I Have a Will to Handle My Parent Anxiety

I Have a Will to Handle My Parent Anxiety

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Feeling anxious as a parent is typical and almost expected. If you’re not worried about something it’s like you’re not a caring parent.

Here is a small sample of the worries which have crossed my mind:

Is my kid sick?

Is my kid sleeping well?

Is my kid eating enough?

Is my kid eating enough of the right things?

Is my kid growing and developing appropriately?

Is my kid meeting her milestones?

And then the worries get dark. I have thought about death and what would happen to my kids if my husband and I tragically died together, like a car accident on date night.  The thoughts can get more grandiose, but instead of letting my imagination run wild I think about what would really happen?

My husband and I each have life insurance and wills. We are insured up the wazoo and I have accepted it’s just a part of being grown-ups.  I felt compelled to get our wills drawn up after our first daughter was born because I didn’t like feeling as though things would be left hanging.  We want to be clear on our wishes and provide resources (thus the life insurance) to raise our children should we meet our untimely deaths.

Having a will is how I handle the morbid parent thoughts because it’s what I CAN control (not how or when I die). The one thing I can control is where our girls will go and who will raise them.  It’s crazy to think about who you would want to tap in to raise your kids, but it was also kind of fun.

Questions we asked ourselves when thinking of who would get our kids in the will:

Who is the most like us?

Who has a similar parenting style to us?

Who would be fun?

What kind of home environment do they have?

Do they have the same religion or faith?

What are their family traditions and values?

Do they already have kids of their own or want more?

Do they have the physical space to add three more girls?

Finally, and maybe most importantly – would they even be interested in taking our kids?

We picked a couple who fit the bill perfectly and it was kind of a no-brainer. Then couple #2 (because you need a back-up in the will) was another “Duh, they would be awesome parents to our girls!”  I love all 4 of our “in case we die” potential parents.  So much so, a part of me wishes I was a kid again and could live in their house (is that too crazy?).  When I think about how awesome they are as people and parents, I know if the worst happens, at the very least my girls will grow up in amazing homes.  This thought comforts me immensely.

Fun fact, in Ohio, you don’t need a lawyer to draw up your own will. You can do it all yourself!  I created a word document, followed the rules about having witnesses etc., and now keep the original signed copy in our safety deposit box. Since I have it, I hope we need it 50-60 years from now.

About the author

Michelle Dickstein is a Midwest transplant from the East Coast with her husband. Michelle has her Masters of Public Health and works full-time outside of the home. Michelle writes about her adventures in life as the mother of three adorable and curly-headed young daughters, two of which are identical twins. In addition she writes for Northeast Ohio Parent magazine, blogs (Emailing with My Girlfriends and Kveller) and has made appearances on CBS 19 and Fox 8 news as a lifestyle and parenting "expert" (whatever that means)! Michelle is co-authoring a book (and looking for a literary agent and publisher)!

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