Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: The Fear

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Fear


The world can be an evil place, and this weekend that evil was seen once again as the devastating terrorist attacks on Paris occurred.

And as a parent (with anxiety issues or not), you worry.

You spend sleepless nights terrified of what kind of future your children are going to be faced with, you worry about how you'll ever explain all the evil in the world to them, you worry about how to keep them safe without restricting their lives and their experiences.

The worry is endless.

And sometimes their innocence makes it seem all the more heartbreaking - after spending the night in tears watching the news on a loop and feeling disbelief and horror at the events unfolding in graphic detail, I was awoken from a restless sleep on Saturday morning by my wide eyed 2 year old - his smile beaming, his first words "Good morning Mummy! What shall we do today?!".

That innocence and blissful unawareness of how much darker the world had become while he slept that night almost cut me into pieces, and I hated the thought that there would come a day when he'd have to know about these things, and feel the same fear that I do.

As the day went on, I saw horrendous footage on the news and heard first hand survivor accounts that terrified me to my soul. I saw my Facebook timeline fill with everything from religiophobic rants to competitions of sorts as to who cares the best or the most - debates on whether changing your profile picture to a French flag was a worthwhile show of support and brotherhood of man, or a closed minded and uneducated empty gesture from those unaware of atrocities and tragedies occurring simultaneously in other countries.

Meanwhile - all I could think was - "Who cares?"

Who cares who's right or wrong over something as trivial as whether or not you choose to change your profile picture on a bloody social media site.

Who cares what your opinion on the future of religion is.

Who cares what your thoughts on border closures are.

What good does any of it do?

I sat with my phone in my hand, and I looked at my babies - and I knew that all I could do was make sure that those babies are raised without hate in their hearts, without judgement on others who believe something different or follow a different path in life.

And that all I could do to keep this awful darkness out of their world, was to fill it with as much light as possible.

So I turned social media off for the weekend, and we focused our attention on doing whatever "Good" things we could think of.

The weather this weekend was awful, so we decided to take some warm hats & gloves and hot food to some homeless people. We decided to fill some shoeboxes with little gifts to send to children in less fortunate countries. We sent a letter and a small gift to our sponsored child in Armenia. 

We didn't do anything huge, but we did things that made us feel better about the world and we talked about how we could always try our best to put good out into the world.

I've seen so many people this weekend talk about how evil and scary the world is today, and what a dreadful place it is to bring children in to - but the truth is that the world has never not been a scary place.

Just imagining how terrifying the world in our grandparents lifetime would have been - with their fathers and husbands sent off to fight, children sent away to strangers for safety, living on rations, keeping to safety curfews, living with the constant threat of bombings, of the invasion of the country - reminds me that life has never been without threat, it's never been without evil people.

The threats we face now are different, but there has always been threat. There has always been fear.

There has always been evil in the world, but thankfully there has always been more good.

And the only way to face life going forward as far as I'm concerned is to make sure that I'm encouraging my children to add to the good in the world, to try to counterbalance all of the bad.

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8 comments:

  1. Honestly even though there are these bad things going on in the world we shouldn't be scared and just live the life as we do. Being scared is what these people are looking for. It's awful what happened but people are fighting them and I'm hoping this will come to an end eventually.
    I am glad my children are at an age where they don't understand what's going on yet. By the time they will I hope it's over.

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  2. I love that you turned your social media off, not sure I could do that ha ha. I think I will not let these people ruin my life and make me want to stay in doors. If its my time then it is and until then ill carry on doing what i want.

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  3. I am so glad we were away over the weekend so I was, for the most part, off social media. As it was just depressing.
    As a parent all I can hope for is that in my daughter's lifetime they do don't have to worry about these things - and that all of this terror is very much a thing of the past

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  4. This is a great point and its sad that people are so nasty and horrible and evil at times! I totally agree we can add good and teach our children/families to live good lives to counter the wickedness and nasty things that go on! Hope is a huge thing too! - Angela from daysinbed

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  5. Great piece, really well written. Feel exactly the same as you, a real dread that there are awful things on the way, looking at the beautiful faces of our innocent children ; /

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  6. It is horrific what's happened, but as you say there's lots of terrible things happening all over the place, and the wars in the past too. I feel the same in terms of making sure N knows and acts in the best and kindest way he can

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  7. I don't like to think about any negative things but when media set in and all this multiple bad news get you worked out. I don't think there will be a world peace, and I think it's just a dream. There is always somebody try to destroy whatever we may have. But fear, fear will always be there but we all have to stick together now. It's just sadden me that children are too innocent to know what's going on...

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  8. It's hard not to focus on the horrors isn't it? These atrocities are far too frequent these days. But, like you say, the fears have always been there in one form or another and we need to do our very best to focus on the good and the positive - and have hope that things will change.

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