What It’s Like to Worry as a New Parent

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Image via Rachel Engel

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written for Owlet because they feel their product is something our readers would want to know about, and we agree!

It's impossible to describe what that first night at home as a new mother is like — when you're no longer surrounded by doctors and nurses and it's just you and your little one. “Magical,” some call it. “The beginning of a beautiful journey,” others say.

Terrifying is the word I would use.

I spent our first night together staring at her in her bassinet from my side of the bed. Just watching her little tummy go up and down, up and down, reassuring me she was fine, she was breathing.

Eventually, I learned to close my own eyes and catch a few hours, but I always found myself waking up more than necessary — just to check on her.

When my husband finally coaxed me to move her out of the bassinet and into her crib in her own room, I spent more time walking from my room to hers and tiptoeing in to check on her than I did sleeping in my bed. 

{ MORE: How Much Time and Attention Do Kids Need to Feel Loved and Secure? }

Sleep when the baby sleeps? Are you kidding? When the baby sleeps, I must be awake and be either looking at her with my own two eyes or watching her on a video monitor. You'd be amazed how fast I can wash dishes with one eye on the plates and the other on the monitor perched on the windowsill.

Then, she started crawling and walking, and no matter how thoroughly I baby-proofed the house, my fear was taking one minute too long putting the groceries away before I turned around found her in the middle of something she shouldn’t be in.

You'd think as she got older and my fear of SIDS slowly lessened that I wouldn't worry as much.

Nope.

Was she crawling out of her crib? Did I screw her furniture into the wall tight enough? Did I meticulously comb through all of her toys enough and make sure there aren't any small pieces for her to choke on? What if she is able to pop an electrical socket baby-proof plug out?

Parent worries are endless. She's 4 now, and every time she and her 2-year-old baby brother are playing in her room, I worry (and remain grateful our old video monitor is still kicking.)

From play dates (Are they being nice? Is she sharing?) to homework sessions (Are they really studying in there or just goofing off?) to morning routines (Did her alarm go off? I hope she’s up getting ready.), there's always something to fret over.

Basically, I'm never going to not worry ever again.

Now, I didn't pop out a baby and say “Meh, she'll figure it out, right? One fork to an electrical socket, and she'll learn.” 

{ MORE: Yes, It Is Possible to Be Charged with Manslaughter If Your Baby Dies of SIDS }

No, I knew most parents' concern for their kids is all encompassing and neverending. In fact, if my parents could have a video monitor on me, a 29-year-old adult who is celebrating her 10-year wedding anniversary this year, they would. Stalking me on Find Friends is a pretty close second.

But I didn't know how deep the concern ran. It's an oh-my-gosh-if-anything-happens-to-this-precious-bundle-in-my-arms-my-life-will-be-over kind of emotion, and that is something many new moms are not completely prepared for.

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The overwhelming love? Absolutely. The first time we heard the heartbeat, we could feel it swelling, and it continued to swell, just like our feet, for nine months.

But the worrying?

No one prepares mothers for the worrying.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written for Owlet because they feel their product is something our readers would want to know about, and we agree!

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What It’s Like to Worry as a New Parent

Rachel is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Sydney, and her 18-month-old son, Jackson. Her writing can be found all over the web, mostly detailing her own parenting struggles and triumphs, as well as her life as the military spouse of an active-duty airman. She also writes about her life as as a special needs parent on her blog, Tales From the Plastic Crib, and spends an unnecessary amount of time on Twitter. ... More

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