Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
is it that makes people worry way out of proportion to the
reason for their concern? Some call it being overly obsessive.
Some call it maternal instinct. I don't really know how to
define it; however, I think all mothers worry about their kids.
My mother used to call this sort of anxiety being a
Suppose you don't hear from your kids for a few days or a few
weeks. We are talking grow, adult children who have left the
nest here, not little children that live at home. Still, when
they are late or missing, I imagine the worse. Something has
happened. I panic and begin to imagine all sorts of silly things
until I call on the phone only to have them say, "What's
wrong Mom? Everything is fine here. We've just been really
It's especially bad for me because my youngest daughter, due to
some bad luck and bad health, came back home to live with me for
a while. It's really hard to emotionally separate when they are
right there under your nose and you see their every move. And
it's even harder when they should be under your nose and you
don't know where they are at that particular moment.
If my daughter is late getting home, I panic. She must have had
a wreck! She is probably unconscious in a ditch somewhere -- she
might be dead. I fret and fret, can't sleep. I call on her cell
phone and leave a message. "Call mom. I'm worried sick
because you are not home."
She calls, "Mom, I just had to work late." Everything
is fine. Go back to bed." I feel so foolish. An old woman
that can't let go of her children or cut the apron strings!
What's the matter with me?
I can no more stop worrying about my children than I can stop
loving them. I guess it comes with motherhood, this built-in
need to worry. Some fight it successfully and say that they
don't worry any more. Others give in to it and become nagging
old cronies, controlling the lives of the kids and not letting
them be their own person. I don't want to do THAT! So, I just
I guess it's inherited. I remember when I was a teenager, how my
mother was always concerned about my whereabouts. I couldn't
understand it. I don't want my kids to resent me or to think I'm
interfering in their lives. I always thought my mom was nuts,
getting upset if I was thirty minutes late getting home. Now I
know that I have the same disease.
If there is a cure, I'd sure like to get the medicine.
"Just let go", you say! "You've done your job.
Get a life!" obviously, you are not a mother. I have a
life. But, there is a second sense that lets you "feel it
in your bones" when things are not right. Of course, you
can easily misread this feeling. Motherly instinct is just a
feeling, not always a reality, and this is where the problems
come in. Is it actually motherly instinct or something else?
Actually, this whole issue is a bit ridiculous. Kids grow up. I
need to say goodbye to them, do my own thing, be happy with
their accomplishments. I don't really want to live anyone else's
life. My own is enough, thanks. I just wish they would call home
more often, that's all.
The harder I try not to worry, the more I worry. Then I worry
about being worried. How do you break out of this circle? Maybe
I'll figure it out later. Right now my daughter is late and I
have to call and be sure everything is okay. Something could
Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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