The Worry of a Parent

The worry of a parent is massive. Massive. 

There seems to be a never ending list of things to worry about. It is overwhelming and claustrophobic. The variety of worries seems to increase as they get older. It varies from worries about health, their schooling, their eating to their sleeping. There is so much to worry about. 

Whenever they are poorly I freak out. I am on high alert. My brain can't function or switch off. All I want is for time to fast-forward until they are better. I worry something more is wrong, or that I won't spot whatever is wrong soon enough if it is serious. I worry for them. I wish I could feel it all for them. I hate to see their flushed cheeks, seeing them struggling to breathe through a blocked nose. I know I hate being poorly, the feeling of tiredness and exhaustion sweeping my body and the longing to breathe through my nose without problems again. I hate that my child has to feel that when they are so small. 

I worry about how healthy they are eating or drinking. Are their teeth OK? Do they exercise enough or eat healthily enough? They seem healthy, but am I missing something? Parenting feels, at times, that you are just going stir crazy. 

I worry that they are not happy, or that at school they are having problems. My eldest often comes home and tells me that he has been crying. It breaks my heart each day. I send him to school knowing that at some point in the day, he may well break down and cry, wanting to by back in his Mummy's arms in his safe home. All I can do is ignore it and try to be strong. And bribe with toy cars when it comes to half term. 

Sometimes parenting can feel like a walk in the park. A wonderful park. One with green luscious grass, a glorious water fountain and birds tweeting. Other times it feels like Jurassic Park. It feels like a walk in a bizarre, ever-changing, scary, dimly lit tunnel. The tunnel is filled with twists and turns and there is the smallest light at the end of it and you just try with all your might to carry on and get to the light. There is the aim and hope that all will be bright and better again once you get to it. Lately, it certainly feels like I am in this never- ending claustrophobic tunnel. 

On the days where I feel glum, where I feel like giving up all adult responsibilities and covering myself in a blanket and binge watching TV on the iPad whilst the children tear the house down around me, I remember why I have to keep going. So I pick up the washing basket and I fill it. Even if I resemble a robot. I fill it, then I wash it. I dry it, then I fold it. I make lunch, I clear it up. I do potty training, snack fetching and I Mum. I Mum hard. I make dinner, do homework, do pack- up and hoover. 

I do it all anyway. Even when the worries and stresses of life consume me, I rise above it all and I continue. The thing that garentuees to snap me out of this and pushes me right to that light at the end of the tunnel is watching my precious boys. I watch them in awe of their gorgeous little faces, taking in the world around them. Listening to music, calling it "boo-ti-ful". I take them in. I take in their peaceful faces in bed, knowing they are home, they are safe and they are sound asleep. 

Family life is precious. Nothing compares to the worry, the joy or the roller coasting feelings you experience. Nothing. The love for my children is what keeps me ticking, what keeps me going. It gives me all of the strength I need to deal with all the worries and stresses that parenting and life throws at me. 

The worry of a parent is massive. But so is the love. 

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