Written By: Kathy Glow @ Kissing the Frog
It’s Halloween, Dear Readers, the scariest day of the year. That is, unless you’re a parent. And in that case, every day can be a scary day.
Before I became a mom, I never realized how much fear comes with parenting. Of course, I have already had every parent’s worst fear come true: losing a child. In spite of that, perhaps because of that, I still have many fears about my children.
- I am afraid, since cancer can be genetic, one of my other sons will get it.
- I am afraid I will get cancer, and my boys will have to live through it again in a more scary and devastating way.
- I am afraid of a freak accident befalling one of my sons because I was not safe enough/careful enough/right there next to him 24/7/365.
- I am afraid of becoming a helicopter parent who tells her child what to do 24/7/365.
- I am afraid I’m feeding them all the wrong foods and causing them permanent damage.
- I’m afraid I’m trying too hard to make them eat right.
- I am afraid of pedophiles, kidnappers, bullies, and random strangers with guns.
- I am afraid of autism, mental illness, depression, and suicide.
- I am afraid that, on my bad days, I’m ruining their good days.
- I am afraid of car accidents, teenage drinking, pre-marital sex, and communicable diseases.
- I am afraid of my boys being the cause of car accidents, pre-marital sex, and communicable diseases.
- I am afraid of them doing something stupid that could have been prevented if only I’d thought to discuss it with them.
- I am afraid that they will have no passion or interest in anything and just float through life.
- I am afraid they will take things too seriously, have too much passion, and get their hearts broken.
- I am afraid they will fail.
- I am afraid they will succeed and never look back.
- I am afraid that I will not be around to see my baby graduate or get married since I was 41 when I had him, and I am currently ignoring my health and well-being.
- I am afraid of my boys becoming jerks to women.
- I am afraid of my boys being too soft and sensitive and being walked over and used by females.
- I am afraid all my sons will marry women who hate me.
- I am afraid my daughters-in-law will have no use for me because they will know more than me.
- I am afraid I will have some weird “cats-in-the-cradle” relationship with my boys in which all the times I was too busy to play because I was doing laundry/unloading the dishwasher/making dinner/blogging will come full circle when my boys won’t have time to spend with me.
- I am afraid of my boys becoming jaded by a society that accepts rudeness and does nothing about it.
- I am afraid I will have to bury another child.
- I am afraid that they will have to bury me before they are ready.
- I am afraid I won’t tell them everything I want them to know or teach them everything I want them to learn.
- I am afraid I’m doing it all completely wrong.
- I am afraid my fears will prevent me from taking risks and showing them how wonderful the world can be.
- I am afraid they will remember only my negative qualities and not all the positive, loving, fun, goofy, intelligent ones.
- I am afraid I won’t teach them how to leave the world a better place.
- I am afraid I won’t remember their giggles, the way their eyes squinted when they smiled, what their hands felt like in mine, or which books were their favorites.
- I am afraid I will worry too much, blink too long, or turn my back for a minute, and I will miss it all.
I can’t live my life and my children’s lives in fear, even though it may seem to be a natural part of parenting. When we let the fear and the worry take over, we ARE missing the good stuff: their smiles and laughter, their spontaneity and joy, their interests and excitement, their good times and yes, their bad.
I’m quite certain that my children will succeed not because of me, but in spite of me. After all, there have been jerky parents who’ve raised wonderful children, just as there have been wonderful parents who’ve raised jerky children. I need to trust that as long as I am here now, present in this moment, whatever situations my sons face in the future, scary or not, it will be okay.
They will be okay.
Do you ever let fear and worry get the best of you, or do you have a day-by-day attitude? What advice would you give to a worrier like me?
Photos 2, 3 & 4 shutterstock.com