That’s one of the questions I ask in our monthly chats with Mums and Dads. If you haven’t read any of the features, do come and have a little read. I’ve been lucky to be able to interview really good bloggers out there, each of them, worth a read and have shared little gems of truths about parenthood.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about that question lately. The truth is, it’s actually always in my mind and this post has been saved in my draft box for the longest time. Now if someone asked me that question, my truthful answer would be:
“I wish I knew that I’d be scared all the time. No one, not even my mother, warned me about that lingering fear that would keep me awake late at night thinking about the “what ifs”. That fear and knowing that for the rest of my life, this fear will stay with me forever.”
Fear of Failing your child:
I never knew that being a mother would be the scariest experience in my life, and I’m not even talking about little T’s birth story, although that experience in itself is scary. I’m talking about the enormous responsibility of a parent, of raising a child and having the power to either make or break your child’s life. That whatever kind of person she becomes will be a direct result of the kind of people you were as a parent and upbringing she has had in her life. And that thought scares the shit out of me.
Being Happy is all that matters
It took me awhile to realise that you can’t keep blaming your parents for every single failure or mistake that you have made in your life. I think I was in my late 20s when I realised that I can’t blame my parents for my own faults anymore. I’m more than old enough to know that I made wrong decisions in my life, not because of what they did, or haven’t done, but it’s because of my own doing. I used to think that the reason why I’m not ambitious was because my parents never really pushed me to be the best that I can be. For them, being happy was all that matters and I’m learning now, they were right of course!
Once I was torn whether to quit a job I absolutely abhorred, or to stay, especially since I was up for another promotion. This was the boss who told me “Stick with me Dean and we’ll climb up the corporate ladder together”. I remember sitting in her office and staring out the window when she said this to me. And all I could think of was wanting to jump out right there and then. I phoned my mother and the only thing she said was “If you’re not happy, leave”. And that’s what I did.
Paranoia: The bane of parenthood
As a first-time parent, I know it’s normal to be paranoid about your child’s safety. That irrational fear of worrying about your child when they are not with you. That she might be in harm’s way. Little T has another school trip tomorrow, because she is small, I worry that they might lose her, or that she might not know how to buckle her seatbelt up in the bus and she might fall and hurt herself. I know that fear is unfounded, because I trust the school and her teachers and know that they always make sure that all the children are safe.
The fear of dying
Being older parents, I worry a lot about my health. I fear getting sick, every pain I feel I wonder, is it something serious? When the husband is away, I say a little prayer to keep him safe all the time. I want her to have both of us around for a very long, long time. Is that impossible to ask?
And now you know why I rarely have a good night’s sleep. For those out there who have the same fears and have been in this parenting business far longer than I have, my question is, does it get any better? Do the fears dissipate as my daughter gets older?
What is your greatest fear as a parent, as a person?