Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The things you think keep you safe, don’t

It’s been a while since I’ve lain awake in the dark, a rock on my chest, mother fear swirling so hard I can barely breathe. I try to tell myself that fears are only imaginings, and whatever comes down the pike will be met and survived anyway. Still, I cannot bear the thought of my children’s hearts at risk, as if I can bubble wrap them and spare them life’s pain. I wish I weren’t brooding on the fact that my sunshine daughter seems to be struggling right now, in part because I gave her my overthink-everything-brace-for-catastrophe gene. And my son and his wife will soon travel to a place where everyone might not be hospitable to their interracial union. Will they be safe? These are the things that keep me up at night. This night. I am twisting on a spit of anxiety and dark mother thoughts and can’t seem to reason myself free. 


  1. it is now 3:58 A.M. I am right there with you....Worry/fear sucks!

  2. I'm trying really hard with now to let go of all my expectations because I have done all that I can and I have no idea what the future will bring. It works for a little while, but that's a start for me. Sending you hugs and love sweetie.

  3. It never ends. I was awake for a while last night too, trying to figure out how to make my child's life easier.

  4. It wakes me up sometimes, full strength- that mother fear. Sometimes I wish we were more like hens who are the very best, protective mothers to their chicks for months and then, when the chicks are grown, let them go off into the world and never seem to worry again.

  5. I know it’s not very helpful, but we have all been through this - and still go through it no matter how old our children are. It’s the nature of motherhood, the unbreakable connection. Don’t forget to breathe.

  6. Times when we had no work and no money because we lived basically hand to mouth and I would be awake at night filled with dread and worry I could at least talk myself down by telling myself that there was nothing I could do about it in the middle of the night and that tomorrow I could work on getting work. But there is nothing you can do about your fears and worries because those things are beyond your control. How lucky I was that mine were mundane. I can't imagine how you live with the racism in this country that is so deadly to POC.

  7. Worry runs in my family too and I always regret the time I wasted worrying but still I cannot stop. Hope all smooths out for your daughter and your son and his wife have safe travels.
    I read recently that the way to stop negative thoughts is to force ourselves in those moments to start listing the positive things in our lives. Keep going down the list of happy times until you can fall back to sleep. Hope that works.

  8. Reading this made me think of Wendell Berry's poem "The Peace of Wild Things"
    "When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."
    As much as I love this poem, as I read it now I know that really the only thing that balances such worry is the outreach of our hearts with love.

  9. Worry about our children is never-ending. The world is cruel and I do believe our concerns, as mothers, is valid. I try to tell myself, the issue at hand will pass and it usually does. My late favorite uncle used to say, "Take the good with the bad and move on." I also try to find joy in the good to balance the not so good.

  10. Oh yes. A mother of daughters here, and the world is not safe for women, especially where my younger daughter's work takes her. So, yes, I imagine the worst at 2:00 sleepless nights. And your chicks have more danger points than mine ever will have to face. But still, we can worry together and rejoice in their competence and supports, together.
    Sending a Canadian hug. I will keep the freezing rain.

  11. It's pitiful that you even have to have these thoughts. People are people.

  12. I think it will be all right. Then you have grandchildren and they grow up and you get to worry about them too! It's never ending. But mostly the awful fears are not realized.

  13. Big hugs for you, my friend. I hope all turns out well.

  14. Concern wakes us up again and again in the long nights. Sending love.

  15. I’m so sorry,, sending hugs. Things always seem worse in the dead of night. I wish I could say there was not to worry about but the world can be so cruel at times. We will never stop worrying about our children.