Send me back to work, I can’t handle the stress!

Posted by admin on January 15, 2016 at 7:17 am
Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 6.08.37 PM

A long, long time ago I read something in a child rearing advice book about kids needing both types of parents. You know, the type of parent who yells in a panicky kind of tone: “Get the hell down from there or you’ll break your damn neck!” and the other, more relaxed parent, who smiles and says enthusiastically: “Go for it, Kiddo. Go higher…. Go Faster …” while dishing out a high-five.

… Here’s something you might not know about me: I fall into first category.

In fact, the phrase “Hey Mum! Watch me!” sends shivers up my spine because I just know, instinctively, that something a bit crazy, possibly stupid and potentially dangerous is about to happen.

Some people might call this neurosis. I prefer to think of it as highly-developed intuition. Plus, I’ve been raising them for awhile now and so I know exactly what my children are capable of.

Ok…. Ok. It’s hard for me to actually admit this, especially out loud, but when it comes to all of the things that involve the safety of my offspring, I am not cool.

Not calm. Nup. Not collected, either.

I have to fake it.

And frankly, it’s exhausting.

For example, this morning I found myself at the local skate park.

There I was, silently chewing on my thumbnail, snapping my eyes shut behind my sunglasses because I couldn’t possibly stand to watch my children whiz past other children – millimeters and microseconds making the difference between a head-on collision and avoiding one; only a plastic helmet to protect them.

My heart was in my mouth, along with my fist.

I mean, deep down inside, I know that this stuff is good for them. Really, I do.
I know they need to learn to take risks. Develop gross motor skills. Hone their agility.  Spend time zooming around and hooning it up with their mates.

But …

Oh. My. God.

There’s concrete. And ramps made of concrete. Scooters and skateboards and rollerskates and rollerblades, and billycarts and various other kinds of contraptions with wheels on. There are other (totally unpredictable) children. Lots and lots of them in fact, some of whom are toddlers, going the wrong way, weaving like drunk drivers – seemingly oblivious – in and out of the chaos. There are random balls too, that inadvertently get shot into the calamity from the adjacent soccer field and basketball courts.

…And then there are the dogs, the cheeky snouts who tagged along, and who chase and run and enjoy all of the action.

Oh. My. God.

Did I mention the concrete?

It’s horrific to watch: A melting pot of ingredients that spell disaster and emergency room simultaneously.

BUT … I steadfastly reminded myself as I gnawed my thumbnail to the quick, unlocking my phone just in case emergency dialling was required, that even though an accident could happen, it might not.

And – thankfully – it didn’t.

And that in itself, is completely miraculous! Because as far as I can figure out, the fact that mishaps are rare, is not a measure of the skill and experience of the participants, or of parental intervention. Rather, it seems to be the result of a mysterious sort of unspoken code that transforms all of the disorder and confusion. The kids just know the right moment to ‘drop in’ and ‘slide out’. They know whose turn is next. They wait patiently. (This actually blew my mind). And – despite myself – I have to admit that I was considerably impressed with the timing, dexterity and precision with which they manage to navigate around each other at high speed.

But I still find it stressful.

So when a client called about lunchtime it was a very welcome distraction. The job is 320 pages. It’s URGENT. But to be honest, after the morning I’ve had, there’s something quite soothing in the idea of that, because deadlines don’t scare me.

But skate parks sure do.

Until next time,



About Us

If you have something important to say, we can help you say it. Woman With Words is a collection of copywriters, editors and proofreaders.

Our Services

We work with a range of businesses including small start ups, global corporations and some ASX listed companies. Contact us to find out how we can help you say what’s important.