The one thing that has changed since I became a mother is being acutely aware of death. Every time I step out or the baby leaves the house, my mind inadvertently wanders to what would happen if one of us were not to return. Death becomes so much more imminent when you’re entrusted with the care of a tiny little person and now I know why mothers constantly worry about where their children are, if they’re hurt, or what they’re doing. I always thought it odd that women did that, but now I know why. I’m one of those women. I worry about what would happen to him if he became motherless. I worry about what would happen if he were injured. I worry about strangers and now I understand why women share those posts about missing children. I don’t share them because I think it feeds into our collective paranoia, but I can understand why. Being a mother means that you’re always uncertain and there are those that prey on that fear, causing families to restrict their children from playing outside or walking to school alone. The truth is, we will never stop fretting about our children, but we should temper that fear with their freedom to grow. If we placate our fears too much, we may be limiting our children as well.
It is natural to fear, but we must be careful of our actions, for they affect our children. I was watching YouTube clips from Iyanla’s Fix My Life and I realized something profound between the relationship of a child and a mother. While many of the children felt alienated from their mother because of what happened in their childhood, the mothers would always profess that it didn’t’ matter because they loved them. That’s when I realized that despite what a mother does, she measures her love for her children through her emotions and what she feels for them and regardless of all that she has done, she will always love them. However, children and anyone else can’t see love through emotions. They see and measure love through actions and no matter how much a mother loves their child, if they don’t see the actions, they will usually feel alienated from them. We can love our children and fear for them as much as we’d like, but we must remember that what truly matters are our actions and what we decide to do for our children because they are watching.