There’s something about becoming a parent that activates anxiety in many of us.
For me, it happened when we were leaving the hospital with each kid (I have three). Adding an additional passenger or two or three to our ride increased the stakes tenfold. I became hyper aware of not only my own driving, but also ever other car around us and every bump in the road.
Of course it didn’t end there.
There were moments when nothing seemed to calm a crying infant.
Or the time I lost one of my twin boys in Walmart.
Or when they get on the bus for the first time.
Or go play at a friend’s house.
Or try out for something new.
Or go to a dance.
Or have a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Or drive a car.
Or start a job.
All of these moments are a normal part of parenting, but that doesn’t always mean we handle them well.
They feel big. Overwhelming to some of us.
And depending on our own past experiences or fears, we can add extra weight to each of these moments.
Also the less control we have over a situation, the more anxious some of us can become. (Oh, how I envy you “roll-with-the-punches” parents.)
And the older your kids get, the less control you have.
You can’t control every conversation or every interaction when they go to school, like you could when they were on the playground.
You can’t control every decision or environment.
So you have to remember to do one thing that is so incredibly hard when you feel anxious. (I’m even reluctant to type it because I know there are instances where it might fail.)
But here it is . . . you have to trust.
You have to trust your kid. Even though he or she may blow it.
And you have to trust God. Even if the outcome may look different than you think it should.
Because there’s a bigger story happening.
There is a shaping and molding of your child to become the adult they need to be.
And there’s a shaping and molding of you becoming the kind of parent you need to be both now, and to your future adult child.
There will be some things that feel really big that bring on your anxiety. And sometimes they are.
But there will also be some things that in hindsight really weren’t.
But through it all, we can experience peace. Because no matter how big the moment feels, there is a hope and a story that is bigger than what is happening in the moment.