How do I decide what to worry about while raising a kid?

As a mom with OCD, the list of things to freak out about is literally endless, so the question that most frequently keeps me out of the spiral is: Is this something I’ll be worried about when my kid is in fifth grade?

For example:

  • Walking: My 15 month old is a late walker. All of her friends are walking (and even running!) but her pediatrician is fine with her development. Is this going to be something I’m worried about when she’s in fifth grade? No, so crawl away!
  • Using utensils: I haven’t introduced utensils. I don’t have the bandwidth in the survival mode that I’m in right now. This won’t matter when she’s in fifth grade juggling knives so I’ll introduce them in a month when we anticipate a brief pause in the craziness.
  • Consent: Yes! This will matter when she’s 3, when she’s 9, and every single year for as long as she is alive. And so I spend a lot of time, energy, and attention educating myself (as well as the adults in her life) about how to set boundaries while honoring her decisions about her body.
  • Food and bodies: Yes! With the societal pressure put on girls and young women about diets and bodies, I want to give my daughter the strongest foundation possible so we have ongoing conversations about food, bodies, and use specific words and phrases when discussing each.

What you choose to prioritize will completely depend on your values and ideals. The power behind the “Will it matter when…?” framework is that it requires you to reflect on the big picture and empowers you to decide what to focus on, instead of worrying about every single thing you hear someone else freaking out about. What’s on your list of things to worry about when your kid is in fifth grade? And what does this help get off your plate?

Dog moms this is for you too. Will it matter when my puppy turns 3 if they have a perfect heel? No, because I can train it when they mature. But what about engagement and our relationship? It will totally matter so that’s what I’m going to focus on!

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