Motherhood is full of joyous and care-free occasions. From endless hours of cuddling and kissing tiny fingers and toes to reading bedtime stories and singing lullabies, it's an experience filled with tenderness. However, if we’re being real here, it's not all rainbows and sunshine and cute baby butts. It’s also the scariest damn experience you could possibly imagine. Motherhood is one non-stop rollercoaster of fear, and there are just so many scary parts about motherhood that, honestly, it would be hard if not physically impossible to list them all.
For one thing, scary is a relative term. Some new mom fears deal with things like the soft spots on their baby’s head or being scared that their baby isn't getting enough to eat. For other moms, the fears are more existential, like fearing that their child won't grow up to be happy or fearing that they won't be able to teach their children a certain set of life lessons. Most of those fears are difficult to articulate and often come with a mix of emotions. For example, you can be happy that your baby is learning and growing, while simultaneously petrified that the additional independence they're gaining is leaving them more vulnerable to hurt and pain. See? I told you. A rollercoaster of fear, you guys.
Coupled with the constant pressure to act, or at least appear, like the "perfect mom," and admitting that you're afraid can be difficult if not completely impossible. If it makes you feel any better, though, none of us are perfect and these are just a few of the many things all mamas are scared of.
Okay, hear me out. There’s a lot of controversy out there regarding vaccinations and while I personally chose to vaccinate my son, I know that I did have a momentary thought about potential side effects like an allergic reaction, not to mention the discomfort of having to deal with multiple vaccines at a time. After all, the vaccination list for just the first year is incredibly long. In the end, while not many parents will want to admit to this openly, most parents fear vaccine days (even more so than their oblivious babies).
Your Little One Catching A Disease
Parents don’t want to think about their kids getting sick, but we all think it anyway. I think it's because our brains end to fixate on the things we can't necessarily control because, well, hello masochism. We think it when they’re first born. We think it when our kids start play dates. We think it when one of their friends are sick. We think it when they first go to school. We think it when we see those St. Jude commercials. We don’t mention it, and we especially don’t tell our kids that we’re terrified of what that little cough or sneeze can mean, but it’s on our minds.
Losing Your Baby
Whether they are 2 months or 12 years, every parent fears losing their child. This stress is magnified if the parents have already experienced a loss. It’s not something many parents are willing to discuss openly, but we all fear it. Whether it’s due to SIDS or momentarily losing sight of your child in the mall, the thought is enough to elevate any mama’s heart rate.
Your Baby’s Bodily Fluids
Unless you were constantly changing your siblings diapers as a kid, you’re probably at least a little bit scared of having to spend the first two-years of your baby’s life ducking urine streams and wiping up what can only be described as miniature (or not so miniature) explosions of poop. And even if you were, you’re probably not looking forward to this hourly task. That’s not counting the spit-up and drool factors, mind you. I think, given the amount of time you'll inevitably spend cleaning up and discarding your baby's bodily fluids, it's more than normal that you'd be scared that you just won't be able to deal (but it’s cool, we all felt like that at one point and later became immune and realized we just don’t care).
Your Kid Getting Injured
Kids get hurt. It’s what happens when you’re fearlessly exploring your world while simultaneously still learning coordination. Still, from the moment we bring them home from the hospital, we are deathly scared our precious babies will hurt themselves someway, somehow. We’re scared they’ll roll off the bed. We’re scared their legs will get caught in the crib slats. We’re scared they’ll fall of their bikes and break a leg. We’re scared they’ll get tackled in pee-wee football. Can’t we just encase them in bubble wrap till they’re, like, 40?
Having To Discipline Your Kid
I’m only now learning the start of age-appropriate discipline (which, with my toddler, is currently just distraction), but I am definitely scared of having to deal with it later in his life. Disciplining your kids sucks. You wish they would just behave like little angels their whole lives, but the hammer of justice has to fall sometime and, well, you'll have to be the one to wield it.
Becoming Your Mother
Maybe this doesn’t apply to all moms, but many of us fear that we will turn out to be the same kinds of mom that our own mothers were. This isn’t a slight against our moms, because even if we absolutely love our moms and appreciate all they did, it doesn’t always mean we agree with their parenting techniques. It’ll probably happen to an extent but, rest assured, you’ll probably still differ in the ways you always hoped you would.
Bullies And Bullying
No mom wants their child to be bullied. No mom wants their child to be a bully. In recent years, we’ve become very aware of the signs of both and, more importantly, the adverse effects bullying has on everyone involved. Moms usually won’t want to tell their child how much they fear for them once they start school, but inside they’re usually freaking out about this (and that’s okay).
Having To Be The Adult
Growing up, you can always defer certain tasks to the adults in the house. When you’re really little, you don’t need to clean or do your laundry or take out the trash. When you’re a kid, you don’t need to cook your own meals, let alone grocery shop. As a teen, you don’t usually need to worry about paying for rent or a car. Then, of course, there’s little things like having to kill a creepy bug in the house or unclog the toilet. When you become a mom, you know the days of deferring things to others is over. Your kid depends on you and that is pretty scary when you think about it.