Worry gets a bad rap.
Everyone knows moms worry too much. We are told so often that we shouldn’t worry. That worrying can’t help anything. That it’s harmful to us.
But what if there is a positive side to worry?
How would it change things if we swapped the word worry for care?
Looking instead at how we care for our kids changes the focus from something negative to something positive.
Instead of dwelling on what’s happening that we don’t like, focusing on a caring activity gives us something we can actually do, which is empowering.
Personally, I worry I am not spending enough one-on-one time with each of my kids. If I change that to, “I care enough about my kids that I want to make them feel special and loved,” then I have an action I can work on. That helps me say yes the next time my 6-year-old asks to play Go Fish, even though that stack of dishes is calling my name.
I worry I let my kids have too much screen time.
Changed to “I care enough about my kids that I don’t want them to become couch tots. But for my own mental health, I need a break to make dinner.” So I ensure they get plenty of outside time before turning on Wild Kratts.
Here’s a heavy one: I worry I’m repeating a generational pattern of emotional neglect with my kids. Changed to “I care about my kids so much that I don’t want them to feel the way that I did as a child.” I realize just the fact that I am concerned about this to begin with means I’m likely not making them feel as I did as a child.
I worry my kids are eating too much junk.
Changed to “I want my kids to have more vegetables in their diet.” This is an easy one. Throw in a bowl of carrots next to their mac ’n cheese, and voilà, I don’t need to worry about that one anymore.
Moms, we have enough to deal with without worrying that we’re, well, worrying too much.
Let’s instead see the things we’re doing right and the small changes we can make to move in the right direction.