Is Your Greatest Fear That You Will Screw Up Your Kid?
There are so many things that can cause us anxiety as Mothers parenting adolescents – high school shootings, cyberbullying, technology, drugs, drinking, social media, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, impulsivity, irresponsibility and sex! I’m sure you have at least ten more you could add to the list.
But, what really scares us, we often don’t talk about. What we’re really afraid of the most – making mistakes and screwing up our kids.
These are the fears that keep us up at night, leave a pit in our stomachs, or sobbing behind closed doors. These are the fears that leave us feeling shame, alienated and inferior.
We need to know we’re not alone. When we share our fears shame and fear can begin to lose their grip.
I want you to feel less alone. So, I asked moms the question, “What is one of your greatest fears about screwing up your tween or teen?”
I was touched by how moms expressed so openly their fears and the comfort moms experienced as a result of reading what other moms shared.
Here’s what they said:
That they will resent me or grow up and never talk to me.
That I’m not giving them enough freedom to make their own decisions and mistakes in order to learn and that it will be my fault if they’re not equipped because I’m limiting them because of fear of what can happen!
That it will be my fault if they suffer with low self-esteem and self-worth.
That my depression, financial struggles as a single mom and having been in an abusive relationship when my kids were young will impact them for the rest of their lives and that they will blame me for what they’ve missed out on, didn’t get or had the chance to do.
That I won’t keep them safe. I got in a lot of bad situations as a teen because of too much freedom. I don’t want my kids to make the mistakes I made but, the flip side is I don’t want be too strict. Struggling to find the balance.
That my kids will grow up and hate each other and it will be my fault because I don’t know what to do to help them get along.
That they won’t learn how to be independent, have goals or be successful in life because I didn’t let them learn from failure.
That I won’t provide the support that my daughter needs and she will turn out like I did.
That my daughters will have low self-esteem and not feel good about themselves or their bodies.
I have an autistic child and a child with bipolar so we have a whole world of other stuff going on and I just pray everyday that they feel the love and dedication we have for their care.
That they will not want to visit when they leave home.
That technology will ruin their life and it will be my fault because I don’t know how to navigate it.
As a foster parent my kiddos came to us already screwed up. I fear that we won’t be able to help them enough to function when they are adults.
As a biological mom, my biggest fear is that my kids will resent our foster kids and us.
That they’re going to write a bestseller about their dysfunctional family life😂.
That I do too much for my kids and they will be irresponsible adults. I overcompensate for not having anything done for me as a child.
I fear that I passed my depression onto my daughter and that she’ll suffer worse than I have.
That they won’t feel loved by me.
I have no idea how to handle my teenager. I feel like I’m handling situations all wrong most of the time. Am I too strict or too lenient? I have no idea where the balance is.
My GREATEST fear is losing my children to death – that they will be abducted or a victim of a school or college shooting, a plane crash, etc.
This world is getting so bad and I try so hard to prepare them to be strong, independent and respectful. I don’t want them to struggle the way I have.
When I have two hours, I will come back and tell you.
The overcompensation. From giving them what they want to doing too much for them.
I’m constantly worrying about what I’m modeling to my kids. They see me stress, worry, etc and I don’t always handle things the right way.
Suicide. It’s more prevalent now.
So many! That she won’t grow up to know her worth! If my daughter could only see herself they way we see her…..
That I have not instilled in them enough good values. And that it may be too late.
I have to admit that I was blown away by the responses. It brings comfort to know that we’re not the only ones that can lay awake at night afraid that we’re falling short as a mom or thinking we haven’t done enough.
We all share common heart-aches, fears and regrets.
Precious moms, I often feel sad as I listen to us talk. We put so much pressure on ourselves for the choices our kids make. Our hearts are heavy when things aren’t turning out the way we thought they would. Understandably we want the very best for them. It’s painful to watch our kids struggling, in pain or not making good choices.
But it’s not all our fault.
There are so many things we can’t control.
The plain truth is our kids will mess up and their lives won’t always look the way we planned. They will make mistakes and poor choices some of the time.
What matters is that we continue to learn how we can LOVE well. Loving well starts with us continuing to grow and getting the support we need to be the best moms we can be.
We care deeply and love our kids with all our hearts and I want us to be more compassionate with ourselves.
Kids don’t expect us to parent perfectly.
What they do need is a mom that is willing to admit when she messes up. They need acceptance, grace and a listening ear when they need to talk. They need a mom who has other moms to talk to when she’s struggling.
Let’s love and forgive ourselves for not being perfect. How could we possibly be? Let’s love ourselves and seek to be the best women and moms we can be. That we can do imperfectly and that is what our kids really need.