Hypothetical MamaBlogger365 – What-ifs (Dealing with Life Changing Questions as a Parent) By: Kate Fineske

Wedding-Rings_WEBIt was 8:25 p.m. on an early October evening. I was sitting in the rare silence of my home catching up on some reading when I heard the distant yet piercing sounds of ambulance sirens.

8:25 p.m.

  • Only 25 short minutes after putting a long day of responsibilities and three kids to rest.
  • Only 25 short minutes into a little downtime for myself before heading off to bed.
  • Only 25 short minutes since my husband had left for his evening run.

On this dark, chilly night, amongst the increasing screams of ambulance sirens that seemingly grew closer and closer to our home, I began to worry as my mind drifted towards thoughts of what-if…

What-if something had happened to my husband?


Life is filled with hypothetical what-ifs, most of which only occasionally happen.

What if… I forget to send that email?
What if… I don’t have enough time in my day to finish this or that?
What if, what-if, what-if…

Yet this time, surrounded by the exhaustion of my day, my what-ifs became much darker.

What if… I was suddenly left alone to take care of our kids by myself?

I tried to allow my fears to subside as the sirens became more distant – their destination obviously much further then my husband’s run would take him. However, once the questions turn-on, they can be very hard to turn-off. And soon I was flooded with other hypothetical thoughts.

What if… extended family could no longer help care as much for our children?
What if… my husband or I lost our jobs or couldn’t work anymore?

In these worst-case scenarios, what would we do? How quickly things could change…

I will admit, after becoming a mother, all the scary hypothetical what-ifs now seem SO MUCH MORE real to me. One slip, one unexpected event, could drastically change our comfortable lives.

The reality is motherhood can be one of the single biggest risk factors for poverty.

Illness, divorce, unexpected deaths and many, many other circumstances can quickly take any mother from supported independence, to dependence with little support.

What-if your house is worth more than you can sell it for?
What-if you can’t afford childcare, but also can’t afford to not go back to work?
What-if …

Life’s hypothetical “what-ifs” can quickly erase any preconceived notion of how one thought their life might turn out.


It’s 8:30 p.m. – only 5 minutes later – when my husband walks into our home, closing the front door to the darkness of the evening. As he enters he casually glances my way.

“Did you hear those sirens?” he mentions. “I know it’s crazy, but I kept thinking what-if they were going to our house…I almost called during my run just to make sure you were okay!”

And I knew exactly what he meant.

Scary thoughts – that I’d like to think wouldn’t happen to us… but… what if?

Leave a comment: How do you deal with life’s big, hypothetical what-ifs?


This post has been contributed on behalf of The National Association of Mothers Centers, whose mission is to create a community of women, who through mutual support and public advocacy, explore, enrich and value the maternal experience.

The post author, Kate Fineske, currently is a staff member with the National Association of Mothers’ Centers where she maintains and provides the content to the Mothers Central Blog – the Parenting Blog of the NAMC. She is also responsible for helping the NAMC work to build stronger connections and support with the local Mothers’ Center Chapters nationally.

Kate is a longtime member of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers through her local chapter of the Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo in Ohio. She and her husband are busy raising 3 children ages 1-8. Kate’s professional background is as a graphic designer in the creative and education industry. Since 2005, she has been using her professional skills by actively volunteering with the Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo in various leadership positions. She also blogs personally at http://www.onthegomomma.net.

You can connect with Kate via Twitter (@katefineske) and/or also connect with the NAMC via twitter (@MothersCenters) or Facebook.


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