Welcome to the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about parenting fears.
I was a fearful child. Some much so that I got pretty OCD about things. I'm not throwing that term around lightly either. I really, truly got OCD when it came to managing that which I feared.
I was terrified of running out of gas while driving. I would ask my parents non-stop if we had enough gas. Imagine how that must have gone over when we moved from Washington to California. It was surely an unbearable 14 hour drive for them.
I was terrified of our house catching on fire. So much so, that I would constantly go around pushing light switches down firmly to make sure that they were totally off and thus not creating any sort of electrical fire friendly environment. I would also make sure that all the burners on the stove were off. And of course, the oven.
I would constantly check the locks on our doors. Because of course, I was terrified of our home getting broken into.
I was also afraid to get my toys dirty or to break them. So I re-organized them all day long and didn't really “play” with them like you would see most children playing with them. I even hid the majority of my toys from my friends when they came over to play.
Then one day, I got over it all. Just like that. I don't know if it was maturity, a better understanding of the world, of being able to grab fear by the throat and scream “I refuse to let you own me.” Whatever it was, one day I stopped being ruled by that which I feared.
And then I discovered I had given birth to a child with sensory issues who would forever gag and choke on food. The OCD approach to a specific fear returned.
Most parents, when asked what their biggest fear for their child is, would say something about the state of our food supply, the toxins in our world, overpopulation, government control, and the like. Yes, I am deeply concerned about all of those heavy topics and more however, I choose to focus my efforts on helping my daughter became a citizen of humanity who can make the changes we need to make to give this planet and the humans on it a fighting chance at a better existence. Other parents probably mention things like safety, education, health, and financial stability. Again, I am doing everything I can to raise a daughter who will make safe choices because she understands the ‘why' behind her choice. I am doing everything in my power to give her the tools to make healthful decisions for her life. As a soon-to-be homeschooling/unschooling mama, I will expose her to life and the deeper meaning being what “living” is all about all the while making sure she learns all she needs to as a foundation to succeed in the path which calls her forth. As for money – all I can do is teach her how to budget, barter, find a good deal, and live simply. The rest is up to her.
So while parents out there are worrying over lots of stuff, big and small, I pretty much focus my worry on choking. Yep – choking. I know it seems ridiculous but it is my parenting trigger. That which sends me over the edge.
Even as a tiny baby, my daughter would gag on breastmilk. It was awful to watch. But the poor child had to eat. I blamed my freight-train style let down for the problem but then when solid foods came into the picture, I realized that I had a child who simply couldn't handle a food and beverage consumption.
Over the past 4 years and 11 months I have experienced almost daily incidence of gagging and choking. It a rare for an entire day to go by without my daughter gagging on something or flat out choking. Luckily, I have only had to do choking heroics once.
I'll admit, the fear has caused me to get OCD in how I keep my daughter from chocking on food. I keep one eye on her while she is eating at all times. I constantly remind her not to talk with her mouth full, to take smaller bites, to be cautious because something is tougher than usual or requires more chewing. Basically, I pester the hell out of her through at least 1/3 of each meal. But I am not alone. My husband does it too. And so would you if your child gagged/choked on food almost every day of her life.
Interestingly enough, she doesn't do this nearly as often when she is with my parents. This might prove the case of the effects of projected fears and emotions. Ahem.
In any event, until she stops the gagging and choking I'll continue to live with a level of fear at meal and snack times. It's just my reality. Hopefully one day all her plumbing will work right and food will just slide right down without any troubles. Until then, I will continue to work on my response to my fear.
What about you? What is your biggest fear as a parent?
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (list will be final around 5pm PST February 11):
- When Parents' Fears Escalate — If we didn't self-doubt, we probably wouldn't care enough about our children to struggle with understanding them. But how do we overcome self-doubt? Read advice from Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., guest posting today at Natural Parents Network.
- What ifs of addiction — After seeing how addictions of adult children is badly hurting a family close to her heart, Hannah at HannahandHorn shares her fears for her own child.
- Sharing My Joy — Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares her fear that others think she is judgmental because she makes alternative choices for her own family.
- Building My Tribe Fearlessly — A meteorite hit Jaye Anne at Tribal Mama's family when she was seven years old. Read the story, how she feels about that now, and how she is building her tribe fearlessly.
- Fear: Realized — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares how her fear of car accidents was realized and how she hopes to be able to use her efforts to overcome the remaining fears to help her children overcome their own.
- I'm a Negligent Helicopter Parent — For Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow, the line between helicopter parenting and negligent parenting is not so cut and dried.
- My Greatest Fear For My Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits that she has struggled with not allowing her fears to control her and how the reality of this was blown wide open when she became a mother.
- Procactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears — Every parent has certain fears related to dangerous situations, That Mama Gretchen shares ways she is preparing herself and her children for emergencies.
- Homeschooling Fears – Will My Children Regret Being Homeschooled? — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares an interview with her now-adult children that answers a question she had throughout their homeschooling.
- An Uneasy Truce — Homeschooler and recent convert to unschooling, Tam at tinsenpup shares just a few of the things she tries to keep in mind when fear and insecurity begin to take hold.
- Fearing the worst, expecting the best — Tarana at Sand In My Toes writes about fears that come with parenting, and why we must overcome them.
- Can I be the parent I want to be? — Amanda at Postilius confronts her struggle to peacefully parent a preschooler
- Out of Mind, Out of Fear — How does Jorje of Momma Jorje deal with her pretty steep, long-term fears regarding her son's future?
- I Don't Homeschool to Manage My Kids' Transcripts — One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama's fears of parenting is that she will get so caught up in the monotony, the details of homeschooling, the minutiae of everyday life, the routine of taking care of a household – that she will forget to actually be present in the moment with her children.
- Beware! Single Mom Camping — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her first adventures as a single mom. She laughed, she cried, she faced her fears.
- Parenting Fears And Reality Checks — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares her three biggest fears as a parent – that most parents share – looks at the reality behind these fears, and offers a few suggestions for enjoying parenting.
- Parenting fear : to kill a pink rabbit… — Mother Goutte tells us the story of a pink rabbit that disappeared, came back, and became the symbol of her worst parenting fear…
- Roaming — sustainablemum considers whether allowing your children freedom to explore the world safely is harder now than in the past.
- Meeting my parenting fears head-on — Lauren at Hobo Mama had many fears before she became a parent. Learn how they all came true — and weren't anywhere near as scary as she'd thought.
- Don't fear the tears — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger worried that letting her children cry when going to sleep was tantamount to the dreaded parenting moniker, CIO. She discusses what actually happened after those teary nights, and how she hopes these lessons can carry forward to future parenting opportunities.
- Will I Still be a Good Mom? — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot worries about her mothering skills now that breastfeeding is no longer the top priority.
- Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me… — Kristen at Baby Giveaways Galore discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them.
- Fears — Meegs at A New Day talks about how her fears before parenting led to a better understanding of herself and her desires for her daughter.