A penny isn’t scary, is it?
Yet, the idea of the small, coppery coin on the floor or in the cushion of the car-seat terrifies me.
Sure, my daughter is advanced and has been taught not to put small objects in her mouth, but she is two and you never know. What if she puts the penny in her mouth and it falls down her throat blocking the air from escaping? What if she chokes and I can’t get it out or get her help in time?
The world becomes a new and dangerous place once you have children. Many things come into a new light when you are raising humans and many things now cause stress and anxiety, as well.
You sit down on the computer to relax, read, or simply laugh at a cat video that pops up on your Facebook news-feed and find a headline shared by a friend. It warns you about something that can harm your child mentally or physically. You love your children and fear for their safety, so of course, you click on the bait
And then become more worried and filled with anxiety.
I’ve read articles and become worried about things like SID’s or dry drowning. Some of the fear is due to expert medical advice that should be followed but also due to the fact that our fear makes us good marketing targets.
While we can’t always control the articles that pop up, we can control what we read. Take a breath and decide if you need another article about child safety.
Or if you'll keep your mind safe this time.
Social Media can be dangerous, not only for kids but parents as well.
But not necessarily in the way you think.
It is difficult not to compare yourself with others on Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook. It is only natural for humans to make comparisons and imagine, as the saying goes, that the grass is greener on the other side.
Comparisons cause stress.
And as parents, we compare even more. It is easy to look at a new mother, see the beautiful baby and think how you should have the type of crib she had. How much safer and elegant it is. Or how the new mom as already lost the baby fat.
This goes for dads as well, but perhaps in different ways.
And these comparisons fuel anxiety and stressful need to be someone we are not. To reduce your anxiety levels, we need to put away not only phones but electronics for a certain amount of time. Get outside and go for a relaxing walk alone or with the children.
You will find your tension easing and your kids enjoying themselves as well.
I love to read healthy, informative articles from magazines like Raising World Children. To get a better idea of what other people think of the topic I enjoy reading comments as well.
But then you have the trolls; people whose comments are simply out there to ruffle feathers and cause anxiety. They may say things about how terrible it is for a mom to kiss her child on the lips (said in a much harsher fashion than I’m willing to type) or simply put down a mother or father for the way they chose to feed their baby.
There are times when I do not read the comments simply to avoid the stress it may cause. Or you can limit the amount of comments you read in a day. Give yourself discipline and rest from wicked words.
4. The News
The news is filled with stories that are hard to watch before you become a parent, but are even harder after.
Since becoming a mother, I can’t hear or read about tragedies involving a child, which the news definitely has many stories of.
Before the pandemic even took over the news there were shootings in schools and many places we thought were safe. This has made every parent worried about the future of our children.
My son is only six years old, a sweet little kindergartner full of excitement for what his life will bring, and yet, even though we live in a minuscule town, I can’t help but wonder if he is safe as I watch him walk into the playground, T-Rex backpack bouncing.
Will he be safe in five years, even when the virus is gone and we go back to a 'new normal'. Will his friend bring a gun to school? Will he play with someone else’s? Whether or not you believe in gun control, these ideas, the news we hear cause parents a stomach full of worry.
To avoid some stress, you can limit the amount of news you consume in a day, or watch only at certain times. Or turn on music and dance with your children, like we did tonight. Watch their face light up at the goofy moves you all make. Their laughter will improve everyone’s mood, reduce stress and you’ll increase adrenaline with your improvised exercise.
They say it takes a village to raise a child yet in the US we value our independence highly. Which, for a parent, can mean that we are not only expected to raise our children as parents alone but are determined to. This makes parenting overwhelming. We become stressed, stretched, and anxiety-ridden.
There are times when we need to let go.
It’s okay to ask for help; when this virus is gone, go ahead, hire a babysitter or family member for a few hours and have a night out to relax. And delegate. Yes, you are able to do it all but your children are missing out on you, the most important person in their lives. Share the responsibilities/ or make sure others know it's not all on you so you can play superhero with the kids instead of being supermom.
Parenting is a terrifying job.
If you let it, the anxiety that can come along with raising children can turn you into a helicopter parent, or take out the simple joys of watching your children grow.
Yes, make sure things are safe.
Watch out for small objects and follow safety rules but don’t let the worrying about a penny take over your parenting. Limit your own screen time, get outside, delegate, get help if needed or have a spontaneous dance party and you will find your anxiety start to lessen.
Plus, you will be a beautiful example for your children as you improve.
They will improve as well.