Thursday, May 27, 2010
You know? I don't think I've ever heard an epic song on the subject of worrying. The title of this post made me think of the song "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel. "The Worrier" isn't as cool I suppose. Nobody cheers for the worrier. Nobody strives to one day be a worrier. They certainly don't get good sponsorships, except for maybe some anxiety medications.
I think I'm finally starting to come toward the end of this wave of worrying and fretting I've been phasing in. I feel better, too, after a friend of mine told me she went through a similar stage when her son was just turning one as well. She told me the feeling subsided and just sort of ebbs and flows over time. Now that Paige is starting to be able to DO more things I'd found myself wondering if I'm doing enough to help her and worrying about the things I'm doing that may be hindering her. I guess the hindering is where I linger. I don't want to do the wrong things, you know? I never thought I'd be the anxious hovering parent and now here I am. "should she be in some sort of class?" "am I trying to help her walk enough?" "is she eating the right kinds of foods?" "are the food pieces small enough?" "is she socializing enough?" "does she have enough of a challenge?" "am I challenging her too much?" "am I smothering?" It can go on.
How did this happen??! I guess it's because I love my little one so very much and just want the best for her. I want to do this right. There's no "right way" though. A lot of this is probably more because she is my first child and I am muddling along trying to figure it all out as I try to let her guide the way. It's hard for me to not feel "in control" all the time. It's hard not knowing what to expect. It's hard not feeling prepared 100% of the time for anything.
I downloaded the e-book version of Simplicity Parenting and I find it refreshing and comforting. So far, the nutshell without the psycho-babble is that it is good to simplify and have few toys out at once, limited or no television, a strong routine and no over-scheduling to fill up all the free time. It allows children to focus more deeply on what they are doing, engage more in imaginative play, and just be calmer overall in the slower pace of childhood. I thought that sounded good and makes lots of sense to me. I notice when I put out just 3 toys for Paige to play with for the morning, she is so much more engaged with those particular toys and is much more rested when it's time for nap. Anyway, it's been an interesting book so far and I'm starting to feel my wild mothering tentacles relax as I realize that I need to slow down to HER pace. The pace of babyhood and toddlerhood. I can't expect her to go the speed of digitized and crazed adulthood. She's still learning to chew for God's sake! I feel some relief from all my worries too...thanks in part to that book and the advice of friends and my own mom.
So, that's where I've been at in my brain lately. I also have a goal of trying to get together with a friend at least once or twice per week. It does wonders for my soul when I get to laugh and chat with other women for a bit during the day. It is easy to fall into isolation (for me) so I need to be conscious of not only getting out of the house but actually seeking and talking to other adults. It's a different world from the 8:30-5:30 workplace, that's for sure, without the built-in social opportunities. So, going forward, I'm making more of an effort now to seek them out. What are the challenges YOU are contemplating?