One of my strongest memories of my Mom, from when I was young, is her constant worrying. As a child it really affected me. I didn't want to be in the house. I felt she was always worrying about things she couldn't do anything about. It drove me crazy. It made me sad. Now, as a parent, I can see why she worried so much. Worrying about our children is a given, when you are a parent. It is a natural instinct that helps us attend to our children's needs. Worrying is a good thing! It's when it starts affecting your happiness and your children's happiness that it becomes a problem. Read my 5 Sparks of enlightenment below that help me tame my worry monster.
How to decrease your parental worry:
1) Identify the worry: Once you identify what you are worrying obsessively about, then you have put a label on it and it already starts to decrease. Identify what emotions you are feeling. Are you fearful? Sad? Angry? Sit with the feeling of the emotion for a few minutes and just let it be there.
2) Write a letter to yourself: Writing down your worries has a powerful way of helping you see clearly. You are releasing your worries to the paper and they start to feel lifted.
3) Remind yourself of what you can and can't control: Say the Serenity Prayer to yourself daily:
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Use these wise words to figure out what you can control and work on a solution to help you control it. You choose what you worry about. There is only so much control you can have over your kids. You are in charge of their well-being and safety, but they also have to learn their own life lessons. There is another prayer I like to say that also helps me surrender to all the challenges I meet in life. Find it here: http://parableofchristconsciousness.com/
4) Meditate: Ever since I became a parent I have relied on meditation to clear my mind and assist me in controlling my anxiety. Just 5-10 minutes in the morning and evening can help tremendously. There are many guided meditations to help with worry. Try my favorite meditation app https://insighttimer.com/
5) Practice living in the NOW: This can be the hardest thing for parents. I struggle with it daily. We all have so much on our mind with work and raising kids. It takes a lot of practice and upkeep to have moments of joy and peace in your everyday. I like to reference back to one of my favorite books, The Power of Now, to remind me of how peaceful I can feel when I live in the Now. The present moment is all we have. I know it is easier said than done, but it takes practice. Practice mindfulness in your everyday activities, such as cooking, brushing your teeth, or drinking your coffee. The more you practice, the easier it is for you to make it a part of your daily mindset.
I hope these tidbits help you the way they help me! Parenting gives us our biggest life lessons. Take those lessons and grow!