“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” ∼ Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling ∼
I am a worrier by nature.
I worry about things I said or did. I worry about things I WILL say or do. I worry about things that happened yesterday. I worry about things that haven’t happened yet. I worry about weird things that have almost a 100% chance of NEVER happening. I worry about being a good wife and a good mom. I worry about situations where I might have “done something wrong” even though I know I didn’t do anything wrong.
I wish I was a relaxed person…someone who didn’t need perfection or order or plans. I wish I could be messier, calmer, more spontaneous.
I have friends like that—friends who don’t let situations or words or people or future events affect their peace. And they are some of the happiest people I know.
I wish I could sit in the middle of an untidy room with piles of laundry on the kitchen table, toys strewn on the floor, and breakfast dishes in the sink and still be able to be completely enthralled with the silliness and cuteness and sweetness of my roly-poly babies. I’m trying really hard to be more that way.
Since having children, I’ve had several discussions with my mom about my inability to “let go.” She has said on numerous occasions that what my children need is a happy mom…not a drained, frustrated mom. And she is right.
My home’s atmosphere depends a lot on my frame of mind and my attitude. My husband and babies need me to be happy in order to feel security and happiness of their own. And that is probably my biggest struggle as a new-ish mom—letting go of all the things that can wait for another ten minutes or for another couple of hours…
Letting go of the stress connected to the “what ifs”…
Letting go of my lofty expectations of what I thought motherhood was supposed to be…
Letting go of what all the “experts” say about sleep schedules and eating schedules and meeting milestones.
I need to embrace the attitudes of happiness and gratefulness in place of worry and fretfulness. I need to live in the present moment, enjoying my children exactly as they are right this very minute—because they will never be this young again. Tomorrow they will have gotten that much closer to adulthood and independence. I cannot let anxiety and self-imposed pressure steal the joy of being the mother to two incredibly healthy, smart, and precious gifts from God. They and their daddy are some of my biggest blessings in life.
This is not something I can do on my own, though. If I try to battle it by myself, I always fall right back into the pit of stinky attitudes, frazzled reactions, and enough borrowed trouble to last a lifetime. I have to pray daily for God to give me the peace and tranquility of mind that only He can provide.
And in addition to talking to God about it, I also try to remember a few of the following verses on particularly bad days. These provide me comfort and remind me what the Lord wants for me.
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:25-27
- “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27
There are MANY other scriptures that address this particular struggle, but these are my absolute favorites—the ones that help my heart out the most, the ones that help me to remember that God wants me to be a happy mom.
Do any of you have trouble with “letting go” of worry and anxiety in your roles as wives, moms, and women? (Or as husbands/fathers/men in case I have any male readers!) If you have any verses, quotes, or methods of coping that you feel led to share, please comment! I would love to hear!