Winner of the December 2008 Best of the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival!

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Keeping up

Most of the time, I believe I'm a pretty relaxed parent. I watch other parents, fussing over their kids, getting all angsty about this and that and think, "Hey, I'm not that bad". But I think with me there's this kind of cloud of concern always lurking somewhere in the back of my mind. With three kids and a more or less full-time paid job, I just worry that I'm not keeping up with all their needs, their developments, their changes; that I can't possibly keep pace with all of it and at the same time keep up the pace at work. With Eden, this anxiety has reached a new high since she started school. Am I on top of her relationships with her teachers, her developmental progress, her friendships? Would I definitely know if there was an issue I should be aware of? Am I in touch enough with what's going on in her life?
I had lunch with a colleague the other day, a real high-achiever who constantly beats himself up about his own performance and is always setting himself goals that must be achieved within certain timeframes. His parents have apparently told him that his problem is that he has no children. Once he has children, they rationalise, he will have less time to think about himself, he'll have to relax a bit more, he'll have a better sense of perspective. All this is true, but what I'm finding as a parent is that if you're the type to set yourself tough objectives in your working life, you're just as likely to continue to do so as a parent.
I'm really good at telling myself I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I'm even pretty good at following this advice most of the time. But still those concerns don't stop lurking at the back of my mind... I guess what you have to ask yourself is not, "Am I the perfect parent?" but, "Am I good enough?"


Jan said...

Sure you're fine, Baby J!
The fact you philosophise about all this says it all: you're aware, you're watching... you have probably analysed, you and your fella, what's " important" without realising...
ENJOY them As They Are, In The Here And Now.
And dont let unessentials interfere...
Make your priorities strong/steadfast and forget the rest..My children are grown and I realise that in many ways I worried unnecessarily.
This time in your life is soon over. My aunt reiterated this ( often) and I thought she was crackers BUT she was so right.
You move on to other stages ( just as much part of YOUR life as THEIRS...)

Stay at home dad said...

Surely the question is not how good you are but how happy your children are. And they look pretty happy to me!