By Ke’Ana Lampkins
Anxiety and worry are synonymous words experienced by many of us. Everyone has at least one moment in their lives when they’ve worried about something. Even if it was for a moment, or an extended period. We worry about our finances. We worry about our weight and our health. We worry about our families and our children. We worry about pretty much everything. But why do we do it? We know that worrying about things doesn’t change anything, yet we do it anyway.
Naturally, we plan our lives, or we have an idea of what we want and what we don’t want. Worry and fear creep in when those plans are threatened, and our lack of control is challenged. When this happens, we can go with the flow, take the punches and keep it moving or allow worry and fear to take over and be affected by it. Unfortunately, I’ve been in a constant state of worry.
When I was pregnant with my son, absolutely everything made me nervous. Will I miscarry? How will I figure out nursing? What about sleep training? Should I quit my job or be a stay-at-home mom? What if I don’t like staying home with him? Will I be a good mom? At some point, I thought everything would be fine by DJ’s arrival; that I would figure everything out. But the concerns never ceased. There was a new question each week. Will he get thrush? Why doesn’t he like being swaddled? Will he ever sleep longer than three hours at a time?
It wasn’t until after his DJ’s first birthday that I realized that anxiety had taken over my body. My mind became consumed with uncertainties of parenting, I developed sleep-related issues and experienced abdominal pain 24/7.
During my healing process, I attended services every Sunday. I read books about anxiety and finding peace, I even attended therapy. But it wasn’t until I was honest with myself that I started to get a clear sense of why I was so perplexed by my anxiety. It was a Sunday Service, just like any other. The Pastor was preaching, just like he always does. And that’s when it hit me. I’m not trusting God with my motherhood journey. All the anxiety that I’ve been feeling hit the moment I realized I was going to be responsible for another life and it never went away.
I’ve been so stuck in my fear about being a good mom, that I let it consume me; I’ve been living side-by-side with this fear. Walking with it, sleeping with it, it had become as normal as my heartbeat. I realized I had to let go of everything I was holding on to. The burdens I am carrying aren’t meant for me to hold. I don’t have to do it all on my own. I’ve now accepted that I’m not in control of my son’s life; I can’t control the outcome of his life or even my own to a certain degree. I strive to do my best as a mom but accept that everything that is supposed to happen will happen whether I want it to or not. But I also have to believe that I won’t go through anything I can’t handle.
Google would describe anxiety as your body’s natural response to stress. That it’s your body responding to what you believe will happen in the future. Keyword being: future. The problem is we can’t predict the future and we can’t stop it from occurring either. Therefore, we have to do our best and put our best foot forward. But ultimately embrace the unknown and adapt as best as we can.
You may be going through a constant state of worry or fear of the future. Don’t let it rob you of your good days, memories, or your sleep. Stay present, receive and cherish life’s most priceless moments.
Ke’Ana Lampkins is a contributing writer for The Pedestal Project, LLC. Ke’Ana is a Christian, wife, and mother dedicated to empowering young girls and women through counseling, mentorship, and education. Connect with her on Instagram @Beautifully_Yanni.