Sometimes I get really scared. Every time I turn on the news, I can barely manage to watch fifteen minutes before I have to turn it off. There is so much bad stuff getting shoved in our faces that it can be really hard to see the good stuff. I have never for a moment regretted bringing children into this world, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about my kids and their futures. I think it can be easy to forget that you are completely and wholly responsible for someone else’s life. And it’s not until you’re teaching them a little independence that you realise that these little people only know what you teach them and what they learn from you. That is a huge responsibility and a freakin’ scary thought!
I have a boy and girl, so most of my worries are how they are going to interact with the opposite sex as they get older. We are teaching our kids that their bodies are their own, but with all the stories floating around (particularly now in Hollywood), there is a greater pressure to ensure they learn about body safety. Sometimes it’s a daunting thought that what they learn at this age will shape their attitude towards things as adults. We parents are literally moulding new people for the future. We’re just hoping that we have the right kind of values that will keep our kids safe but still free do what they want.
And we don’t really know if we are doing right by our kids. I have had body issues since I was a teenager; but something I have noticed with my post pregnancy body (and having a girl) are the comments that I make about myself. I am conscience of it now, so I hope that will help me change my attitude and the language that I use. But I would feel absolutely responsible (and rightly so) if my children grew up to hate their bodies. I want to teach them that’s it’s ok to not be happy with their bodies; but that there is a healthy way to feel better about themselves.
Maybe I watch too many thrillers on Netflix…maybe I watch too much news. Sometimes I feel like completely shutting off from the outside world and just living with my kids and husband in a nice little bubble. But I know that even that can be damaging for my kids. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword; I want my kids to be sheltered and safe, but I don’t want them to have anxiety about being out in public, or about having new experiences.
I want my son to feel comfortable enough to talk to me if he is getting bullied. I want my daughter to feel safe enough to go out with her girlfriends. I want my kids to be comfortable with who they, no matter who that is. I want them to respect themselves and other people. I want them to be confident and happy people, who go out into the world and achieve. I want them to know that it’s ok if they don’t know where they want to go in life; as long as they can stand on their own two feet they will find the direction to their passion.
I can’t protect them forever…I can only give them my knowledge and wisdom and hope that they make the best choices for themselves.
Sometimes I worry about the future; but for now I’ll help my four-year-old learn his letters and numbers and my fifteen-month-old to walk in shoes.