Back in October, I wrote a post called The Scariest Things About Motherhood that included things like labor and delivery, finances, and meltdowns. They were fears that are "universal" to moms and dads. However, part of the #30Things Challenge is to focus more specifically on ourselves and list three of our own, legitimate fears. It's not a comfortable topic, but here are my three biggest fears.
The first one I will share is my fear of water. It's ironic since we have a pool in our backyard, huh? The truth is, I can't swim. My parents couldn't swim and I never learned growing up. As an adult, my husband has tried to teach me, but my adult knowledge of the worst case scenario and the subsequent fear simply won't let me relax enough to learn. In fact, if you are drowning in our pool, you would have a better chance of being rescued by my eleven year old than by me. When we moved into this house, the pool was one of my biggest misgivings about it. Now, I am very glad we have it and I am MUCH more comfortable in the water than I used to be. I actually do go in the deep in as long as I have a noodle or some other floatation device, although it does make me nervous still. My husband and my three daughters are great swimmers. I am so glad my girls are have had the opportunity to become comfortable - and SAFE - in the water. Maybe someday, they'll teach me too.
|Two of my little fishes!|
My second big fear is heights. I have never liked them. When I am up on a high perch, I can feel my pulse get faster and my body tense up. I don't go near the edge. I don't even like climbing up on ladders or step stools, really. I have braved some heights for the sake of saying I've done it - like going up in the Eiffel Tower or crossing the Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain. Every time, though, I require some coaxing, I hold on with white knuckles, and I breathe a huge sigh of relief when I return to solid ground. I have no idea why I have this fear of heights.
|Grandfather Mountain is in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I grew up.|
Finally, the last fear I am going to share with you - fear of failure. Don't we all have this fear to some degree?? I think, however, being a grown up and a mom has made this fear bigger. When you are young, failure means failing a test or not making the team. Although it seems at the time like something so devastating, in the grand scheme of life it really isn't such a big deal. When you become an adult, though, with responsibilities and people who depend on you, failure becomes a much more significant problem. When you fail, you let down the people who trust in you the most; your co-workers, you spouse, your children.
If you Google "quotes about failure," you will find plenty of quotes indicating that you are only failing if you are not trying or that failure is merely a stepping stone to success. You will also find, however, that Susan B. Anthony once said that "Failure is impossible" and that Gene Kranz is credited with saying, "Failure is not an option," referring to the rescue of Apollo 13. That's kind of how I feel.
As a mom, I make small mistakes every day. I yell. I forget things. I let them watch too much television. Those are insignificant failures and these are not the failures that cause me to lose sleep at night. The scary ones are the big picture pitfalls - failing to raise them properly; failing to keep them safe; failing to show them how much they are loved. In those endeavors, failure simply is not an option. It lurks in the back of my mind like a wild cat waiting to pounce and I must not let it find me. Ever.
What are you biggest fears? Have they changed as you've gotten older?