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.
Joining the Carnival of Natural Parenting to tackle my parenting fear.
I, like I hope most parents do, look at wonder at my toddler. His excitement over having a semi-truck honk its horn at his gestures; his pride at informing me that "theres and emergency! Let's get outofhere!" when he sees a fire truck.
I look at wonder at my toddler, soon to be preschooler, son as he sleeps in our bed. He woke up lonely and came into our room at some point during the evening and asked to snuggle between my husband and myself. Fitting tightly between us, he knows he is safe.
There are parts of me that want to keep him this size forever so that he always retains his wonder and excitement at the world. I know that I can't. I hope he grows, matures, and make choices that he can own as his own thoughts and ideas. I already worry about him becoming a teenager, being offered alcohol or drugs. How do I prepare him for that?
For all respects, apparently my husband and I must have lived some sort of an incredibly sheltered life or else we were really really not cool enough to be invited to any parties because we both made it to college before encountering alcohol. I still refuse to drink cranberry apple juice with vodka...
Unfortunately, I know our experiences will probably not be the same experiences our son has. Children are encountering alcohol and drugs at increasingly younger years. I was a product of D.A.R.E, but never once had an opportunity to use it. I can't help but wonder if my son will encounter having to "Just Say No!" before he is out of middle school.
For me, these thoughts are increasingly present as we watch a family that is close to struggle with the effects of addition of their oldest child. A child who is an adult, just a few years younger than me. She is a heroin addict. She has been in treatment 3x in 2 years. She has been kicked out 2x for testing positive. She has been arrested for various parole violations. Her parents are raising her daughter. Her daughter that once found her mom, passed out, overdosed from an intravenous hit. Her sister, a senior, the year that all should remember as being "one of the best ever!" has to put her hopes for college on the back burner. Their parents have spent their money on attorneys, programs, addiction counselings, and living expenses.
I know, 30 years ago this couple look at their sleeping daughter, snuggled between them and never imagined that this is where they would be today - fighting off creditors, worried about making their next mortgage payment. They imagined seeing their daughter grow up, graduate from high school, completing college, falling in love, marrying for the right reasons, starting a family, and loving her job...They had the same dreams that I have for my son.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please speak to someone. Get help for yourself if your loved one isn't ready for help.
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.