Proactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears

Welcome to the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about parenting fears. ***
I know I’m not alone when I say that parenting has opened my eyes to many fears that had never previously crossed my mind. I worry about things constantly and if I let them, those worries can be absolutely paralyzing. It’s a battle of faith to function each day and choose to set those fears aside. But I do. Because embracing the joy and beauty of this parenting journey is far more fulfilling.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 - 
Living in a spirit of fear is such a giant to overcome. Becoming a mother opens up so many vulnerable places that it’s only natural to become more protective and worrisome. To quell some of my fears I’ve taken proactive steps to prepare and hopefully avoid potential situations that I find my fears manifesting in.
MOTHER CHILD SEPARATION
Jemma and I have discussed many times how we stay safe in public places. It is her goal to always be able to see me. When I call for her, she is to immediately answer, “Here I am!”. If she can’t find me, she waits where she is and watches for another mommy to ask for help. We’ve also talked about asking a worker to page me, hence Jemma has learned my full name. Next up, we are practicing my phone number.

With Max, more of my fear lies in who would care for him if I was in the hospital or unable to be with him. He is super attached to me and we’ve yet to be separated for more than 6 hours … which was only once so far. We have a plan in place of who would tend to him at night and if he needed, where we would obtain breast milk to comfort him. 

WATER SAFETY
Jemma is starting swim lessons next month, so right now all of our water safety has revolved around being safe in the bath. We practice sitting on our bottom so we don’t fall and most recently Jemma has learned how to pull the plug and drain the water by herself.
CAR ACCIDENTS
Uh … car accidents are my nemesis. I researched car seats like crazy and have been nothing more than pleased with our Diono Radian. They have a steel frame which makes them extremely safe and durable. They’ve even been coined the “orphan seat” thanks to children surviving in otherwise fatal accidents – awful, but safe. In the case that I’m unable to speak or help in an accident, I created information tags for Jemma and Max’s seats so emergency workers would have pertinent information about them. I included …

I added an out of state contact because we’re in earthquake country and sometimes in bad earthquakes all the local lines get tied up. The favorites is where I listed their favorite color, character, song, etc. A bit of information that might calm them down if they felt scared.

FIRE SAFETY
Fire safety isn’t something we have worked much on. It’s on my to do list. She knows that fire is hot and that matches aren’t to be played with; that if she ever sees fire to yell for help. I’m actually planning a homeschool unit about making safe choices and our field trip will be to the fire house to see a fireman or woman in their uniform so they don’t appear frightening.

None of these things are fool proof. Our family has a lot to learn to prepare for emergencies, but hopefully in the case that something happens we’ll be able to follow our plan and be safely reunited.

Have you taken proactive steps to calm danger fears you have? 
What have you taught your children to prepare for emergencies?
*** Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting! Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (list will be final around 5pm PST February 11):
  • When Parents’ Fears Escalate — If we didn’t self-doubt, we probably wouldn’t care enough about our children to struggle with understanding them. But how do we overcome self-doubt? Read advice from Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., guest posting today at Natural Parents Network.
  • What ifs of addiction — After seeing how addictions of adult children is badly hurting a family close to her heart, Hannah at HannahandHorn shares her fears for her own child.
  • Sharing My Joy — Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares her fear that others think she is judgmental because she makes alternative choices for her own family.
  • Building My Tribe Fearlessly — A meteorite hit Jaye Anne at Tribal Mama’s family when she was seven years old. Read the story, how she feels about that now, and how she is building her tribe fearlessly.
  • Fear: Realized — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares how her fear of car accidents was realized and how she hopes to be able to use her efforts to overcome the remaining fears to help her children overcome their own.
  • I’m a Negligent Helicopter Parent — For Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow, the line between helicopter parenting and negligent parenting is not so cut and dried.
  • My Greatest Fear For My Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits that she has struggled with not allowing her fears to control her and how the reality of this was blown wide open when she became a mother.
  • Proactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears — Every parent has certain fears related to dangerous situations, That Mama Gretchen shares ways she is preparing herself and her children for emergencies.
  • Homeschooling Fears – Will My Children Regret Being Homeschooled? — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares an interview with her now-adult children that answers a question she had throughout their homeschooling.
  • An Uneasy Truce — Homeschooler and recent convert to unschooling, Tam at tinsenpup shares just a few of the things she tries to keep in mind when fear and insecurity begin to take hold.
  • Fearing the worst, expecting the best — Tarana at Sand In My Toes writes about fears that come with parenting, and why we must overcome them.
  • Can I be the parent I want to be? — Amanda at Postilius confronts her struggle to peacefully parent a preschooler
  • Out of Mind, Out of Fear — How does Jorje of Momma Jorje deal with her pretty steep, long-term fears regarding her son’s future?
  • I Don’t Homeschool to Manage My Kids’ Transcripts — One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s fears of parenting is that she will get so caught up in the monotony, the details of homeschooling, the minutiae of everyday life, the routine of taking care of a household – that she will forget to actually be present in the moment with her children.
  • Beware! Single Mom Camping — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her first adventures as a single mom. She laughed, she cried, she faced her fears.
  • Parenting Fears And Reality Checks — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares her three biggest fears as a parent – that most parents share – looks at the reality behind these fears, and offers a few suggestions for enjoying parenting.
  • Parenting fear : to kill a pink rabbit…Mother Goutte tells us the story of a pink rabbit that disappeared, came back, and became the symbol of her worst parenting fear…
  • Roamingsustainablemum considers whether allowing your children freedom to explore the world safely is harder now than in the past.
  • Meeting my parenting fears head-on — Lauren at Hobo Mama had many fears before she became a parent. Learn how they all came true — and weren’t anywhere near as scary as she’d thought.
  • Don’t fear the tears — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger worried that letting her children cry when going to sleep was tantamount to the dreaded parenting moniker, CIO. She discusses what actually happened after those teary nights, and how she hopes these lessons can carry forward to future parenting opportunities.
  • Will I Still be a Good Mom? — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot worries about her mothering skills now that breastfeeding is no longer the top priority.
  • Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me… — Kristen at Baby Giveaways Galore discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them.
  • Fears — Meegs at A New Day talks about how her fears before parenting led to a better understanding of herself and her desires for her daughter.

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12 thoughts on “Proactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears

  1. ThatMamaGretchen

    I don't think so! I recently read about the idea and decided to get on it! Granted, I made and printed the tags month or two ago and just taped them on last week so I could feel confidenthitting publish on this post :)

    Reply
  2. Issa Waters

    I have a window fire ladder in my second story bedroom. It came with my house, so I didn't actually *do* anything myself, but it still makes me feel smart and prepared. ;-) We have lots of different things to prepare for various emergency situations – fire extinguishers, a generator, guns, stored water and food, first aid supplies. During the cold months I keep extra warm clothes in my truck because I once got stuck in the snow and had to walk several miles. I don't think of these as calming my fears, exactly. I just like to be prepared for things. I find it satisfying and enjoyable to imagine different scenarios and plan for them.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer at Hybrid R

    Ha! These are good reminders about what I should maybe put some energy into doing. I have been very negligent about most of this, simply because, well, who knows! So thanks for reminding me that I need to get on this!

    Reply
  4. ThatMamaGretchen

    So many of my fears are things I don't have control over so doing a little something to make them less scary helps me reduce the control those fears have over me. We'll see if it actually works if I ever encounter these :)

    Reply
  5. ThatMamaGretchen

    We had a minor rear end this fall and Jemma STILL talks about the policeman who came to our car. I can only imagine how scared Sylvi was! Is she still talking about it? Has she connected that they were there to help her even though she was scared?

    Reply
  6. ThatMamaGretchen

    Clothes in the winter is so smart! I've heard that those thin heat blankets are really good too! As a kid I always wanted one of those fire ladders – I should research those now that we live in a 2 story.

    Reply
  7. ThatMamaGretchen

    We have Radians and there is a label on the side that says "Emergency Information On Back". Max is rearfacing so I taped his on the back. Jemma is forward facing though so I actually taped hers on the side, over one of the installation Warning labels (since we have the full manual for installation reference). I figure if they see Jemma's on the side, they'll know to look for one for Max too.

    Reply
  8. Melissa Carr

    I am curious to where on the carseat you put this? I would be fearful that someone would see into my car and get the information. Maybe a bit *over crazy* but that is what came to mind when I saw it, other than , of course, that it is a great idea!

    Reply
  9. ThatMamaGretchen

    Max's is on the back of his rear facing seat – there is a little ATTENTION sticker on the side that says there is emergency info on the back. Jemma's is taped on the side, kind of peeking out of the cover, but it's on the side that touches Max's seat so I think someone would have to break into the car to get a clear look at all the details. Good thought though since the whole point of it is being extra vigilant about safety!

    Reply

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