In most families, there is one parent that is more responsible than the other. In my family, that would definitely be me. However, if you ask my husband, he’d probably just tell you that I worry more.

He said, she said.

But…he might be right. If I’m completely honest with myself, I do worry too much sometimes. I think it’s partially because my husband is so nonchalant when it comes to certain things. For example, if I take the kids outside to play, I like to keep them in my sight at all times. Randy, on the other hand, will let our three-year-old, Owen, go off on his own more, which can drive me absolutely batty.

What if he decides to grab on to the barbed wire fence? What if he falls and gets hurt and Randy doesn’t hear him crying? What if he wanders down to the road where people drive by way too fast? They seem like legitimate concerns to me, even though Owen hasn’t gone near the fence for years and knows to stay away from the road. But, sometimes three-year-olds can be unpredictable. 

It’s not just what could happen outside that worries me. I worry about my boys swallowing water in the bathtub. I worry about them watching too much TV. I worry about whether we’ll let Owen ride the bus to preschool next fall. Heck, I even worry about the challenges we’ll someday face when both boys are teenagers.

I want to let go of my fears and stop wasting so much time on them. Letting go of worrying is a lot easier said than done, though. Every new experience and stage in my boys’ lives ushers in different set of worries for me as a mom. I think that’s just the way it is; worry will always be there, but how do I make it spend more time in the backseat? 

I have to remind myself that God doesn’t want me to spend my life worrying. Luke 12:25 (NIV) says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” And isn’t that true? What will being a worrywart accomplish for me? God knows the paths He’s created for us, and my worry will do nothing to change them.

So, I’m going to keep praying for God’s guidance as I learn to let go. Yes, the prospect of two teenage boys scares the living daylights out of me sometimes, but there is also going to be so much joy in that stage of life, just as there is now. And when it comes to worry or joy, I’m going to start choosing joy.

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Heather Shotkoski My name is Heather, and I am lucky to be surrounded by handsome men! I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over ten years, and together we have three lovably wild little boys. I grew up in a tiny town near the middle of Nebraska, and after living in the "big city" of Kearney for six years, my husband and I found our way back to the small town life. I am a stay-at-home mom, and each day is definitely a new adventure with three rapidly growing boys. I absolutely love it!