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7 Things Parents Should Stop Worrying About – Now!

Worry is often present in our lives, but never more so than during motherhood. Ironically as the saying goes, ‘worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere’.

 In the newborn days and even beyond, parents can be consumed with guilt and concern about their parenting abilities, and spend nights lying awake over analysing every new parenting decision made earlier that day. Later down the path of parenthood, you may have more confidence in your ability, but you’ll still probably spend hours worrying about whether your child is happy, and whether you are giving motherhood your absolute best.

Some worry is almost unavoidable. You will also fret over whether your children are happy and secure, whether they are safe, and whether you are doing a good job and giving them the best start in life. There are some things, however, that you can stop worrying about right now. Here are just a few of them:

#1: The Mess

Childbirth can be a messy business — most people are aware of that — but people don’t realise that what comes after is messy too.

Your house will take on the appearance of a ransacked den, as you spend your days desperately searching for clean muslin cloths amidst the rubble of breast pads, soft toys and tiny mismatching socks. Each time you have a visitor you will either spend hours cleaning up before they arrive, or spend hours worrying about what they thought of you after they leave. Stop worrying about it, mess is a part of motherhood. So what if you haven’t seen your carpet in months? A quick glance at your smiling baby will remind you that you are doing a great job. And remember – nothing is permanent. This is nothing but a stage that will pass. Before you know it, your little one will be moving out of home and you’ll miss the toys strewn across the room and a happy baby playing amongst them.

#2: Other People’s Children

It’s the curse of motherhood, no matter how many times you say you won’t, you can’t help but compare your kids to their peers. When another child rolls over first, you worry if yours is falling behind. When other babies learn to crawl whilst yours sits still, you wonder if she is lazy. With each new milestone comes a whole new set of worries. Let go of this now, it’s not helpful to your child and it’s certainly not helpful for you. All children are different. Can you tell which grown up rolled first or last? Nope. Rolling first doesn’t make you a genius, nor does rolling last make you a slow learner. So, why worry?

#3: Not Living Up To Your Pre-Motherhood Expectations

During pregnancy, and maybe even before, you probably had a very vivid picture of what sort of mother you would be. You had also probably decided what sort of kids you would have. And now you may be dealing with the disappointment that you haven’t quite lived up to those dreamy goals.

Perhaps you gave up breastfeeding sooner than you expected, or maybe your kids spend more time in front of the television than you ever thought you’d allow, or maybe your kids can’t sit quietly through a four hour train journey. It doesn’t matter. Really, it doesn’t. Whatever your pre-motherhood conceptions were, get rid of them now. Back then you had no idea how hard parenting was, or how tired you would get. Now you are learning first hand about all things parenting, and what you feel and know now is worth a million times more than the ideas of motherhood you held back then.

#4: Not Being Perfect

Life isn’t perfect, it’s really not. No matter what Pinterest might have you believe, nobody lives in a perfectly tidy house, with angelic children, and drinks only the recommended amount of wine each week. That photograph of the beautiful living room you pinned was taken after a giant clean up that included picking raisins out from under the sofa cushions. The amazing toddler craft activity you saw a blogger write about probably took hours to set up, and almost certainly ended in a tantrum of some description. Stop worrying about perfection, it’s an unattainable goal. What you see isn’t always what you think.

#5: Kid Style

That coat looked so adorable in the magazine, but now that it’s covered in chocolate buttons, paint and snot it is a little less appealing on your child. The hairband looked cute in the store, but your child refuses to brush her hair first. No matter how many adorable matching outfits you buy for your child, she only ever wants to go out in her Elsa dress. It doesn’t matter, let it go (ahem). It doesn’t matter whether your child has a picture-perfect bun, dresses like Harper Seven, and looks adorable on every outing. It matters that she is having fun, going on adventures and enjoying her childhood.

#6: Taking Shortcuts

There are 24 hours in a day, but the average mother needs at least double that to get everything done. There are mouths to feed, bodies to dress, pennies to earn, and stress to release. There is a mountain of laundry, a library book to find (help) and a birthday cake to bake. There are also adventures to be had, games to be played and stories to be read.

Don’t beat yourself up about taking shortcuts that free up time. Whether you buy a fancy dress costume instead of making one from scratch, opt for ready made baby food to save you hours in the kitchen, or have a cleaner to help keep your home feel more livable to you – let go of the guilt. You’re simply paying for someone else’s time when you don’t have enough.

#7: What Other People Think

One of the hardest aspects of parenting is parenting in public. All of a sudden, the opinions of every stranger in the vicinity seems to take up your every thought, and you may even find yourself tailoring your parenting to this. Don’t. Ignore the on-lookers, and instead be true to yourself and your child. Who cares if a lady you don’t know thinks you’re making a rod for your own back, or if the old guy in the shop thought you gave in to a tantrum? They don’t know you, and your parenting won’t impact on their future. Be the sort of parent you want to be, no matter who is looking.


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