Obsessive Parenting is a disjointed view of ourselves as heads of our families. It is a holdover from the Golden Age of Television, where mothers had all the chores done before kids came running through the door, and dads were always tweed bound, pipe-smoking, amiable pocket money providing, problem-solving machines. It is a dangerously taut environment in which to raise a child, as it can cause your kids to become neurotic, sickly and anxious.
Top Signs That You Are an Obsessive Parent
It is important to recognize the signs of Obsessive Parenting so that you can tone it down, giving your kids- and yourself- room to enjoy life. One of the top signs of this tendency is never to feel you are entitled to relax. When your obligations to shuttle kids out the door for the day are done, do you feel accomplished, or merely as though you are somehow behind on the list of chores you must do?
If you feel behind, you’re an obsessive parent. If you feel as though you’ve never hit that ‘finish line’, where you can sit back and enjoy a job well done, that’s another warning sign of O.P. The confusion in your mind comes from the idea that your job as a parent comes in neat, tidy, half-hour increments, and that it is an episode written with a satisfying conclusion. Parenting is a part of you, like breathing- you can refine it and make it work wonders for your well-being, but you don’t want to be done with it anytime soon.
Foregoing time to relax is a major sign of Obsessive parenting, as is withholding rewarding activities (yes, a nap is a rewarding activity!) so that you can try to ‘accomplish’ more on your Parenting List. Cutting off your interests as an individual, be they physical or social, only compounds the stress that leads to Obsessive Parenting.
The bottom line- relax. People have been doing what you are for a long time. It’s been working out just fine, and it will work for your family, too- even if the floor isn’t mopped. When you’re not stretched so thin, it’s easier to take a step back and not let the day-to-day issues that arise totally overwhelm you.
Do you find yourself relating to these signs of being an obsessive parent? How do you take a step back when parenting obligations threaten to completely overwhelm your sense of self? Share your tips and stories in the comments below!