If I Fall, I Die: The Fear of Raising Kids

This post was inspired by the novel If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie,about a boy who’s never been outside, thanks to his mother’s agoraphobia, but ventures outside in order to solve a mystery. Join From Left to Write on January 22nd as we discuss If I Fall, If I Die. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

If I Fall I Die Michael Christie

I really loved this book, it was a frustrating read, just because you wanted the mom to get better for the sake of her son, but at the end of the book I understood her fears. She doesn’t want her son to go outside because of her own fears, and he admits to doing things to ease her anxiousness, but he does eventually go outside.

This is the quote that resonated with me:

“But the shadow that love can’t help but cast is fear: fear they won’t stay alive or around-fear they’ll be reckless, or doomed, or just walk away and not consider you ever again. With love, you’re scared it will disappear. With fear, you’re scared it never will”

When I was pregnant with B the scary pregnancy dreams were so intense I would wake up with tears in my eyes. Dreams that I wouldn’t be a good mom, that I would lose my child, that something bad would happen to him, you name it I dreamt it. After B was born I hoped the dreams would stop, but they didn’t. They were less intense and vivid, but they still happened. Eventually they slowly started going away, I’d have one occasionally, but it wasn’t taking such a toll on me.

In the past year or so they started coming back, not just dreams, but you know in those moments before you fall asleep, I’d have images of someone breaking into our house and harming him, carjacking us, etc… The worst things racing through my mind, and then I would be awake and completely unable to go back to sleep.

Now that I am pregnant again, the dreams are back in full force. I try to use meditation to calm myself down (the Headspace App is wonderful) and talk through what I would do if this situation was to actually happen.

I think what I wasn’t prepared for as a mom is the constant fear and worry. Are we doing the right thing? Did I pick the right pre-school? Is my kids getting bullied? Are we giving him the right foods? I can’t imagine that this is going to get easier as the kids get older, only harder. I don’t even want to think about driving or college!

I have to believe in myself as a parent. I have to raise my kid with love and respect, but also with rules and consequences.

How do you deal with the anxiety and fears of being a parent?

8 thoughts on “If I Fall, I Die: The Fear of Raising Kids

  1. I can’t relate in terms of being a parent, but I know my mom told me she was petrified when she was pregnant with me! She didn’t want the hospital to send her home! But I think it helps to remember that many parents in the same circumstances as you raise great kids and you are just as well equipped as them, so you can do great too.

    • Yeah, I was definitely more terrified with B then I am now, though of course I still worry haha. But of course I still have worries ;)

  2. I think as parents we all have those fears. Some of us not as intense. I think my scariest moment was when my oldest turned 16 and was able to start learning to drive. Here I had protected her ever moment of her life and now I’m just supposed to put her in this big metal box and send her out on the road at 65 miles per hour to face other 16 year olds in big metal boxed coming head on at her on a two lane highway????

    • Oh man, I might need meds when my kids learn to drive, especially since we live in the land of terrible drivers (Massachusetts). Can I ban them from the highway? Ha

  3. I totally get this, because I also struggle with lots of anxieties about parenting. I often find myself thinking about time in the far future, and I worry about things so ahead of right now… it’s ridiculous. I have to keep reminding myself to not get too ahead of myself! We’re all doing our best, right? Maybe we should tell each other that more often. :)

  4. I have become such a timid old lady since I had my kids. I worry not just about them but about something happening to me and leaving them motherless! But I try to not let it consume me because I want my kids to have the confidence to go out there and take risks and try new things, even if I don’t want to do that myself.

    • THIS! I have become such a baby about even the silliest things like going on roller coaster rides because what if! I need to get over that, I don’t want my kids to be scared of fun things because of my irrational fears.

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