Tool 2: The Truth about Worry
Everyone worries from time to time, and many people consider themselves worriers.
Worries are usually a “what if” question about something bad happening in the immediate or distant future. These anticipated bad outcomes can sometimes come true, but are often quite unlikely to happen.
Although we might wish it wasn’t so, the fact of life is that there is no such thing as worry-free parenting. It is natural to have some worries about your baby and your future. Many parents find that they continue to worry about their children even when their children are old enough to have children of their own!
If you are a first-time mom or mom-to-be, parenthood can seem particularly intimidating.
After all, there seems to be so much you don’t know and endless possibilities of things that might go wrong:
- What if my marriage doesn’t survive?
- What if I’m not a good mother?
- What if I can’t make enough milk?
- What if my baby has a serious birth defect or gets really sick?
Even if this is your second or third time being pregnant, you may still worry about things:
- What if this birth doesn’t go as smoothly as the last one?
- What if I don’t love all my children equally?
- What if I can’t handle taking care of one more child?
All of these worries are understandable.
Most of the time, worries aren’t much of an issue, especially when they seem under control and don’t cause too much distress or interfere with daily life.
However, worries become a bigger problem when they happen almost every day and seem excessive and uncontrollable. Constant and excessive worrying is not only exhausting, but it can also damage relationships and lead to many unhelpful behaviours that get in the way of daily life (for example, excessive checking, asking for repeated reassurance from others).
If you find you worry more than people around you, regularly jump to the worst-case scenario about many things and find it hard to stop, then you may have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. You might want to talk to your health care provider and possibly seek some professional help.