#MommyTalks | The Parenting Vulnerability

Credit | Iryna Prokofieva via Shutterstock

A few weeks or probably a month back, I chanced upon an episode of Grey’s Anatomy when something from it hit right home. I think it was Dr Maggie Pierce worrying about the things that could go wrong with Meredith’s kids (her half sister’s kids).

 

‘..last week, I turned away for one second, and my nephew had dumped an entire bag of flour on the kitchen floor.

…what if that happens again and it’s a pot of boiling water this time?

I’m not used to this, being scared like this, worrying all the time.’

 

That last line from Dr Pierce seemed so familiar. It could as well have been me saying those words.

 

I think it was sometime in September when I turned away for a fraction of a second and M fell off the bed. I cannot tell you how many times I have replayed that dreadful scene. Though she was fine, I wasn’t. I was thankful nothing happened to her but then so many other scenarios kept playing in my mind. There seemed to be no way to shut those down. What if she hit the corners of the bed or the sharp drawer pulls? I couldn’t shake off those feelings. Nothing helped. Not talking to S or my sister. Not closing my eyes or focusing on something else. I had made a mistake. I felt guilty but more than that I felt so much vulnerable.

 

What if she fell again? Surely, she would fall again. If not immediately then when she tries to walk. Then in the school playground or even at home. What would I do then? How do I save her from getting hurt?

 

Well, true to my fears, she did fall again. She is trying to walk these days and no matter how much I try to be careful she does fall sometimes. And my heart just breaks, every single time. At this rate, I’ll probably have a heart in bandages when my time here is finally up. Anyway.

 

After pacifying her every time she falls, my mind rehashes the whole thing and involuntarily so many fears, terrible what ifs, crop into my mind, those which I just can’t shut out. This is probably one of the effects of being a parent.

 

Being a parent is being vulnerable. #Parenting Click To Tweet

 

When you decide to be a parent, you take up vulnerability for life. I have read similar experiences from other mothers and I wonder if this reduces as the children grow up.

 

I think it is because we love them so much that we feel vulnerable. We fear that something terrible might happen. And the mind goes on an overdrive.

 

Brené Brown says ‘Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable.’

 

Maybe that explains why parents worry so much about their kids, why I worry about M all the time. And come to think of it, it can happen in any relationship.

Tell me, does this happen to you too?

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15 thoughts on “#MommyTalks | The Parenting Vulnerability

  1. Yes, I can so understand what you feel. Parenting does make you a worrier for life. It is our love for them that makes us vulnerable. Hope you are feeling better.

  2. I agree with everything you wrote and loved this line- ‘When you decide to be a parent you take up vulnerability for life. ” 🙂

  3. I have to tell you that as the children grow up, that worrying and vulnerability as a parent increases! Because they are no longer under your control. You have to let go a little and this leaves you feeling incredibly vulnerable. It is only through reading your post, however, that I see this as being vulnerable. Previously, I just thought of it as worrying about them. Thank you for this really interesting post. Alison x #mg

  4. I think as parents we can never stop worrying about our kids and we continue doing that even when they grow up as adults. More often than not, we cannot help but think about worst case scenarios all the time. Recently, I read that we must not worry alone. Fretting all alone intensifies the fears. So talking and sharing with family, friends, mothers can help alleviate our vulnerabilities!

  5. Oh it is so true, when we have children we become so vulnerable, I remember when Aspen first cried and it felt like a knife in my heart, I never knew parenting could affect me so much, the love I have for my children was beyond anything else. They are so precious! We do have to know though that we can’t stop every fall, or heartache even though we so wish we could! #mg

  6. Oh yes yes yes. It happens all the time. But how exciting is this – Little M is is learning to walk! Did you make any videos? It’s a hard time but wonderful too.
    As they grow you cannot even be around all the time to protect them – how hard is that! And how frustrating. You just have to let them go.

  7. So that’s how my mom must be feeling all the time. Phew Parenting is tough!! To be scared like that always sounds daunting… but then Mothers have superpowers I believe… when they can nurture a life inside them, they are capable of doing anything. {I am in no place to give any advice so lots of tight hugs 🙂 }

  8. For me, it has remained at the same level or gotten more intense, mostly because they’re now at an age where I’m not with them 24/7, and I feel like I have less ability to protect them from things. It’s scary. Parenting requires deep breaths.

  9. Parents can never stop worrying. My son is in his mid 20’s and I still worry about him, especially when the weather is bad. He has a long drive to work. But, at least I don’t have to watch him every minute as I had to do when he was an active toddler. I’d love to be a grandma but I also don’t miss those toddlerhood days.

  10. I can relate to that feeling Nabanita. You’re right, as a parent, you do tend to worry a lot about your children. As mothers, I should say, we are naturally prone to worry somewhat more than the dads. It is never ending, in many ways. As they grow older, new and different sets of worries appear, so, worrying goes on. I did that a lot and still have days when I forget that my son is no longer a baby but a 12-year-old. Trust me, the fears and worries are always there but, now I tell myself that we should never let fear take the upper hand because as they grow older, they will stumble, falter and slip ever so often because that is a part of learning and growing. As parents, we will not be around everywhere to cushion them against heartbreaks and pain, but we can teach them to be capable of facing those moments with confidence. This is what I tell myself every morning these days and I find it hugely comforting.

  11. I’m sorry to disappoint you but you’re probably going to feel this way for life! My Dad is in his 90s and Mom in her late 80s and they’re still waiting around to catch us when we fall.

  12. I am sure it’s not easy and though I am not a parent, I can say that you need to let go a bit of worries. Be careful but know that what has to happen will happen. Look out for M but stay cool. Being a lot vulnerable may not do too good. Just what I think and could be wrong too 🙂

  13. Yes! As a Parent you would want to be always there for your kid. There are times when you do all the child’s work and end up feeling guilty to be helping him so much. I make it a practice of letting my children on their own for a limited period of time, just under some remote care.

  14. Actually Naba, this vulnerability seldom ceases. We Indian parents have this thing on worrying about the children even when they are adults. Somewhere a balance has to be struck and we need to let them be. Small steps from the initial years itself..

  15. A parent can never stop worrying. We love our kids so much that we never knew we could love this deeply. This flow of unconditional love makes us vulnerable when it comes to our kids. It makes us happy that no words can describe at times, and it makes us walk with our heart out all the time! And I don’t think this feeling is going to end in our lifetime now that we got into this parenting business. I guess (hope) that we will get used to it. 🙂

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