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?