Saturday, July 11, 2015

Yes, Sometimes I Am A Helicopter Parent...Deal With It

I had a family member scold me for hovering over my toddler.  They made fun of me.  But did they ask me why?  No.  It was easier to just judge and mock, instead of inquiring why.

If she asked why, maybe she would've learned that I hover because of a miscarriage and when the common cold almost killed my 6-week-old son.  I'm traumatized, still. Terrified of losing another child, knowing that it's so easy.  One moment they're here and the next gone.

My reason probably would've made her as uncomfortable as her insults made me.


"He's never gonna have confidence."

"Momma's boy."

"Cut the umbilical cord, mom!  Let that boy play and learn from his mistakes!"

Sometimes I hover because I'm terrified of losing my child(ren).  Sometimes it's overwhelming fear.  I try to hold it in, to force it down, as to not upset my child.  I take care to not get in others way, yet my child is also my focus.

"He'll be fine."

How do you know that?  Fear and Anxiety demand.  You can't know that?  Don't tell me how to fucking parent, how to take care of my kid!  Mind your business!  

I put her, and others who joined her laughter, in their place with blunt honesty.  Shut them up.  Ignored their "Oh, I'm sorry!"  Hollow, empty apologies.  Hopefully next time they'll question first, then judge...or maybe just do away with judgement and mockery altogether?

They tried other words of, I guess, sympathy and encouragement, but I put my hand up.  I knew what they were going to say--fairly logically things, things that I often tell myself--I didn't need to hear it from someone who was so cruel a moment ago, now pretending that they genuinely cared.  "Stop.  Next time, just think before you speak.  Try asking first, instead of just laughing.  A little civility goes a long way."

I try not to hover so much, but I can't always help it.  It's actually easier when people aren't around.  At home, the house is pretty baby and toddler proof, so I'm able to relax more and let them do their own thing.  I do supervise them, of course, but I don't hover over them.  But outside, or away from home, I hover.

All I can think about is the worst scenario.  What is someone snatches them from the yard?  What if he gets excited by the cars and goes into the street? Does that other house have stairs?  Make sure you watch him on those stairs!  Do they have a pool?  WATCH HIM!  Anytime I can't see him, I freak out inside, it almost always spills out frantically.  Me trembling.  Tears welling in my eyes.  Voice shaky.  Even if he's just on the other side of the car in the driveway.

Our backyard is huge, neighbors behind us have mean dogs.  Even though the fence is fixed, if Wolfman gets too far from me, I "see" one of those dogs pulling him off of his tractor.  I can't help it.  I just try to squash it and stay vigilant.  Have faith that it's going to be okay.  The fence is fixed.  The dogs are locked up in their high fenced yard.  He's going to be okay.  He's going to come back, yet I often walk to the middle of the yard, because the next scenario is someones running from the other side of the unfenced yard and snatching him.

I try to stay calm.  I envision him protected by an orb of light.  I pray to Hecate to keep him safe.  I pray to Artemis to keep dangers and threats out of the yard.  Anything to calm me down.

Anytime my husband leaves with one or both kids in the car, always the first thought that comes to mind is What if this is the last time I see them?  What if they get into a car accident?  I always want to go together.

What if, what if, what if????? 

Concerns that I hope other parents have too (well, I know they do), only they're not as anxious as I am.  At least not so openly.  I know that I'm not alone.  Everyone's got their reasons.

Paranoia.  I try not to have these unhealthy fears and concerns, but I can't always help it.  I anxiously ask my Spirit Guide if--to the best of their knowledge--that they're going to be okay.  That they're going to come back home unscathed.  I worry and fret until I see the car come up the driveway.  Then I finally relax.

I'm not as crazy as I used to be, but some days are worse than others.  But with family or trustworthy friends, people who I know will watch my children, I'm more trusting.  Able to relax a bit and enjoy myself.

Just ask first, save your judgement and your jokes for your friends.  If you're going to mock another parent for doing what they believe is right, at least wait until they're out of earshot.  Mocking is not encouragement.  You're not helping them.

I was reminded of how easy it is to be mean and cruel.  How difficult it is for some people to be compassionate...or at least civil.  Life lessons.  I try to not judge others because I don't know their story.  Or if I do pass judgement, I don't feel a need to voice my opinion, especially to them in the form of mockery or hate.  I do believe that it's normal to make judgments, but what's important is how you handle those opinions.  I'm open to having mine changed.  To understanding a situation.  I really do try to not judge someone else, because I'm certainly not perfect.

My sons are healthy, happy, and smart.  We take very good care of them, or at least try.  We're not perfect, but who is, really?

This battle isn't easy, but I'm trying to fight my paranoia and anxiety.  I don't want my kids to become a fearful, nervous mess like me.  I want them to explore and try new things, but to always be smart and aware.  To be able to protect themselves and others, should the need arise.  I want them to be confident and strong.  Explore, but be cautious.  I know that the best way to do this is by example.  I fight against my traumas damn near everyday.  It'd be a lot easier without someone--especially a loved one--mocking me.  

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