Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A Mother's Worry

Nice blog post, translated from Norwegian. Original post written by Christine Otterstad - AKA, Otters

ChristineOtterstad – også kalt Otters

A Mother's Worry

Posted at 9:04 pm , on januar 16, 2014

"I'm sitting in the living room with my 11 year old son. He does his homework and I work a little. Suddenly, he puts down his pencil and asks what I'm writing about today.

"Today, I’m doing a little research for my book" I reply.

"I have a tip on what to write about" he continued. "Something I've been thinking about.”

I shut the PC, thinking that this could be interesting.

The boy breathes and takes moment: "I thought you should write about mums, and all the concerns they have. Like you, for instance, you worry yourself sick for your kids all the time. For us to have a good time and stuff... But the problem is that when you worry yourself SO sick, it becomes sort so serious to not have be happy! It's almost like we HAVE TO be happy, ALL the time, if not you get INSANELY-worried. No one can be happy, ALL the time!!! And besides, you say yourself that almost all worries never amount to anything anyway?” said the boy, looking at me with an uncertain smile.

It takes a few seconds before I get my speech back. I am so incredibly taken by surprise by this 11 year old! A quiet boy who rarely speaks about feelings and the like, but who, nevertheless, has seen right through his mother, a mother who lives by getting others to worry less in everyday life, a mother who is full of concern on behalf of her children. INSANELY -worried.

That same evening I did something I've never done before. I sat down and wrote down all the concerns I had on my children’s behalf. The list was long. Very long. Having studied the list for a while, I came to the conclusion that at least 80% of the concerns would never amount to anything, plus a couple of them were downright crazy.

As a coach, I go on about the need to get better at living in the present. But how clever am I really when even I, on my children's behalf, am constantly worried about what might happen to them? Not only am I living in the future, I live in a worrisome future!

The boy tried, in his childish way, to tell the concerned mother say that the goal is not necessarily to be happy all the time, the goal is to withstand both, the good times and the bad.

I think he's right! I think that many of us (including yours truly) have been so caught up in the pursuit of happiness, prosperity, mental strength and not least to have it good, that we forget that it's okay not to be happy, too.

We cannot be happy all the time! We need to take the lows too, not just the highs. And the same goes for our kids, they are going to know the bad times. Maybe it’s good for them to know that the world sucks sometimes, without Mum intervening and worrying herself grey and wrinkled.

It’s not irresponsible to live a worry-free life, it just means that you don’t concern yourself with future sorrows. For, as the kid said, No one can be happy, ALL the time! And besides, almost all worries never amount to anything anyway?”

Christine - also called Otters"


"World's smartest 11 year old (strictly objectively speaking, of course."

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