A Worrying Mom (and how not to be one)

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV 

For the fifth time in an hour, I leaned over my newborn daughter’s bassinet and checked to make sure she was okay. Thoughts of SIDS and fears of her getting tangled in her blanket filled my head. I held my breath and watched her tiny chest rise and fall. Only after I was sure she was okay did I lie back down and try to get some sleep.

Those first few nights of motherhood—months, actually—were like that. When my daughter didn’t wake me up because she was hungry, I woke myself up to make sure she was okay.

You might’ve guessed it: I’m a pretty good worrier. I always have been. I was the kind of kid who worried about the house burning down or about my parents running out of money. And when I became a brand new mom, I got even better at it. And I learned the truth of Matthew 6:27: that worrying takes away from life, rather than adds to it. There were many times I worried away my energy, my peace, and my sleep.

Even though I’ve gotten much better over the years at giving my worries to God (the best survival technique for parenting that I know!), I still worry sometimes… that my kids will get homesick when they spend a few days away, that something might happen to them when I’m not with them, that they might get sick or hurt… You get the picture. And maybe you can relate.

Even though it’s natural as a mom to be concerned about our kids, worry can turn concern into something that negatively affects us, and our kids. There’s no getting around it: worry is a downer, a joy-stealer, and it can make you a cranky mom. (Believe me, I know.)

So how do we stop worrying?

Focus on faith instead. (When I remember to do this, it helps so much!) In fact, that’s the answer Jesus gives at the end of Matthew chapter 6:

But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The more we seek God, the more we learn about Him. The more we learn about Him, the more we trust Him. And the more we trust him, the less we worry. It’s a natural by-product of faith.

God’s promises are true. They are good. He doesn’t lie. And while He doesn’t promise that no trouble will come our way, or that nothing bad will touch our lives or the lives of our kids, He does promise that He will work all things together for good for those who love him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28, NIV

Focusing on that fact alone can lift the worries and “what ifs” right out of our parenting.

So the next time you’re worried about your kids, try feeding your faith instead of your worry. One way to do that is to pray these verses of protection over your kids:

For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. — Psalm 91:11 NLT (New Living Translation)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. — Isaiah 43:2 NIV

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. — 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand] — Psalm 91:1 AMP

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” — Psalm 91:14 NIV

Share your worries with other moms too. It helps to know you aren’t the only one that frets every now and then.

Lord, I don’t want to be a worrying mom. Help me to put my trust in you.

2 Responses to A Worrying Mom (and how not to be one)
  1. Barbie
    September 1, 2011 | 2:35 am

    Thank you for this post. I am can tend to worry more often than note. I worry about things like “what if I die before my kids are grown”, “what if my husband dies”, “what if we can’t afford our rent anymore”. I am striving to focus on the promises of God, and reflect on what He’s already done for us. The testimony of what we’ve already gone through is fuel to hope for the future!

  2. Desiree Rutter
    September 1, 2011 | 6:43 am

    Genny, thank you for these reminders! I love the verses that you shared!