Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Worry

"Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?"
"It really doesn't matter, I just want them to be healthy."

Before I was pregnant I thought this exchange was habitual and meaningless. An automatic response from parents-to-be that hid their gender preference in case they didn't have what they really wanted. I didn't understand that really, more than anything, parents just want their kids to be healthy.

While I was pregnant I saw sick kids everywhere. I focused in on them and their parents, and wondered if I was seeing them more and more to prepare myself for the worst. I worried that my child would die before my due date and I would never get to meet him. I worried that I wouldn't be able to give birth - that I wasn't strong enough and something would happen to him. And I worried that if he was born, something would be genetically wrong with him that was undetectable in prenatal tests. But he was born healthy. He survived the trauma of birth. And he has thrived since hes been alive.

Turns out the worry doesn't go away once the baby is born. And I don't think it will. There will always be new things to worry about: Swallowing something and choking, falling off the bike, sleeping over at a friend's house, getting someone pregnant... the worry will grow and evolve. And us parents will have to accept and deal will all these worrisome things for the rest of our lives.

I guess the trick is to figure out the balance of caution and freedom as soon as possible so we can go about our own lives without living in constant terror for our child. We need to learn how to guide them as best as we can, keep them healthy in all the ways we are in control of, and yet let go enough to allow them to grow and gain confidence.

I'm sure my child will get sick and get hurt countless times. I can only hope that he gets through it all and grows up to be healthy, in every sense of the word.

- Genevieve


  1. This goes through my mind all the time! Hahaha

  2. I think worry is the default setting for most mums to be honest! I don't think i'll ever sleep easy at night again!