I am not a parenting expert. I don’t even play one on TV. I don’t even have teenagers yet. But I do have four kids who at this point are reasonably able to clean and feed themselves, and with that comes a certain luxury of looking back and wondering why I got so stressed about so many things.
That’s not to say that I shouldn’t have worried about these things. Worrying comes with the job. Plus I have an anxiety disorder, so I worry about really crazy stuff that totally seems legit at the time. Example: I worry that in the eight seconds it takes me to return the grocery cart to the corral, I’ll get run over in the parking lot and no one will know that my kids are in the van. (For those of you without anxiety: yes, but it makes sense to me. For those of you with anxiety: sorry for giving you something new to worry about.)
But still, there are times that I look back on, and I wish I could whisper to myself, “don’t sweat this so much.” Or, “this decision is not nearly as important as you think it is.”
Or most importantly, “it’s going to be okay.”
Probably I just needed parenting humor writer David Vienna to tell me to CTFD, but alas, his “parenting technique” just became famous, so I had to muddle through without his wisdom.
I’m sure there are tons more things, both rational and ridiculous, that I’ll worry about as my kids enter their teen years. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to look back, when they’re in their 20s, and think, “Geez, why did I worry about that? They’re fine.”
In the mean time, the best I can do is offer my reassurances to those who are in the thick of it right now. Whether your worry is actually kinda ridiculous (I freaked about my newborn hiccuping) or more traditional (ugh, potty training), it’s really going to be okay.
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