Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins, The Preschool Mommy | Posted on 26-06-2012
Parenting. Sometimes it’s collaborative, sometimes it’s competitive. There are times when we compare our children to others’, and still other times when we commiserate with other parents. At times we feel really well supported, and times when we feel utterly alone.
Unfortunately, it seems that we feel most alone in our biggest fears, our greatest concerns. Sometimes we obsess over one particular haunting thought – and that obsession alone convinces us that we’re kinda crazy and that no other parent could possibly have the same thought. So, we stuff it down each time it surfaces, and incidentally, we alienate ourselves because we decide that we’re somehow in the minority. We allow those intimate “Do you ever?” conversations with other parents come to an end before we have the courage to address our “silly” obsession.
I have decided that 1) this shouldn’t happen because we’re all in this parenting thing together – and we should absolutely feel safe in the company of others trying to navigate through it all, too. Just like anything else in life (which any therapist will agree), the sooner we say out loud the things that haunt us most, the sooner they miniaturize and begin to dissolve. And 2) I can guarantee that at least one other parent (if not, all parents) can totally relate to our “strange” feelings, thoughts, fears, etc.
I decided to post a challenge on Facebook to help me address this topic (which was originally going to be a long list of my weird obsession-confessions). I decided to give other parents a place to air their “questions.” It is my hope that these type of authentic “conversations” will continue – and that we can all finally release the thoughts that keep us awake at night, the thoughts that surely no one else can relate to, and finally hear those freeing words, “Me too!”
So, here’s how it started on my Facebook page:
Attn all parents – for my next Parenting on the Peninsula blog, I want to address the ways parenthood alters our thinking. I want to do a post called “I Need to Know,” in which I address all the weird and random thoughts/questions/feelings, etc that you need to know other parents wonder about, too. I’ll go first “I need to know that other parents worry about their kid getting kidnapped from their own bedroom at night.” “I need to know that other parents obsessively worry about their own death because they fear no one could ever take care of, or love, their children as they do.” And, on a lighter note, “I need to know that other parents feel a deep sense of satisfaction after clearing the boogers out of their kid’s nose.”
And here’s how you answered (the number of responses just further confirmed that there’s such a huge need for this kind of open sharing):
I need to know other parents feel defeated at mealtime due to the fact their kids are picky eaters? Can my kid really survive on yogurt mixed with bananas?
I need to know that its okay that I love my son and being a mom more than anything in this world, but miss a piece of “pre-mommy” me at moments.
Do other parents have certain news stories singed into their brains like I do? Stories of moms who just reach the end of it, and are truly suffering from a psychiatric condition. I think I worry that I could somehow get there or do that, even though I know in my heart that wouldn’t happen. I worry incessantly about it.
I need to know how other single parents handle the emerging consciousness of their young ones when they tell you they are sad that you and daddy don’t live together and love each other.
I need to know other moms, at the end of each day, go through in their mind the days events and how they could have done so much better or more for their kids.
I need to know that I am not a terrible mom for only being able to spend 1 hour with my kids at the end of each work day before their bedtime…yet I look forward to their bedtime so I can then have some time to myself (even though I didn’t see them all day). I mean, I only get 1 hour and I can’t wait for them to go to bed? What is that? And am I alone in feeling that way?
I need to know that it is ok that the laundry doesn’t get folded or the fridge doesn’t get cleaned, the dry cleaning doesn’t get picked up and the appointments aren’t kept. If my kid is needing attention that day, the day will be better if I cater to her needs and that’s ok.
I worry every time I go down the stairs with him in my arms that I am going to fall and hurt him somehow. Also, I obsessively count and keep track of each ounce he’s eaten and worry incessantly about it. Ugh
I need to know if other moms are total control freaks, like myself and want everything done their way.
“Am I over parenting?” when do u just step back and relax? Also do other parents worry that they are being judged about their parenting.
I need to know that other parents, while always loving their children, don’t always like them when they are acting like little demons. <—– the first time I had a moment where I realized I didn’t like my kid was horrifying! But then I realized that it happens with all other people, so why not your own biting, sand throwing progeny?
I need to know that the state of the world our children are growing up in scares the living day lights out of others.
I need to know that other people sometimes feel like they don’t know what they did for God to give them such an amazing gift.
I need to know that other parents alternate between being in awe of and so proud of their little blessing, to being mortified that they’ve raised a child that can act like THAT in public!
If I’ll be able to financially support them through college.
That they won’t appreciate things in general.
I pray he doesn’t grow up to be that bratty child that no one wants to be around.
Is my child really cute, or are people just telling me that to be nice? – lol / no joke I look at my kid and think he’s cute, but then sometimes think it might just be me and my hubby being biased.
I’m not a parent but I teach preschool and have for the last 8years….I can say that many parents come to me when they have more than one child…close in age..and they feel like they cant handle it when their husband or wife is constantly working leaving them with all the parental responsibilities…..I also find parents who are so busy that they feel guilty that they leave their child at day care all day…leaving them not wanting to enforce too many rules or restrictions on the kids when they get home….causing more damage than good in the long run….I thought I would send these thoughts your way….
What do you Need to Know?