We asked members of the Parenting after Infertility and Loss Community a question: As a parent and/or individual, what do you catastrophise about? Here are the responses.
“I catastrophise with the best of them. The first time the girls nursed all morning after they turned one, I had convinced myself my milk was drying up and they were trying desperately to up my supply, this was the end of nursing and because of a dairy allergy I was going to have buy and mix toddler soy formula for a year! Five months later… Still nursing.”
“I convinced myself that by going back to work I was going to miss every single milestone. Crawling, walking, sitting up, clapping, everything. Turns out, I didn’t miss any of them!”
“My son’s tongue tie. We took him to an ENT [ear, nose, and throat doctor] at 12 days old. He wanted to put him under anesthesia. I said no. Our breastfeeding relationship suffered and we were done at 5 months. Now he’s 3 years old and I wonder if I should get it fixed. But what if he’s fine? People say they can understand him 75% of the time. But what if he’s not? What if he has speech problems? What if he gets teased? Will he ever be a good kisser (weird, I know, but there you go). What if he has complications? On and on and on.”
“That she’s going to die. And I have terrible anti-fantasies about all the ways that might happen. That having a second child will damage her and/or our relationship.”
“I left the house last night by myself, got in the car, and worried that I would die in a car accident and be abandoning my girls. I keep making them things and putting them in a bag with their names on them so if I do die, it will be obvious I made these things for them. And that I love(d) them.”
“That someone is going to be mean to her because she doesn’t share her mom’s genes. And that their comment will undo all the work I do to tell her her conception story.”
“I catastrophise about something happening to my son, or something happening to me. Last night it was that a bullet could come through the wall and hit him and we might not even know until the morning. (We don’t even live in a high crime area, but there are occasional shootings). And always worried that I’ll be in a car accident to/from work.”
“I’m petrified that [my son] is going to die. My worst fear is that there will be a fire & I can’t get to him (his bedroom is on the 2nd floor, ours is the 1st) in order to be prepared for this fire, I’ve put fire extinguishers in all bedrooms, in the kitchen & in the hallway to [my son’s] room. (I spent $100 on 5 fire extinguishers so I can sleep at night.)”
“As I’ve taught for a bloody long time and in very impoverished schools, I am so hyper anxious about physical, emotional and especially sexual abuse. I constantly replay all the details of sexual abuse cases from the children I’ve taught and am terrified someone will hurt my amazing girl. It’s a bit like a broken record going round and round.
I hope that I raise her to be confident and understand that her body is her own and anything that someone else does to her against her consent is not ok, ever. I hope that I give her voice to say- this is not ok and I am going to haul your ass over the coals.
I do have severe anxiety, and with medication that worry is quieter, but whilst dealing with those poor kids, I’d never realised what PTSD was building up, ready for me to deal with as a mum.”
“As I watch my children run around the house with their forks, stopping only briefly to get a bite to eat before running off again, that I am a horrible mother with ill behaved children that will never have proper manners and it will be the topic of conversation behind my back that I don’t know how to raise my children right.”
“I catastrophized all the time about breastfeeding: that I wasn’t producing enough, that I was producing too much, that what I ate was passing through my milk and was bothering her, that she was allergic to something and I would need to cut things out of my own diet, like dairy. Currently, I’m paranoid about the possibility of her being abused and my not picking up on it. I have no logical reason to be concerned – I think it’s an extension of my guilt over leaving her with someone else for the majority of the day, every day. Conversely, I’m paranoid that her daycare will think I’m abusing her, because she’s always covered in bruises from being an unsteady toddler.”
“I want my son to go to daycare 1-2 times a week so he has interaction with other kids his age. Every time I pull up to a daycare to get information I feel really guilty and want to cry so I just leave.
Also, he doesn’t talk much yet and that concerns me even though I know every kid reaches milestones differently.”
“This one doesn’t have to do with my son, but my husband. I catastrophized all the time about him dying while I’m pregnant with twins. He’s perfectly healthy and not at all a risk taker. And the likelihood of me getting pregnant naturally, let alone with twins is slim to none.”
“I’ve been thinking about this and there are way too many things to even list. 😕
I am terrified C will stop breathing in her sleep. Especially now that she has started to sleep on her belly.
When our dog was alive, I would have visions that the house would catch on fire with him in it.
I panic about him having a car accident on the way home with C and keep checking my phone for the text they are home.
The list goes on and on and on. *sigh”
What about you? What strikes fear into your heart?