It’s a universal fact that we are all awesome worriers. We’re just conditioned that way.
And it doesn’t discriminate either. Doesn’t matter who you are, worrying is one of our primal instincts, our brains way of saying “woh, what’s going on here?” It’s always there, on the outskirts of your life, ready to turn on the sirens whenever it sees fit. Could be you’re worried about your health, or you’re job, or that loan you took out last month. Maybe it’s relationships on your mind.
And it’s not just the big stuff, we sweat the small stuff too. Like whether or not we should really have that fifth tequila shot on a night out. Or if anybody at work knows I forgot to put any deodorant on this morning (sorry guys). Literally the situations of worry are endless, and even though some people seem better at handling theirs, we all know the feeling.
That pool of worry grows into a goddamn ocean once we know we’re having a child, doesn’t it? Doesn’t make a difference if you’re a first time parent either, because even with the advantage of experience, your worrying instincts are always going to rear their head. And everything around us seems to remind us that we should be worrying. All the guidelines, all the milestones, the tips, all the advice, it’s all constantly there in your face practically saying FREAK OUT and PANIC and HOLY SHIT. Go pick up any parenting book or magazine, go visit any one of the websites or blogs you know, or heck even simpler just get into a conversation with someone whose already got children. More times than not you come away with a buttload of information in your head and a brand new list of how to’s.
So I’m here to give you ladies and you guys a little break from all that. Because I know what it’s like to worry, constantly, in the build up to having a baby and also every day after they come. Rather than join the masses and give you another bloody list of all that is to come, and how you need to prepare for it, instead I’m going to remind you of a few things you already know underneath all that panic.
So then, let’s get started shall we?
What Not To Worry About
- Don’t worry about your body changing. Although it wasn’t me carrying my daughter for 9 months (imagine how many prime time interviews I would’ve gotten if I had) I do know that there is honestly nothing more amazing than the fact Sara devoted her body to give life to our daughter. Yes, you’re going to buy newer sized clothes, and yes, your boobs are going to get uncomfortably heavier, but you’ve never looked so amazing. Even if you don’t see it, remember that your partner does, and should be telling you that he’s never looked at you with such awe.
- Don’t worry about whether you want to name your son something exotic like Thor or your partner wants to name your daughter something crazy like Laquisha. You’ll agree on the right name when it feels right for the both of you, and when you do, you’ll never see your baby as anything but that name.
- Don’t worry about money. This goes for before and after your baby is born. The number one reason parents fight is because of finances, but let me remind you that babies and children do not care about money. They do not care if you earn 15k a year or 50k. Yes, we all want the best for our children and ourselves, and it’s important to seek success. But only for the right reasons. Never prioritise money, because at the end of the day your family needs you, your love, and your values more than they need holidays in Disneyland and iPads for Christmas.
- Don’t worry about the labour. Either of you. There’s nothing you can really do to impact the event anyway, so don’t spend so much time fretting about it. As weird as it is to hear, nature will take its course regardless of the number of pre-natal classes you’ve been to. Besides, you can be as prepared as anybody, but for all you know you could have a spontaneous birth whilst ordering a lemon tea from Starbucks. Or you might need end up needing an emergency caesarean. The sooner you stop worrying about having every scenario covered, the less stressed you’re going to be leading up to the big day.
- Don’t worry about whether or not you can do this job. Maybe you’re toddler never listens to a thing you say. Maybe your nine month baby is going through yet another sleep regression and won’t go in their cot no matter how hard you try. Maybe your teenager keeps talking back to you. Maybe you’re just losing your mind today. Stop worrying about whether or not you can handle it, because you’re already handling it. You’re present, you’re riding the storm, and like every storm this bad stage will pass. Don’t doubt your amazing ability at parenting just because you’re in a tough spot, you don’t doubt yourself when it’s movie night and everyone is happy for once do you?
- Don’t worry about that Fisher kid down the road whose already talking in full sentences, whilst your little one isn’t quite there yet. Everybody develops at their own pace.
- Don’t worry about whether or not you should go back to work yet. It’s a big decision definitely, but don’t feel rushed into making a decision, especially when you’ve probably got a three month old baby keeping you up half the night. You’ll figure out all those big things when you need to, so until then give yourself a break and don’t add to your workload.
- Don’t worry about being perfect all the time. There will be times when you don’t put that nappy on right and a few hours later you find out…when their poop is down your arms. And you’re definitely going to put the onesie on backwards at some point. But it’s all part of the job, a right of passage, because none of us are perfect and there’s nothing wrong with that.
- Don’t worry about feeling emotional. Literally for the next eighteen years minimum you’re now responsible for somebody other than yourself, and with that comes a hell of a lot of stress, self doubt and sleep deprivation. So if you need to go stick a pillow over your face and cry, then go do it. Letting all that out is healthier than bottling it up.
- Don’t worry about the change. You know what I’m talking about, that creeping fear at the back of your mind that your life is going to be turned upside down and you’re not ready for it. You are ready. I swear to you, you are ready. You’re going to handle anything that comes your way, no matter how hard, no matter how exhausting. You’re going to do this because you’re a Mum, because you’re a Dad.
There are going to be so many moments from pregnancy onwards that you’re going to be challenged by your worries and anxieties. Like I said, it’s just the way we’re built. So the next time you start to get that feeling in your stomach, that uncomfortable knot we’re all familiar with, remind yourself not to worry about it. I know it’s easier said than done, absolutely it is.
But I also know that you’re tough, my friend, tough as shit actually. So do yourself a favour, and tell those worries where to go.