Sometimes I really worry about my kids.
More than just the average ‘gee I hope she doesn’t fall out of that tree and break her arm’ kind of worry… A deep down worry, about how they might turn out.
I laugh a lot about ‘scarring my kids for life’, but all jokes aside, I am acutely aware of the influence I have on my children.
Everything we parents do, both consciously and unconsciously influences our children.
That is a huge scary thought which I try to squash down most of the time… but sometimes it pops up and blows my ever-loving little mind.
Right now it is my ‘middle child’, my beautiful big boy, that I am worrying about more than usual.
At the moment, he is my favourite (because you are allowed to have favourites you know). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love him more than any of the others, it’s just that right now he and I get along really, really well.
He smothers me with cuddles. He looks at me with a twinkle in his eye and mischievous grin on his face. He says funny things. He hardly ever pushes my ‘infuriate’ button. Right now, at almost five, he is delicious.
But I worry about him… a lot.
I worry that I am doing wrong by him.
I worry that our anti-football family will put him at a disadvantage at school next year.
I worry that he won’t make friends.
I worry that he has nothing in common with other boys that he knows because he knows nothing of Ben Ten or Spider Man or super heroes in general.
I worry that he keeps his problems squashed down so far that even he doesn’t really know what is bothering him.
I worry that if I try and ‘fix’ any of these things that I am teaching him that we do not value who he is.
I worry that I shouldn’t even be blogging all of this, in case one day someone googles him and reads this and it causes him angst.
Today he has his first school visit and I am sure many of my worries are fueled by the fact that he will soon turn five and soon be off at school and a little further from my arms, but that doesn’t make then any easier to deal with.
But I guess that is my job right now, to worry about him.
I know that many of the things I worry about could actually be the very best things about my boy… so I squash those worries and I pull him closer and enjoy him for who he is.
Do you worry about your kids?
How to do you deal with those worries?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I worried about so many of these things with my big boy (now 6). He went off to school at not-quite-five, tiny for his age (he didn’t even fit into the smallest school uniform), with blonde curls he didn’t want to have cut short and a love of shiny and glittery purple and red clothes (usually from the girls section of target) and no interest in superheros, Ben10, thomas the tank engine etc. I was convinced he would be teased for wanting to play with the girls and being different. But on the first day he found another boy who was wearing pants covered in multi-coloured dolphins that his mum had made for him out of curtain material and who also hated ben10. They were (and are) great friends and even though now they play with lots of other kids as well they still gravitate to each other when they other boys play Ben10 or superheros. Maybe he was lucky but I do think kids are amazing at finding people who understand them. And if you have one person who ‘gets’ you I think it gives you the confidence to not care whether the rest of the world is different.
This is what I hope for my boy… that he makes a friend who ‘gets’ him… in fact I wish this for everyone as you are so right, if you have someone who understands you the rest of it is so much easier!
Kate, I would have written the same words about my four-year-old. I’m still learning who he is and what makes him tick. He’s complex, a sensitive soul, and a big thinker. I worry all the time. I worry about what I’m doing and what I’m not doing. I worry that maybe I’m not the best mother for him, which is crazy of course. But like you, when I’m done thinking about it, I don’t know what else to do but give him lots of cuddles. I hope we do enough.
I worry about my Munchkin all the time. He is so bright, creative, passionate and energetic, and even though he is only 6, I can see he has the potential to do ANYTHING (be it for good or evil!) I’m terrified I’ll snuff out his flame if I criticise or restrict him too much. I’m scared he’ll get bored at school and completely lose interest and play up or drop out. I’m scared that the innate darkness in him will turn him bad. So many fears… totally unjustified I’m sure. He’s such an awesome little boy, and we’re exactly the right parents for him ;-)
I worry about my daughter ALL THE TIME!
Mostly I think I worry because I have so many faults and downfalls as a person. I don’t like myself very much.
I feel quite strongly about spending time at home with my daughter during her pre-school years (before returning to work), but I worry that she’ll develop personality traits like mine.
We’ve been trying unsuccessfully for another child for a very long time. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not meant to have another child because I couldn’t possibly handle worrying about two or more children. :)
And then I tell myself than being worried and aware of my child means I love her dearly, and that makes her a very lucky girl- Just like your little man who sounds like an absolute delight. No wonder you’re starting to feel a little anxious if he is off to school shortly.
I love your post. It so articulately describes how I feel.
tahlia - the parenting files says
worrying is in the job description. Those who don’t worry… what manual have you been reading? My kids are still babies… my I have got a long way to go!!!
Ash K says
Worrying. When you are a parent, you never stop. That is why you are a fab parent. Shit ones don’t give a crap xx
Granma Jill says
LOL I’m 66 in a couple of weeks and my Mum now 92 still worries about me! Settle in to it girls its going to be a long haul.
Amanda Kendle says
I have plenty of (very similar) worries about my son. But what I always try to think about is the huge mismatch between what my mother thought might have scarred me for life compared to the events and incidents which did have a big impact – they’re almost never the same thing! So I just try and do what feels right so that in the event that a psychologist blames me for some terrible event in his life in future decades, at least I can justify my actions at the time by really trying to do my best when it’s possible!
You took the words right out my mouth in this post. At the moment I worry most for my Son who is starting school next year. I worry that he will not fit in b/c of all the things you said, PLUS that he may get teased b/c of his speech language delays. As parents I think we are meant to worry every now and then. Friends with older kids assure me that everything turns out okay in the end.
P.S – I think one of my biggest worries is that my kids will fall in with the wrong crowd and type of ‘friends’.
I know there is no point saying ‘don’t worry!’, but I am sure he will be fine :)
We aren’t anti-football, but also not the type of family who watch it or go to it, and I wouldn’t have a clue who is a good team any more! But my boys do have teams they ‘barrack for’ (mainly picked by their favourite animal) and when they have footy day at school they have a scarf or beanie to wear.
There is one thing at school that brings everybody together and that is Lego! Every morning Sam heads straight to the Lego box, which is surrounded by about 8 or so kids all playing next to each other… now that is something I’m sure Morgan would love too!
Ah Trace… you know what my boy headed straight for yesterday at his first school visit… the big box of Lego! LOL
Sonia @ Life Love and Hiccups says
Oh man can I relate to this one as I totally worry when I have nothing to worry about cause I should you know like be worrying! My youngest is starting school next year and I worry about him, being one of three boys he gets overdosed on boy stuff at kindy so he tends to hang out with the girls. I worry that he wont have any little guy mates to hang out with when he gets there and the girls will be at that ewww boys stage and wont want him hanging around anymore, but then maybe I am just worrying too much – if there is such a thing! I think it is actually just normal and all part of being a mum and just loving those munchkins to bits xx
If it helps Sonia… my girls are in grade two and in the three years they’ve been at school one of the really close friends they have made is a boy who likes to play make believe stuff like they do. They are almost 9 and they are not the least bit ‘eeuuwww boys’… so with luck your boy will find the perfect friends (boys or girls) just like mine!
My worries are about outside things. Will other people hurt them.how do I keep them safe but let them live. I know all I can do is guide, teach, show and love and cross fingers and toes.
But the uncontrollable is what worries me the most.
What a lovely post! Did you see that Woman’s Weekly article about favourite children…infuriated the heck out of me! You are totally right, each one of our children have a ‘favourite time’ in our parenting journey. It chops and changes and goes back around. One child will never hold that place in spite of the others!
Oh no I didn’t see that article… but perhaps I need to write a blog post about having ‘favourites’. I am totally fine with the fact that one or more of my kids might be in a stage where I get along with them better than some of the others… doesn’t mean I love them more or less… hmm… I can definitely feel a post coming on! LOL
Kate I would love to hear what your thoughts are! Here’s the link to my response with a link to the article :) http://mumoftwinsatoddlerandateenager.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/do-you-have-favourite-child.html
Denyse Whelan Education Specialist says
Worry is part of the mother-lode…or is it load. My Dad at 88 tells me now about how he “worries about this..to do with me (62) & my bro (59)” honestly we are ok but that worry thing can overwhelm & keep us awake far longer than we like.
The thing with me, is that I’ve seen much of what happens when kids start school – from the school’s side…and watch & see that in 99% of cases all works out ok. But, the grandma in me worries for my grandson we’ve cared for since he was 15 weeks old (2-3 days a week) who starts school like your boy. He is shy & sensitive to new people. He hangs back. I know he is bright but will his teacher recognized this… See where I’m going? I know it will be ok.. But I want to stop him from being upset or hurt. I am not even his mum.
To finish. What I have learned as a parent of now grown kids is that family values will always win over friend values even in the depths of adolescence with our son…he emerged ok with family values to imbibe into his kids… See above grandson!
Kate…he WILL be ok… But it’s ok to worry … love D xx
Thank you Denyse…. that hit home and meant a lot :)
I worry about the things I say. I worry about things that happen when I’m not around. I worry that I’m trying to mold them too much…or that I’m not molding them enough. I worry that they won’t grow into beautiful, loving, strong men. I worry that other people won’t like them … and that that will affect how much they like themselves.
How I deal with it depends on the day – – some times, I melt down. Other days, I tell myself to chill. Most days, I just do the best I can and take comfort in the fact that I love them enough to worry about them.
Hope the school visit goes wonderfully!
I worry every day! i worry about all these things and more! It’s our job to worry. Some worries are justified some are just sill mummy worries! Having a child with special needs has in some ways made me worry a whole lot more and in other ways made me stop worrying about the small things!
Don’t underestimate you worry! It’s valid and understandable. You’re a mum! The best kind worry! xxxx
Belinda - The Lattimore Acre says
A friend once told me that ‘Worrying is wasted energy’. I suppose it is but it doesn’t stop it happening. I have a five year old son. He is complex, he is strong willed, he is sensitive and he is a worrier. I worry about him while he is trying to make sense of the big wide world. I want to try to protect him from all the worlds hurt, especially now he has started school. As a teacher I thought I had the five year old social skills understood. As a parent I worry everyday! You are so right about enjoying them for who they are now. I sometimes get so caught up with my worries that I forget. Thanks for the reminder…… because they are pretty darn fabulous. Another friend said to me when my son was born ‘that as parents we give our children their wings, and at some point need to stand back and let them fly’.
Jodie Benveniste @ Parent Wellbeing says
I don’t mean to undermine anything that anyone has said here or is experiencing, I really do understand the worry. But I actually don’t worry about my kids. I can’t prevent them from going through some challenging experiences, I can only support them when they do. And I’m loving them. I’m trying to do my best. And that’s all I can do!
We just had our first child through adoption and I constantly worry about him. He is from South Korea and I dread the days where he is picked on because he doesn’t look like Mama or Daddy. Or when the kiddos tease his “unusual” eyes. I also worry about not explaining things well enough so that he knows how much his birth mom loved him and how totally a part of the family he is with us. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts…it’s always nice to know that you aren’t alone in your fears for the little ones.
Sounds like he would get along well with my 5 yr old who also dislikes football and knows nothing of Ben10 or spiderman. He has hooked up with a girl from his kinder for the first term but now they don’t play together because she likes playing football. He hangs with his big sister at lunchtime now. He doesn’t play with the other boys in his class because he says they are too silly. Actually, my daughter finds it hard too. They are just normal kids, I think bad luck has put them in the wrong classes.