I started writing this post before the Coronovirus pandemic began and while I will address it a little at the end. This post was originally intended to talk about coping with fear as a mom in normal circumstances, not in light of a global pandemic.
I swear when you have a baby there’s an emotion that comes with the joy and exhaustion; and that is fear. I thought with my second baby I would be more relaxed but it’s almost the opposite. During these past couple months I have been coping with a lot of fear when it comes to my littles. These fears have really kept me cooped up in the house this winter and I wanted to discuss coping with fear as a mom.
Fear of illness
I’m not addressing Coronavirus, I’m talking RSV, influenza, and the common cold.
In those first eight weeks I was terrified of the baby being sick. I told people to stay away if they or anyone in their household was sick and required hand washing. Sadly, I missed my stepson’s basketball season because I refused to take the new baby in public places.
Another fear I have is SIDS. I’m a little less worried the second time around, but I still catch myself getting up and making sure the baby is breathing anytime he’s been sleeping quietly for too long.
Fear of going outside
As an outdoorsy person, I TRULY struggle with this. When Tynan was born I feared him getting sunburned, overheating, or inhaling smoke from nearby forest fires, so we spent a lot of that first summer indoors.
This time around its winter and I’m staying inside due to fear of the baby being too cold or the wind making it hard for the baby to breath. Did you know that was a thing? I remember rolling my eyes when people warned me not to take new baby out in the strong winds but I’ve seen first hand both my boys struggle to breath in a heavy wind.
Even if the weather was perfect, I worry that I won’t get outside as much as usual due to the next fear…
Fear of caring for two babies
Leaving the house and going places with both babies is so much work! Besides the huge amount of preparation it takes to pack a diaper bag for two and to work around two nap and feeding schedules. The thought of being out alone and caring for two has scared me from going out and about.
I live in a small town 30 minutes from the nearest city which means I fear just the drive to get to a grocery store or coffee shop. What if one or both babies scream the whole way? What if the toddler falls asleep on the way and I don’t want to wake him because he’ll be a nightmare? Is it worth packing them in to town? Most times I think it’s not worth it and stay home.
I worry that I can’t handle all that comes with going out with both boys! And while I want to go hiking with them this summer, that’s a long drive to and from the mountains and carrying two babies at once which is an extremely intimidating thought.
Fear of never feeling like myself again
This is a HUGE one for me! With the first baby I felt like myself mentally around three months and physically at ten months.
This time around there are way more responsibilities and taking care of myself has been pushed even further to the back burner. When will I feel like myself again? Or get a decent night’s sleep? When will I get back into a healthy eating/workout routine?
When will I be able to focus on my needs? Right now it feels like never!
Update- Fear of running out of essential items
This is where the Coronovirus pandemic comes in. When people started panic buying toilet paper and cleaning supplies I laughed. I shared videos and made jokes. When grocery stores started emptying out, I shook my head in disbelief and looked at photos of empty shelves with wide eyes but I still wasn’t worried.
Fear kicked in when mother’s started having problems finding formula. Though the logical part of my brain told me it was fine and I would always be able to find some, fear of not being able to feed my baby kicked in and I was one of those ‘selfish stockpilers.’ I bought about 2-3 months worth of formula (depending on how his appetite grows).
I can make do without anything else. I can wash instead of using TP, I have food storage already, I can make diapers out of old clothes/towels if I need to. The one thing I can’t do without is baby formula. He’s too young for solid foods, it’s absolutely essential to keep him alive.
Coping With Fear As a Mom
How does one cope with these fears? Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those great posts that gives you five easy to follow tips, I’m genuinely looking for feedback from other moms who have been through it.
I’m hoping nicer weather will ease my fears of going out. But in light of what’s going on in the world, maybe not?
I would LOVE to hear from you!
What fears did you face as a mom and how did you overcome them?