In my case, it has become true that being a parent is one of the most rewarding wonderful events of my life, one that is only understood by people who have decided to have kids. Of course, there are many wonderful things but none quite like this one.
However, even having a fantastic beautiful baby has a lesser positive side to it especially if you, like me, have long term anxiety. My joy of looking at my baby is often replaced by my “over-worrying”. I go deep into the “what if she has this or what if she develops whatever because of what I am doing right now”?
I don’t know how “normal” people cope with this, because I don’t know what a normal person really means. Basically, I have all this love for a 1-year-old person that I helped making and I am constantly scared of what may happen to her. Her name is Carolina, by the way.
Her nights are by far the worst moments of my days. She was born at 2 am and for a whole month, she never slept at night which meant that I was up until 5 or 6 am regularly. One year after, she usually sleeps 10 to 12 hours, which is completely up to par, but not for me.
In my memory, it is still very much present all those sleepless nights and the fear that we as parents were hurting her by simply not knowing what to do. The floor became “noise lava”, the squeaky doors became hell, my wife and I adapted to word mumbling and sometimes I get the feeling I never got off of it.
Being a parent at a mature age has its advantages, for instance, I feel like I am more present in my child’s life and I get to see her development, know what kind of parent I want to be and have a better understanding of cause and effect. At least, I do when my anxiety is away.
However, regardless of one’s age, being a parent with long term anxiety is a courageous endeavour. You find yourself having to protect your kids from your exacerbated fears, you have constant images in your mind of things that could happen and sometimes you end up holding your kids just a little bit tighter.
But, you go through it because it only takes one look, one smile and you are inundated with a feeling that surpasses your worst fears. A baby is a game-changer. It is love in a physical form, one that walks, talks and hugs you.