Parenting Worries: Then vs. Now
Parents worry. It’s just a part of the job.
Whether you’re a brand new mom-to-be or an experienced parent with adult children and grandchildren, chances are, you’re always juggling several parenting worries. While worrying itself is a consistent aspect of parenting, the actual focuses of that worry tend to shift over time. Are there things you used to worry about a lot when it comes to parenting that barely cross your mind now? Sometimes all it takes is a little time and perspective to put those worries to bed…until the next “thing” comes up!
What I Was Worried About Then, But Don’t Worry About Now…
Mary: I was worried that my daughter would NEVER sleep through the night. It took seven years, but she is finally sleeping through the night. However, she is still exactly like her daddy in that she’s a super light sleeper which can make some things (like playing the tooth fairy!) tricky.
Media Mom: Eating. Why was I always so concerned about making sure my kids were eating enough? They eat when they’re hungry. Seems silly now.
Kris-Ann: My kids are still young, so I’m not sure there is a then vs. now yet when it comes to worries. However, I’ve definitely learned to let my kids be who they want. I’ve stopped trying to make sure they have the perfect outfit for every occasion and let them wear what they want/are comfortable in.
Kate: Where do I begin? Will he ever sleep through the night? Is his speech delayed? Is he always going to be a picky eater? Is he adjusting to preschool? The one common element I’ve seen through parenting thus far is that at each stage there is something new to worry about and usually, that thing you worry most about resolves itself within a matter of weeks or months. To me, it’s one of the greatest lessons of parenting – “this too shall pass.” Of course, I still worry about the little stuff but keeping the long run in mind helps me from getting too fixated any particular issue.
Amy: When I was a new parent, I often worried about my child reaching every development milestone on time and, yes, often would compare where she was to other kids her age. I’ve since learned that all kids are unique and grow, learn and develop at their own page and in their own style. I often don’t sweat the details and go with a gut approach. Mommy intuition usually works best in most cases.
Jessie: It may sound silly, but I worried about whether Zoe knew I was her mom or not. I wanted to make sure she knew she was loved and safe.
Lisa: I worried about everything. EVERYTHING. Maybe to the point of insanity. Nothing prepared me for bringing home a baby. Being a control freak, the idea of not having the “right” answers to how to handle minute-to-minute baby situations made me crazy! Looking back I wish I could tell myself not to worry, but then that wouldn’t have been me. I really don’t regret any decisions (or worries) because they made me feel like I was committed to being the best mom possible. I still worry (a lot) but what I’ve learned to do is manage that worry so that it doesn’t escalate my anxiety to unhealthy levels. By practicing yoga and meditation I’ve learned how to be me, but not let the worry consume me like it used to.
Heather: Clothing. I used to worry a lot about what my daughter was wearing. I felt like a crazy miss-matched outfit was a reflection on my ability to put an outfit together. It’s not. Letting go of the wardrobe discussion has been great. We still battle about tank tops in 30 degree weather, but I don’t worry about putting a red skirt with a pink shirt. And, at age 9, my daughter has a pretty amazing sense of fashion – I now consult her before I dress for work!
Allison: With only one child, I still worry about everything!
How about you? What worries you as a parent? Have your parenting worries changed over time?
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Get parenting advice and join conversations with families and educators
- E-family news: Parental Guilt – What Should We Feel Guilty About?
- Read more posts about stress from the Family Room bloggers