Moms, what are you afraid of?
Chances are, you’ve got a few things that sometimes keep you awake at night. In fact, with the help of Barna Research Group, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) did a survey of hundreds of women to find out their greatest fears.
The top five were:
- Fear # 1: I’m afraid I’m not enough as a mom. I’m not capable of being a good mom. I won’t have enough money or resources to adequately care for my kids.
- Fear # 2: I worry that my child will be snatched by a stranger.
- Fear # 3: I’m afraid my child will be hurt in an accident.
- Fear # 4: I’m afraid my child won’t fit in socially or will get picked on.
- Fear # 5: I’m afraid my child will have a serious illness or disability.
Do any of those resonate with you? The stress a woman feels if she struggles with one or more of these fears on a regular basis can make a demanding role like motherhood seem even harder.
So how does a mom overcome her fears?
Part of the challenge is that a mom’s worries aren’t entirely irrational. Anything on that list could happen. After all, we live in a fallen world, and brokenness affects all of us in one way or another.
But it’s helpful to recognize the difference between “probable” versus “possible.” It’s been said that most of what we worry about never happens. That means anything is possible, but – statistically speaking – most of it isn’t probable.
Another step to overcoming fear is to reframe it, so your concerns are more rational and, therefore, more manageable.
Take, for example, your adequacy as a mom. Will you ever be perfect? No, and God isn’t asking you to be. What He is asking you to believe is that you are the perfect mom for your children. The Lord knows your strengths and your limitations. He gave you your children and promises to walk with you each day through your imperfections.
When it’s all said and done, that’s what being a “brave” mom is really all about. It’s not necessarily about the absence of fear, although God often helps moms work through what they’re afraid of. More often, it’s peace in the midst of the storm. Scripture says in Isaiah 41:13, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who says to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”
That’s not an image of a person who does things perfectly or who never encounters fear. It’s a mom who knows she needs to hold God’s hand and rely on Him to sustain her as a mother.
If you tend to feel more fearful than fearless along the mothering journey, know that you’re not alone. And over the next couple of programs, we want to offer you some words of hope and encouragement to help you to be more optimistic about God’s control in your life, and not as fearful.
Our guest on today’s program, “Confronting Your Fears as a Mom,” is Sherry Surratt, the CEO and president of MOPS International. Also joining us is my wife, Jean. With two boys of our own, she understands first-hand what many mothers feel, and has dealt with fears of her own. She’ll offer her own personal perspective.