Do We Overthink Our Parenting?

compilation of words about parents and worrying

Whether or not I’m a good Mom is very important, both to me and ultimately to my kids. Heck, it’s important to my future grandkids as well. If you go to a bookstore and look in the family section, you can find a LOT of books on parenting. Just type the word parenting into a Google search box and you’ll get 245 million results.

That’s a lot of results.

I know my parents read the Dr. Spock book, and they may have looked at one or two others over the years. I doubt they subjected themselves to the level of scrutiny that parents nowadays undergo.

Generally speaking it’s a good thing that we want the best for our children; that we’re anxious to provide the most wonderful experiences that we can. But are we overdoing the worry?

I spoke to a mom last week who feels guilty because their family finances have been strained. After going through a bankruptcy and moving to a smaller home, she worries that her children are missing out somehow.

Quite frankly, she’s wrong to worry. Her kids are in a home with sane parents who are doing their best to meet needs; on top of that they’re two of the most loving parents I know. Her kids have no idea what it’s like to be neglected or abused. Do they have to budget things tightly? Yes. But there’s no way to put a value on the sanity and emotional security they’ve managed to give those kids. I for one am proud of her and her husband for what they’ve achieved.

And what about the rest of us? Are we wrong to obsess over every little interaction, every little detail of our family lives?

I’m thinking yes…we are.

We should do our best at all times, of course. But we should also take some time to stop and smell the parenting roses, as it were. Yes, each phase kids go through can be frustrating. Those same phases can be funny, memorable, or at least survivable. We can bring laughter and love to the table every day. We can make memories with our kids as often as possible.

Maybe we should save the worrying for later.

Earnest Parenting: advice for parents who shouldn’t worry so much.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Elena Aitken January 10, 2012, 12:20 pm

    Great post!!
    I worry about this some days (see, that over thinking thing!)
    I think it’s so important to trust your gut and go with it. Of course, there are those moments when you need to step back and reevaluate things, maybe ask for help, but ultimately, I believe we instinctively know what to do.
    🙂
    Elena Aitken´s last blog post ..Fitness Funk? Find your Focus

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    • Amy LeForge January 11, 2012, 7:39 am

      Elena, I love the balanced nature of your answer. It’s true that overthinking can cause paralysis. It’s also what causes me to question my gut reactions. 😉

      Reply