Recently a friend of mine – a new mom – approached me for advice. “I can’t stop thinking about death,” she said. “Is this normal?”
Yes. This is normal for new parents – both moms and dads.
When I was a new mom, the scariest moments for me were when I would bring my grocery cart to the cart return. I know that sounds ridiculous, but most fears are, aren’t they? It was the middle of winter and my habit at the grocery store was to first put baby Kitten in the car where it was warmer (and not snowing) then return the cart. I was a new mom so I had not yet learned to park as close to the cart return as possible, which is what I do now out of habit even without the kids in tow. At the time I might have had to cross 1 or 2 lanes of cars to return the cart…with my baby in the car. It felt so far away. I was terrified that I would be hit by a car and rushed to the hospital and that no one would know for hours that my baby was in the car. Not until my husband showed up at the hospital and asked, “But, where’s our baby??”
Death becomes significantly more terrifying when you have a small child depending on you for their care, feeding, and well-being. Death would mean not being there when your child hits those milestones: walking, talking, learning, graduating. Death while your child is still so little means that they may not even remember you. Death scares the sh*t out of young parents and this is completely normal.
Even if you died tomorrow you would still have today; to snuggle, to hug, to kiss. Even if you died tomorrow you would still have to change diapers, clean up puke, and make a doctor’s appointment. Death changes very little about the day-to-day.
Don’t let the fear of Death rob you of the time you have. Live in the now. Make memories. Take pictures. Be in those pictures with your kids.
…and park close to the cart return. That helps to.