Years ago, in the midst of an emotional conversation, my husband asked me, “What’s your greatest fear?” I had so many, but my greatest fear became clear at that very moment: that I would not be able to feed my children. Mom fears are different from normal fears like spiders or public speaking because they strike us right in the heart and usually lead to intense worry. But one thing that is true of most fears and worries is that they are a misuse of the imagination.
Now, my greatest fear may not be your greatest fear. In fact, feeding my kids isn’t even mine anymore. Over the years I learned to let go of the worry that was taking over and trust that God would provide what we needed. Because every family is unique, there are a lot of different things moms worry about, but there are a few that seem to ring true with most women. Here are 5. Is one of them your greatest mom fear?
We fear that we’re bad moms.
Some moms fear that they will mess their kids up emotionally, while some fear that they won’t prepare their kids well enough for the real world. But the underlying fear here is that they’re “bad moms.”
You can fight this fear by showing your kids love and consistency so they can grow up to be kind humans. By empowering them, giving them responsibilities, and setting realistic expectations, they’ll learn the basic things they need to contribute to society positively. It is our job as moms to equip our children with the tools they need, and I bet you’re doing the best you can to achieve this. You’re here on iMOM after all!
We fear that we’ll lose ourselves.
This is one of the mom fears that often strikes new moms—you know, when you feel like nothing but a diaper-changing feeding machine. What happened to “me?” Sadly, for a time, I felt like I had lost myself. Once I quit my job to take care of our three kids, the pieces of me that were left at the end of the day were too exhausted to think of myself.
I took action and started having me-time when I could do things I enjoyed without anyone needing anything from me. I also started exercising because those were also moments that would be mine and I could think and listen to God’s voice. This gave me sanity, sparked creativity, and helped me see that I had a bigger purpose.
We fear that our kids will make bad decisions.
We all want our children to marry the right person, get an education, live up to their purpose, make good decisions, and live a full happy life. That’s a tall order! There comes a time when there is little we can do about the choices our children make. Many moms lose sleep at night worrying that their kids will make a choice that will result in a life-altering experience for the worse.
Instead of being fearful about their future and their choices, live in the knowledge that you are doing everything you can to lead your children to make the best decisions and that when they’re older, they will remember the things you have taught them.
We fear that they’ll abandon their faith or values.
Sometimes it feels like the values we try to instill in our kids, whether faith, justice, or simple human kindness, seem to go unheard. We can be led to wonder if our kids are just going through the motions or trying to please us. Thoughts of them becoming independent and making those choices for themselves can lead you to worry that they’ll walk the other direction, away from what you’ve taught them.
All we can do is keep living our values in relatable, authentic ways and hope that when the time comes for our kids to put these things into practice, the solid foundation is there and they lean on it.
We fear that our kids won’t need us anymore.
Who else has imagined the day you move your daughter into a dorm or apartment as the last time you’ll ever hug her. Or maybe you’ve pictured your son’s wedding day as the big sayonara. This is one of the mom fears that’s pretty irrational and also unfair to our kids. As painful as it sounds, our goal as parents is to lead our children to the point where they don’t need us anymore.
We want them to solve their own problems, think independently, and be self-sufficient. And just because they can do all those things and more doesn’t mean they won’t still call home. In fact, at some point, our kids stop being just our kids and become our friends. If we work toward having a solid relationship with them now, our kids will (hopefully) keep calling—not because they need to, but because they want to.
Is one of these mom fears your fear? How do you work to overcome it?