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.
In those days before becoming a parent, I spent my thoughts preparing for every possible scenario. First aid? Check. Heimlich Maneuver? Check. Extra locks on the windows? Check. Attack from a sicko on the bike trail? READY!!!!
I know how to look for signs of concussion fashion a tourniquet out of pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Disaster preparedness? I’m on it. I was raised by a
cynical realistic police officer… and as a result, I don’t mess around. But try as I might, there are things I cannot fully prepare for, a car accident being one of those things.
Please understand that I’m a very cautious person by nature, so driving is not something I take lightly. Checking out safety standards is one of my strongest skills… I am a Type A, after all. So when we got in our car on January 30th, every one was belted in; I was an alert and defensive driver. And then less than five minutes later when I was screaming while our car spun around, I realized one of my worst parenting fears: the car accident.
This fear ranks pretty high on my list because no matter how safe a driver you are, you are never really alone on the roads, so there is always the chance that someone else isn’t as concerned with safety as you are. But here’s the thing about fear: you can conquer it or let it control you. As someone who used to have a panic attack every time I left my home, I’m going to tell you that it’s far more worthwhile to conquer those fears than it is to let them control you.
My car stopped spinning and came to a rest, no one was seriously injured and there were people who came along to help me. (As a side note: This was my father’s last accident to occur while on duty before he retired. Also, the last time I will ever get to drop his name and watch the officers jump into action with fear. It was fun while it lasted, right?) It is no longer practical for me to hide in my home whenever I am afraid. I have to not only leave the house, but drive. And drive with the kids in the car again. So I talked to the kids and I told them I was afraid, but I would face my fears so I could be a better mama for them. This does not mean that I am driving around town like I used to – I am still flinching and feeling a cold chill when I go through intersections, but I’m not going to let this fear control me.
After the accident, I asked Liam if he was afraid and he simply asked to see what happened to our car. Our car was a little two-door coupe – he never saw the other car coming, he didn’t understand what happened… he only wanted his boot, which had been knocked off in the impact, back on his foot. So we stood next the car and he looked at our crumpled door, raised his eyebrows and “humphed”. Then, he simply moved on with his life.
Yesterday, we drove to a playdate and a squirrel jumped out in front of me. I drive a sizeable SUV now, but I still don’t want to squash anything! So I gasped and swerved. And Liam told me not to be afraid. I’m not real big on sharing my fears with people, but he needs to know that I’m not perfect (although, he’s getting a pretty good idea of that from everyday living) and that I struggle with fears like he does. Our experience wasn’t something I’d like to go through again, but there’s a lesson in this for my kids: Mama gets scared, but Mama doesn’t hide… even if she really, really wants to.
So the next time, Liam or Sylvi tell me they are afraid to do something new or are afraid to hop up on the bike again after a tumble, we can talk about the accident and how even though I was afraid, they helped me be brave. And now, I get to help them. I get to help them with fresh empathy and understanding… and for those reasons alone, I’m glad my parenting fear was realized… and survived.
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.