Today's blog prompt is sponsored by JuiceboxJungle and Kodak. They asked what the top and bottom three things are that I worry about as a mom. I had to think about all the things that I worry about (and there were a great many) and then I had to organize them by sheer amount of worry. It was not an easy job and it took some time, but I think I have it figured out.
Top Three Things
1 - Health
We are one of the families that exist without insurance. The cost for insurance through Big Guy's business was just too much. Because we are forced to operate without insurance, I am always paranoid that he's going to get sick or injured and I watch carefully for those situations. Luckily, I also try to feed him a steady diet of fruit, vegetables, and vitamins. I also tend to hover to make sure that he doesn't put himself in a situation that could lead to bodily injury.
2 - Money
Big Guy and I work very hard at our respective jobs, but money is always tight and there is usually very little left over at the end of the month. When we buy gifts, they are planned out well in advance and Big Guy and I have become expert bargain hunters. I frequent Freecycle for clothes and we tend to shop for household goods and apparel. If we're in the market for games, books or movies, I keep an eye on half.com and will keep watch on particular items for weeks at a time to ensure I get the best price. In fact, my birthday gift this year is particularly notable because I am getting it brand new on release.
3 - Education
I exist in an almost perpetual state of terror that my child will be the one left behind. Because of that, I push him beyond his normal age range in subjects such as reading and math. Admittedly, he is much smarter than I give him credit for and this should probably fall in the bottom three things, but he is both my and Big Guy's son and that means I need to worry to ensure I push him enough to succeed or else he's likely to try and get away from studying.
The Bottom Three Things
This was probably harder than the top three items. What do I worry about least with this child of mine? These items aren't really worries because I have evidence of my success everyday.
1 - Happiness
I don't worry about Little Guy's level of happiness. His laughter rings throughout the house regularly every day and he still laughs himself to breathlessness at least once every 12 hours. I have seen him collapse with the giggles over something his dad or I have said that is just silly... It's wonderful.
2 - Self-esteem
If there is one thing that my son does not lack, it's self-esteem. If you were to ask him if he has self-esteem issues, he will tell you no, he doesn't. He doesn't seem to comprehend that there may be people out there who don't want to spend time with him or who may not like him. He is a friendly, cheerful, gregarious child who is firmly convinced that everyone loves him and he is in charge.
3 - His View of Relationships
I am nearly certain that my son will have successful relationships as he grows because of how hard Big Guy and I work to ensure that our own relationship is a success. We've attended marital therapy and will readily say that it was one of the best things we could have done for our marriage. We had a strong relationship before we went, but the therapy improved our communication skills and provided a safe haven to learn to deal with issues that would come up and serve to temper our strongly-forged relationship. If we can continue to provide an example of a well-honed relationship, our son will b able to emulate the better aspects of our relationship and hopefully avoid the mistakes that his father and I made in previous relationships.
Attempting to narrow down worries into only six was a difficult task, but was actually helpful to me as a parent. I can see where my focus is and measure how I am doing over all. It also helped reassure me that I am a good mother to this amazing child. He is happy, mostly healthy, somewhat sane, and has been sheltered from the worst of the events that we've dealt with. He's confident, brave, headstrong, willful, smart and imaginative. He expresses love freely and accepts affection as a matter of course. How lucky I am to have him.