Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. Linda Wooten
Lest anyone assume this is a Mother’s Day themed blog, let me put that to rest. I’ve already written and completely deleted this entry twice…. over a week ago. I didn’t even save a draft. I’ll explain very shortly. Because Mother’s Day is tomorrow, though, and because I’m a mom, it’s fairly easy to combine two blog subjects into one.
Do any of you mothers feel like the world would stop rotating if you took off a day of “mom” responsibilities? If so, y’all are my kind. I have the “gift of guilty” as we refer to it in my family. The Weight of the World, Mrs. Do-it-all, The. Buck. Stops. Here. These are just an assortment of names I might answer to depending on the day and circumstances. In other words, I care a WHOLE LOT, and I’ll bet you do, as well.
I said I would explain, so here it is. This entry was originally about the subject of anxiety. I was “proud” (i.e. embarrassed), so I deleted it. Also, I’m a mom and I’m supposed to wear a cape and DO ALL THE THINGS. The weird thing is that several people have talked to me in the past two weeks about their own anxiety and they have all been moms without the exception of one (still female, though). I’ve felt the constant pull to write about this subject, so I will. Be nice and thank you.
A week ago today, our older son had a baseball game. While we were there, the weather basically disintegrated. I’m talking cloudy one minute and blowing sideways rain the next. The wind was blowing off signs from the fence. I just knew a cow was going to go by and a mean lady on a bicycle. It was a Wizard of Oz experience and not pleasant. So much so that we all retreated into the concession stand. Picture adults and teenagers standing in there while wind and rain whip around the place.
My daughter forgot to tell me she was retreating elsewhere with my husband. I didn’t know if she was safe. I could feel it coming… an anxiety attack. I was mortified, but i couldn’t control it. I tried to just keep to myself, but my fast breathing probably gave me away. “Awesome,” I thought. “Everyone thinks I’m goofy.” The sweetest man (a player’s grandfather) told me where my daughter was and I pulled myself together. I was mortified.
The game was called for bad weather (duh). On Monday night, the game resumed. I was very nervous as my son was pitching. If we lost this game, it would be the last of his high school career. Last year he was pitching against a major rival and I was so anxious I had tears in my eyes. “Don’t let him see you do that,” another mother advised. I knew I couldn’t have an anxiety attack at this game, so I prayed… hard. I didn’t pray for a win. I prayed to keep it together. We lost and he was clearly devastated. I hugged him and reminded him that he did his best. Not once did I cry in front of him.
Thinking back on the week’s events, the irony struggle me that my anxiety attack over my daughter’s safety was no different than the anxiety I felt for my son’s important game. The difference was that I fell apart in the absence of one child, and kept it together in the presence of the other. And that’s what we do as mothers, isn’t it? We keep it together the best we knew how in the moment, and for that I’m not ashamed… even though the anxiety was embarrassing, I was doing my best in that situation.
I pray each of you have a blessed Mother’s Day… you are strong. I am strong. After all, we are mothers.