Always 2nd Guessing Myself As A Parent

A year and a half.

Whenever I say or type the phrase “thank you,” I instantly assume I actually just said “f— you.”

To me, the words sound so similar.

It’s not that I’m a vulgar person. In fact, my constant suspicion of my subconscious has much more to do my preoccupation of not being vulgar.

My habit of questioning my automatic actions bleeds into my parenting abilities.

Each time after having just strapped my son into his car seat and starting the ignition, I run the following questions through my head before looking over my shoulder at him:

“Did I actually strap him in all the way? Is he crawling around right now on the floor of my car? Is he outside, behind the car? Will I back over him?”

I just don’t want to commit some huge crime on account of running on autopilot. It’s not that I question my abilities as a dad.

Instead, I question my most unguarded moments in the midst of my daily dad duties. One little slip-up can instantly morph into an avalanche; in regards to protecting the life of my child.

I don’t fear being a bad dad. I fear being a good dad who in one careless moment throws it all away.

What if I somehow accidently cause my son to lose an eye or allow him to choke to death on a piece of bread? What if he suffocates during the night, trapped under his blanket and I’m not there to stop it?

It’s not that I’m overcome by the fear of “what if’s?” but instead, like a good Boy Scout, I always want to be prepared to keep these things from happening.

I want to prevent these catastrophes like Desmond repeatedly saved the life of Charlie on Lost in season 3.

Taking this “2nd guessing concept” a step further in parenting, there are so many controversial topics when it comes to deciding what is right in raising a child.

Are you wrong or right for letting your child “cry it out?” Should you regret letting your child receive immunizations? Why are some parents against letting their toddlers drink juice?

After having made a decision for your child, do you second-guess it or are you proud to have done what is right for you as a parent?

There will always be something to question yourself on as a mom or dad. But it’s my goal to make the best-researched and most-educated decisions and then follow them through.

If I’m wrong for letting my son cry it out, we’ll find out eventually. As for now, I’m confident in how wrong or right I am in my decision.

I just don’t have the mental capacity to honestly worry about that, in particular. I’m too busy trying to make sure I only just said “thank you” and not its evil counterpart.


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  1. by Joe

    On June 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Wow…those are some depressing tags, Nick.

    Remember, it’s not about what you did in the past, it’s about what you do to change the future once you’ve been convicted.

    WYou and I worship the God of second chances.

    I keep going back to the Maya Angelou quote that I shared with you a few months ago: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

    There’s the greek word ‘metanoia’ too.
    (–sorry for the Wikipedia quote, but it was the best summary I could find on the fly.)

    Aaaand, remember that you ARE involved in your son’s life. He’ll love you no matter what mistakes you’ve make/will make.

    Fight the good fight, Nick. You’re doing a good thing here. Keep it up.

    In Christ,

  2. by Rich

    On June 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Nick: Relax, take a breath AND some comfort in that thinking about these things you are evincing many of the key features of Dadhood. We as parents can’t protect our kids from everything. What we can do is take parenting seriously, treat children as children (with all of the limitations incumbent therein) and simply do the best we can for them.

    Ps. Kids “read” stress, fear, etc. Show them, instead, that you know what you are doing and can be relied upon by them in a pinch…pinches being plentiful!