Davina T from the fantastic Motherhood IRL blog responded to my last post with a Mum’s perspective of the things that parents worry about. I have posted her blog in full below, and I urge you all to visit her full blog at http://www.MotherhoodIRL.wordpress.com for a great and very honest read!
As a mother, my worries are abundant. And most of them link back to my children in one way or another, even if the journey is a little – or sometimes A LOT – convoluted. So, in response to @TiredDaddyUK, here are 12 things I’m worrying about at the moment:
1. Tantrums. How long is this “threenager” thing going to last? Because I am getting really tired of yelling “NO!” And “STOP!” And “WHY did you just do that?!” at O All. The. Time.
2. Feeding F. In particular, I am concerning myself with when he is going to understand the difference between “food” and “stuff to play with/throw on the floor/squash into a gooey paste”.
3. Fracking. Is it going to happen on the enormous scale that I’m afraid it might, and if it does is my house going to fall down and are my children’s children going to be born with six eyes and 13 toes?
4. Fleas. Specifically, do I have them living in my house? I have two cats who spend a lot of their time sprinting around outside, chasing leaves and catching things that aren’t leaves. Every so often (maybe once a month) I will notice that I have a flea on my arm or my hand or something and I will freak out and instantly go to the extreme mental headspace of I MUST BURN THE HOUSE DOWN IMMEDIATELY. Yes, I treat them every four weeks. Yes, the flea-on-the-arm incidents tend to coincide with treatments. And YES; I am definitely neurotic.
5. Potty training. This is something I panicked about semi-regularly before we started the whole process with O and then abruptly stopped worrying over once we’d had a few dry weeks on the bounce. But F is coming up to 18 months now and I know I’m going to be starting all over again within the next year or so. Will it be easy? Will he be at all interested in using the potty? And will I need a new rug in my lounge when it’s all over? So. Much. WORRY.
6. School. Next month we find out which school O will be going to in September and I am having daily cold-sweat panic attacks about it. I desperately want him to go to the school in the village where we live, which gets excellent results from Ofsted every year and is the school I went to when I was growing up in the next village. However, a few years ago I happened to be with one of my friends when she got The Letter and her daughter didn’t get into either her first or second choice. Cue panic. Panicpanicpanic. (It’s worth noting that that particular story has a happy ending, as the child in question loves her school and is very settled there)
7. Stomach bugs. Everybody seems to have them at the moment – along with coughs, colds and chest infections – and I am terrified that one of the kids is going to bring one home and infect the whole house. Watching kids battling with profuse diarrhoea and vomiting is awful in any case, but when you throw emetophobia (fear of puking) into the mix it suddenly gets a whole lot worse.
8. Feeling rubbish all the time. I think I’ve been sick with one thing or another for at least the last FOREVER. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I felt anything other than vaguely terrible. Maybe during one of my two days of sort of ish wellness last week? But then I got a migraine, so that feeling didn’t last long. Seriously though; am I dying?!
9. My house and how I never actually feel as though it is clean. I find cat food and abandoned Fruit Shoots and other detritus all over the place all the time and I think the cloths from my steam mop are actually starting to wear out from overuse. It’s like trying to hold back the advancing tide with a leaky bucket. Or attempting to nail jelly to a tree. Or pretty much any other analogy ever used to describe the words “pointless” and “impossible”.
10. Money. I think the only people who don’t worry about money are the fortunate few with an abundance of it. The rest of us are regularly battling with financial freak-outs and, let’s be honest, the immediate post-budget period is usually a pretty troubling and uncomfortable time for most of us.
11. Child-friendly activities. Am I doing enough with my children? Do they enjoy our country walks and mini-adventures or is it only me who’s getting anything out of just not being bored in my messy, dirty house all day? Do they wonder why I keep dragging them out and promising, in a slightly manic tone, that “it will be super fun!”? Probably.
12. Tiredness. Some days I wonder if there will ever come a time when I am no longer constantly tired. Will I finally wake up one morning and think “wow, I actually feel like I’ve been to sleep!”? How I long for that day!
My worries change on a regular basis, but these are the ones that seem to be the most prevalent. Of course, I worry about milestones quite a lot too, which has been made rather a lot worse by a poster I saw during a yoga class a few weeks ago informing me that F should be saying 20 words by now. But I find those worries much easier to rationalise these days because I have been a parent long enough to know that every kid is different and they all do things at their own pace and in their own time. Or, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself…