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is this level of anxiety normal?

(6 Posts)
normalshmormal Wed 29-Jun-11 15:33:50

DS is 8 months, healthy and gorgeous. The majority of the time I just get on with looking after him which is a fairly standard mix of joy, knackeredness and everything in between.

But... If I take a quiet moment to appreciate his general wonderousness, I am immediately struck by a mortal fear of losing him.

Also, if I see a danger, my mind can spiral off on the awful things that could happen (eg yesterday we were near a lake with the buggy and I ended up thinking, what if the buggy rolled in, how would I get the water to get him out, how would I undo the buckles... and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!)

I can rationalise myself out of these thinking patterns (thanks to cognitive exercises from therapy after miscarriages in the past).

So my question is: Is this normal?

Part of me thinks it might be - people often 'joke' that you find a new level of worry as a mum. And it isn't affecting my behaviour (ie I'm not avoiding lakes, because I know those thoughts were irrational).

But on the other hand, regular intrusions of upsetting irrational thought are unpleasant. So if it is not normal and they're they're conquerable, I'd like to try.

DH just seems enjoy loving DS without that background tinge of fear of loss.

I'd be really interested to know how others feel in this kind of situation.


madmouse Wed 29-Jun-11 16:24:47

Yes I think it's normal - having a child is such a massive, enormous life changing thing - and a huge responsibility. I would also not be surprised if in your case it was strengthened by the sad losses you have sustained in the past, just like in my case it is by nearly losing ds as a new born and him being disabled. It sounds like you are coping well with it and I hope that for you, like for me, it gets less when ds grows up into a sturdy not-very- easy-to-break toddler

normalshmormal Thu 30-Jun-11 08:26:09

Thanks for replying madmouse. That's reassuring, and it hadn't even occurred to me that the previous losses might be relevant to how I'm feeling now, but it seems very likely. And as you suggest, time is already improving things compared with when he was newborn.

Sounds like you've had a rough time, I really hope you're doing alright.

Lady1nTheRadiator Thu 30-Jun-11 08:31:52

I think it's normal too. Sometimes I visualise throwing DD over the bannister hmm because I suppose I am trying to play out my fear in my head. So I pick her up in the bedroom and go towards the door but what if I tripped? And so on. I also think about what would happen if I collapsed and died (!) in the middle of the day, home alone with the DC, expecting no one to call in - how long would they be alone, how would my 3 year old cope, would the baby be hungry... and then yes I think about losing each of them. If DD sleeps later than 6am I wake up and panic. I think I am on the excessive side of this but overall I think it's normal to have these fears and thoughts.

If it helps (it helps me) I had all this with DS and it probably started to fade after his first birthday and dwindle further once he was about 2. So I am hoping as DD gets older I think about it all less.

normalshmormal Thu 30-Jun-11 12:54:18

It's really reassuring to hear that it's normal, thanks Lady. I'm so relieved that it improves with time, and hope your fears fade too.

WhipMeIndiana Thu 30-Jun-11 12:56:57

it's very normal.
the more you try and not think of tragic, rare accidents the more your brain does somersaults thinking of more.

these events are Very very rare - I have to remind myself no toddler has ever died in a library, for example!

yet another effect of our multimedia fast response internet world, with scary 24 hour news beamed to our brains, we spend much more time feeling anxious.

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