*Note: title of this post has nothing to do with post. I just felt like paying homage to Alexander McCall Smith, one of whose books Mike read to me while falling asleep last night. There's nothing like my husband's lilting Botswanan accent to put me to sleep. Two points to whoever can name that book.
I am a bad woman. Sometimes I think I came broken because I don't do the things that women are supposed to do. I like to bite my nails, and I never intend to stop. (Pregnancy is making this much harder on me, as my nails are growing quick and strong. I can barely keep up.) I don't use words like miracle. I don't really like kids (despite the fact that the majority of jobs held in my life have been at children-centric organizations).
But lately, I've been reminded of one more way in which I seem to be broken in the way I'm supposed to act: I haven't had a single worry during pregnancy.
I keep reading and hearing about how pregnant women spend all their time worrying, especially during their first trimester. There are entire chapters in my pregnancy books about worry. I know women whose pregnancies have been a misery because they are so filled with worry.
Now, you might say, this is not a bad thing, Amber. It's not good to worry. But instead of worry, unreasonable gal that I am, I have guilt. I feel bad that I don't worry, like it means I must be a bad woman. Like if I were as noble and good as all my mom friends I would be filled with inner anxiety all the time. My mom has often jokingly said that it's her job to worry as a mother. But I think I've taken the joke too far. I feel bad for not feeling what a woman is "supposed" to feel.
But, on the bright side, I'm not worried! So that's nice. Perhaps I'll begin to worry later on or once my child is born, but, twisted guilt aside, I think I should just enjoy my worry-free life.
I used to be a total worrier. When Mike was looking for a job, I ate my heart out for the first two years. It was awful. I'm surprised I didn't give him and me ulcers with my worry. At some point, I just got sick and tired of it. (Worrying leaves you very sick and tired.) I realized that worry had done nothing for me but destroy my joy and peace, and that of my husband too. It had wasted years, and it had stolen beautiful moments of life.
So I stopped. Not out of nobility, but out of aversion. When that all too familiar feeling of tightness in the stomach approached when a worry came on, I shunned the thought, so tired was I of living a life in the torment of worry. Worrying really is a torment that we bring on ourselves. And now, after my worry aversion training, I find Mike's island-boy attitude has finally rubbed off on me. It doesn't occur to me to worry. Which is great! Worrying stinks! But I still feel bad about it.
I've asked Mike if I should start worrying in order to be a good woman, and he, sensible man that he is, has said no. I think I'll take his advice and remember how the lilies of the field grow:
"They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Matthew 6:28-34