When I was growing up, I was the girl that everyone called on to watch their kids. I was a lifeguard at our local pool and basically all it really amounted to was a glorified babysitting job watching roughly 50 kids swim all day long. When we were slow enough, I’d jump in the pool with them and create swimming trains with the kids or other fun water fun games just to have a bit of fun throughout the day. (I did learn that the swimming train only works really well with less than 10 kids on you at a time.) I honestly thought parenting was going to be a simple cake walk for me. I’ve spent two full summers keeping over 50 kids inline, babysat many kids, and let’s not forget I spent from the time I was in 5th grade until my first year of college striving to become a teacher and was literally a substitute teacher during my high school years. I thought ALL of this experience would have me prepared for parenthood.
Parenting Is Different Than Babysitting
Let me first say that parenting it totally utterly different than babysitting! I use to hand out advice on how to handle a child’s behavior issues all the time to parents because they were always in amazement about how well behaved their child was around me. I thought I was the “child guru.” WRONG! I have three kids and for the most part they are actually pretty decent kids. They are hyper, loud, quite talkative, but they also strive to be well mannered and behave (in public.)
Parent Worry 101
If you’re like me, you strive to be a good parent. Your mission in life is to be better than your parents were (unless you had really awesome parents, but the vast majority of my friends didn’t have them.) You want your kids to be better than you are. Here’s the kicker though there are many things that regardless how great of a parent you are, you just can’t control them.
My 5 Parenting Things That Keep Me Up At Night
1.) You wonder if they have some type of learning handicap. Considering we homeschool our kids we are with them all the time. Hence, we see everything that they do and don’t do throughout the course of a day. My youngest shows signs of having Autism (but without insurance I haven’t had the chance to get her tested for it.) My middle child is ADHD (not physically proven by doctor yet, but I know for sure it will be) and I know he needs something to help him get it regulated because he’s driving us all batty. My oldest child, I don’t know how to really describe his issue, but he has one. I’m sorry but I can’t help but wonder if there is any help insight for all of them. I hope that we’re not holding them back.
2.) I wonder did I give them enough quality time with me. Granted I homeschool my kids and do work from home to be near them all the time. However, there are days when I get so swamped with my work load and theirs plus maintaining a home that turning everything off and just spending my two hours at least with them didn’t happen. Of course, that makes me wonder have I really made solid use of my two hours with my kids for the week. Then I remember there are days that I devote my whole day with them and put everything else off. So, I do tend to feel better about it. However, I NEVER want my kids to feel like they are not worth my time and energy. Even though, they have to think it from time to time because I HAVE to put them on the back burner due to meeting deadlines because we have to have the money to survive.
3.) Am I giving them enough or too much? I was literally raised up with one parent able to give me anything I asked for just by me asking for it and one parent who was strict as can be, but also was a single parent and limited on funds. In my life, I feel like I’ve had the best of both worlds. Somewhere I read that, “The rich keep getting poorer while the poor keep getting richer.” Yes, I wrote that correctly. I believe that the poor have the understanding of what really is important to enjoying life verses the rich because the rich spend most of their life becoming rich or staying rich, while the poor appreciate the time they have with their families and friends. The ironic thing is people seem to forget we can’t take the materialistic items with us when we pass, but it’s the relationships we built and cultivated that will live long after we’re gone from this Earth. So, I want to ensure my kids have what really matters in this world.
4.) Am I scarring them for life? When you’re a strict parent and an enforcer in the home, you tend to wonder if being the mean one is scarring them for life. I do a lot of yelling, far more than even I really like to do, but it seems to be the only way to really get my kids to listen. Sometimes some of the punishments include not being able to go somewhere or interact with certain people because they don’t know how to act once they’ve been around that person. Then I feel guilty because I want them to have a relationship with said person too, but feel like I can’t win for losing in this case. I’m also learning the fine art of worrying less and being happy more.
5.) I worry about their future. I’m sure every parent can relate to this one. After all everything we do today determines some aspect of their future. I strive like crazy to make sure that they enjoy today, but yet learn the value of making wise decisions each day of their life in preparation for the future. I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I made in my life.
Those are some of the things that keep me up at night every once in a while. It doesn’t happen every night, but there are times it happens.
What are some of the things that keep you up at night related to your parenting journey?
65 comments on “5 Parenting Things That Keep Me Up At Night”
I worry constantly that I am somehow screwing up my kids. It terrifies me! I just pray daily that my best is good enough!
God choose us to be our kids parents because we are the best fit for the job. I have to remind myself of that everyday too.
I am also the “mean one” in our house, and worry that I’m scarring my son for life. I can totally relate to a lot of these worries.
It’s tough being the mean one in the house. Of course, to my husband’s credit, he’s also strict too so it’s not all on me. However, my in-laws who live 200 ft away spoil our kids rotten!
As babies I always worry when they sleep for long stretches that they stopped breathing. Motherhood is very full of worries! 🙂
That was my biggest worry. I still have that fear from time to time with my two year old.
I can totally relate to number 4. I am always wondering if I am scarring them for life.
We really aren’t doing it, but it sure feels like it at times.
I used to let the time thing to get me. Being a working mom outside the home, I know the best thing I can do is enjoy the time I do have with them.
That is very true! It’s hard not being with your kids all day long. I was going to go back into the work force after my daughter was born, but I couldn’t break away from her. So, I had to find a way to earn money from home. I praise God everyday that he’s helped me do it. However, there are days when I wonder why would choose to do it because it’s three times more stressful than actually working in a job.
I think I worry too much about everything and at some point, am concerned it’s going to seriously handicap my kids, especially my youngest. I’m an over-anxious parent just by virtue of the fact that I’ve buried one of my children so I tend to hang on a little tighter, but because I do that, I always worry they’re going to grow up not as independent as if they’d had a mom who was able to relax a little and let go of the reigns so to speak.
I’m sorry to hear that you have lost a child. That is the most painful thing a parent can go through. I can understand how hard it is to let go when all you want to do is hang on tightly to them from the fear of letting go. I am a helicopter parent too, and I can literally see the effects from it, but can’t fly away.
I’m always worrying also. I think it comes with the job description. I babysat when I was a kid but I never thought about how it might help me as a mother. Sounds like it didn’t help you much either. At least you knew how to swim and could teach your kids that. 🙂
True. I’m dealing with my two year old and trying to get her to appreciate water in a positive way. She is NOT the least bit afraid of it at all.
You hit the nail on the head, sweetie. I worry about each of those things, too.
I don’t think people who don’t have kids realize how much it really is going to impact their life.
I always ALWAYS second guess myself and wonder if I am doing the best job that God has blessed me with. Is homeschooling the right choice, are we discipling our children to the fullest… always questioning.
It feels like it’s a never ending battle doesn’t it?
I think I worry more about what my teen is doing… or going to do.. more than anything. I feel like I’m always reminding her to “do the right thing, even if no one else is”!
In our world today, I’m so scared of my kids becoming teenagers. My ten year old steadily wants to be one, but yet he still does many kid things. I don’t envy your position, but know my day is coming.
YES! All of these things! I worry WAY more than I thought I would.
Lol. I think that’s why these worries cross my mind so much is because I never thought I would worry like this.
I think most moms worry about these same things. You just have to trust that you are doing the best! Life is too short to worry about them.
I do try not to worry as much as I use to. I’ve actually improved a lot on it. However, there are still those nights that get me.
I think we’re all in the same boat with this one. There is so much joy in parenting, but oh the worries….those are plentiful.
I’m glad to know I’m not alone with these concerns.
I worry what will happen to my youngest child after I die. It is almost consuming.
I can understand that one. I had that run through my mind a lot after I lost my mom to cancer.
#2 all the time. Especially since I’m a working mom and see lots of my friends spending all day home with their kids.
I understand that fear all to well. That fear became my reality and I literally caused a major distance between my child and I because of my work schedule. At the time I thought it was something I had to do, but since being forced to quit that job I’ve learned a valuable lesson that there is a fine line between working to pay the bills and working to much. I don’t know what your situation is, but I’m sure you are doing what you have to do to provide for your family. I have heard that as long as your kids get at least two hours a day of your undivided attention then that is healthy amount for them to have.
I constantly worry about my kids and whether I am raising them to be great people.
Good to know it’s a common parenting thing.
I thing worrying is in some crazy ways what makes us great parents. If we didn’t worry I’d be concerned lol. I have awesome parent but I can’t say I appreciated them as much as I do now when I was growing up and my parenting style is very different than theirs. I have those days when I worry about all those things you share, especially “am I being too tough?” I am a strict mom, and it seems much stricter than many of my peers. But I do it our of love and my girls know that, and every now and then give me the confirmation that I’m doing the right thing. When she was in 3rd grade, my oldest who just turned 17 said one day, “It’s hard not to be able to do some of the things the other kids do mommy, but I know it’s because you love me and I am grateful that you are strict with us.”
On another note, there are plenty of scientific studies that are showing a correlation between diet and ADD / ADHD / Autism etc… Sugar in particular, in all it’s forms, refined and natural (i.e. carbs in breads, cereals, etc, ) have been shown to increase hyperactivity in children who are predisposed to that. You may want to speak with a holistic or integrated medicine doctor about your children.
Thank you for the suggestion concerning the doctor and the kids. I thought it was just me being paranoid.
Holy cow 50 kids. Today that would be frowned upon, even illegal. When it comes to quality it’s always rough when they are very young as they need all your attention. Kids get better as they get older. And I know for a fact that they appreciate you being there for them when they feel they need you, instead of when you feel they may need you.
Good point. My kids don’t really need me around, but they definitely want me there even if I’m not doing anything with them. (Of course, I’ve heard that is a boy/man thing.)
One that I struggle with that you mentioned is the question if I am giving them too much or not enough. There’s definitely a fine line and you just have to decide what works for you and have faith in it!
I find that is a huge issue and many parents don’t think about that until it’s to late.
For me it’s always safety issues. I get scared of things like them getting hurt, hit by a car, getting taken, etc. Our home burned down a few years ago and now I always worse case everything. It’s horrible!
My in-laws house burned down many years ago, and they still think about all of that. I can’t imagine that feeling. However, I can say that I do have a huge fear of my kids being kidnapped or them getting hurt in a car accident with me driving.
I worry the most about my preteen. I think he feels unloved because I spend so much time with the baby and toddler
Oh my gosh, my middle child is the one that doesn’t seem to gain a lot of my attention between my baby and my oldest child being the ones to snag most of my attention.
I think all parents struggle with the same worries, maybe it is a sign that you are doing things right.
I have to agree. At least I hope that we’re right in this train of thought.
It is so nice to know that I am not alone! I stay up late worrying, but I try so hard not to worry. I often replay that days events in my mind and try to think how I could have done things differently.
I tend to do that when it’s been a really long stressful day. I want my kids to know that they are loved completely.
Nice to know I’m not the only one, great post!
You definitely are not the only one. It does help to know we’re not alone.Thank you for the compliment.
That’s probably the hardest part of parenting,the endless worrying.I know that some of the things I worry about are silly but you can’t help it when it comes to your kiddos.
I’m finding that it’s something that all parents go through.
My baby is 23 and lives in her own apartment, but I am still up at night with worry!
That’s comforting to me for sure. Thank you for telling me that it’s a normal parenting thing.
There is one particular aspect of your post which stood out to me, worrying about not allowing your children to be around a particular individual because of behavioral repercussions. This is a difficult when you know the person well and if the person is a family member. I have the latter with my children and I feel bad that I don’t like them being around this individual, but nor do I want them to turn out like said individual. It may seem strict and even hard to do at times, but we have to do what is best for our children even when we feel it may be extreme.
I’m glad that you know what my wife is trying to say. In our world today we have be selective with who we let out little ones be around while they are little in hopes that when they get older they will choose the right people to be around. My wife was raised to believe “you are judged by the company you keep.”
I agree that as a parent I always worry too much but the fact is that no parent is perfect.
We certainly aren’t.
Hello, I worried about some of these things too when my son was growing up. Today, he is grown, a father, college graduate, and has a good job. He was by no means an easy child and was quite the rebellious teenager. Parenting is hard but rewarding. I would try to find some help for your son with ADHD and your older boy. There must be free or low-cost programs in your area that can help you and them. Thank-you for the honest post & take care.
We are definitely going to look into getting help for our kids to see if my wife’s concerns are her just being an over protective mother or if there is more to it.
There is so much for parents to worry about these days. Great post thank for sharing this one.
It’s easy to obsesses over what you are doing wrong but it’s best to focus on what you are doing right..
and keep trying your best.
Thank you for your input. I am doing my best to focus on the good.
I used to worry about all kinds of things. I guess the biggest was I doing the right thing and whos advice was right>
I have to agree with your worry being one of the top ones on the list. Advice is easy to come by, but figuring out which bit of advice is the best is really hard to do for sure.
I think good parents worry about their children, regardless how much money there is or whether they are single or not. There is no absolute answer for any situation and as they grow the rules, the encouragement, the discipline must adapt.
This is very well said. Times are forever changing, and hence the rules seem to change on us too.