My love of children started long before I had one of my own. I was a mother’s helper, then a babysitter, and eventually a full-time nanny. But here’s the thing: While I spent years adoring and caring for the children of others I would secretly think that their sweet mamas were a little ridiculous. Can these kiddos even breathe?, I sometimes wondered. It pains me to say it, but since my own daughter arrived on the scene, I’ve become one of them: an overprotective mum. In fact, while I was writing this article at least 50 percent of my brain was
thinking about obsessing over my child who was perfectly fine, and resting peacefully in the next room.
Are you one of us? Here are nine surefire signs:
1. You’ve Googled the parents of every kid in your child’s classroom. It doesn’t matter that your community is small and everyone knows everyone else. The town gossip could’ve missed something. And a quick Internet search to rule out any criminal history wouldn’t hurt… right?
2. You own and use dummy wipes. You do this after washing the dropped paci in hot water with organic, fragrance-free soap. You hear through the grapevine that you will not do this with your second child, but you reserve the right to be maniacal about dummy germs with your first.
3. You let your 10-year-old walk alone to the neighbor’s house. But only because you can see the entire half-block route to their home from your kitchen window.
4. You make, um, lists. You know what I’m talking about, those color-coded activity lists that start at 6 am and end after bedtime. You walk the babysitter through the lists, even though you know nothing will go according to the list while you’re out.
5. You have the babysitter under surveillance. Despite the personal referral and background check, you’ve installed nanny cams (or lost a ton of sleep trying to figure out how to afford them). She might be CPR-certified and the apple of your son’s eye, but she’s not you!
6. You barely trust your own parents to watch your kids. It’s been decades since they had children themselves! So you only invite them to babysit when you’re absolutely desperate. And the in-laws? No way.
7. You plan for “beach day” like some people plan for week-long holidays. You’ve got SPF 50+, organic snacks, extra towels, sun hat, beach tent, full tank of gas, extra cash, baby powder for sand removal, and enough bottled water to hydrate an army. An hour in the backyard would be so much less stressful (but would still require 50+).
8. You stopped watching “Grey’s Anatomy” when you were pregnant. You just couldn’t handle the stress.
9. Your best mum friend is practically a clone. Bring on the chat about germs, sex offenders, hair ties, curfews, breast milk to wine consumption ratios, cashmere-induced rashes, and inflamed miniature cuticles. Hey, you might learn something new!