Carole here. You’re going to enjoy my writer friend Hannah. I first met her overseas, where she recognized the writer in me before I had the guts to say it out loud! Hannah is a very intentional parent who juggles homeschooling, writing, a cello, and much more. A few months ago, she shared these thoughts about that version of worry special to parenting, something with which most of us can identify. So I give you this re-post. Learn more about Hannah at the end.
When we become mothers, women who were once carefree or serious or focused find ourselves turning angsty over all that could go wrong in the lives of our children. We seem to stress in direct proportion to how big we feel our job is.
And I think we all agree: it’s big.
In earlier generations, moms cared about their kids but didn’t assume they needed to be their little darlings’ entire universes. Frankly, they didn’t think it was healthy for the kids or themselves. But add busier-than-ever parents plus guilt plus more things to worry about (thank you, Internet. No, really) and you’ve got a recipe for defensive, burned-out mothering from the word go.
Homeschooling does not make a mom immune to inner and outer kvetching. It can help to turn down the temperature on our worries in some ways, only because we’re spending a lot of time with our kids, and we can sort-of take stock of how they’re doing throughout the day. But it also presents a whole new list of things to question whether we (and they) are doing well.
In spite of all that, I’m happy with the way this school-and-mothering year is unfolding. My oldest son turns 14 tomorrow. I have another one who’ll be 13 in the blink of an eye, and an 11-year-old daughter who looks like a freshman. We have had, and will have, our fair share of difficulties, new things about which to wonder, problems that will arise.
Believe me, I know.
But, looking back, lots of my parenting worries throughout the last fourteen years have not come true. Most haven’t, in fact. The kids are doing well, by the grace of God. They’re turning out in spite of my failures both as a teacher and as a mom.
I want to offer encouragement in case some of you have younger kids and are tempted to worry, too. Just keep showing up, loving them, praying for them, enjoying the time you have with them as much as is possible.
Refuse to give in to the temptation to fret.
In the end, most of what you worry about won’t come true. And, honestly, even if some of it does, it will still be OK.
Hannah Vanderpool is a writer, traveler, and mom/teacher to three interesting middle schoolers. Connect with Hannah on her blog.