parents

The 7 things parents worry about the most. Does your list match up?

Shauna and her three kids.

Something odd happens when you have a baby. You transform. One minute you don’t have a care in the world and the next you start to worry.

You worry about things you never even thought you could worry about. You obsess about bodily functions of a small infant and lie awake imagining scenarios of the future; both good and bad.

As your children get older, the anxieties change. We start to think more about screen time and online safety rather than stair-gates and cradle cap.

But we never stop worrying.

My children are still young so I am yet to enter the gut-wrenching endurance test of parenting a teenager with cars and alcohol and all that comes with the slippery slope of independence.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Devondale Smoothies. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words. To see what other readers think of the new Devondale Smoothies range click here.

I conducted a quick straw poll of my mum-friends to find out what keeps them awake at night when they thought about their children. Aside from usual worries of finances and household chores, we generally had practical, pragmatic concerns with control over our children’s diet rating high on the list.

The top seven worries that kept us awake at night were:

From the day that they are born every rash, every sniffle every temperature is a vehicle for anxiety.

1. Every day health

From the day that they are born, every rash, every sniffle, every temperature is a vehicle for anxiety. Luckily (or perhaps not so luckily) for us parents of today, we have Dr Google to assist us. One thing I have learnt is that the more kids you have the less worried about simple sicknesses you become. With baby number one, I was rushing off to emergency at every lingering temp and sleepless at every rash. By child number three, nine times out of 10 whatever it is can wait till morning.

2. Car safety

It’s a worry, but an important one. Driveway accidents, incorrectly fitted car seats, road safety. As much as you try to manage it, there are always certain things about the roads that are out of our control and that seems to be what stresses out mums the most.

3. Bullying and friendships

I struggle on a day-to-day basis with trying not to be concerned about my children’s friendships. I want them to be happy and the thought of them being left out, of being bullied, of them being friendless and lonely makes me ache inside. I think the best thing we can do is demonstrate to them positive role modeling, and keep the dialogue going so hopefully they will always confide in you.

Bullying.

4. Diet

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Every single mum I asked told me that their children’s diet was one of the main things they worried about. As hard as we try to keep it healthy, it seems many of the food manufacturers are against us. Luckily there are some that are on our side.

The constant day-to-day battle of keeping our kids diets healthy is tough. Everywhere you go, it seems you are faced with difficult dietary choices. The best advice I was ever given was that it was my responsibility to provide my child with healthy choices; it was my child’s responsibility to eat it.

Fresh natural produce, healthy choices for snack foods and as few preservatives as possible seem to be some easy rules we can all live by.

5. Kids performing well at school

A recent survey in the US showed that parental concern about their children’s education grew with an increasingly difficult economic climate. It’s an innate fear of not being able to provide for our children and a desire for them to succeed. The growing field of after-school tutoring, extra-curricular education and the great demand for independent schools reflects our anxiety about our children’s future.

Family time.

6. Spending quality time with our kids

It’s such a rush, isn’t it? School runs, working, getting the boring household chores done, all their numerous activities, and our own. Many of us feel that in our lives it’s tough to find meaningful time to spend with our kids. The irony is that a recent study actually showed we spend more time with our kids than our parents did. Somehow in between working more and doing more, we actually do find the time to be with them.

Perhaps it is our own perceptions of what quality actually is. I think that kids are generally just happy to have their mum’s attention and it really doesn’t matter if you are walking in the park or just sitting on the couch chatting.

7. When to grant them independence

Mums worry about building resilience in their kids on one hand, whilst at the same time your natural instinct is to protect your children. It creates a difficult balance – working out how to nurture whilst at the same time letting go. How to not hover, and yet know how to still always be there. When you work out how to nail this one. Let me know.

We mums can’t help but worry, can we?

 What is your biggest concern keeping you up at night and how do you deal with this?

 

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