I’ve always laughed off the fact that I’m a neurotic mother. I’ve told myself that every mother is neurotic and that it is perfectly natural. But the thing is that my levels of neurosis when it comes to Poppy aren’t natural and the other day I admitted to Mr UFM that the amount that I worry when she is ill actually makes me feel ill. It affects my sleep, is always on my mind and there’s no doubt that Poppy senses it.
I don’t know where this fear roots from but it started the moment she was born. Pops had to go to intensive care for 24 hours and it was very scary and overwhelming for me. My first experience of extreme worry was when I was feeding her in the hospital and she coughed a tiny bit. I thought she was choking and shouted for a midwife. I was petrified.
When we got Poppy home, like many Mums, my biggest fear was cot death. I almost obsessively checked her breathing, to the point where I couldn’t sleep properly just in case something happened. When she started rolling in her cot I was scared because I knew that it was proven safer if babies laid on their backs so I spent each and every night rolling her back….numerous times.
When Poppy got her first cold I was scared that it would turn into something more serious and when she had her first high temperature I was overwhelmed. As the thermometer hit 40 degrees I rushed her to A and E. I was certain that it was Meningitis and I was shaking like a leaf. I was just so certain that the worst case scenario would happen, even though the chances were slim.
Now that she is 21 months old, I just can’t give up her Angelcare mat. It gives me peace of mind but I know that a lot of mums don’t even use a baby monitor at this age. I live in fear of her getting ill, even though at this time of year it’s inevitable.
I so want to stop worrying….to be a normal Mum who takes things in her stride and deals with illness as an inevitable part of motherhood, but I just find it so hard.
I don’t know what the answers are. I hope that my level of anxiety will dissipate as she gets older. But in the meantime, I’m dreading the Winter season ahead and all the illness that comes with it.