I’ve been blogging for nearly a year now, so I’ve decided it’s time to step out from behind my arts and crafts projects and share some of my more personal parenting experiences with you in my new series
the “A-Z of Parenting”. I hope you’ll share your own experiences as well, to help us all grow as parents together.
A is for Anxious
Be it planned or not, from the moment you find out you are pregnant there is plenty to feel anxious about:
What about that glass of wine I drank the other night?
How much is giving birth going to hurt?
Will I be a good enough parent?
And the list goes on and on as we strive to become the perfect parent from the very off. Your life is suddenly no longer just about looking after yourself. You are now in charge of another human being and they are relying on you to do the best job that you can. No pressure then! Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming feelings of responsibility (and love) you’ll have for your child and this becomes even more apparent the more children that you have.
Prior to becoming a parent I would have had periods of anxiety in my life. For example when I was doing exams, going for job interviews, taking driving lessons etc. Since becoming a parent though it sometimes seems like every day there is something new to worry or feel nervous about.
Today I’ve worried about…
Being late for school
Something happening to them at school
Taking my middle son for his immunisations
My toddler running off on me in the supermarketMy toddler eating too many scones this morning
My eldest son not eating enough vegetables
Being a stay-at-home mum gives me lots of time with my children which I am grateful for, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. I am in sole charge of their day to day well-being and care. To make sure they are eating the right things, socialising in the right places and learning the right things at the right time. You could argue that there is no right or wrong in parenting and this is probably true. But we are constantly bombarded with information about things we should and shouldn’t be doing for our kids; from health professionals, tv and magazines, social media, family and friends. Sometimes your head can literally be spinning about what you should be doing.
When is it ok to let your kids out to play alone?
How should I discipline my children?
Should we immunise our kids?
Do I really need to go to the expense of organic food?
How many sweets is too much?
Are we having enough play dates?
Are the boys doing enough after school activities or too many?
You then end up spending too much time worrying that you are doing everything wrong, when in fact you are probably doing a grand job.
What makes me most anxious…
Being on the playground
When I had my first baby I couldn’t wait to take him for his first go on the swings. Then after having my second and third child the novelty started to wear off. I now see the playground as more of a danger zone than a fun zone. Keeping a physical eye on three children running around on different play equipment turns me into a bag of nerves. What if one of them slips or falls off the climbing frame? What if my toddlers runs out of the gate into the busy car park? What is another kid is pushing one of my kids around? Deep down I know that kids need to run around, trip over and pick themselves up again; to learn from their mistakes. But this is easier said than done sometimes. I’m sure as my kids get older and more responsible for themselves, I will start to enjoy the playground again. Maybe even becoming one of those mums who I enviously look at now reading their books or chatting on their phones, as their kids happily charge around, picking themselves up when they trip.
Losing sight of them when we are out and about
When my daughter was only a few months old, I lost sight of her in the school car park. I had mis-applied the break on her pram and it rolled behind the car next to me, as I strapped the boys in. I only lost sight of her for a few minutes, but anybody who has lost sight of their child will now that
those few minutes are filled with pure terror.This experience has left me overly anxious whenever we are out now, as I never want to experience those feelings again. This is something I need to address though, as I am conscious now that the kids will start to pick up on these anxieties and start to feel overly nervous themselves when we go out together.
I could go on and on about what else makes me feel anxious, but I think I have shared enough for now! Now it’s your turn, what makes you feel most anxious as a parent or does A mean something else entirely to you?