Do We Worry Too Much As Parents?

When you fall pregnant you never quite realise how much worry comes into your life.
I remember falling pregnant with Freddie and being like "Oh Sh*t! I'm pregnant" at the 20 week scan. Not a moment sooner; it was that moment when they tell you the sex, that brought it to my toes. "It's a boy!" Wow. It's an actual baby, that's going to be a person. A boy person. Who will be become a man person.

It's quite funny really because, when I was pregnant with him, I didn't have the 'first time mum worries' - maybe I was too young, or too naive.. probably the latter! But I did with Noah, Non. Stop.

Maybe I grew up and realised that things can go wrong in pregnancy. That most things are completely out of your control. 
That's the worry that got me, not the making sure I don't eat certain things (I don't like all the things they tell you, that you shouldn't have anyway!) or stop drinking alcohol, it was the worry when I didn't feel a kick in so long or the time I had a bleed. It's a massive worry from the start. Worry that the scans are okay, meaning they're okay. But it still doesn't mean that they're okay. It's just a physical thing. They're physically okay.
I worried that I wouldn't be good enough, or that my child would simply hate me. Or that all the medical professions thought I was 'too young' to be able to look after a young child, I worried about over worrying about these issues. I worried that what I thought reflects onto the baby (I actually do believe that it does).

Until they're in your arms, you breathe for a second in relief; you managed to do your part well in pregnancy, and you somehow made it through the awful labour.. But, it's just the start of what's to come.
Worrying about their weight, if they're eating enough/too much, if you're making the bottles right, am I feeding them right?, if they're sick, if they're too hot or cold, if they're happy, unhappy, bored, lonely etc etc.
It goes on and on.

Okay, I'm making parenting sound like it's such a burden and emotionally stressful. It really isn't, it's such a delight and it's a lovely journey to go through. I love being a mum and I love the little things that come with being mum (the good things over the bad things!) and I can say I do my best for my little lads, but naturally I can't help but worry there's something else I could be doing. My biggest fear is failing them both. I couldn't live with myself if they thought I was a bad mum, because they are everything to me. They come above everything else, no matter what the costs. I've had the "I don't like you anymore Mummy" and the "I don't want you to be my Mummy anymore" from Freddie and it hurts. So. Damn. Much. Of course he's just having a "moment" because a few minutes later he's snuggling up to me on the sofa or is laughing and wanting to bake cakes. But it does hurt and it makes you think for a second "Do they really mean that?". I know he doesn't deep down. It doesn't stop that slight sinking feeling!
But I think sometimes, we take things far too seriously. The little tantrums or playing up, we take to heart and automatically assume the worse. We sit and analyse them events and unfortunately jump to the conclusion that they don't like us or we're doing something wrong. I do it all the time and am still learning to not take little comments/actions to heart - it is really hard not to.
I think also it's very easy, especially when your child is teething, going through the terrible two's or like Freddie being a threenager. It's easy to assume you're not doing good enough or that people will see a glimpse of your life when they're at their worse and judge you completely on it.

I find that's the biggest thing for me, a public meltdown. You can't ever seem to handle it the way you want to and it's so hard not to either burst into tears or get annoyed - because either way people will still look at you like you're the one screaming and being awkward. I never understand why people do that. As if you're the one that's made them do that right there and then - no. It's embarrassing and it's horrible for everyone included.
I also worry how the other parents (mostly mums) see me at Nursery, also the teachers; and I know it's caused me to worry and over-think the whole situation, because in all likelihood - they've not even thought of me! I'm actually really quite shy around people I don't know and it can take a little while for me to start opening up, obviously once we get there it's fine, but I just worry about saying the wrong thing and worry they don't understand it in the way I mean, so instead of doing that, I'd rather say nothing. Oh and what do I say? I'm not that interesting a person! Which of course makes me worry they think I'm too full of myself to talk to them, so I just feel awkward waiting now.
Whenever you speak to people about this situation they just go "just chirp in when they start talking to someone else, join in with them" - surely that's a little rude to butt into someone else's conversation? or they go "Aww, but you're lovely, there's no reason they wouldn't like you" - well thank you, but it still doesn't help because well, they don't know me!
It's hard and it's like being back at school again (as if that wasn't hard enough the first time around!)
As for my Husband he says "Ahh don't worry about it anyway! They're all stuck up b*tches as they just stand and talking about "that lady" and besides it doesn't matter, you're only there to pick and drop Freddie off". Great, makes me think, A) I could be "that lady" at that point, especially at the times when I've walked past and everyone stops talking..aawwwkwarrd. B) It does kind of matter as these are the people you're going to bump into at parents evening, kids' birthday parties, school disco's etc.
I'm sure one day it'll be less awkward or I'll stop worrying about what I think they think.

So, I worry a lot. What don't I worry about?
I don't worry about the milestones so much, because I know all kids' are different and learn at dissimilar rates. My two boys are poles apart despite looking so similar.
Freddie was always keen to go, he wanted to walk early, he was determined and wanted to be independent. He started talking clearly the word 'Hello' at 4 months old.
Noah on the other hand is much more laid back. He's only now starting to try and sit up at 7 months, but he's happy to just lay there. He prefers to sit on your lap cuddling, laughing and babbling.
But I don't worry because I know he'll get there when he wants to. I know he'd love to get walking around and be Freddie's shadow as he screams and gets so excited when Freddie's playing with his toys.
I don't worry about them expressing their opinion or leading an independent life. I hope to know that they'll grow and learn the correct morals and be the best that they can.

After thinking about writing this post, I went on and posted a status on Facebook asking for other parents views on what they worry about regarding their child/ren. Asking if they think they over-worry, or worry about how their child is developing or how people perceive them with their child/ren - here's what they said!

  • " I worry 24/7 x and he's 4 and 1/2 months. I worry about cot death, if he's meeting his milestones at the right time, I worry about silly little things. I think a lot is from other people's stories and experiences. After reading some things I wonder if I'm doing the right things and always think something is going to happen. I always felt judged when I was breast feeding and when I was at a baby group I got pushed away by other mothers because I was tucked away facing a wall breastfeeding ( you couldn't see anything) and every one else bottle fed and no one would talk to me and gave me disapproving looks so I never went to another group even to this day. And if I go out I always think people look and judge when I'm bottle feeding etc. it's such a judgmental world and everyone has their ways and views on parenting. " - Tanya.
  • " I always worry about Evelyn through the night and with her naps, I always have to double check her to make sure she's breathing I sometimes even rest my hand on her tummy just to make sure. Another big worry is does she hate me sometimes, when ever I have people round she's good as gold, all happy and smiley then they leave and the whingeing starts, I guess it just makes me worry that there's something I'm doing wrong. I know that sounds so ridiculous but we all know how kids can be sometimes. I also worry about what people think of me and does that reflect the way they see my daughter? As I can be a difficult person to get along with some of the time, I would hate for her to miss out on a play date or a birthday party because of the way people look and perceive me. " - Bobby.
  • " Def a worrier. I'm the same Bobby I go in put my head down to listen to her breathing sometimes even touch her so she moves a for peace of mind then I quickly escape and think what if I'd just woken her up haha I also stand at the door (as her cots next to it can see her) and stare to make sure I can see crazy isn't it but bet most of us do though..I also worry about her with her milestones is she meeting her centile being early and all and when she had the reaction and we phoned 111 they where asking all sorts and I was having to think felt bad as was urm-ing to questions but was all worried about her just a part of being mum I guess but you all do fab jobs and should be proud :) " - Leanne.

I found it sad to read these comments in the fact that we all do worry so much about our little ones; but mostly in ways that us parents shouldn't have to. I find it terrible that we feel like we're being judged for the things that we do as a parent - we're all here trying to do our best aren't we? I'd love for that to be something that changes, sooner rather than later. We should all be proud and happy to speak and do what we feel is best for our child/ren.
Okay we have bad days, we snap and lose patience before we probably should, it's hard and tiring, but there's so much good to come out of them days. The days when they say and do things that you have taught them, or hearing something new for the first time from them - there's nothing like it.

So the big question, do we worry too much as parents? No I don't think so. I think it's completely justifiable, we love them and we want no harm to come to them. And what comes with being a parent is all the bad as well as the good (and that includes a lot of worrying!). We'll forever worry about them and hope to do our best by them. It seems it's a unsigned document we signed when we conceived!