I am a slightly overanxious parent. Go ahead, mock me.
Tell me how you let your kid unicycle down a mountain without a helmet and holding a pair of scissors when they were four years old and they were perfectly all right. Whatever.
I worry about my kids. I can’t help it. I always have and I probably always will.
This is what it’s like being inside the mind of a slightly overanxious parent. Maybe I’m not the only one who thinks like this. (Although sometimes I worry that I am.)
1. When your phone rings and you see it’s the number of your child’s school, you’re like, “Oh my God! Do you want me to come to the school and ride in the ambulance, or do you want me to just meet the ambulance at the hospital?” It always turns out to be something like a fine for a lost library book.
2. Everyday items take on a sinister new character. Playground swings are actually swinging pendulums of doom, designed to knock unsuspecting children off their feet and send them flying. Doors are evil traps for innocent little fingers.
3. If one more person says, “Haven’t you heard of the hygiene hypothesis? It’s good for kids to be exposed to germs!” you will take the dog toy your child has just been sucking on and shove it in that person’s mouth.
4. On the rare occasion, when you’ve been out with your partner and no child, you may have been known to grab your partner’s hand tightly to stop him from running into oncoming traffic.
5. Every time you check on your sleeping child, your eyes go to their chest to make sure it’s moving up and down. You suspect you will still be doing this when they are 19.
6. When your child has a stomach ache, your first thought is appendicitis. Your second thought is, "Maybe it's their kidneys. Maybe they need a kidney transplant. Oh my God, I would SO donate one of my kidneys. Or liver. Can I donate part of my liver?" The stomach ache usually turns out to be, "I need to do a big poo."
7. You don't understand why people make furniture with sharp corners. Why? Why isn't everything nice and rounded?
8. When you lose sight of your child at the playground, just for a minute, you feel a flutter of panic. You may have been known to run around the playground, yelling their name and coming up with a mental description of what they were wearing to give to the police, when they were lying inside the giant pipe, daydreaming, the whole time.
9. For several years, the only interior decorating you did involved sticking plastic locking devices on everything in the kitchen or bits of cardboard over glass. You'll clear it all off, one day. When it's not needed.
10 .You secretly think that microchipping kids so you know where they are at all times is not such a bad idea. But you would never admit to that.
11. Other people mock indoor playgrounds, but you personally love the fact that every surface is padded. If only you had a room like that at home, where there are less germs.
12. You don't understand why people laugh at videos of kids falling over and hurting themselves. You never watch those kind of clips on the internet - they're too much like your nightmares. (If you are a slightly overanxious parent, skip this video and go on to the rest of the post.)
13. You have had a massive freakout over the colour of your child's poo, before remembering you just tried them on beetroot for the first time. You have also freaked out over an apparent gaping wound that turned out to be red texta, red paint or tomato paste.
14. When you've been playing hide-and-seek with your child and you haven't been able to find them, you've occasionally been struck by the fear that they've closed themselves inside a fridge or something and lost consciousness and OH MY GOD. In fact, they're just good at hiding. That's the idea of the game, right?
15. You have one phobia that no one else seems to share. Mobile phones, or waiting rooms at doctors' surgeries, or the seats in shopping trolleys. Why is nobody else worried about this?
16. You would like to buy your kids a trampoline to encourage them to exercise more, because you are really worried about childhood obesity, but you're also worried about the high risk of broken limbs. Your mind is constantly plagued by dilemmas like this.
17. You feel anxious that your child will pick up on your anxiety and grow up to be anxious themselves. That makes you really anxious. You just try not to show it.
Are you a slightly overanxious parent?