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Why I Constantly Wonder, 'Is He Happy?' as a Young Mother With Anxiety

“Raising boys is not for the faint hearted.” That’s how the saying goes, right? Well, I believe it’s also not for the young mother filled with anxiety either. Well, it is, but it just isn’t easy.

Now, let me tell you. I know there are mothers out there going through struggles harder than I could imagine. After all, I have a healthy 2-year-old, his father stayed and loves us unconditionally and heck, we’re getting married next spring. We own a beautiful house and have full-time jobs at the ages of 22 and 23. We are beyond blessed when it comes to love and material items.

However, having a beautiful little boy watching my every move and me knowing every choice I make impacts him and who he will grow up to be? That’s a lot of pressure for me. It has me in a constant state of restlessness.

Did he get enough to eat today? Did I hug him enough today? Did I kiss him enough today? Did he get to play enough? Is he happy?

Yes. Is he happy? It’s a question I ask myself daily. Multiple times a day. Because I couldn’t handle knowing for a second that the sweetest, most innocent boy I’ve ever laid eyes on is even the slightest bit upset when he lays down to go to bed at night. I know that you’re thinking. He’s 2 years old. What 2-year-old isn’t happy? Give him a lollipop and he’ll be on his merry way.

Since becoming a mother at the young age of 19, I’ve grown in so many ways. All of that growing in such a short time — something I think a lot of people don’t experience for years — has sparked a whole new fire of anxiety. I lay in bed at night with these thoughts and questions racing through my mind.

Sometimes, I don’t even want to allow him to leave my arms because I’m filled with voices in my head telling me this world is evil. That no one is truly just here to be nice anymore. All I want is to see him grow to be happy and healthy and to achieve any goals he has in life.

He’s only been gracing this earth for two and a half short years, and yet, he’s already the biggest dreamer I know. He’s got plans for this world, and Lord help us all when he finally gets going. The impact he’s going to have on this world will be mesmerizing.

I can’t wait to watch it happen.

I tell myself daily that I have to let him fly. I have to prepare myself for the day he no longer says, “Mama, help!” When it’s time for that day to come, I worry my anxiety and fears about this world are going to hold him back, when all I’m trying to do is protect him. 

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Thinkstock photo via Thomas Northcut.