“My son is standing by his school gate and suddenly he is grabbed by a stranger.
I’m pushing the stroller and a car veers out of control and crashes into my babies.
I’m holding my baby and I accidentally drop him down the stairs.
I black out and hurt my child.
It sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
Feels horrible, too.
It’s heartbreaking to have these thoughts run through your mind. It’s called catastrophizing. Anticipatory anxiety. It’s anxiety. It’s debilitating.
I remember learning about it in a Mother and Baby unit, cradling my baby, feeling like my world was crashing down around me.
I thought I was a failure for thinking and feeling this way.
But I wasn’t.
If someone asked you to carry your heart outside of your body, in a bag, say, you’d be a nervous wreck. You wouldn’t just dump it anywhere. You’d hold it tight. You’d prepare yourself for every worst-case scenario to make sure you keep your heart beating.
Your baby is that heart. And that anxiety is the love you have for something so precious—your child.
There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not crazy. Having anxiety DOES NOT mean you are failing.
Thinking these thoughts does not make you a bad mother, or incapable. It means you know the worth of your baby. Your heart. Those thoughts and instincts are truly only there because you are fiercely protective. A love only a mother can have.
You don’t have to suffer. You can challenge your thoughts. You can get counseling. You can take medication.
I do. And it’s helped those thoughts slow down.
If you’ve ever had these thoughts, I encourage you to get it off your chest. You will find you’re not alone.
You are not alone. I am with you. You’re incredible, okay? Don’t doubt it.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza. Follow Laura on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Laura here:
‘You CAN’T do it all. You aren’t a robot. Screw what anyone else says.’: Mom urges other parents to ‘ask for help’
‘He looked at me sadly. ‘But I just want to tell you one more thing!’ I huffed and said, ‘No, go to bed!’: Mom advocates for mental health
‘I burst into tears and couldn’t stop. I don’t want to have 3 a.m. conversations about dinosaurs and unicorns.’: Mom shares how mental load of parenting has taken its toll
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