To Let

I know what you are going to say.

I am going to write this post and then you are going to say, “Oh honey it’s so normal.”

And I don’t want you to say that.

Because I know it’s normal.

But that doesn’t make it any easier.

Also, I don’t want to write this post only to have you read it and say, “Oh honey, you are strange.”

Because I know that too.

And this is the post:

I tend to be an over-anxious, high strung mother with an internal network of high-wire nerves. I don’t like it. But it is true.

I am sitting in the basement typing this post (it took me a half an hour to write the first part–the rules) and my baby is upstairs. Three flights up. And I am physically restraining myself to get up and check on him every five minutes. Just pat his back, or make sure that his coconut head is resting comfortable against the mattress pad. Or, for heaven sakes that he is breathing.

In the night I wake up at timely intervals just to peak in on the boy. If my husband arises to meet the needs of his bladder then I insist that the trip includes a detour into the nursery. Every time he comes back to bed I ask about the physicality of the sleeping space. Was it too hot? Too cold? Too dry?

There is Md, my brother-in-law who is an Md. Well, a pediatrician (to be technical) who tells me things like “he is too old for SIDS” and the like, but the problem is that I know Md too well. He gives me his professional advice and then plays Rock Band. I don’t want to know that my doctor has a life outside of medicine. That makes me anxious all the more. I want his hobbies to be reading texts, devouring recent findings and compiling detailed information for WebMd. How does Rock Band fit into my baby’s wellness plan?

Oh dear. Here I go again.

I think feeding a baby solid food is petrifying. Sometimes I scoop a little bite of Cream of Wheat in his mouth and look away while he swallows. I know that no one in the history of this civilization (going back to Mesopotamia) has choked on Cream of Wheat, but that is no reason not to panic.

In my baby book I read that my mom fed me spaghetti when I was the same age as my kin. Spa-friggin-ghetti. She even included a short description of how my siblings loved to see me slurp up each noodle in my delicate mouth. Are you kidding me? What was I? The Death-Defying Circus?

Not all.

The baby is sick. Fever, coughs and a marathon of a runny nose. You should see me. I am two mice and a piece of cheese away from snapping. It has been a few days, Md has been consulted. I’ve consulted my mother, mother-in-law and my sister’s mother-in-law for good measure. And you know what? I hate advice just about more than anything in this advice-riddled world. That is how desperate I am.

But.

Last night as I was tending to my sick baby (and, did I mention sick husband?) (Ok, more than advice, I hate a sick husband) when I decided that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life this way. Not when statistically speaking the reasons to worry are about to divide and multiply throughout the existence of my son’s life. What is going to happen when I can’t solve all of his distress simply by offering my nursing services? Makes me almost contemplate mother-led weaning.

So I ordered my boys in the car and we drove to my parent’s house where I asked my father to give each a blessing. As my dad placed his hands on that cute coconut head and asked Heavenly Father to please bless my baby I was also blessed. I heard the words come to my heart and my mind, “Just let me do it.”

Let me check on the baby

Let me help him learn to chew.

Let me make him well.

Which notified my spirit that I am not alone in this task of baby-raising. There are others with invested interest in making sure that my son’s needs are being met from a healthy environment. And that Heavenly Father will do most of the work if I (gulp) let Him.

In practicality here in my basement, I’m trying to remember that my anxiety only masks my faith. And faith is the ability to relax. I am also congratulating myself for only checking on him once (once!) since I sat down to write this post.

And now that I’m done writing it, I want you to say, “Oh honey, only once? Good for you.”

Unless you aren’t the type to use “Oh honey” in which case you can call me “Cool Mama.” I’d say I’m half way there.

135 thoughts on “To Let

  1. I still worry if my little ones are sleeping in the night. I still check on them (or feel relieved when they fall out of their beds so I can make sure they’re alive), but I have to say that the worry has gone from a loud roar to a persistent whisper, easier to manage if no less terrifying. I do have to say though that there is something to be said about letting fear get absorbed into love and hope and faith. When I’m able to do that, I’ll let you know.

  2. Can I say “thank you”? I didn’t notice that anywhere in the rules.

    I look at my sister with her four month baby and I wonder how on earth I could ever have one of those of my own. Me. TERRIFIED! by a little baby.

    And I’m not even married yet!

    I think I’ll need to write down the part about Heavenly Father being interested in how my future children grow up too.

  3. Another tender mercy gifted to you. Don’t you love the whisperings of the Spirit? What a blessing…thank you for sharing and reminding the rest of us that we are truly not alone…and we are loved beyond measure.

  4. My three year old is sleeping in MY room because after we moved into our new house his bedroom is ten feet farther away from mine than in the old house and I cannot stand it! Did I mention we moved into our house last April? You are doing way better than me! At least your nursery is in use!

  5. Yeah… I could have written that. As I sit here typing my 5 month old is in the bassinet 3 feet away, and yet I pause every other minute or so to make sure her breaths are audible. She never naps without me checking on her every (at LEAST) ten minutes…

    I figure it comes with the territory when a high strung (or, as I prefer to call it, attentive and awareness-oriented)lady like ourselves has a baby.

  6. Our children sleep in our bedroomm ( the baby in our bed, the big one in her bed next to ours) because i did not get any sleep with constantly getting up & checking on them. My daughter is 2 1/2 & i still get up at night to check if she is breathing. I will probably do this for a long time still!

  7. I still check on my 3 children every night before I can retire to my own bed. I’ve been doing it for 9 years now. Ever since I became a mother. You’re not alone in your freaking outness. (so not a word…I know!)

    I hope your little guy and his cute little coconut head are feeling better very soon.

    And I am SO with you on the sick husband thing. Mine has been sick for 2 1/2 weeks…uggh! Between the poor man coughing all night and then snoring even more than normal because he can’t breathe properly…let’s just say that I have spent many a night the last couple of weeks sleeping on the couch. Doesn’t make for a happy mama!

  8. I’m so glad I stayed up to check your blog and read this! I’m teaching a lesson on Gethsemane tomorrow and the “Just let me do it” part totally choked me up! I am going to use your story (hope you don’t mind) for my seminary class – and yes I know it’s late and yes I have to get up in 5 hours but this was the thing I’ve been looking for to make my lesson perfect! I think the kids will totally get this concept! Thanks!!!

  9. for the record I live in a different time zone – it’s certainly not 2:50 where I am located!!! Yikes – I’m not that crazy.

  10. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been following your blog ever since your sister’s accident. I too suffer from momma anxiety and today I had a horrible anxiety attack, tears and all…at a family dinner…all about a rash. Ugh how embarrassing! Anyway I have been praying and praying for Heavenly father to give me strength to get through this. I so needed to read this right now you have no idea!!! Best of luck to you and your family!

  11. in case it helps you feel better, a few confessions-
    i am of the male persuasion, i read segullah and eat quiche, it is 2:40am here, i did get up to make sure everyone was breathing.

    including my nine year old.

  12. Amen, junior. I’ve been checking on breathing for nearly ten years. It’s just what I do. Also, last evening (is it tomorrow yet?) I cuddled my oldest to sleep.

    Time to get back to my youngest — she’ll be spending the rest of the evening (morning?) in my bed.

  13. I have 3 words for you…AngelCare Bebe Monitor…pricey, yet priceless. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Babies R Us. best. thing. ever.

  14. My 18 year old wants to know why *I* need him to knock on my bedroom door when he returns at night.

    It’s tough.

    I do know, and am so grateful and amazed, that the Lord is there watching out over all of my children throughout their lives. There is a lot of power in a mother’s prayer.

  15. I just left the comment about the AngelCare Monitor…UPDATE…the new ones have a room temperature thermometer for the baby’s room and you can see the read out on the parent unit. Genius! I have the old school version and didn’t even know the new ones had this feature! You can also get them at Amazon, Walmart, etc.

    In a nutshell, it detects sound, movement (breathing), and room temp. Alarm sounds after 20 seconds of no movement.

  16. I do all these things in addition to palpating for a neuroblastoma every other day. (ahh, the downfalls of too many years taking care of sick kiddos at a children’s hospital). But what do ya do. . .I’ll tell ya, you keep placing you hand on the back of your 7 year old just to “make sure he is still breathing.” Then continue on down the line till all kids are accounted for and oxygenating. Alas, the life of a mom!. Hang in there, Courtney, in 20 something years you can stop and get a sonic drink after driving to his dorm room to check the temp, dew point, and of course, the breathing in and out thing!

  17. I realized many, many years ago that the “worrying” really starts that first moment when you find out that a little being is growing inside you. Worry fills the months between OB visits. The worry continues throughout their youth. Today, my first-born son starts his second week of driver’s ed. Worry? You betcha! But, a very wise friend reminded me that “worry” is the work of the devil and that we need to put our trust in God. It certainly helps to put your palpitating, anxiety ridden heart at ease.

  18. lol – I remember my mother saying when she went back to visit her mother for the first time in years (different country), her mother waited up till she got home after going out at night – and my mother was over 60 at the time!! So I guess it is just something that mothers do and never grow out of!!

  19. When I told my mom I had to check to see if the baby was breathing, she said to me, “you know, it’s automatic.” Well, duh. That helped a little (but I’m still checking 10 years later). The best anxiety advice I got,(from a bona fide therapist!)was that if the sentence in your head begins with “what if” – stop right there, discard that sentence and move on to another thought.

  20. When my first baby was a month or less, he wouldn’t sleep for naps unless I was holding him. My pediatirican had given me the talk about not sleeping babies on their stomach’s, and so of course, I didn’t do it, but then my Aunt, who had 7 children,a ll who had slept on their stomachs, came over and encouraged me to sleep him on his tummy. She got him to sleep and put him on his stomach, and then she left. I laid down on the floor for the whole 3 hours he stayed asleep watching him breath the whole time.

    So please don’t ever think you are strange! You are normal, and although the urge to check on the babies (and children) never goes away, it comes less as they get older.

  21. You’re not strange or normal, you’re a mom with a baby and (like me) therefore a ferocious mother bear protecting her cub!! I still check on my 7,3,and one year old every night to make sure they’re alive (or whatever).

  22. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. I still use the baby monitor. I’ve no intention of stopping…at least until the teenage years.

  23. As always, your writing has me and The Captain in stitches, I even called drug him to the computer baby in arms to force him to listen to this ROCK BAND comment. CJANE-udabomb!!

  24. ooooh i love this post. you are such a fun writer. i love the paragraph about your MD brother and guitar hero. and the part you say you are” two mice and a piece of cheese away from snapping” genius!! Good job cool momma!

  25. As a mom of five who still checks on the kids every night before bed– and sometimes in the middle of the night if I am awakened by the baby… you’re so totally normal! It’s all part of being a good parent. DH does the same, in fact we probably overlap each other. My only girl, sandwiched between 2 brothers on each side, has a very serious heart condition– there was a time when I would check on her through the night EVERY hour. She is now almost 7 and I have turned to the Lord for guidance and look to Him to help me with the anxiety and premonitions, it is a beautiful gift that the Lord has given me.

  26. I love, “my anxiety only masks my faith.” It’s something I’ve registered lately too. If we treated humans this way it would never fly. Trusting someone means you believe what they’re telling you. Trusting Heavenly Father, and his plan for your life, implies a different sort of action than an unfaithful person may display. I think sometimes we pray, “Thy will be done, I trust you,” and then continue to stress out, in a distrustful way, about every small detail of our lives (and our children’s lives).

    That being said, I am a mother and experience some of what cjane described above. It was so peculiar to me in the beginning that I had to go study it out. Turns up that we are genetically wired this way for the survival of our species. It’s anthropology and all that jazz. Ergo, when your husband gives you that “must be a crazy-female thing” look, blame it on your lady-stock. Heavenly Father made you this way for the benefit of our little-ones. So, I turn to Him when my anxiety creeps-up on my faith.

  27. Oh this is a good one!! I’m a grandma now and guess what?? It doesn’t stop after your kids are grown and gone. In fact, I think it’s worse with my grandkids. And then to add to the anxiety, I can’t remember whether it’s sleep them on their tummy or back or was it on their side? They change those things over the years with all the tags of fear attached to the instructions! Who wouldn’t be crazy. But isn’t being a mom the best even though…(just fill in the blank with no sleep, no energy, no privacy, etc).Even after saying that, I don’t know how mothers turn their precious little ones over to someone else to watch while they go to work… I would have been a basket case if I would have had to have done that!!

    BTW… You’re NORMAL!!

  28. I second the “thank you” for the ah-ha moment ” And that Heavenly Father will do most of the work if I (gulp) let Him.” I spent my entire drive into work today trying to analyze the environment in which we’re raising out firstborn and how it needs to be changed to ensure we don’t screw him up!

    I won’t say “Oh honey!” as it isn’t my way, but I will say that you are NOT alone and nor are you strange. But in that, it is wonderful to have others who feel, experience and understand the challenges we face in raising God loving children.

    Amen!

  29. I still check on my 9, 6 and 2 year olds periodically through the night. I plan on doing it until they leave home! No such thing as being loved too much right?

  30. Oh honey, only once? Great job!!

    2 things: 1) I agree, sick husbands are the worst! and 2) I have 2 kids – 5 and 2 – I still check on both of them…I think I have an illness…I cannot stop!

  31. I am definitely not a checker. I used to be, then one day I said to myself, “I am not going to waste one more second worrying about that” And now I don’t.

    I used to cry when my baby got shots. Five kids later, I am a complete stoic. I think I just outgrew it.

    I have noticed that there is a certain feeling that comes when something is really wrong. It is different than the naggings of over-anxiety.

    The photos on your blog make it clear that the kid is excessively adorable. That’s probably the root of the problem, right there.

  32. How funny–I just had almost the exact same experience night before last. My baby was very sick, but after a phonecall to the doctor, he assured me he would be fine, but not believing him, I felt panicked and asked my husband to give my baby blessing. It brought me so much reassurance to know that Heavenly Father truly is on our side and has as much (if not more!) invested interest in our baby’s well-being! You rock, cool mama!

  33. I’ve had a handful of similar sacred whisperings, the most memorable came one evening as I left my four year old, two year old and newborn twins at home for an hour to jet off to a Young Women meeting. I’d mountain climbed past exhaustion hours before. I was now just bone tired. No, more than that. Bone marrow tired. Not to mention I’d yelled at one of the kids (okay, maybe two of them) though I’d meant to rock and cradle and coo at them while playing puzzles on the kitchen floor.

    “I can’t do it!” I cried aloud.

    Instantly, a voice. “You don’t have to.

    “Let Me.”

    Comfort came. The kind of calm that sinks into your bones and lifts away the tired.

    I wept like a baby in her Father’s arms.

    And I remembered.

    They are my children. But mostly, they are His.

    And His hand has been there countless, countless times. Leading me, guiding me.

    Because, after all, I’m His child, too.

    And I happen to know how much one loves their children.

  34. And just when you think you can breath, your child has a child and the worrying begins again. Can my child raise her child, will she check on her, will she feed her right, will she keep her warm enough at night?
    The list goes on. How will I know these things without asking my child so she doesn’t think I don’t think she is doing a wonderful job? And a wonderful job she is doing! I think it is called Love. Love my child, Love my granddaughter, love knowing deep in my heart all is well and as it should be.

  35. You brought tears to my eyes with the “Just let me do it” part. It’s so true and just what I needed to be reminded of today. Thank you!

  36. And then he’ll become a teen! “You don’t have to wait up for me Mom, I’ll be on time!”(eyes rolling). That’s not the point is it? Moms have to KNOW, to SEE, to KISS goodnight. NO advice here, just a big nod of sympathy and remembrance. But you can sleep with faith that your little one is in God’s care when you slumber. Angels are there. I can testify of that one!

  37. I love that you went to your dad for a blessing! That is so sweet….I might try that with my dad sometime…everyone needs a good blessing every now and then. Thanks for this post. My kids are 11 and 7 years now…but I remember going through the same thing. You are doing a great job with “The Chief” a mommy can never be too protective. But I like what you said about “Faith” it is the ability to relax. Wow! you just helped me today…I am going to keep that with me all the time….I am an anxious person about alot of things..including parenting.You are such a great mom….and totally normal too! Girl, only once…Good for you!:)

  38. Beautiful post. And may I recommend a video monitor. Seriously, the. best. thing. ever. The best $120 my mom has spent for me.

  39. Letting go takes a conscious effort, doesn’t it? Sometimes at night I have to say to the Lord. “You watch him, because I can’t. Wake me up if he needs me.” Otherwise going to sleep at night is a challenge.

    Good job, momma!

  40. I am exactly the same way. When my babies are sick I get so much anxiety that they are going to die from the common cold. I will say it’s better with number 2. And don’t be scared of medicine. It will save your sanity.

  41. Just a thought. Some times the stress people are under or life changes can make one anxious and it lands on the most obvious place – the baby. I wonder if some of this fear will resolve when life settles down some, at least as much as life ever can. This has been a year to overwhelm and you have hung in. The writing you have done is a comfort and inspiration.

  42. Feeling your pain! Have a 15 year old and an 11 year old that are both sick and we’ve had sickness in the house since November! I am a wreck. Slept on the floor with the 11 year old last night and wondered if I’d be able to actually close my eyes and sleep. I am a nervous wreck. I always imagine the worst! So it was WONDERFUL to read this today. To know that I’m not the only one!!!

    I too try to trust our Heavenly Father with my children… after all.. He loves them more than I do..(hard to imagine!) But faith is hard sometimes! Thinking of you from up here in the cold north!

  43. I agree with DEANNA…Angelcare Monitor. My daughter is 10 months old and I still use it. Of course I peek in occasionally because she is just so freakin’ cute sleeping like a stink bug…but no anxiety!

  44. Courtney, Good for you! I remember that feeling when my babes were so young and being terrified of everything. I wish I could say that it gets better, but alas, my oldest is 13 and I still fear for her. Fear for the choices she will make and who she is hanging out with, and what boys does she like.

    I am learning that being a mother is riddled with fear and anxiety.

    And then I try to tell my brain that fear and faith cannot exist together. I must trust my Heavenly Father more, and like you said, “Let Him help me.”

    I love you, Courtney, every little piece of you.

  45. I still check on my kids to see if they are breathing and they are 5 and 3. I completely understand and do also congratulate you on only checking once during your post.
    I love your writing. Keep it coming!

  46. No to add to your worrying but last holiday season my my almost 4 month old son slept through the night for the first time. I checked on him at least every hour and so did my husband. Now, we aren’t the overly anxioux type, somewhere in the middle, but my cousin and his wife woke to an infant whisked away to heaven in his sleep just the night before. Another pair of broken hearts victims to the mystery of SIDS. I don’t think you are crazy and well…probably not normal either…more like extraordinary. He’s a special spirit and you are his mother. Worry all you want and enjoy the stirrings of peace faith brings you. And, it’s okay to chop hot dogs into quarters, I mean, if you let him eat hot dogs some day.

  47. p.s. and by “I gave up” I also mean that I constantly consider installing closed circuit video with remote access so that I can see them ALWAYS.

  48. I sometimes go into my kids’ rooms to just stare at them in wonder and amazement. Of course, I also check to make sure they’re breathing, but how can you not want to stare at these amazing, miraculous creatures that Heavenly Father allowed you to participate in creating and/or is allowing to participate in raising? Rather than calling it anxious or weird, we should call our little trips “gratitude walks.” Gratitude that they are breathing, but even more, gratitude that they are there in the first place and that you are honored to tuck them in every night and kiss them every morning.

    Thanks, cjane. It’s a good reminder.

  49. Yessss! I am not the only one. Whew. Cool mama, only once! I high five you from here.

    xo
    Flicka

    PS~No more commenting allowed over at cjane? :-( It’s your world, I just miss being part of your fan club.

  50. This doesn’t end when they leave for college, a mission, or marriage. I still pray every night that my “children” and now grandchildren, sleep tight. And even though I can’t protect them from bad dreams, runny noses, and bring them drinks of water, I must have the faith to know they have loving heavenly parents who can – how wonderful that we have 2 sets. There are still nights I lay awake and worry – but I gave them the best I had, still do. I’d like to think I taught them how to fly and how to return to the nest every once and awhile.

  51. here is Mama-me entering my baby’s room where he peacefully slumbers. so peacefully. too peacefully. poke. poke. pokepokepoke…
    whAAAAA…(baby, no longer in peaceful slumber)

    Mama-me: “oh, you poor thing. there there now, mama will hold you”

  52. Do you know how I solved this issue? By baby number 3, I invested in a baby monitor that has a camera. I love it! I got it at Target and it was well worth the money. I especially can’t wait until she’s older and I can see what the little monkey is up to when she’s supposed to be napping. I do have to do the physical check on all 3 before I go to bed. But in the middle of the night when I’m so tired, I can click on the monitor and see she’s doing just fine.

  53. This was so encouraging to me. At multiple levels. Letting go, I think, is the hardest lesson I keep trying to learn. The way you phrased it is heartwarming and beautiful and comforting. I love that you heard that. I know I have, too. xox

  54. This isn’t meant to make you feel worse (actually maybe it should make me feel worse..) but my 19..almost 20 year old..yikes.. has been sick and I went in last night to make sure she was still breathing…oh boy. I just think this is the life of a mother. Hence the reason Dads are not in charge!!!!

  55. I let myself check. Sometimes, though, when I’m pretty sure it’s anxiety and I’ve already checked recently, I pray, “Okay Heavenly Father, if I really need to check, I need You to let me know in louder terms.”

    I love the message you received.

    Sometimes my prayers bring on the tears: “Please let me raise him to be an adult.”

    When he’s slept through the night without a peep, I wake up in the morning praying, “Please let him still be alive.”

    Nope . . . I don’t think you’re alone in any sense of the term.

  56. You have problems, I wouldn’t have any more kids if I were you. There’s a fine line between loving mother and controlling freak. Your aura must be so out of whack.

  57. Okay, I’ll be the odd woman out! While I think it’s normal to check on the kiddos, I usually don’t. I guess I am not normal. I am a mother of 5 and I don’t check on my kids in the middle of the night unless they’re sick, or I am nursing the baby, of course. Not totally heartless here! We say a prayer at night, tuck them all in and that’s it. Small house-so no need for a baby baby monitor and if we hear something, we’ll check it out but I just go about my day (and night) expecting to be okay. Sounds too simplistic maybe but my late mother always said not to worry so much and enjoy. Works for me.

  58. Oh cool mama courtney!! How’s that for a start :) It is hard but hey listen you should go right ahead a pat yourself on the back. When you felt like you couldn’t do it anymore you did the one thing we have been counciled our whole life to do….turn it over to the lord! You putting those sick boys in the car and going over to your sweet Dad for a blessing. Good Girl! I am very proud of you!!!! I am with ya on the anxiety part and I have found that if I go in a room (basement) or where ever and say a little prayer or hey go in my room and scream in a pillow first, then pray, I can pretty much give my head a little clearing and take care of whatever is going on better. Or I call up my sister and talk her ear off and she almost always makes me feel better by the time I get off the phone with her. Hey sometimes just hearing that there are other mom’s out there with the same things I feel somewhat normal!! You are doing a awesome job. Keep your head held high and when you feel you can’t stand any longer Kneel. Love ya Courtney!!!
    Tif

  59. My kids are elementary age but every single solitary prayer we say includes “Please protect us . . while we sleep, while we are away from each other, while we are at school. . . Please protect us. . . “

  60. I had a blessing once where Heavenly Father reminded me that He was their perfect parent and He knew how to parent them perfectly…I derived a lot of comfort from that…knowing that I just had to basically provide an environment where they could feel His Spirit (and teach them how), so that He could parent them more effectively.

    Phew.

  61. I remember a blessing I once got and in it it said I would have Heavenly Father’s children and that I should care for them. I try to read that blessing often and remember it always, but I agree – it’s hard. What I think is mine, is not. How can that be true? Because it is.

  62. My 19 year old went to Basic Training last week, many states away. I can’t EVER check on him. My four-year old, I check on her multiple times in the night. The other four children in between? I touch their cheeks and feel for breath and pull up covers to warm. I love being a mother. It’s exhausting, but rewarding.

  63. Ugh. Me too. I hear what you are saying and while I’m glad I’m not the only one, it’s still frustrating that I feel anxiety is ruling my life. I have 2 kids but my real anxiety is about my husband. I worry about him constantly when he’s not home, even when he’s just at the grocery store. When he travels for business, forget it, I’m a wreck then entire time. Part of me wants to say “at least you can check on your little one when you feel nervous!” What do I do when my husband won’t answer the phone and I start spinning into a panic about if he’s dead or hurt or thinking about leaving me or abducted by a UFO?? :p Are you feeling less crazy yet? Anyway, get the AngelCare monitor. FOR SURE. You’ll sleep so much better. I still use it for my 2.5 year old… just in case she wanders off in the night, or has the 1 in a billion case of SIDS.
    And Mary, any advise on how to FIX an “out of whack aura?” Because I’m sure mine is worse than cjane’s and from what it sounds like, yours is perfect.

  64. When I pray for answers (from the breathing infant to the hyperactive 7-year-old who could or could not be introduced to drugs in 2nd grade and the sassy four-year-old who is terrified of death in between), and I mean I am really stressed (maybe one mouse and piece of cheese away from completely losing it), the answer that I overwhelming receive is, “Trust in Me and trust in these spirits that were sent to you.” I feel calm knowing that his spirit can say no to drugs, etc. So, yes, I love your thought process. Sometimes we just need the Lord to ease our troubled, crazy, worried mother hearts.

    And one time – I am extremely impressed!

  65. When I pray for answers (from the breathing infant to the hyperactive 7-year-old who could or could not be introduced to drugs in 2nd grade and the sassy four-year-old who is terrified of death in between), and I mean I am really stressed (maybe one mouse and piece of cheese away from completely losing it), the answer that I overwhelming receive is, “Trust in Me and trust in these spirits that were sent to you.” I feel calm knowing that his spirit can say no to drugs, etc. So, yes, I love your thought process. Sometimes we just need the Lord to ease our troubled, crazy, worried mother hearts.

    And one time – I am extremely impressed!

  66. C-love,

    I was laughing my butt off because oh my goodness, I am not the only one in the world! I know it’s delusional to think otherwise but most times it feels that way. It’s a relief finding others taking the same baby steps, simply wanting to give our babies the ultimate sense of security.
    I lose count of how many times I check on my babies when they are sleeping and leaning in close to see if they are breathing. Mind you, he just turned one and her three. Or when they eat?!! Don’t get me started!
    It’s amazing reading this because just two days ago, I was thinking of how hard it is not to worry and it’s not really something that’s going to go away so easily. I think it just happens once you become a mother.
    Thank you for this.
    <3

  67. All I can say is “I understand”. I still check to see if my 12 yr. old son is breathing every night.

  68. Ok when I read this I actually said ahhh so nice that someone else feels this way and does not want to hear it is normal or ok even if it is. Blessings always calm me, heck I got 4 before I went into labor because I was terrified!!!

  69. And then you do decide to let go and your daughter chokes on an apple piece the size of a pea and passes away. And you question the letting go and realize it really was out of your hands and in HIS. And then you have to learn an entirely different language of letting go.

    It is so hard. It is so excruciatingly hard.

    Letting go doesn’t mean not caring. It means doing your part and trusting…if I can conquer this in my lifetime I’ll let you know.

  70. Aww honey, you and your darling baby will be just fine! I had to tell myself that repeatedly with my first baby. I mean, after all, women have been having babies, getting them through their illnesses, way before our time~right? I mean we live in the most medically advanced society in history and we are women of faith, so this should be a walk in the park! I think it starts to feel a little easier after baby’s first birthday. If you can make it to one, you are definitely a cool mama!

  71. Nurturing your child and keeping her alive is the very, very first step. The next steps are much more challenging. As you learn that your child is not developing the way she should, you ask a million questions of yourself. Could you have had a better pregnancy, could you have fed her better, could you have stimulated her more? Then you face the answer…she is your child, and she is your blessing. She is here to teach you how to live a better life. She is here to bring you closer to God, because she is closer to God. Now it is your job to come closer to God and to see your child as the blessing that she is.

  72. I’m not a mother but I have a mother. And until I moved out for college (which I did the SECOND I could) I was still required by threat of lost car privileges or additional chores without additional compensation, to wake my mom and tell her that I was safely home. All 3 kids had to do that. I doubt my mother slept through the night for 8 or so years.

  73. The anxiety gets better as they get older. I’m to the point now where I say, let them do it if it doesn’t kill them–broken bones will heal, right?

  74. I think it gets a bit easier with subsequent children. But enjoy him now…there will come a day when you have to leave him at the MTC & oh sweetie talk about heart wrenching as a mom! Being a missionary mom requires much faith and trust in the Lord.

    You are a cool momma as well as a cool sister and aunt!!! Hang in there! At least right now you know where your little chief is to check on him!

  75. I’m just glad to know that other’s feel the same way as me. My mother-in-law always talks of just letting her kid’s be at night and not seeing til morning, but I have no idea how that’s done. i also have friend’s who tell me that they turned off the baby monitor at 6 months. My daughter is 13 months and I’m still always checking on her. I’m a pediatric nurse, which I think just increases my anxiety over her. I see the 2% instead of the 98%. Thank you for the reminder of Who’s watching out for her.

  76. Do you always blog from the basement?

    Just wondering:)

    Thanks for the post and thanks everyone else for the comments:) My second bebecita was in the NICU for 5 weeks and once he wasn’t hooked up to all those monitors I nearly had a heart attack….I NEEDED to know that some machine was making sure that my baby was still alive! But eventually I realized that if he made it this far in his rocky-at-the-start life, that truly if any baby was meant to live it was him.

  77. Sweetie, Only Once? Good for you! I still have the monitor switched on every night. I still check one hour after settling and before I go to bed, and again if I wake in the night for no reason. I still bring him into the family bed if daddy is working away. I treasure watching him sleep and the sleepy morning snuggles. When he’s poorly we make up a bed in our room so that I can hear his breathing in the night if I wake. I sometimes lie on his bed and just watch in awe whilst he’s sleeping. It doesn’t bother him. It brings me joy. He’s seven….

    years.

    His mummy clearly does not have your faith! t.xx

  78. Hi Courtney,

    okay for all you novice mothers I am going to tell you the truth…I STILL WORRY! I have a 32 year old daughter with two children of her own. Okay so this weekend I was 1500 miles away from her and knew she had to be out…by HERSELF for the evening….at 10:30 a reasonable time from which she should have returned I called her, on the pretense of “I am just saying hello” ….not I was on the edge of my seat waiting for her to answer the phone ….ringy dingy, ringy dingy, ringy dingy, HELLO@Q a frantic hello on the other end gasped….it was from her husband….oh no this is not good….”oh I thought you were L…” he replied “I have been waiting for her to call for 1 hour and a half”…YIKES My heart is now in my stomach……”WHAT” I try to control the sound of my voice but, as I speak I am thinking how the heck can I get home in 15 minutes when I am 1500 miles away….I am still thinking WHERE IS MY BABY?!&)^$%$? Okay so see…. can you see where this is going as the panic surfaces and gets as big as the endless sky. Please know that I am the only one telling you the truth…I wanted GPS on my children…. in their teeth ( I am a retired dental assistant) but then I feared the purpotratror would remove their teeth in a horrible torture…so I opted to just get on my knees over and over to ask my Lord to save them from harm, and me from a sure heart attach. The Lord always comes through and my kids are safe and sound…and I am just barely hanging on from getting a heart attach! My point, you will always feel this way Ms. Courtney, and a little bit more…the older the cheif gets the worse it will get. You may by all means delete this if it is too scary…but I felt the need to warn you :) Have a good day! Hugs….Donna oh ps…. L finally got home, and I talked to her the entire 20 minute ride until she opened her door and was greeted by her darling hubby!

  79. Oh mom, this is every mothers fears with their first one (if they say it isn’t, they are lying). And get ready as above comment said it seems to continue and then they add more people in the mix like in-laws, and then oh no, Grandchildren. The thing that helps as you found out is to know that you are not the only one watching over them, after all we really are all his children too.

  80. I’ve never understood why so many moms with oldish kids are so tired. Now I do. You poor mommy worriers. I don’t worry myself. I’ve always trusted the instinct that would wake me if something was wrong and it hasn’t failed me once – not even on a very dark and scary night. I pray for protection for my children and insight for myself and leave the rest up to them and to Him. And I’m not tired very often. RELAX everyone. He’ll take care of them and of you. Now get some sleep.

  81. Only once…every few hours!

    I actually bought a clear shower curtain with my first so that I could watch him and know he was ok while in there!

    Looney tunes!

  82. It happens to men too. My husband did not sleep the first three (yes, three) weeks of our first son’s life. He was too worried that I or the baby might need something or something might happen to us. He finally collapsed. Nine years later it still makes me well up. Love is good.

    My grandma said once you become a mother you will never sleep the same again, and she is right. But I do know the protection I pray for each night on both my sons, allows me the rest I need most nights.

  83. I have a 15 and 12 year old and if I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night I still check on them to listen if they are still breathing! I joke, that I still check them for SIDS! When they get older you will still have worries , just different ones. My Mom was, and still is a worrier. I think there is a worry gene, and that some of us inherit it! Enjoy every moment,they grow so fast, and so do the worries!!!

  84. I was so relieved to read this and realized how much being a crazy mom is normal. My daughter was born at 25 weeks and her being alive is a pure miracle in itself. She is now 5 but the whole experience has turned me into a parnoid freak! Mostly when it comes to germs because germs lead to sickness and then I too am on the verge of snapping! That is what a 3 1/2 month NICU experience will do to you! I now have two kids and am just as bad. I find that I get a lot of anxiety over the “what if’s” so reading your comment about the anxiety masking your faith really hit me and made me realize that I need to do what I can and then trust in the Lord. Thanks for helping me see this.

  85. Oh–your beautiful,honest post brings back so many memories! Having three grown daughters I can encourage you that you will learn a special Grace through these years and be able to offer comfort to other new mothers some day. Breathe. These days will soon be behind you–only to be replaced by other maternal concerns–for the beauty in motherhood is that it simply does not end when they are grown. I still pray just as fervently for their present day challenges–and wouldn’t change this journey for anything in the world!

  86. Ok let me start by saying you are totally normal and weird but, aren’t we all? Wouldn’t the world be soooo boring without weirdos? My Grandma used to always say everyone else is just weird. And I never got it until I was 1)married-in-laws weird 2)Had kids of my own(others kids weird) But I must tell you that I am nervous that I am the complete opposite. I don’t feel the need to check on my kids. When my babies are like 3 weeks I move them to their own rooms. So I read your post and wonder. I am the weird one? do I not care enough as a mother? I mean judas priest, I do love my kids but am I abnormal in the parental department? I guess we will both never know. And even when It does come to a time that we are suppose to know I am sure that the judger will have a separate answer for both of us based hopefully on the intentions of our mommy hearts.

  87. I’m just crackin’ up at the times that the first 15-20 or so comments were made! My oldest is 15 and 4 more down to 4 years old. I still check on them all before I go to bed. Will be climb up a latter and into their homes when they move away? Heaven help us all!

  88. It doesn’t get any better. Every time they go out to play or go to school I get anxious. Basically any moment I cannot CONTROL. My third child, a first boy, three months old is upstairs sleeping. I finally one night was so bleary-eyed with lack of sleep and worry that I had to stand over his bassinet and pray, “Heavenly Father, no matter how hard I try I realize I cannot watch him every moment. Can you please do it for me?”
    Good luck sister!!

  89. I second that the video monitor has been a lifesaver for my anxiety-ridden self! THE BEST BABY PURCHASE WE EVER MADE.

  90. I am feeling a bit out of place beacaus I seem to be the only one who doesn’t check on her babies (8 weeks and 17 mo.) My mom thought it was weird but I brushed it off but now I am begging to worry.

  91. Please don’t think I’m callous, but as a practical way of dealing with your fear, have you thought of a baby monitor? This is not meant in a mean way. I’m serious.

    And seriously (again) C-Jane, with all you have on your plate, one little nervous habit just has to sneak out someplace!

  92. I remember after my sister’s husband had a tragic fatal scuba accident I worried about everything. I didn’t want my husband or children to leave the house or anything of the like. It was so paralyzing. I hated the feeling because it was so difficult to enjoy the small things and I felt so selfish…my sister and her children needed me and I needed them. So I took all my worries to the Lord and left it with him. It was a huge weight off my shoulders and I feel like it gave me a sliver of perspective. Our children need us to be strong faith filled. I feel so blessed to feel that spirit too. So honey….thanks for letting us know we’re not alone.

  93. Thank you. I am exactly the same way with my son who is 3 and a half. I started worrying about him before he was even concieved(how weird is that??) I think that when you have fertility issues (which I did) For me I feel so lucky to have this child because I really thought I wouldn’t have any and feeling that way makes me more protective. It took so long to get this beautiful child here you don’t want anything to happen to them. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing how you feel and I too am greatful for blessings. In fact my son had one the day he was born. I can’t even count how many he has had. It really makes it nice to know that Heavenly Father is watching over us. I just find it hard sometimes to grab on to that faith. I try. And Kudos to you for only checking once:) YOU make me smile

  94. I do the same thing–and I have 5 kids. I just want to make sure they are safe okay before I head to bed. Will you do comments again on your blog? I miss being able to comment there–but understand after all the strange ones, you might want a break. I think you are wonderfully honest and spicy, just the way you are. I just love your writing. Thank you!

  95. Thank you for your post! You have such a way with words, and I adore your blog.
    I have the same routine as many others who have commented here – I check my two babies (1 and 3) every night before I go to sleep. Luckily it’s subsided to only that. :) But I stroke their hair and tuck them back into their blankets and whisper I love you’s and little prayers for angels to watch over them. And my arms ache to hold them and rock them just one more time.
    Good for you. Go give that sweet little coconut head a kiss.

  96. In addition ~ from one Mama to another . . .don’t let anyone tell you there is relief when they sleep thru the night. The first time was the worst night of my life! You’ll (maybe) sleep thru the night in 18 years. :-)) This is just a training faze AND so beautiful! Cheers ~

  97. where to start? I KNOW and have accepted my phobia of choking. I was laughing hysterically at your “cream of wheat” analogy…beacause I am exactly the same! My son is 2 years old next month…and I thought he would never eat solid food…not because he didn’t try…because I thought it would kill me:)

    If I hear him choke…or examine ANY food that I think he might choke on…it is taken away or mutilated into such a small, insignificant little piece that there wasn’t a single chance it could clog his precious airway! Ha! I’m totally serious.

    I have gone as far as to let him eat an entire bag of dum dum suckers because once he gets to the point where the stick get’s soggy…I mentally visualize the little ball (sucker top) breaking off and….YEP…choking him. The second..and I mean second the stick get’s soggy…he get’s a new one!

    My thought is…”they may think I’m crazy…but heavenly father gave him to ME…to protect…and by darn if I’m going to let him die on my watch!”

    your a wonderful mother. and I have a few things to say to those who are leaving rude comments. Their so jealous they can’t see straight!

  98. I have been a mother for over 18 years, the youngest will be 7 next week. I have been known to creep upstairs during the night just to hear the heavy breathing of a sleeping child. In August,the oldest decided to attend college in the mountains, 2500 miles away. Now I check cell phone records,fb and occasionally his student meal plan account just to see what time he last ate! C….while you are up in the night checking your baby, could you walk by the dorms and check on mine?

  99. I only have one baby and he’s 18 months now and I still check to see if he’s breathing whilst he sleeps and I watch him like a hawk when he eats for fear of him choking.

    But it’s like my mother said – everyone tells you are responsible for the nurture of your child, for his education, for his discipline, for his playtime, for his nutrition, for his well being. When in actual fact what you are responsible for is stopping the litter beggar from killing himself by sleeping on his face of flinging himself off of furniture. Kids are cute but stupid and you’ve got to keep an eye on them as they seem hell bent on killing themselves.

  100. I love you. You are a wonderful mother. Thank you for sharing. I still check on my 12, 10 and 8 year olds. Although I am far more worried what my 12 year old daughter gets up to in daylight believe me. My real trouble comes when we are occasionally away for a night on our own, then I can’t check and worry all night long. I have also been known to check that my husband is still breathing too! Go kiss your baby and check as much as you like. I really miss having a little one and am very envious.

  101. Oh Honey…..you are doing JUST FINE!!!

    I still check on my kids before I go to bed, and if I get up in the middle of the night. My youngest one is 15!!! And my middle son is 20 and goes to school in Washington State (EXACT OPPOSITE COAST from me). I still text him goodnight or say goodnight every night. My oldest is 23, and well he is in Heaven (I know…the safest place ever, but when we pray at night as a family, he is still included).

    When my sons found out that I would pop into their rooms while they were sleeping, just to give them another kiss on the forehead, pray over them, and whisper in their ear that I love them forever and ever….their reaction was “WHAT”!

    So as I said…Honey, you are doing just fine. Our Children just fill that special place in our hearts, and takeover the spot of what some may say…is the “practical and rational” parts of our brains. But you know….I want my ^I^Brandon^I^, Jordan, & Seth in those spots!!!

    I LOVE your posts!

  102. My dad sometimes quotes his favorite scripture to me when I seem to be a little too spastic. “Be still…and know that I am God.” It does help when we remember that. Thank you for the reminder.

  103. Honey, I would be more worried about you if you didn’t worry about him. You waited a long time for him to arrive and he is literally a part of you and when you are away from him it is like a piece of you is missing.

    At least that is how I felt. I know with my first (lovely Marilyn) I never even put her down for a nap. She just slept on a firm pillow on my very long lap and I gazed at her non stop. She just amazed me (and still does.) That had to end when I became pregnant with her brother and lost my lap. :)

    Firstborn children are really our teachers. They teach us a lot about ourselves, relationships and put our relationship with Heavenly Father in a different perspective.

    Love always. tgm

  104. Wow, so many staying up checking on kids. Add me to the list. I have 3 special needs kiddos, but my oldest also has a seizure disorder, so either I am sleeping with her or not sleeping at all…There is no worse feeling than wondering what one may find upon walking into my child’s room sometimes. To all of you with healthy children, I know you worry too, but please get your rest!

  105. I think it’s funny that you don’t exactly “trust” your brother, the MD, the pediatrician. My husbands best friend is a pediatrician, but not OUR pediatrician. How can I take him seriously when I see him playing Wii and acting like a teenager with my husband? Not possible!

    But- I sure won’t hesitate to speed dial him the second something doesn’t feel right!

  106. I don’t know if I am normal or not, but I find that I am a little less crazy with my fourth child as I was with my first. I sometimes feel guilty that I don’t check as much, that I don’t focus on every little thing like I did with my first child. I often wonder, “Do I treat my daughters different than my sons?” But, I just hope to do the best I can for all of them.

  107. I have two grown daughters who no longer live with us and two grandchildren. I call them at least every other day to make sure they are all still breathing and that, in the breathing, they are finding joy in the moment. It’s a difficult challenge to “Let go, let God,” but a great blessing to all in your aura.

    Bless you on your path.

  108. I’m going to venture a guess that some of your worrying is due to your rocky start into motherhood. I don’t think I would have been quite the worrier early on in my mothering if I hadn’t been through 3 years of infertility treatments (that word is far too kind for the true process)only to have my first son arrive 12 weeks early and then spend 86 days (yes, 12 years later I still remember exactly)in the hospital. After all of that I could hardly believe anyone, ever, in all of time, could get pregnant all by themselves, and that a baby could survive the womb and to top it all off, breathe all on his own. Talk about miracles.

    My greatest hope for you is that there are many more babies to come and with them, no more time for worrying.

  109. For some reason I was up at 1 am, unable to sleep checking on my 10 yr old boy. Poor kid, I tripped on a toy and woke him up. Scared the living daylights out of him. Tonight I am staying in bed.

  110. best. post. ever. Bless your heart for having the courage to speak truth.

    As a young mom, I kind of had the nebulous idea of “heir and a spare.” When we have MORE kids, I’ll worry LESS. That was BEFORE I had any more kids and found out that fear grows exponentially (at least with me) with each subsequent birth.

    I have six kids, ages 5-21. I still “tuck in” my 21-year-old every night–and she moved out to go to college over three years ago! I can’t stand not being able to SEE each one–still breathing–each and every night. I almost can’t sleep without KNOWING they are OK.

    While that’s all true and my brain goes crazy with worry every day– and I’ve resigned myself to never being relaxed again–I’ve had to force myself to temper the craziness. (No! YOU are not crazy…just me.) Because I can spend the rest of my life being incapacitated by fear–and never enjoy anything about my kids–or I can realize that the fear isn’t going to prevent anything anyway. It’s just going to make us all miserable. So I try really hard to push the fear aside and enjoy every minute of my kids. Even the minute right now when my 15-year-old is lying in bed talking to a BOY when she’s supposed to be asleep. (Even if he is the teacher’s! quorum! president!)

    And if I don’t find multiple situations in which to use the phrase “Spa-friggin-ghetti,” I will never be completely fulfilled.

  111. I was the same. My fear stemmed from the fact that it took forever to get my babies and I couldn’t just make another if something happened to them. My anxiety has calmed for the same reason as yours.

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