You're bestowed a huge responsibility once you bring a new life into the world. It falls on you to keep your children safe, fed, clean, and happy. But where's the line between attentive parenting and parental overload? Perhaps you should key in to a couple basic warning signs.
1. Field Trips Make Your Palms Sweat
Oh dear lord, how many of these come up every year? Why can't your child use those awesome imagination skills to pretend he's going to the historical artifacts museum instead of going outside of your safe space? It's like the school wants you to have a panic attack! Your kid should never venture more than five miles from home without your supervision -- ever.
Sound familiar? If so, you are a major hoverer. Teachers are paid on a daily basis to ensure your kid's safety, plus the locations they go to have to be approved by the school. Chill back a bit!
2. Your House is Numero Uno on the Hangout List
If it were up to you, every play date would be at your house. It's safe, the food is nutritious, bedtime is strictly enforced during sleepovers, and no smutty movies are aired under your watch! But sometimes other parents want their place to be the hot spot for the kids to chill.
Yes, the play date goes your way as long as everything is happening in your house under your rules and watchful eye, but sometimes you've got to let your kid's little wings soar. It's an adventure for them to visit someone else's house.
3. Tagging Along to Doctor's Visits… After They Can Vote
What if the doctor ends up keeping your baby because something unexpected popped up? (Just cause your baby is technically an "adult" doesn't mean she's not still your baby, right?!?) You need to know what's going on with your child's health at all times. Privacy shrivacy. Plus, you know your grown baby loves when you tag along. It shows you care!
Yeah, kind of weird. It's time to let go... at least a little. If you need to know what's going on, your kid will spread the news. Until then, take a deep breath (in a paper bag if need be).
4. Making a Shrine for Participation Medals
Your kid is special. Everything she does is miraculous. In fact, the number of achievements she has at such a young age is astronomical! She has the best attendance award, the best sportsmanship, and a hoard of participation medals. The world needs to know her awesomeness, because she's basically a prodigy. So why wouldn't you proudly display every single one of these awards in your house.
Stop. It's great your kid is involved and passionate, but that participation ribbon is pretty lackluster in comparison to getting a first place trophy, winning a spelling bee, or even getting straight As. Give your kid something to strive for rather than grow up expecting the world for just showing up.
5. You're the Hired Sitter for Life
If only you could clone yourself, right? No one gets the job done like you do. Nannies don't 'get' all of your security checks. They don't nail down the schedule, nor do they care nearly as much as you. This is why you're not leaving the house for at least 18 years after the birth of your baby boy. He needs you. Your social life and marriage can wait -- you've got a (lifelong) job to do!
Calm down, momma bear. Having kids doesn't mean trading in your own life. Sure you want to be around for each wonderful moment your child experiences, but it's not possible. So go have a little fun, you hot mama!
6. Scheduling Daily Check Ups at Potty Time
You can tell a lot about the human body based on a person's… duty. You can discover a life-changing ailment any day which is why you're in there like a licensed Ph.D. the second the pants come down. There's no shame in being too careful!
Sometimes actions speak louder than words, but in this instance, you should not show but tell. Imagine your mother intruding every time you step in the bathroom. Nobody wants that.
7. Maintaining Everyone's Schedules
Friday nights are family night -- no exception. You don't care if that hot, straight A, starting quarterback asked your daughter out. She has an iron clad commitment. Who better than you to know the most beneficial way for your child to spend her time. Obviously. Friend relationships come and go, but your mother love is forever… and ever… and ever.
But when your kid can drive, it's her first step into the world of independence. Let her spread her wings and fly… until a reasonable hour because there is school tomorrow after all.
Hovering on Your Child's Last Nerve
When it comes to the love of a parent, we'd do anything for our wonderful kids. But keep in mind that you might be hurting instead of helping by doting too much. Loosen up the reigns a bit and let your kid take on some of life's responsibilities and challenges -- for yours and your child's sanity.