Looking back over the last 22 years of raising my daughter, Hannah, I see that fear and worry were consistently my partners along the way. I, like most moms, allowed my worry to cloud the joy of her childhood too often. I didn't walk around in constant fear. I didn't remain in a state of depression. But those two partners were present on a regular basis. I think that is typical for a first baby. Parents are pretty clueless. I have found that the more children I have, the less I sweat the small stuff. I know from experience that it all usually just works out. So...what was I afraid of while raising Hannah?
*Will Hannah become an ax murderer because she wasn’t on a feeding schedule at 2 days old? (I didn’t say they were rational fears)
*Will Hannah be completely ruined and feel like she lost the love of her mother because I went to work full time? (She was 1.5 years old)
*Was I doing her a major disservice because I homeschooled her?
*Will Hannah ever learn to read?
*Will Hannah’s car insurance destroy us? (Nearly did.)
*Will I fail to teach her our faith?
*Will we ever be able to afford to get her through college?
*Will Hannah choose the right guy?
Motherhood is riddled with worry. At every phase of a child’s life, their issues appear to be insurmountable. Looking back, it seems silly that I worried so much about her feeding schedule or her attachment to her pacifier. I was obsessed with the debates between breast or bottle, schedule or demand feed, homeschool or brick and mortar. Was my floor clean enough for her to crawl on? Was she watching too much TV? Has she eaten at McDonalds too many times this month? Yet, as she grew, so did my worries and concerns. During those moments when I was listening to my daughter stress out over college admissions or crying over a broken heart, I would have been happy to jump back to those easier times. The older a child gets the more scary mistakes can become, both theirs and ours.
But then I blinked.
My daughter is now a bride. When I look at the beautiful woman she has become I feel foolish for ever worrying. She is just remarkable.
*Hannah is the most scheduled person I know (second to myself).
*Hannah knows my love for her and sees all the sacrifices I have made for this family and appreciates them.
*She did learn to read, was a great student, and graduated college with honors.
*Her car insurance is no longer our problem. (Sorry James)
*Hannah is a woman of strong faith and has been a witness to many around her.
*AND Hannah found the perfect man for her.
I am certain that her life from here on out will provide me with ample opportunities to worry and fret. But at this moment, I am at PEACE. My job is complete. She is a beautiful jewel in my crown of motherhood. I am so blessed.
22 years went by in a flash. I am excited to see what the next decades bring. There is one thing I can be certain. In the same way that I was unprepared for every phase of Hannah’s life up to this point, I will be unprepared for the rest. Thank God for grace and mercy in our children’s lives. I can trust it will all work out.
*Wedding pictures taken by Elizabeth Binette Photography. She was a great photographer. Check her out.