Worry is a way of thinking that causes stress in both your mind and body.
When you were pregnant - did you worry about how you would cope with a baby? Did you worry about how to feed them? Bath them? Or ‘just’ be able to keep them alive?
After your baby was born, did you look her in their eyes and feel your heart melt just a little, How this small part of you was now independent but you still had as much responsibility for this little body as you had for your own self. If you can tap into that feeling you can wash your brain and body with Oxytocin - the cuddle hormone.
Maybe you remember the time when you recognised how vulnerable you really were.
Then as your child grows, did you worry about them falling, choking, getting poorly? Did you worry about them being without you, being alone, or making their own way in the world? Or did you worry about them not wanting to leave you or be able to help them to move on?
Maybe you worried about how they would cope, how you would cope or what other people think of you (or them). When you remember these times, you can wash your brain and body with cortisol, the hormone that is most often released with stress and fear. The worry hormone.
Most mothers worry about their children - some of the time.
All Mums are different, and all children are different - I was lucky. I did not start life as a parent with the deep vulnerability that some Mums start with. Some mums start their mothering career by knowing that things can go terribly wrong, maybe they lost a baby before or had a traumatic birth. These things can give you the ‘evidence’ that you are right to worry. Some mums have a habit of ‘worrying’ - a sort of genetic, passed through the generations.
By the time I was 40 my Mum was still worrying about me - these are some of the things she worried about, It is cold, are you wearing a vest? There was a crash on the motorway within 50 miles of your home - were you in it?
I asked my Mum why she worried so much. She thought and answered - I do it to show you that I love you….
Caring and worrying are two sides of the same coin, I believe that my Mum taught me how to do lots of things - sometimes she taught me to do as she did and sometimes, she taught me to do the opposite. My Mum was a strong, confident woman with a great (if a little quirky) sense of humour. But she did worry.
Think about little Johnny - in the school play. His Mum loves him and is worried about him, she says “I will get there early so you can see me” “Don’t forget your lines”, “Even if it all goes wrong we will go for an ice cream afterwards” “Don’t worry I will be there with my fingers crossed”
Then think about little Tommy - in the school play. His Mum loves him and wants him to know she really cares. She says “I’m looking forward to the play and I will get there early so I can see you” “Remember - You’ve got this, you know all your lines” “I’m really looking forward to taking you for an ice cream afterwards” “I am just so proud of seeing you in the play this year.
Tommy’s Mum isn't naturally more positive, she just practices it.
Remember, - Caring is not the same as worrying, send your children hope rather than fear.
Recognise how you can choose to feel the feelings of Love (Oxytocin) over the feelings of Fear (Cortisol) Practice and get to know what ‘calm’ feels like to you and what simple things give you a glimmer of calm.
Stress cannot live in the same place as calm.
I would love to know what you do to boost your feelings of safety, warmth, and love, please let me know by commenting below.