From intrepid reporter to chronic worrier

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 29th March 2012

What on earth has happened to me? I’ve trekked across the Masai Mara to discover who murdered a beautiful young woman in the prime of her life, stood on the doorsteps of drugs barons and murderers and covered court cases that gave me nightmares. Yet, here I am having sleepless nights over the slightest things.

The bottom line is that I need to give myself a firm talking to – and stop all this worrying nonsense. I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago when Yummy Mummy? Really? asked me to write a Mother’s Day meme. As I said at the time, I didn’t have a clue what a meme actually was but once I’d worked it all out I jumped at the chance. Anyway, one of the questions was “what’s the hardest thing about being a mum?”

Without even thinking I wrote the following. “Worrying. I always reckoned being a mum would get easier as my children got older, but now they’re almost grown up I worry about them even more.”

I didn’t bat an eyelid as I typed the words but reflecting in the cold light of day I realised I was on to something. The carefree girl I once was has turned into a worrier of the first order. For goodness sake, I worry about everything – from my teenage son’s scary bike antics to his dreaded exams to the fact that my daughter’s currently living it up in Berlin with friends. It all sounds wonderful, except she’s staying in a youth hostel dormitory with people she doesn’t know.

I’ve met lots of fantastic bloggers online recently, most of them years younger than me and many with babies and toddlers to look after. As I read about their chronic lack of sleep and how on earth you ever find time for yourself and looking chic on the school run I’m torn in two. I feel half relieved that my 24/7 parenting days are over and half nostalgic for those far-flung times. I made a right meal of them but the truth is that I don’t think I worried quite as much then as I do now.

8 comments so far

  • My boy is 16 and although he is far easier to look after now, I do fret about him. My mum tells me my 50 year old brother still causes her concern. We’re maybe just programmed this way.

  • I’m more of a ‘see every possible scenario’ person than an actual worrier – but it does get quite unnerving!What is interesting is that I now realise that I probably put my Mum through some worying times, so I can’t really complain at my children!

  • A friend has just tweeted me telling me to go back to being more Masai Mara intrepid and less of a worrier. So I’m going to try. What do you reckon to the idea, Linsey?

  • Did your mum ever worry about you when you were off being intrepid?? I know you can’t ask her but it would have been interesting to know how she coped with the situations your job put you in (or did you keep quiet…so she wouldn’t worry about you:) )

  • That’s a really good point, Cari-Jane. I don’t know if she worried about me when I was a reporter but she did once say to me that you never ever stop worrying about your children.

  • I am a mum to an 11 year old and it is true I am a worrier and the older he gets the more there is to worry about – he was off with the school for a week last week and that gave me lots to worry about, but he had a fab time!

  • Hi Jacqui. I’m so glad he had a good time but I know exactly how you must have felt. And I totally agree that the older they get, the more you worry. Well I do, anyway!

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