2013, a mother in her 40s jumped out of the window from her apartment on the 8th floor, in New York, holding her newborn child after having developed postpartum depression and becoming obsessed with the idea of having caused irrevocable brain damage to her child. The woman, who has built a successful career as a lawyer and worked at the State Supreme Court, has left a 13-page handwritten note in which she agonized about not being able to live with knowing that her child will suffer for multiple reasons during his life.

An anxious mother stops seeing her friends and refrains from visiting relatives. Social and friendly relationships become destroyed. This way, the mother finds herself isolated from society.

The relationship with the husband can also become damaged. As the child becomes the center of the attention of a woman’s world, the husband may not be receiving enough love, care, and attention from his wife. What kind of solution does the man have in this situation? Either concentrating on work thus making the family a second priority, or breaking down family bonds in the hope of receiving love and attention from another person.

And what awaits the child?

If the girl grew up in an atmosphere of constant restrictions and prohibitions associated with the increased anxiety of her mother, then most likely she will also raise her children this way. This is due to the fact that a formed stereotype of the mother’s behavior emerges, the one that she has been constantly witnessed in her family.

If the mother is continuously saying how dangerous the world is and what bad people live in it, it is expected for the child to start suffering from neurosis very quickly.

Increased maternal anxiety can lead to a slowdown in the physical and mental development of the child.

Constant prohibitions of physical activity under the pretext «do not climb this hill – you will fall off», prevent the essential physical features from developing. Clothes that are too warm, excessive monitoring of room temperature and water temperature weaken the child’s natural immunity. The vetoing of meetings with friends deemed as «bad» by the mother, destroy the patterns of social interactions of the child and do not foster the development of his communication skills.

An overly ‘cared for’ child may become ridiculed and bullied by his peers. This will result in a lowering of self-esteem, the development of preoccupations, seclusion, and self-doubt.

In most cases, children, having grown up and escaped from parental care, seek to catch up with what they constantly have been limited in: they start trying out illegal substances, hanging out with ‘bad guys’ and so on. They may even get married at an early age, solely to escape from their parents. Unfortunately, not all of these stories have a happy ending.

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Dealing with anxiety: the advice of a specialist

How to become a good and calm mother?

First of all, decide for whom you want to be a good mother: either for your child or for others. You can upload joyful family photos on social media, tell your friends about how much you love your child and buy him all kinds of toys. At the same time, at home you can be putting psychological pressure on your son or daughter, losing your temper for no particular reason, limit the freedom of the child and forbid any form of a manifestation of independence.

You cannot be born a good mother. It is rather an everyday working process – exhausting, sometimes causing a woman to doubt whether motherhood has been the correct choice for her. This is a learning curve – from the sleepless nights and constant crying to the first smile, to the first A grade at school, to the first words «I love you, mommy».

Therefore, it is important for mothers not to be merely good, but to also be balanced. What does the notion of ‘balanced’ involve? This means maintaining an equilibrium between everyday problems and relaxation, between caring for a child and paying attention to the husband, between family affairs and personal time, between anxiety for a child and the desire for his progress and development.

Are you tired of constant household chores, breakdowns to which your child and husband testify? Invite grandparents and friends to help you out: visit a beauty salon, go to a concert or on a date with your husband – anywhere, simply to allow yourself to restore the balance. Are you worried about the child «falling off a slide», or asking yourself: «what if he is cold during a walk outside in kindergarten?» Say «stop» to your emotions and begin to adequately assess the situation: the slide is not so high, moreover, the child already knows how to hold onto the rails and to how to slide off correctly; he is wearing warm clothes and children always play outdoor games on a walk, which means that he won’t be cold.

Strive for balance in the relationship with your child, your husband, or others and do not let fear and anxiety poison your life.

If anxiety has manifested itself all of a sudden and you feel like you are starting to panic, the thoughts of something terrible that can happen to your child come to your mind, the following techniques will help you:

  • close your eyes and inhale and exhale deeply for three minutes focusing on your breath;
  • engage yourself in any form of physical work, such as household chores;
  • share your concerns with your loved ones;
  • after you calm down, ask yourself the following questions: is the child at risk right now or is this rather all in my head? Is it actually that scary? What can I do to avoid this?

An ideal mother: who is she?

What image pops up in your head when you hear this question? A mother who never gets annoyed or screams at a baby? Or the one whose child is always neatly dressed, combed and well-mannered? Or maybe this is a mother who cooks only healthy food, and her house is always clean and shiny?

A question arises immediately: does such a mother have some time left for herself, for her personal desires and needs? Does she take care of herself: her health, body, and personal affairs? Most likely not. She simply does not have time for this. From this, a straightforward conclusion can be drawn: the perfect mother is a woman who is fully focused on raising a child and who has abandoned the relationship with her husband, is tormented by work and household chores all at the same time.

So, do you still want to be a perfect mother? Let’s replace the phrase «perfect mom» with a «good mother for her child».

But what good can a mother do for her child? It turns for the list to be quite long. A good mother:

  • Is fair. If she tells the child off, that happens only for a good reason.
  • Cares about her child, but allows him to display independence.
  • Enjoys spending time with her child.
  • Listens to her child carefully and is able to provide help in any situation.
  • Proud of her child and his successes.
  • Does not hide her feelings from her child and does not underestimate his worries.
  • Does not aim to be with the child 24/7 and does not put boundaries over his freedom.
  • Loves her child at any state, the way he is: fat, thin, lazy, reserved…
  • Never refers to her husband, parents or other relatives in a negative way while talking to her child.

Daily rules and habits of a good mother

  1. Tell your child that you love him, more often. Display affection through kisses and hugs.
  2. Display regular interest in the child’s life, his daily tasks, failures, and achievements.
  3. Praise the child for his successes, highlight the importance of his achievements.
  4. Assign some chores to your child, such as watering the plants, washing the dishes, or dusting off.
  5. Every evening, find a moment for some one-on-one time with your child. Put away all the gadgets, turn off the computer or the TV, and read your child a bedtime story or play a calm game together.
  6. Ask for your child’s opinion with regard to all matters related to your family.
  7. Ask your child for help and always say thank you for it.
  8. If you are upset about something, do not hide your feelings from your child and give him the opportunity to be himself too.
  9. Surprise your son or daughter more often. There is always room for miracles in life.
  10. Meet your child’s friends. Even if you do not particularly like them, do not speak about them in a negative way since it will hurt your child.
  11. Allow yourself to fool around and to have a laugh with your child.
  12. Allow the child to make decisions regarding his life autonomously.
  13. If you promised something to your child – keep your promise. This way, he will learn to always keep his word.
  14. Preserve cautiously all the handmade gifts of your child. Let him know that everything created by mankind has its own value.
  15. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together as a whole family.
  16. Have family rituals. For example, «pajama parties» – when the mother, the father and the child watch a cartoon or a movie selected by one of the family members, together in an evening. It may be interesting to make popcorn, prepare chocolate and other sweets in advance, or to cook something collectively, involving all family members in the process.
  17. If you can’t get your child to fulfill a task, turn it into a game. For instance, to teach a child how to dress quickly, play fireman who got a call about a house on fire.
  18. Become a friend to your child. Talk about your interests and dreams with him and he will, in turn, gladly share his.

We all worry about our children and there is nothing irregular about it. Your children are just starting to live, and the universe will put them under scrutiny multiple times. It is impossible to foresee and prevent problems at every phase of the child’s life. But this is unnecessary. He must walk his own path and become autonomous and independent. Do not let your fears turn you from a caring and loving mother into a restless and unhappy woman. Remember to take care of yourself and of your children!

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