Monday, May 17, 2010

Fear in Parenthood

There are many things that have scared me about parenthood. The very act of choosing to create a baby, wondering how that baby would come out of my body...even how I would feed that baby.

In hindsight these things seem minor to the frightening aspects of sending those children out into the world without you by their sides.

When my first child started Kindergarten it was after spending years in an environment where I knew the parents of her friends well, knew her teachers well because they were former coworkers, and felt a lot of control over her environment. Sending her to a school where I knew few (one) of the children, none of the teachers and had zero control over her environment was a big shock.

I cried uncontrollably each day I dropped her off at school for days. I mourned our days together. Now, someone else was spending more time with my child each day than I was. This still irks me. I want my kids with me more than they are with someone else.

That aside, the fears of parenthood grow in elementary school. There is bullying. There is bullying even if there is an excellent behavior plan (and there is at my kids' school). Kids can be so mean and I think they are meaner than ever.

I think there are excellent parents out there and I think there are many, many more sub-par parents than ever out there. If you take into consideration parenting in years past, parents didn't have to worry about things like they do now. Yes, you may worry that your child will survive infancy in the past. Modern medicine has made this a slim worry. Now, though, you have to worry about drugs, guns, bullying to the point your child commits suicide in desperation, etc. And where do those bullies, gun-toters, drug dealers come from? Well, I'd guess some of them come from homes like yours and mine. Yes, I believe there are kids out there that will do wrong no matter what their parents do. But there are those kids out there whose parents propped them in a corner holding their own bottles when they were 4 months old. There are the mothers who smoked pot or did crack or whatever while they were pregnant. There are the parents who strike their kids for any impudence.

My kids are spirited. They back talk. I consider the back talk a sign that they are growing, testing, but they still know that they will be loved no matter what they say.

I hope that my children can navigate the school years without bullying, without shame, with heads head high.

I can't guarantee anything. There is the fear.

1 comment:

Stelie Designs said...

You hit the nail on the head for me. With my kids entering kindergarden this fall, I'm freaking.

Everytime I look at a paper or hear the news its something bad happening in an elementary school, it adds a pro to home schooling each time. I can only hope, I instill good values and open communication.

I hate that they have to deal with more in schools at an earlier age than I did.