By Rhonda Ihrig
I hear many young moms say, "I'm so fearful," or "I worry," or "my anxiety is out the roof."
This summer my husband and I spent a few days with his brother and family in South Lake Tahoe. My oldest niece has 3 children, and my youngest niece has, a then, 9-week old. They are all adorable. My mind went back to camping with small children and I am very glad that stage is of my life has passed.
As the first day progressed, I noticed the baby fussed and cried every time he was awake. She would feed him, but after maybe an hour or two, he was awake again and fussing. I noticed his mom seemed a bit frustrated, but kept a great attitude and smile on her face (Unlike me who would have been in tears and ready to give up the whole mothering thing).
Like many young moms, underneath that smile is fear, worry and anxiety.
She asked me what I thought she could do, and why he was so fussy. I gave her my input and said, "I think he is very hungry and a little colicky.” So I took her to the store and we got "Gripe Water" and cereal. Now don't have a heart attack because we gave a 9-week old cereal. He loved it! He gained weight and is a much happier baby. Psst…she didn't tell the doctor that she has been giving him cereal! You don't have to tell everything you know. Lol!
My poor niece was so worried and fearful she was not doing the right thing and going against what the doctor had told her. So I gave her the encouragement she needed. She needed to do what was right for her child and to not be afraid, worry and have anxious thoughts of what others might say.
How many of you feel "fearful" of what you may or may not be doing right? Do you "worry" what will happen if you go against what other moms or the doctors say? Are you experiencing "anxiety" because you feel like you are not being the "perfect" mom?
Moms today are being held hostage by fear, worry, and anxiety. This is the exact place the enemy wants you to be. But Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing...." Matthew 6:34 says, "So do not worry..." Isaiah 41:10 says, "Do not fear, for I am with you..." The Bible speaks to all these unhealthy emotions that so easily take us captive.
Here are three ways to help you break free:
1. Don't stress the small stuff!
Don't worry about things that haven't happened yet because there is nothing you can do to fix it. Worrying about that kind of stuff takes time away from your life. My niece could not enjoy her baby because of the worry. Let it go!!!!
2. Trust your instincts!
Worry will lead to fear, but we have nothing to fear in Christ Jesus. Trust your instincts as a mother because God gave you those instincts. The things that I suggested to my niece were not things that would hurt her baby, but would help him. They were born out of those motherly instincts that God gave us. When you trust those instincts, you are trusting that God will help you and guide you.
3. Don't be anxious!
Anxiety only leads you down a path of uncertainty and doubt. I picture someone wringing the life out of their hands because they can't make a decision. They are so worried they may make the wrong one and what people will think of them. Trust me, you will make a bad decision once and a while, but it won't be the end of the world. I did with my kids, but they both survived, and are now raising children of their own.
I want to give one more piece of advice. Most of this worry, fear and anxiety stems from the pressures of the world around us, and friends who mean well. Remember every child is different. Doctors practice medicine, but they aren't in your house raising your child. When my son was born, the Doctor told me to nurse him for a year. I wanted to tell him, “Then you come to my house and live my life and raise him!” It wasn't possible with the lifestyle we led, so I went home and did what was right for my child and family. I had to choose to leave worry, fear and anxiety behind.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean into His word and seek His wisdom. When you do, you will be like a well-rooted tree that does not worry, fear or have anxiety when the storms of life come.