Confessions from an overprotective and possibly neurotic mother

I watched a 10 year old boy on a bike almost plow into a toddler the other day. Naturally, my inner maternal instinct/teacher/disciplinarian caused me to sternly say “Stop! Watch for the little one!”

And then I got a dirty look. But not from the bike rider, from the dad of the toddler.

Does this happen to anyone else? I will openly admit that I am overprotective. I’ve even been called nervous. But guess what? That anxiety that I live with every day can benefit you!

I’ve been this way forever. I can’t let my dogs off their leash because I’m terrified that they’ll run into the road. Until we had kids, I protected my dogs from everything. I almost sent them to doggy daycare, but didn’t want them to deal with any bullies. I’m so kidding. Sort of.

Then the first baby came home. My whole life turned in to this alternate reality of what “could” go wrong. He could fall down the stairs. He could hit his head in just the wrong place on that table. He could, he could, he could. Because let’s face it, the worst tragedies tend to come from perfect timing. I live my life in a constant state of “If I had only left the house 10 seconds later… scenario reenactments.” It’s not easy. I should probably be medicated.

So when I jump to stop a potential tragedy, when I overreact to curb an accident, please focus on the intention. It wasn’t to make you look negligent. It was because I can’t NOT stop something from happening. If I didn’t scream “Stop!” and the boy on the bike hit the toddler, I would be devastated.

I will confess, I take it too far. But I’m trying to teach my kids to be the kind of people who don’t watch a child get kidnapped without trying to tackle the kidnapper. I don’t want them to hear a woman screaming “HELP!” in a parking lot and choose to “just stay out of it.” So part of my problem is the civil and human duty I see, but the other part of it is fear. Pure, terrifying, fear. And I just haven’t learned to let go of it.

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