How to not screw up my kid?
January 24, 2007 4:40 PM Subscribe
How can I get past the fear that I'm totally going to botch the very important job of parenthood, and just be a good mom?
posted by justonegirl to human relations (27 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
(I realize this is one of the kinds of questions a lot of people hate -- my apologies in advance.)
My son is now 3 months old, and I'm relieved to see him starting to develop a very happy disposition for the most part. I'm also delighted to be able to interact with him more, as he is now responding to me and others.
What's bothering me, though, is this steadily worsening fear that I'm going to mess him up. Not in any major way -- please don't think I'm referring to harming or neglecting him! I just look at parenthood as such an amazing gift, and what an incredible opportunity it is to be able to influence and help to shape a human being. Yet, I feel unworthy in so many ways, and extremely fearful that I'm going to be a very "average" parent. I find myself thinking constantly about what kind of person my son is going to be, and how I feel personally responsible for making sure the child, teenager and adult he becomes is "good" (for lack of a better word). I'm forever reading and perusing parenting sites and thinking about stuff to do with/for him, but the idea of overcoming my personal issues is overwhelming and I'm feeling really anxious. I've posted anonymously before about feeling stuck in a rut, paralyzed from actually doing anything to improve myself, break bad habits, and reach my goals. I don't want this kind of inertia to affect my child; I don't want to wake up and realize he's 3 (or 9 or 18) and I've let him down. I myself have a mom who spent much of my childhood either actively depressed or just "getting by," i.e. doing the bare minimum day to day while I sort of languished in school, activities, social interaction, etc. I'm terrified of being like her, and yet my own experience as an adult seems to have mirrored my mom's in a lot of ways already.
I guess my question is this: is it possible to overcome personal habits/traits like inertia, procrastination, fear of failure, etc. in order to be a better parent? And if so, are there practical tips for doing so? Anecdotes or just straight up advice are deeply appreciated.