I worry about my kids, especially Emma's incurable anxiety and insecurity at being separated from me.
I worry about our finances, especially in light of some newly acquired medical bills.
I worry about every little creak and crack in our house that I'm sure is the next item to reveal it's faulty design.
I worry about my marriage.
I worry about the clicking noise our car makes.
I worry about the diffuse abdominal pain, bloating, severe acid reflux, and nausea I continue to have even after my recent appendectomy.
I worry that my professional life is not where it should, or where I'd like it to be at my age.
And all this worry is like a wart on my psyche. A really annoying, obnoxious, embarrassing-there-for-everyone-to-see wart that showed up right around the time I had children.
I never really worried before I had kids.
True, I had my share of everyday stresses. But as a single, childless woman, I just didn't worry about things like cars, and finances, and jobs. I just kind of lived. And whatever came my way, I knew I could deal with it.
And lately, it's become obvious to me that I'm not alone in feeling this way. So many of you mommybloggers out there are writing about your own struggles with anxiety, or depression, or the difficulty of balancing your desire to do right by your children yet still have a fulfilling life of your own. The numbers are overwhelming. In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to find a mommy blog that doesn't mention these issues at some point in its archives.
So what is it about having kids that changes us so?
Why is it that the pure, unadulterated love you feel for these remarkable little beings also comes with it's own double-edged dose of anxiety, sadness, and struggle?
And how can something as pure, sweet, and wondrous as the relationship between mother and child cause so much angst?
The only thing I can come up with is that in having children, we are no longer ourselves. We become more than ourselves. And while we grieve the loss of our previous identity, we begin wearing our hearts on their sleeves, making ourselves that much more sensitive and vulnerable to the world around us.
I'm alarmed by my own struggle with depression and anxiety since having children, as well as the apparent glut of moms who share in it. And while I know that some of the worry and fear and sadness are really just indications of the unbreakable love I feel for them...that we all feel, I can't help but wonder....is it possible to be a sensitive mom without being a worry-wart?