Do you know what I worry about as a mother? EVERYTHING!!
It is the middle of the night, Sunday night, my alarm is set for 4:50am to go for a run and I have to work tomorrow, but here I am worrying about the fact that I can't remember whether I made my daughter brush her teeth before bed. It's the nightly routine but I can't remember if she brushed her teeth tonight.
It made me wonder; are there other parents out there that are neurotic like me or am I being ridiculous; do other parents ever feel like they fuck everything up?
I mean, my fear is so real that I worry my daughter will be in therapy before she turns 5 (she's currently 4). Yes, I am joking, kind of.
I know it sounds kind of funny, but I am certain on some level that I am or will in the future damage my beautiful child.
I know I always provide everything my daughter needs and I'm not out getting drunk and passing out in front of her or using any other substances, don't ever smack her etc. it's not that kind of damage I'm worried about. It is the nonsensical and trivial things that I magnify in my mind.
That time you fed her hotdogs for dinner when you were tired and lazy? Yep, she didn't get nutrients and a few days later had a cold. Thanks bitch - you are responsible for the snot overload and misery your daughter is experiencing.
You lose your patience and raise your voice to tell your daughter for the 26th time to pack up her pencils. Well you loud mouthed shit of a mother - strap in because she will probably have a nightmare tonight and it will be all your fault so you lay awake all night waiting for the nightmare that never comes and are greeted the next morning with a ray of sunshine that has completely forgotten you raised your voice. Now you're even more tired, dickhead!
Oh and here is the biggie - I work. Not socially acceptable hours either. Some nights I miss bed time and there is nothing that prepares you for the guilt when you sneak in for a kiss and your partner tells you that she asked for you. So you wake up even earlier the next day to suck up with pancakes and then spend the rest of the day wondering if you are creating food issues for your daughter by using food to say sorry.
Agh!! It is exhausting being this neurotic.
Am I a dickhead? Absolutely!
You see, I worship my daughter. She is truly a joyous creature. She sees a rainbow and she stops dead in her tracks to admire it. She sees a pigeon with a club foot, she will insist on crumbling some bread and leaving some water for it. If she sees a species of tree she doesn't know, she will ask a heap of questions to understand it. She wonders about te universe and everything in it and in doing so, sees the magic.
She is empathetic beyond just one lifetime. She cares about all people, animals and plants. She grieves an animal that falls victim to drought. If I have a certain look on my face, she will come and wrap me up in a hug.
She is exquisite. She is precious.
And I am terrified I will do something, say something or decide something on her behalf that will dull her shine or make her resent me in some way.
Intellectually and in my heart I know that each and every day I try to be the best parent possible to my daughter but the neurotic part of me has me doubting myself at every turn.
At the end of the day, we can do our best and hope for the best. It's all anyone can do.
I will try my best not to agonise over every decision but I guess if ever there was something to agonise over - it would definitely be what is the best for your child. I can find comfort in that when I spend the next night sleeping beside her bed against the wall listening to her breathing because she ended up with croup because 3 months ago she went to bed with wet hair.
You get me? Yep - neurotic.