I often wonder if other parents worry about their kids as much as I worry about mine. Sometimes I think I'm paranoid about illnesses, child abduction, or just danger in general.
Am I the only one?
I'm afraid to let my nearly 6-year-old use a public restroom by himself. I won't drop off my kid to birthday parties without staying to chaperone. I still have nightmares about a school bus accident. My kids are not even allowed to cross the street by themselves to play with the neighborhood kids. And my heart sinks every time my caller-ID names my son's daycare.
I don't know if I'm overprotective or just cautious.
I know that bad things can happen to good people. And life can go terribly wrong when you let your guard down. So, do you think I'm overprotective?
In my eyes, they will always be my babies. And honestly, I don't know how to loosen the reigns.
For instance this past Friday night, we went to "Hot Dog Night" at my son's school. Naturally, I finally get my toddler to eat, and my oldest has to go to the bathroom. So, my first instinct is to pack up and go with him. Then I thought twice, it's a school function, he knows the school and the bathroom was only 100 feet away inside the gym. I let him go.
Five minutes passed, then almost 10 minutes—he was still not back. I picked up my toddler, marched into the gym, called into the boys room. No answer. I looked around, called in again, still no answer. A father helped me out by walking in to the restroom, and told me no one was in here.
I started freaking out.
I was trying to recall what shirt he was wearing, while reassuring myself that he knows all about stranger danger. Panicked, I went to the main hall—no sign of him. I looked for his teacher who had been right near the gym door, but she wasn't there. After about 10 minutes of frantic searching the school and the field, I finally found him on the playground. Instantly, I felt relief, then found myself mad at him because he just went straight passed me and went to play with his friends.
My husband says I coddle the boys and placate their every boo-boo. He also thinks I don't allow them to be rough and tumble boys.
Maybe I'm a tad overprotective, but truthfully, the world is a scary place. And the later my kids discover that the better. And while I wish I were more relaxed about some situations, I fear that the one time I do, the worst will happen.
But hey, I'm a Mommy. My job is to soothe, comfort and guide them, and I might as well soak up every minute they allow me to do this.
Do you think you are paranoid when it comes to your parenting tactics? How do you balance letting your kids grow up with protecting them from society? Share your thoughts in the comments.