Fear of Missing Out: Two Lessons I’ve Learned From Motherhood

Fear of Missing Out: Two Lessons I’ve Learned From Motherhood

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

My baby won’t stop staring at me. This isn’t literally true, but it feels like it. You see, Vincent and I (Laura) gifted ourselves a canvas photo of our son Jesse for Christmas.

When we decided on size, we went a little overboard. Now, no matter where you go in our living room, there is a GIANT Jesse peering back at you. It even seems like his eyes follow you. With the risk of making this sound like an episode of Scooby Doo, I digress…

Recently I learned about a popular saying in pop culture vernacular—FOMO, fear of missing out. I know this is why we have this ginormous photo—I have a fear that I will not have captured all the sweetness of this child’s babyhood because YOLO (another pop culture phrase: You only live once) and it’s hard to be “present” all the time.

Anything I Say Can and Will be Held Against Me

I’m a first-time mom. I realize I run the risk of judgment by seasoned mothers if I try to offer advice on how to be “present” with my child, or just to be “present” period.

Truth is, if you didn’t already have anxiety prior to the birth of your children, motherhood will make you have a million and one thoughts run through your head at just a tick below lightening speed from now til your death. (Okay, that seemed dramatic, but when you’re in the throes of early motherhood, things can seem overwhelming.)

What Have I Learned From Motherhood?

Disclaimer: Take what I say with a grain of salt; I’m a first-time mother and a therapist. I can only draw from personal experience and professional experience working with mothers.

Grace, Grace

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in dealing with this fear of missing out is giving myself grace. Every day I make decisions, it’s almost like triaging.

What takes priority? Making the kitchen spotless or reading extra to my little one? Throwing a frozen pizza in the oven so I can spend more time with Jesse when he’s had a rough day or cooking a nutritious meal with him needing some extra Mommy Time that he doesn’t get?

Okay, here it comes…the wrath of crunchy moms everywhere….you read right…sometimes cooking for me consists of an occasional frozen pizza. This is a judgment-free zone, which leads me to my next great lesson about motherhood…

The two lessons I have learned from motherhood: Give yourself grace and try to practice a judgment-free attitude towards myself and other mothers.

There is a lot of mommy judgment out there. We judge each other, we judge ourselves. Quit it. Just quit it. I think this starts with how we treat ourselves. If we are able to afford ourselves the grace (reference paragraph above) to be HUMAN, we should grant it to other mommies as well.

The way I see it, we can either lift each other up, or we can tear each other down. We’re stronger as a united front. Lord knows we have to put up with enough never-got-out-of-my-yoga-pants, how-did- that-bodily-fluid-get-there and nothing-went-right-today days to have to put up with someone throwing an extra serving of judgment onto the heap (you may as well have thrown a week’s worth of laundry into my laundry room with that judgment. It almost feels the same!)

So there you have it. The two lessons I have learned from motherhood: Give yourself grace and try to practice a judgment-free attitude towards myself and other mothers. Are you giving yourself grace and working to be judgment-free?

Published by Laura Ketchie | Counselor

Laura Ketchie, LPC is a counselor who specializes in women's issues. Her favorite verse is: "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9


  • Traci

    February 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm Reply

    Yes to grace, grace, grace. I am more focused on extending it and more and more grateful to receive it!

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      February 28, 2018 at 7:32 pm Reply

      Traci, I’m glad to hear about your work with grace! It’s not as easy as it sounds. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Donna Richard Miller

    February 28, 2018 at 5:26 pm Reply

    This is so incredibly sweet! Love it!! ❤

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      February 28, 2018 at 7:35 pm Reply

      Thanks for reading, Donna!

  • Marisa Donnelly

    February 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm Reply

    Laura, I love your honesty in this piece – for mothers, childcare providers/nannies (which I am) there is much to take away from this. I’m encouraged by your willingness to be open, and I totally agree! Give ourselves grace!

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      February 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm Reply

      Hi, Marisa! I’m glad you were encouraged by today’s blog post. Thanks for commenting!

  • Jenny P

    March 2, 2018 at 10:18 am Reply

    A great post and much needed! Especially quit judging myself, i definitely need to work on my temper yet still a great mom..foof!!!! Thanks!

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      March 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm Reply

      Hi, Jenny! I’m glad you could relate. As mothers we’re always works in progress. Being harsh on ourselves just gives us even more work to do. Thank you so much for commenting and stopping by.

  • Teresa

    April 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm Reply

    Hi Laura, Thank you for sharing this amazingly written Post with us!

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      April 27, 2018 at 9:53 pm Reply

      Thank you! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Well said! Unfortunately FOMO and judgment aren’t just predators of young moms, lol! This mom and Mimi still has to pray for grace and a big helping of humility all the time. So no judgment about frozen pizza here!

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      April 27, 2018 at 9:54 pm Reply

      I’m afraid no mother can escape these things. Glad you could relate. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Roxy Rhodes

    May 8, 2018 at 4:32 am Reply

    Ah judgement. How I detest it! & yet we all do it super quickly if we don’t catch ourselves. I absolutely love working & I adore my kids. But sometimes I need to work to get my brain back & make me happier. & at the end of it all, if I’m happier, my boys are happier. We’re all doing our best – who are we to judge others. You’ve definitely inspired a new blog for me.

    Thanks Laura!

    • Laura Ketchie | Counselor

      May 8, 2018 at 3:39 pm Reply

      Glad this resonated with you! Thanks for stopping by!

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