Skip to main content

Humans have a natural tendency to catastrophize. It’s an ancient survival strategy. If we can imagine where the predator might be lurking, we at least have a chance of outrunning or being prepared to meet it. 

For all parents, that survival strategy gets activated big time as soon as Baby comes home. Danger lurks EVERYWHERE! 

For Orchid Raisers, the sense of danger is elevated because of the struggles that Orchid Kids are having just to Be in the World. We scan for danger constantly. We imagine our child (in their current state) in the future, and often we despair.

It’s totally normal to project into the future.

But it’s not helpful and it’s not true.

When my daughter was 12 months old, she wasn’t learning to walk as expected. I was so worried. I took her to physical therapy, then to occupational therapy – both of which she needed in order to learn how to walk (and deal with the sensory issues that were preventing her from walking). BUT, what she didn’t need was ALL THE DRAMA that I was throwing down.

I feared she would never walk

I feared she would never do sports

I feared she would never go to preschool, elementary school, college

I feared she wouldn’t be able to make and keep friends

I feared she wouldn’t meet a life partner and have a happy life

Here’s the kicker: only ONE of those things was relevant at the time that I was worrying about it (the walking part), and I had already done the things that were going to help her. She was learning to walk and I knew that. 

The rest? Making myself miserable thinking about a future that wasn’t written yet.

(Full disclosure: I can tell you this now with dry eyes and a straight face, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t wail and cry and despair at the time. I just made sure I didn’t do it in front of my daughter or let those feelings impact her. You might need to do that too, and it’s OK!)

(Full disclosure 2: My husband was MUCH better at this than I was at the time. He was constantly reminding me that we didn’t know what the future held and to stop projecting disaster upon it and our child. Sometimes those conversations were helpful. Sometimes they were exasperating. And that was ok too.)

In our Raising Orchid Kids classes, Jen often tells a great story of some wisdom that she received at a retreat she went on. You’ll have to come to class to hear the whole story (and it’s totally worth it!), but the gist is this:

Take care of what’s in front of you.

Take care of what’s actually happening.

It can feel really necessary to concern yourself with what might happen or what could happen, but if doing that is going to make you feel awful, just don’t. 

(If – on the other hand – you can train your brain to imagine a glorious, wonderful future for your child in which they achieve their highest potential no matter the externals – DO THAT! That is some Jedi Master Level Brain Work!).

While you’re training your brain for Jedi Master level, though, stay close, stay present and take care of what’s in front of you. The rest will sort itself out.

Leave a Reply