Something happened to me when I became a Mom. From the first time that I held that tiny, warm baby in my arms, I was overwhelmed with love. With that great love, came fear and anxiety that something would harm my child.
I also would panic that something would happen to my husband and leave me to care for our new baby by myself. I can remember hugging him tighter than usual and begging him to drive safe even as he left for short grocery trips. I felt so incredibly blessed to have my wonderful life and beautiful family. My greatest fear was that it would be taken away from me.
Before I had kids, I was an attentive driver but with different goals. I needed to get where I was going and I was on a schedule. I cursed the mini-vans that drove just over the speed limit, as I raced past them. “Wow, it must be nice to have all the time in the world!” I would blurt out in the silence of my car. Now I know how insensitive and wrong I was about those drivers. They had something much more important than time to worry about, and it was carefully buckled in their backseats.
From the moment that I took my newborn home, I saw new things as I drove. I saw cars, trucks and large vehicles that could, at any time, smash into my car and injure my child. The very thought of it would make me shutter. I began to realize how much we really have to trust the other drivers on the road.
I still don’t know if I was experiencing some weird hormonal change but the fear was very real to me. I became good at pushing that concern aside to focus on safe driving but in exchange, my mind found new things to worry about.
Each time I fill my tank up with gas, I create a plan in my head. I figure out the easiest escape route to get all my kids out of the car in the event that a fire starts at the gas station. When I read about disasters like tsunamis, I think about what I would do in those situations and how I would protect my children. Sometimes, I feel like the walking “Worst Case Scenario Handbook.”
Wherever I am, my mind leads me to accidents that could occur and solutions to keep my children safe. Am I crazy? Am I the only parent this happens to?