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Ever wish you were different?

Posted on March 8, 2011

Parenting is the last bastion of horror for the chronic overthinker. You not only have your own stuff to overthink, but now you have the lives for one, two, three [insert number of children] others.

The worst part about it is that your overthinking can take on a life of its own. Your child has a glitch. They tell you about it. You immediately start wondering how this might affect them next week/next year/next decade. I am an expert at this. One small ‘nobody wants to play with me’ becomes a giant leap into a bleak and friendless future.

Three weeks after the fact, I’ll be the one still overthinking, reading up, looking for information, considering strategies. The child in question? He’s moved on. Probably five minutes after he mentioned it. Too busy playing with his friends to discuss it further.

Worry wart? Moi?

Given the choice to delete any part of my personality, it would be this. Not the complete and total inability to ‘get’ trigonometry. Not the underwhelming sense of fashion and style. Not even the deluded desire to try stand-up comedy.

This.

What about you? Anything you’d change or delete?

47 Comments

  1. Melissa

    I’ve been an overthinker my entire life – not just since having the boys.

    It is more now – more emotional, more peowerful.

  2. Kim H

    Parenting has turned me into a major worrier too. I think I was a worrier before but having a child certainly made it worse. It does seem to be a part of the Mumma role though, don’t you think? Happy rewinding and happy weekend xx

  3. Quill and Ink Handmade

    My partner always says that I don’t worry enough, and it frustrates him to no end. But I’m pretty happy in my non-worrying world; it’s a nice, rose-coloured-glasses place to be. And to be honest, things always work out, which further justifies my non-worrying.

    I’d love to be more confident, more outgoing. I love those people who light up a room, or who can talk to anyone about anything – it’s always something I’ve really admired in others.

    Stopping in from Weekend Rewind, but staying for a read and wander,

    x

  4. MultipleMum

    Still not doing event management. Adding cranky pants now. I am a lot more like Dad than I realised (and I am like Mum. Dear Lord and I doomed????) Thanks for Rewinding x

  5. Sela Toki

    I admit it, I gave up worrying after the first 3 children. It was driving me bongo. For the next 4, “If the first 3 survived, you guys will all survive too” and then “We’ll leave everything in God’s hands.” LOL>

  6. Diminishing Lucy

    I’ll now add insecrity issues to the delete list…my frettering is non productive…

  7. Charis

    My temper, oh if only. I’m working very hard on sorting out my disgraceful temper 🙂

  8. Mum on the Run

    Um, ditto.
    But then would we be as considerate? If we didn’t overthink every last detail would we be as organised?
    Like how I’m tarring you with my brush now?
    Then I’ll worry that I’ve offended you by being overfamiliar!!!
    🙂

  9. neesay

    I could add everything everyone has mentioned above plus more to my list but a lack of patience would be the one I chose to go! Now how do we go about that?

    Popping over via Rewind 🙂

  10. Megan

    I hear you! I have no kids yet but I’m already imagining the damage I’m going to do to them by being overprotective due to overthinking and worrying about all those situations which can go wrong in life. Deleting that overthinking gene would be a godsend.

  11. MommyToTwoBoys

    Well, if I could really change anything? I’d be shorter. About 3 inches. I am 5’10” and have always stood out too much. I am 3 inches taller than my husband, which makes things hard. Anyway, that is a far from what I wanted to say.

    I over worry way too much too. My husband always tells me there is no need to spend so much time worrying about what might happen, but to wait and see, then worry if necessary. I am always riled up with the anticipation of stuff. My poor 4 year has already had his life planned out in my mind and it is riddled with the worst things imaginable. For no reason! I need to get a grip!

    This is mostly apparent when I am reading and I can’t focus. I will reread a paragraph or page 5 times because my mind is just going and going and I am not paying attention at all to what I’m reading.

  12. Jacq

    I’m so glad it’s not just me. I was worrying it was, and that my children might have inherited it…

  13. Tai Tai

    Count me in – overthinker and extreme worrier as well. Going by the number of women who have commented who ALSO have this problem – perhaps it’s just in our genes? I’ll blame them anyway! Good to know we’re all in it togther x

  14. Being Me

    Loved this post! Yep, put me down on the list for over-thinker as well. Terrible! I’d probably add low self-worth/confidence/esteem (insert all three, they’re interchangeable for me) to that as well. Actually that’s possibly the one that should go on the top of my list…

  15. Jodi Gibson

    Allison I hear you! I too am an over thinker. My brain just doesn’t stop thinking. I wish I could say they are intelligent thoughts about the meaning of life, but a lot of the time my thoughts are weird, irrelevant and just plain cuckoo! Having said that though, I wouldn’t change it completely just perhaps tone it down, especially at midnight!

  16. myshoeboxlife.com

    I think I think too much. This post doesn’t help me! 🙂 I think it makes me really think that I think too much. x

  17. Maxabella

    Great post, Al. For me it would be my recklessness and my restlessness. I wouldn’t mind knocking my self-denial over either. Maybe my chattiness? Hell, I’ll just send you a list!!! x

  18. A-M

    Yep, over thinker here… and I stew… grudge city. I would kick the grudge stuff to the kerb (great phrase Annie… kick it to the kerb). A-M xx

  19. katepickle

    oh boy…. you and me both on the worrying thing, I’d ditch that for sure as I reckon it would cure my other issues (inability to make a decision and social dyslexia) at the same time

  20. Trish@Show and Tell

    I’d change my inability to change my inabilities.

    Trish
    xx

  21. Mrs Woog

    ummm about a million things! Mainly I want to adress my apathy but I cannot be assed xo

  22. suburp

    yes, overthinking is already annoying when it’s just about meMeME (..and boys or later men, I’d say) but when you have a child with some ‘weirdo’ potential giving you lots of stuff to think about.. you’ll never stop worrying. I need to get a bit cooler about random remarks or behaviors too, they change all the time anyway (it was easier with just ‘boys’).

  23. AMBIVALENCE

    I am sure this is the sort of thing that you cannot get right. I always thought growing up: My Mum worried about the things I didn’t want her to, and over-worried certain examples. Then there were times when I thought or expected her to worry and she didn’t seem to.

    The key must be to know when your child is actually hurt and worried and a set of circumstances is critical then.

    Perhaps over-worrying can lead to a lack of communication and lead to the child or teenager keeping stuff from you further down the line. i.e. knowing they cannot share it with you, knowing you would worry and stress about it.

  24. Kelloggsville

    oh if there’s the opportunity to make a mountain out of a mole hill, I’ll grab it with both hands and put a ribbon on it. It’s a personality trait, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. AS long as you redress the balance sometimes :0)

  25. ruddygood

    Overthinking is less of a problem for me than it used to be, but it’s certainly had a renaissance since the boyo came along.

    I could definitely do without it, and while the kerb-side clean-up is on, I’ll chuck out impatience and procrastiation, thanks. Do with them as you will; I’ve had enough of them. (Did that sound impatient?)

  26. Dorothy

    I think if I could get rid of anxiety I would be a much happier person.

    I tend to overthink things too, but I use it to get well informed about things, to figure out where my worries are stemming from and get better at being me…

  27. Annieb25

    Three things for me:
    1. Procrastinator – I even put off writing this comment last night :/
    2. Indecisive (I think this goes hand in hand with procrastination) and I’m still not sure I’m happy with this list – is there something else?
    3. ANXIETY – kick this mother to the kerb please.

    I am grateful that my overthinking habits disappeared some years ago. I reckon if I had that on top of those three I might just not make it through each day!

  28. Cate Bolt

    OH! This one is easy. I can help here. I have the cure. The easiest way to cure this problem is to have more children. Nine did it for me, but I think I got similar results by around the 6th or 7th child. Seriously, once you achieve that you pretty much don’t have the energy to worry, or the alcoholism prevents it.
    You’re welcome.

  29. MaidInAustralia

    I’m an overthinker too. I deal with it by practising Mindfulness but that doesn’t always work. I think when it comes to our kids we can’t help but overthink! xo

  30. Lady Estrogen

    I wish I could let-things-go! I can remember obsessing over things & staying up all night from as early as 8 yrs old. Ugh.

    BTW – that’s my favorite Charlie Brown skit! x

  31. Dani G

    Yep, I’m a chronic over-worrier, over-analyzer and have a hard time letting things go. Getting better all the time. I hope!

  32. Dovic

    1. Overthinker – not in the way described about but in most everything else. Cue point 2
    2. Indecisive – Which present to actually buy? Whether to book a flight for 9 or 10am? What to name my children? etc, etc, etc. Oh god it drives me crazy
    3. Procrastinator – adrenalin junkie from last minute actions (ignoring the many hours used up beforehand doing, um, procrasting basically).
    4. Nightowlness. Like right now perhaps.
    5. Twitter addiction. Nuff said.

    Oh dear. That’s a lot of things…

  33. Mama of 2 boys

    Maybe it’s a mother thing or maybe I am also just a worry wart like you, but I freak out a million times over if my Mr3 ever mentions anything that seems a little left of centre, let alone when he expresses concern about something. I know I’ve got to stop taking everything he says so darn seriously, but I am forever worried about long term effects, short term effects, ANY effects my parenting might have on my children. Actually… I am absolutely certain I AM a worry wart. So I guess I would like to change this about myself and maybe I’d also delete my ‘fence sitting’ ways while I’m at it. Learn to be more decisive and have conviction in the decisions I do make.

  34. Fussy Eater's Mum

    I’d give up always being right (in our household, that is). That way I wouldn’t argue with Mr Fussy so much and I might for a change be able to say, “Honey, you’re right! That was the quickest route to our destination!” Or I wouldn’t find myself saying to the Darlings ten times a day, “I told you so.”

  35. Lucy

    I would like to stop project planning my life. I am ALWAYS trying to save time and get even more organised. For what? I am an over-planner. Delete.

  36. Rebecca

    I would make myself much less concerned about whether people ‘like’ me or not.

    I too worry stupidly if my kids have friend problems. and interrogate and worry until they are thoroughly sick of me – they will probably learn to stop confiding in me!

    I want to teach my kids to be kind and humble – but also to have enough confidence that they don’t fret about being unlikeable.

  37. Tat

    I am overcautious. I’d love to be able to just get out there and take a few risks.

  38. Life In A Pink Fibro

    @ClaireyH – I can’t. The lawyers might stop commenting. Besides, I love seeing what it comes up with. And I do get random spam comments, even with it. I know it’s a pain, but bear with me…

    Am going to go and overthink the word veri now.

  39. Deer Baby

    oh god yes. I’m an overthinker extrodinaire.

    My little girl has developed a stammer ( no jokes about it being topical given The King’s Speech please) and I’m worried about that.

    And then with schools for the elder one, now we know we didn’t get the one we wanted, I’m worrying that our next decision will affect him for the rest of his life.

    So yes.

  40. ClaireyH

    I am like this, but wouldn’t change it. One thing to change? Can’t decide, possibly being indecisive.

    PS it might be time to turn off the word verification…go on!

  41. Tracey

    i would like an empathy dimmer, because for once in my life, i would just love to be STEAMING MAD at someone without that little pipsqueak in my head popping up and saying, Walk in their shoes â€Ļ see what they see”.

    mind you, if that little snot in Year 6 touches my son ONE MORE TIME, i might just FIND a way to short circuit all that empathy twaddle â€Ļ

  42. cjtato

    From one overthinker to another, I’m hearing you.

    However, it would be a tough one on deleting the over thinking or possibly deleting the inability to be outwardly passionate.

    Hmmm, off to overthink my decision. LOL

  43. MultipleMum

    This is music to my ears(not your overworrying you understand)! I reckon if I could change anything it would be my lack of interest in hosting people/parties etc. I loathe event management!

  44. Sarah

    I’d delete anxiety. While we mostly co-exist reasonably well, sometimes it overtakes everything. Do they have enough in their lunchbox? Will they have a good day? Will I make the appointment in time? It’s exhausting. Therapy etc has helped me hugely, but it is always there, dim in the recesses.

  45. therhythmmethod

    I’m the same. I’ve spent the last 3.5 years worrying that Boy 1 has Asberger’s. I wrote a blog about it, and my BFF comments that she just thinks he’s a budding nerd/scientist. All that overthinking for nothing.
    In fact, one of the reasons I started a blog was to train the overthinking into something productive – and it seems to work.
    I would probably change delete my shyness. It gets in the way of living, and I think sometimes people mistake it for rudeness.
    The overthinking I can live with.

  46. Kymmie

    Chronic overworrying is certainly not my problem. But perhaps it’s the Bloody Pollyanna syndrome I suffer from. Yes, I think I need to worry more. My husband (chronic worrier himself) tells me this all the time. Perhaps he is right?

    I’m not sure it matters as I’m too busy playing the Glad Game to care.

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