One thing that really took me by surprise about motherhood is worrying. I've never been much of a worrier. I'm pretty good at going with the flow of life. I know God has a plan for my life and that plan is ultimately for my benefit, not to harm me. Therefore, I try not to worry about things I have no control over.
So when my friends told me I'd do things like check to be sure Brecken is breathing in the middle of the night, I didn't believe them. I thought, "Not me. I won't do those things." I was wrong. I remember the day we came home from the hospital, we took a walk around the neighborhood. Brecken was so small, just over 6lbs., that I just carried him in my arms. Besides, I wanted to hold him constantly. I very clearly remember being about halfway down the road and all the sudden having this horrible thought and mental picture - What if I dropped him?! The image in my head was horrendous and probably much more graphic than it should have been, but I was shocked as soon as I had this thought. I wasn't supposed to think those things! I was going to be the calm, chill, laid back mom who didn't worry. Ha!
Really, as Brecken's gotten a little older, those crazy thoughts have definitely diminished and I feel like I probably am the laid back mom I envisioned, but that doesn't mean I didn't reach over in the middle of the night more than once to ensure he was still breathing. Or pull into a gas station fearful that he was suffocating from his blanket getting pulled over his face when the baby mirror behind the carseat fell off (neither he nor the blanket had moved an inch). Or think that his loud eating and breathing had to mean there was fluid in his lungs. Or then think that because he was sleeping quietly that something was wrong.
Or call the pediatrician's office after hours when he had a 99.9 degree temp (I honestly thought they said call if it was 100, not 100.4 like it really is) that was probably just a result of him getting mad about us changing his diaper and clothes. This was less than a day after we took him to our church's Trunk or Treat and I remember Michael and I were both convinced that we'd taken him out to soon and exposed him to the flu or something. I'm fairly sure that for a few minutes, we both thought we were the worst parents in the world. Of course, it was nothing and we've not had to call the pediatrician again since.
I hear that even though the things we worry about change over the years, it's just the nature of a mother to worry about her children in some form or fashion. I think I'll be able to keep the unhealthy, unrealistic worries under control, but I'm sure there will always be an element of worry that comes with loving a child unconditionally.