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Sunday, January 22, 2017

PARENTS and WORRY

PARENTS and WORRY
This cranky re-run is from January 2012

I read blogs everyday written by young moms, stay-at-home moms, working moms, single moms, older moms, moms with tons of kids, moms of twins, moms with little children, adolescents, and teens.  

The theme of many of these blogs is worry.  Worry about potty training, worry about eating habits, worry about exercise, worry about too much TV, worry about bullying, worry about school. 
I sometimes think how nice it is that my children (3 out of 4) and two steps are grown-up, on their own and doing fine.  Then I realize that I still worry.  

How are their finances, do they know what they are doing? Do they even have a clue about raising my grand-children? Are they driving safely?  Do they need new tires?  Do they check their heating systems every year?  Are they overworked?  Do they party too much?  How is their health? Are they eating right, do they drink too much, can they survive a bad relationship, are they at risk with hobbies of distance running, mountain biking, snowboarding, casino gambling and diversions I do not know about? 

It turns out as a parent you never stop worrying about your children.  As they get older you just can’t express your concern.  Your job is basically done, they are grown and on their own. 

They are probably smarter than are you, and most of your concerns are unfounded.  Offering even good unsolicited suggestions will not be heeded.  Your credibility is tarnished.

That does not mean you do not worry.  You offer advise if it is requested, otherwise you stay silent…and you worry.  You don’t love your grown children the same way as you loved your helpless needy infants, toddlers, adolescents and teens. But you do love them and you do worry.

The fact is that with age your children start to worry about you.  How is your health, are you getting forgetful? Can you still drive safely?  Are you OK?

While helping me with a simple task a few years back, my then 35 year old looked at me with concern and jokingly remarked, “You’re going to be living with me soon aren’t you.”   

At every stage of the parent child relationship your love changes in intensity and direction, but always it is there, and always there is worry.  

21 comments:

  1. Though I know better, I constantly worry about son. Its my nature and I can't imagine ever changing worrying, no matter what his age might be. I do remember that distinction with hubby when he chose not to tell his parents something that was going on in his life (an auto accident) because he knew they were aging and he didn't really want to stress them. Few years back, they would have been in his top 2 of who he would have called (me, them). I'm wondering if there will be a day I stop worrying about son, but maybe that's the day I also start losing my memory of those I love.

    Worry, its something that comes with being a parent I do believe.

    betty

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  2. I didn't worry much about my kids when they were little; they ate, they slept, the grew and were happy. I figured I was doing okay.
    Now they are aged 36 to 44, I worry more, but not much more because I know they're okay and if they need help with anything, they'll ask for it.

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  3. Now I'm worrying if my boys are okay!

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  4. My son tells me not to worry and I tell him it's just the way I'm made. I worry about them all even yet as some of them are grandparents.

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  5. I've noticed a change in attitude between mine and me.... now they tell me off instead of the other way round. It's as if they think I have completely lost the plot!

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  6. Yes, indeed! I worry about all three of my children -- and my two step children, too. One of them is off-piste snowboarding this week -- but I try not to think about him at all!

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  7. That's why i turn the worry to prayer. Maybe i can't directly do anything for or with my grown children, but i can talk to Someone Who can.

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  8. Honestly Joe, I feel like there's a lot of truth to the saying, 'Bigger kids, bigger problems.' The stuff I worry about with my adult children are much more serious and weighty than the school years stuff.

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  9. You do worry but you are quite right...you daren't say anything. Nowadays I think I worry more about us though..and there is NO WAY I am living with my kid lol.

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  10. At least your son had an open door when he commented about your living with him. My daughter once told me that if I expected help when I got to be a "drooling old woman" it was lucky I had Kevin. So I am busy spending her inheritance.

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  11. The job of being a parent lasts a lifetime. Our son is thirty-six and we still worry about him, and I suspect we always will.

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  12. It's a lifetime of worry about one thing or another. My son doesn't worry about us though. Well, he's all about himself so I don't worry about him very much anymore. Did enough of that in my younger years.

    Have a fabulous, worry free day. ☺

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  13. I don't think I worried about my children as much when they were young and at home as I do now. We never stop worrying.

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  14. Worry, worry, go away.
    Come again some other day

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  15. You might appreciate this from an old post: Nameless must have been about 16 or 17 when she went out with this boy on their first--& LAST—date! She was usually home by midnight or so. She wasn’t home by midnight. Or 1:00. Or 2:00. Or 3:00. I couldn’t sleep so I was listening to the news. They reported, over & over, that there had been a fiery crash on a freeway & an unidentified young couple had burned to death. I called the police, hospitals & even the morgue, to no avail. About 6:00 am, I remembered that they had been introduced by a mutual friend. I called & woke him, explained the situation & got her date’s home phone number. I called & woke his mother, who said that the kids were there, they were fine & that they had come to his home to watch TV & had fallen asleep on the couch. She said they were so cute she didn’t want to wake them. DIDN’T THIS WOMAN REALIZE THAT NAMELESS HAD A MOTHER & FATHER WHO MIGHT BE JUST THE TINIEST BIT CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR DAUGHTER???!!!

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  16. Little kids, little problems, Adult kids, Adult problems. I hear you. I love seeing mine but sometimes, after they leave and we have caught up, I tend to worry about all they have just told me. It's a catch 22.

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  17. Sure I worry. I worry in long paragraphs and terrible details (fiery car crashes on the highway, rip tides at the beach, bad sushi at the gas station). So then I text my son and he responds to my paragraph-long worry texts with his famous four-letter answers:

    Fine.
    Good.
    Yeah.
    Sure.
    Later. (OK, so that was five letters)

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  18. Worry/love they are fairly interchangeable when you have children. You love them so you worry, you worry because you love them. I even worry when Miss Mac is happy in case something happens to stop her being happy ...

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  19. Would we be good parents if we didn't worry?!!

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  20. Very true. And even though you sort of know before you have kids that you will worry about them, you have no idea how much. I remember when my kids were about 2 I suddenly had this horrible epiphany that I would be stuck in this prison of parent-worry for the rest of my whole life!!
    You wouldn't have kids if you truly knew stuff like that. Which is just as well we don't know beforehand because otherwise having kids is THE BEST THING EVER. And as many a psychologist has said, your brain doesn't exist to make you happy. Worry is a necessary adaptation that serves to keep kids safe. Too bad about the side effects on Mum and Dad!
    Nice post!

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