Friday, May 21, 2010

Worrying About the Future

I worry too much.

I don't really worry about my job or the economy or climate change or any other major issues. Instead I worry about idiotic things like how will I find time to do the yard work?  Do I have time to get my oil changed before I go to the grocery store? What are we going to do about the paint on Arica's car?

Because of this worrying I am simply unable to relax. I am a ball of nerves all the time. Arica can tell you with great detail about my fidgety annoying ways. Merely sitting on the couch with me can make a person sea sick.

I think it might be more anxiety than anything. Unfinished projects cause me the most problems. For this reason I could never build a house. I would be a nervous wreck the entire time. For the next 18 years the biggest unfinished project in my life is raising Braden.  With this project I am already worrying about how everything I do will affect the way Braden turns out.

I worry that if I give in to him too often he will become a brat.

I worry that he throws too many fits.

I worry that if I am not firm enough he won't learn to mind.

I worry that he won't be polite.

I worry he will be "that" kid in Wal Mart.

I think a healthy amount of worry is necessary in parenting. No one should parent in a willy nilly style without a care in the world. After all we are raising little people here.

The problem with my worrying is that it regularly keeps me from enjoying my time with Braden.  Rather than just living in the moment I am already 10 years down the road wondering how our current activity will affect his ability to behave in school.  Each task becomes a step in this long drawn out path to raising a good child. Nothing can be done without considering the consequences.

The result of this type of parenting is that I am about as much fun as a root canal. Braden would surely love it if sometimes I just said OK let's eat some chocolate and play in the cabinets without worrying if he is getting his way too easily.

I clearly need to be more flexible.  I need to make sure I enjoy every moment I have with Braden.  When he is throwing a fit I should react accordingly in that moment without worrying about how I might be screwing up his life.  Raising a kid is hard enough without trying to live up to all these preconceived notions I have about perfect parenting.

I hope that in the future I can deal with each situation as it arises. I hope I can stop worrying until there is something to really worry about.

One thing about all this is for sure. If I keep on worrying about every little thing in Braden's life there is no need to wonder how he will turn out. Braden will turn out high strung.

Starting today I am I hope I can make my decisions with Braden based on Love not Fear.


Katherine said...

Wow...we sound like we're on the same page. I am the exact same way...worrying about the exact same things. And missing out of having fun with my child.

I have been trying to be more firm, as I know I give in too much and am terrified of the repercussions of that. I am also trying to focus on the now. We have to learn along the way, I suppose, but I think that being the type of parent that worries is also an indication of how much we care!

Let me know if you figure out how to curb all the worrying...I may need lessons!

Eric said...

I'm sure you know by now that children learn a lot by observing. They'll pick up our bad habits, but they will also pick up on our good ones. We try to reinforce the good ones by repeating those out loud or reaffirming them with correction or praise.

Parenting techniques aren't 100% universal for every kid. What works on one of my kids doesn't work on the other.

Your baby is still that... A baby :)

As much as we worry about the state of the house and our vehicles and how much time we do not have to maintain them, 18 years is plenty of time to make your son into the man you want him to become.

PJ Mullen said...

There's no such thing as perfect parenting, no matter what any books or "experts" say. My rule is as long as the kid has all his fingers and toes and knows how and when to use please and thank you that the foundation has been laid. I think you are doing better than you think you are, but I do understand where you are coming from.

Brandy said...

I worry too but I think I'm much more relaxed in my parenting and totally think G is gonna be "that" kid. Or he's gonna be a tv junkie. not gonna be - is

SurprisedMom said...

I understand where you're coming from. The Mister used to say that my middle name was worry. I still do. If we give children a good foundation, teach them right from wrong, we can worry all we want, but it does distract from the joy of parenting.

BTW, a little fear mixed in with all the love we give our children is not a bad thing. That's how they learn right from wrong and find out there are consequences to bad behavior. It stops them from being "that kid" in the WalMart.

Portland Dad said...

They will do what you do, and you being aware of what you do and making efforts to do things different will have a huge impact on the little one

Steve said...

Great post.

I sometimes wonder whether I bend the rules too much to have fun with my kids, then I quit worrying and do it anyway, because I know I lay down the law plenty. Maybe too much. And we all - parents and kids - need to have fun together too.

Manic Mommy said...

I read your post and immediately thought of this post:

You are so not alone!

Apok said...

Maybe you should parent while sipping a little nyquil. You'll be too loopy to worry.

WeaselMomma said...

There is no such thing as perfect parenting. Do your best and teach him right, but never forget that playing in cabinets and eating chocolate are fun - For both you and Braden.

Jesus has two Daddies said...

I know that it is not a coincidence that my beard is turning white since becoming a father.
Kids age you for sure, but keep you young at the same time.

Que said...

I don't worry. I just don't let my kids do anything. Then there's no worry involved. I already know they are not going to like me. I already know they are going to move out when they get out of school. I already know they are never going to ask if they can borrow the car. I already know that when something really important comes along they will go to their mother. All is fine here.

Of course, I'm kidding. As parents, we do what we can. As kids, they absorb what their personality allows them to. Everything else is really just a craps shoot. I have friends who treat their kids mean and their parents gave them the world. And I have friends who were abused and treat their kids like royalty. So there's not much need to worry. By the time you figure out what kind of person they are going to be, it's too late to change anything.

And I apologize for my comment having zero value in helping you in your quandary. I just start talking sometimes and can't stop. Like right now.

OK. I'm done.

Really, I'm done.