As a person who had a liberating childhood, I sure am a hardcore helicopter parent.
I never used to worry like this; it started with the pregnancy- wondering what foods to avoid and if “x” amount of weight gain was normal. Will I have to have a cesarean? How can I plan the most natural birth? And on and on! Although, I suppose most of those are normal concerns for first time moms.
Out of the 873 days my daughter has been in our lives, I haven’t spent a single night away from her. You would imagine I would want to, but the thought alone makes me anxious.
Social media makes it more difficult to let go with videos of nanny’s abusing babies, reports of razor blades on playground handlebars and bombings at large events.
I worry about the GMOs I’m feeding her, the ingredients in her shampoo and what kind of irreparable damage she is getting by watching just one more episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
When I was young, I remember staying out at the park until the street lamps came on. I remember hours of unsupervised play with my brothers and friends. I remember digging trenches, starting fires and building forts.
My biggest worry of all is, what will all my worrying do to her? Will I ever let her ride her bike around the block by herself? Will she ever be able to have a sleepover at someone else’s house? Don’t even get me started on the teen years.
I am sure these fears will ease with time, but until then I will keep printing out homeschool lesson plans off of pinterest.
Justina is a twenty-something, professionally trained toddler wrangler and photographer. Feel free to follow along as she shares photo-blogs of their adventures in Chicagoland and tips to take better pictures of your own children. *All images are copyright of Justina Olenick*
See more of Justina's stories here.
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