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Diana, a mother to a 2-year-old, worries about every. little. thing.

"Whenever I look, I see something online that makes me question how I'm raising my son," Diana told Upworthy. "Am I giving him too much screen time? Is he eating well enough? Is he hitting his development milestones? I feel like I'm losing my mind."

A recent study showed that over two-thirds of American parents describe themselves as overprotective. Sure, there are some big items that parents will worry about until the end of time, like kidnapping, bullies, terrorism, etc. But obsessing over the small stuff takes away from the joy of raising children.


"I know being mom should be fun," Diana said. "But the constant second-guessing of my parenting decisions make me miserable."

How do you know what really matters? We talked to the people who know best: parents of adult children.

Five veteran parents shared what they worried about as newbies and how they refocused to raise happy men and women.

1. Meg worried that her kids watched waaaay too much television.

Meg has three kids. Her oldest is an 18-year-old son. When he was much younger, the television was constantly on.

"I used the television as a babysitter," Meg admitted. "How else could I get stuff done when my little ones needed constant attention?"

Fast-forward to today, and her son hardly ever watches television because he's busy with his studies and sports practices.

"It really wasn't much of a big deal after all," she said.

Meg spends a lot of time talking with her son, and their relationship is very strong because of it. Even if they look like siblings. Photo from Meg, used with permission.

What she says now: "We don't need to know everything as parents, but we need to know what our kids are thinking and how they make decisions. Doing so makes it easier to have the tough talks when they do things that aren't good for them. It's working so far."

2. Nina worried about how her daughter couldn't keep anything clean.

Nina has a tight relationship with her 22-year-old daughter Kiara, but it was extremely frustrating back in the day to see how messy her baby girl was.

"I put too much emphasis on Kiara maintaining a clean bedroom," Nina said. "Eventually, I realized that even though it didn't look great, it worked for her. There were bigger battles to fight."

Nina and her daughter share a very strong mother-daughter bond. Photo from Nina, used with permission.

What she says now: "The bottom line is we are all connected and we must take care of each other as human beings. As long as she works hard and cares about the well-being of others, I'll be happy."

3. Jana worried that she gave her daughter more responsibility than she could handle.

Jana's oldest daughter is 20, and she wanted to do everything in her power to make her independent at an early age by giving her a lot of responsibilities. The problem was she kept second-guessing herself.

"I kept thinking I was making her grow up too fast," Jana said. "My biggest fear was she would end up on a therapist's couch for the rest of her life due to me screwing her up so badly."

Jana's daughter truly understands the value of responsibility. Photo from Jana, used with permission.

What she says now: "We as parents worry that we're doing it wrong. But so far my daughter turned out all right."

4. Stephanie worried that she'd always need to be around to protect her daughter.

When Stephanie's daughter Molly was young, she felt overwhelmed trying to keep her safe.

"I was so concerned that she would hurt herself when I wasn't around," Stephanie said. "Living in California, I wondered what would happen if there was an earthquake and I couldn't get to her."

Eventually, she was able to step back and have peace with the fact that no matter how overprotective a parent is, bad stuff can happen.

Stephanie (left) used to worry about always being there to take care of Molly. Photo from Stephanie, used with permission.

What she says now: "I want my daughter to always think independently and be a leader. There is little value in popularity and fitting in. Being true to yourself is the most important thing."

5. Lester worried about the ridiculous outfits his kids liked to wear.

Lester and his wife, Sherry, have a son and daughter, and their kids' fashion sense was ... well, questionable when they were younger.

"I thought if their clothes didn't match or their hair was done properly, it was a reflection of me as a parent," Lester said. "Thankfully, I learned to let them embrace their own style without getting in their way."

As you can see, their fashion sense is on point now.

Lester's kids know they'll always have mom and dad's emotional support. Photo from Lester, used with permission.

What he says now: "We always let them know that they could come to us at any time and nothing would change our love. But they knew we weren't their friends, because they have plenty of those in their lives."

The next time you worry about your daughter skipping her nap or struggling with potty training, remember the big picture.

We can choose to add the small stuff to our mountainous pile of stress, or we can use the tips from these parents to remind ourselves that this too shall pass.

And when it does pass and our kids become adults, we'll miss every second of it.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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