The fear and worry of parenthood

This weekend just gone has been tough. No, more than tough – emotionally draining. It’s not all been bad but it’s been dominated by one thing: Little H has been ill. She’s not just had a cough and sniffle which we all know babies and toddlers seem to get every other day. No, she’s been the raging fever, won’t eat or drink, crying inconsolably type of ill. It started on Thursday afternoon at nursery. I got The Call on the train home – her temperature was going up. I was on edge the entire journey, hopeful it wouldn’t be as bad as they made it sound on the phone. When I arrived to a teary, snotty, t-shirt-less mess it was clear it was worse…


From that moment we entered it was an unending series of ups-and-downs. There were some happy moments, some meltdowns. Sometimes she’d eat, sometimes she wouldn’t. But nothing was unmanageable. Until Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon was tough and it took it’s toll. She woke from her nap exhausted and refused to do anything but cry. Her fever had finally broken in the early hours so we had naively been hopeful for the day ahead. But as she laid in my arms, swollen-eyed from crying, clearly distressed, the fact the doctor had said it was just a virus and needed to pass was of little comfort. I felt powerless. My not insubstantial bag of tricks had been utterly depleted and I had to use literally all of my remaining strength not to cry in front of her.

Poorly Watching Peppa

Later that evening, it got me thinking about the burdens we place on ourselves as parents. Sure, we get more than enough positive pay-back to offset the bad stuff that comes with parenthood. But put dealing with tantrums, mess and, errr, faeces to one side and the one thing you can never be prepared for is the unending fear and worry. My recent physical response to her latest illness is almost case-in-point, I have always gone in during the night to check on Little H when she has a fever. However, since the incident with the febrile convulsion I don’t just wake-up during the night, I wake-up with a shocking start. This weekend, I have woken with a jolt just before 2am every night. My body would physically not settle for the worry, always on edge. It’s left me completely and utterly shattered. Then on Sunday night, knowing she didn’t have a fever, I finally slept soundly…until she started hysterically crying at 3:30am. Cue her relocating to our bed and me traipsing up and down the stairs to get her biscuits then milk as her stomach started demanding sustenance again.

NCT classes may tell you about the sleep deprivation, the poo and breastfeeding. But they don’t tell you how from the moment your child enters the world, a pit of worry opens in your stomach that never, ever, ever abates. From the mundane worries (Has she eaten enough today? She probably needs to go to the loo? Argh, I forgot to brush her teeth, she’ll end up with tooth decay before tonight.) through to the extreme paranoias (What if she manages to force open the cupboard under the sink despite the child lock? Is her car seat done up tight enough? What if she runs off into the road? Should I leave the window open incase she finds a way to climb up and falls?*). Perhaps I am just an exceptionally neurotic and fatalistic person? Or perhaps every parent drains themselves thinking about the What Ifs that could befall their offspring. (*Incidentally as I was writing this, The Unmumsy Mum shared the awful story of a 4 year old boy who left his mother’s sight for seconds only to have got upstairs onto a window sill. Whilst waving to his sister, he slipped and fell and at the point the message was shared was critically ill in hospital. So it proves that even for the most diligent and cautious parents, these fears aren’t unfounded.)


I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I suppose I have been dwelling on this internally for a while and I need to admit the paranoia that is continually trying to dominate my life. A little fear and worry is a good thing, but too much will result in me smothering Little H’s sense of adventure, squashing her confidence and bravery. Not only that but it comes a bit soul-destroying when all you can see in front of you are risks and hazards! Let them pop into your head too often and they turn you into a very stressed out and anxious human being.

The solution? I’m not sure there really is one. We all need to be mindful of this stuff until our children are eventually able to do it for themselves. But it needs to be kept in check. For me that’s taking a breath and assessing how likely something is:

•• Little H climbing onto a window sill whilst unsupervised: low risk because we have a stair gate so she can’t be upstairs without an adult. Plus she can’t even climb out of her cot yet.

•• Little H hitting her head on the sink because she slips on her bathroom step if I leave it accessible: high risk because she’s obsessed with running water and doesn’t pay attention so the step is put out the way.

Other than that, it’s also having a bit of cake and occasionally getting a stern talking to by my slightly less anxious husband to just calm down!

Do you find yourself continually worrying? What do you do to keep it in check? I’d appreciate any tips which might make me a calmer mum!

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53 comments On The fear and worry of parenthood

  • Love this post! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • I don’t really have any tips because like you, i’m a worrier too. I’m constantly thinking about the what-ifs, the could I have done mores and the must do these. Sometimes I wonder if my worrying would hinder Molly’s development. Does she need to be wrapped in cotton wool. Well yes, because she is my daughter, but maybe not as tightly. If that makes sense. My friends and family say i ‘baby’ Molly, and that Molly really plays up to the baby role, even though she’s almost 3. Maybe thats the result of my being overprotective, maybe thats just who she is. I don’t know what it is but I have recently decided to ‘loosen’ the cotton wool a bit and you know what, the world hasn’t ended.. I’m waffling but I think what I am trying to say is that it is natural to worry as a parent, and natural to want to protect them. But, at some point we have to trust that things will be ok. But, my mum the other day told me that she still constantly worries for my sister and I so I think the worry is permanently etched in us as parents haha. Lovely post Angela x #familyfun
    Sam – StressyMama recently posted…My Wish List of Gifts for Molly’s BirthdayMy Profile

    • Always relieved to hear I am not alone. It’s tough finding that balance between protection and smothering isn’t it! Thanks for reading Sam xx

  • We have too many worries as parents eh??? I’ve started to just worry about the bigger things now like will my daughter be bullied at school? My anxiety used to take up too much of my time and energy before

    Ha ha brushing teeth is always a challenge!!! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Sunita – Lucky Things Blog recently posted…Why hearing others’ fertility and IVF journeys still brings me tearsMy Profile

    • Yeh, my mind started to panic about school the other day and then I remembered she’s only 2.5 years so to try and not over burden myself! I think the worry will always be with us… Thanks for reading xx

  • Oh worry from the pit of your stomach is so frightening. I go times when I can’t stop stressing. It’s hard as teens as they are so often not with you. The worry of them crossing the road whilst chatting to friends, the drinking, the not being able to say no – it’s too much sometimes. Talking through with my husband helps as does chatting to the children and to other mums – makes my worries seem OK as we are all having them. Goodness kids! No wonder we turn to the wine! Hope your worry eases soon xx #FamilyFun
    justsayingmum recently posted…A Letter To YouMy Profile

    • Yes, I always think how it will be easier when she’s gets older but I know that’s absolutely not true for the reasons you explain! It’s a good think they are cute and funny right 🙂 Thanks for reading xx

  • I found myself in a similar situation last week – a phone call from the nursery when I was on the other side of the country telling me that my daughter had a high fever and I needed to come pick her up. Talk about stress! She ended up being fine, but I don’t think we ever stop worrying about our kids. I can’t offer any advice – I’m a chronic worrier too! #FamilyFun
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…Is it bad if your daughter likes pink?My Profile

  • You could have found me fighting back tears at work the other day as nursery drop off had been tough, very tough, then my little brain went on a crazy walk of what ifs. What if he went for a walk with nursery that day and God hurt and the last thing he remembered was me walking away from him as he cried. Etc etc aah parenting, it makes us crazy. #coolmumclub

    • I have done this so you have my sympathy. One day I dropped my daughter off and became convinced that in the rush I’d left her in the car in the station car park in the depths of winter. I had to make my train so rang the nursery on the verge of tears and asked to confirm I had dropped her off! I’m sure they thought I was crazy but they assured me she was safe. It really does make us crazy!! Thanks for reading xx

  • yes it is a constant worry, and it is so scary and awful when they are sick and we do feel helpless. Oh gosh that poor boy and his family what a sad, tragic thing to happen. I worry about mine falling down the stairs a lot even though my youngest is 7! We can’t wrap them in cotton wool, but some days I sue wish we could! #SharingtheBlogLove
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…you can make a differenceMy Profile

    • At least I feel reassured I’m not being overly paranoid for worry about my 2.5 year old falling on the stairs if you still worry about your youngest.

      Yes I can’t imagine how that mother felt. I never saw an update but I hope the boy is okay. Thanks for reading xx

  • Totally relate to this! I worry so much! The other night my daughter woke with a terrible fever at 1am and so while I fumbled around for the calpol she got up and I didn’t see her and then I ended up rushing back in and knocking her over with the force of my knee. Obviously I couldn’t get back to sleep for an age after’s just one of the many incidents I am forever worrying! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo
    Talya recently posted…My blogging space essentialsMy Profile

    • Oh god, that’s exactly what I would do. She was so clingy the other day that she followed me into the kitchen. I didn’t hear her so turned round and stood on her foot. They need to learn to make an ‘I’m here’ sound! Thanks for reading xx

  • The never ending worry certainly comes with the territory but when they are this illl it really brings everything to a whole new level and it can be hard to strike the right balance sometimes. I hope she’s better now x
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…#funseekingkids Week 13 Round-UpMy Profile

  • Oh yes there is fear! You don’t really expect it to happen, but I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve ran to my children heart pounding because they fell over and I’m sure they’ve gotten a concussion, or worse! Hope your little one’s doing well now! #coolmumclub

  • I think the only tip I can give is follow your instinct! it is constant worry isn’t it X #coolmumclub
    mummy here and there recently posted…MindfulMy Profile

  • Oh lovely that sounds like a really tough weekend for everyone. Poor little thing did sound poorly, it’s horrible as a parent when there is just nothing you can do. I think it’s pretty common that we worry about absolutely everything, I do. I think my biggest and most neurotic worry is meningitis. Every time they are poorly I find myself running through all the symptoms. I don’t know why I am so paranoid about it I am, and like you say it gets a little soul destroying after a while. Anyway I hope you have managed to get some sleep and things are starting to get back to some sort of normality for you all. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    • Oh my goodness, I am the same with meningitis. I think it’s because it can go so bad so fast. My daughter gets annoyed of my prodding when she has any form of rash! Thanks for reading xx

  • All the worry! I probably don’t worry enough. I find myself letting him climb all the high stuff without supervision nowadays. There are are kids a good year older than him not being allowed. He’s well practiced and seems to have good spacial awareness and I trust him not to fall, different perceptions of risk!! Hope little h is feeling better now? R is a bit snotty this morning so think today is going to be fun!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The SeasideMy Profile

    • Yes Little H is better now thanks. Still not quite herself – a bit abnormally clingy – but getting better each day. Hope R didn’t come down with a bad cold. I wish I could be more chilled sometimes. I’m going to just pass on my fears! Thanks for reading xx

  • This is the side of parenting that no one prepares you for. I worry, a lot, but then when I’m brave enough to let go of the strings for a bit & see they are independent it is actually not as bad. It’s the thought of it that’s the worse. Hope your little one is over her fever. #sharingthebloglove

  • It is hard and there always seems to be something to worry about. I think now I have two children I actually worry less about the small things – I just don’t have enough brain space left to worry about everything!
    Sarah recently posted…What happens after an abnormal smear test?My Profile

    • Haha, that’s one positive about not having enough time. If my daughter has been unwell I always worry about her on the first few days back at nursery so really have to force myself to focus on work! Thanks for reading xx

  • Ah the worry. I used to be so chilled out before I had Kids, since having my second baby I suffer with terrible anxiety and am always thinking of all the ‘what ifs’. I wish I had some advice for you but just know you are definitely not the only mum who feels this way. I hope toddler H feels better soon xx #blogcrush

    • I’m a naturally anxious person but it’s sort of reassuring to know Mum-Worry has even taken down previously chilled out people like yourself. It must just come with the territory.

  • Yes to the worry… all the time. About ridiculous things like whether I’m worrying too much. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG

  • The worry is the biggest surprise for me, there is literally always something to be worried about. My mum tells me that this never goes even when your babies are grown up. I’m sorry I have no advice, but you are not alone x Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • I think they need to add the worry chat to NCT and antenatal classes alongside feeding and dealing with basic nappy changes! I’m going to heed your mum’s words and accept I’ll be worry for, well, ever! Thanks for reading xx

  • I am SUCH a worrier!! I do suffer with anxiety so in that way, it’s natural for me to worry about the children, but I do have to keep those worries in check and stop them from escalating too far! Its hard though, being a parent is always going to be a worry! Thank you for joining us at #sharingthebloglove
    five little doves recently posted…Why I support Kicks Count in the ban of home dopplersMy Profile

  • I definitely am constantly surprised at how much worry I have now I am a Mum and its reassuring to know others feel it too x #Sharingthebloglove
    Laura | Little Ladies Big World recently posted…The Big Teddy {The Ordinary Moments #24}My Profile

  • I’ve always been a worrier, but being a parent takes it to a whole new level. And you’re right – it’s totally exhausting. Even when you’re not consciously worrying about something, your mummy-brain is constantly assessing the dangers & planning what to make for tea & working out the logisitics for taking one child to swimming while the other has dance class! I hope your little one is feeling better #sharingthebloglove
    Lucy At Home recently posted…No Follow Links: 3 Things Brands Know That You Don’tMy Profile

    • Yes, if it’s not the big things it’s the running of day-to-day life. I worry about things that haven’t even crossed my husband’s mind. I think I self-induce far more stress and worry than I should! Glad to know I’m not alone x

  • I’m a worrier too so I can totally sympathise with this!


  • I don’t think you’re alone in this and I do exactly what you said – weigh up how likely something is to happen and also work out what I would do if it did, you know, just so that I”m prepared lol! I do think parents are naturally worried about their children, the worries just change with age.

  • I certainly find myself worrying about some of these things you’ve mentioned and I’m sure it kicks in with birthing such a lovely little one. #sharingthebloglove
    Helena recently posted…Fantastic Fun at Flywheel FestivalMy Profile

  • The constant fear is awful but I also know they have to make mistakes. Last weekend Matt cut his head open and it bled everywhere, I just held the wound together as blood pooled in my hand. It was scary but I knew I had to do something so I did it. You cope and you will always be there for them. (he’s fine now!) #sharingthebloglove

  • I think it’s a parents job to worry, I thinks it’s natures way of making sure we always protect them. I worry about all sorts too. Irrational fears of them getting seriously hurt. Doesn’t feel great x
    Helen @Talking_Mums recently posted…Being Beautifully DifferentMy Profile

  • Always worrying me! I worry about what I’m going to worry about next! I think this makes us normal. I hope little lady is better now. #sharingthebloglove
    Jaki recently posted…Resorts World Birmingham – What An Experience!My Profile

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About Me

About Me

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (6 & 3). I'm a Gardener, houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Instagram for mainly plant spam. Hope you enjoy reading!

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