Helicopter Moms


I really hate to judge, but “Helicopter Moms” have always driven me totally crazy. I frequently roll my eyes at that mother who hovers over her children at the playground or a friend’s house, rarely letting them out of her site. The mother who has so many issues that her poor children aren’t allowed to have any good, old fun. How annoying are they?

I was pretty easy-going with Lily and by the time Evan came around, I was as mellow as jello. Whether the kids are at the park, the pool or playing with each other, I am able to totally tune out the chaos and noise, and just let the kids be kids. I think it’s better for everyone that way.

This summer, however, something changed. My children decided to actually… swim at the pool. To dunk underwater without the aid of floaties, vests or an adult. To kick their legs and pump their arms and actually move in the water. Gone were the days that they fearfully clung to me and were content playing under the fountain in the kiddie pool. And with those days, my peaceful afternoons in the water were over. They have become heart-stopping adventures as my elder children plunge confidently underwater for endless moments.

With them in the water, I am that annoying mother who holds my breath and can’t engage in a conversation because my eyes are glued solely on them. I grip the rail, palms turning white and heart rate quickened. I watch them, filled with a combination of pride and fear, realizing that I have become that mother I so despise. Only once they are draped in towels and headed home can I fully exhale.

I guess that Helicopter Moms aren’t so horrible after all. At least pool-side.


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  1. 1

    Jen, buried with children says

    Ok so I like to think that I am not a helicopter mom either but at the pool is a whole other ball game and maybe that b/c you can heal from a fall at the play ground but there is no healing from drowning. I freak out at the water now and my kids don’t swim underwater yet. Man, I am so in for it next summer.
    .-= Jen, buried with children´s last blog ..What Does a Murloc Say? =-.

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  2. 2

    Amber says

    I think you get a pass when there’s a pool involved. Kids drown, there are objective and very immediate risks involved. It’s not as if you’re sticking them in a bubble and not allowing them to go on the playground. Really, the fact that you’re letting them in the pool independently speaks to how much you’re NOT a helicopter mom.

    (I say this to justify the fact that I can’t let my 1-year-old and 4-year-old take a bath together without one hand on the baby at all times. I try not to helicopter, but there are times when I believe my attention is all that is keeping these children alive.)
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Maternity Leave in Canada by the Numbers =-.

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    • 3

      Scary Mommy says

      Yes, that’s true about the water. Maybe that’s a logical exception.

      So, what’s up with all the other mothers of similar aged children, who were sunbathing and reading while their kids swam?

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  3. 4

    christy says

    That is so funny! I have no choice at the pool – Fiona likes to try to crawl around the baby pool, but if she did that she’d choke because it’s a little too deep for that. I think Amber’s right too. What she said!
    .-= christy´s last blog ..Because I know you want a peek inside my brain, this is how I think =-.

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  4. 5

    Julie @ Angry Julie Monday says

    Yea, I’m like a hawk at the pool. Maybe becuz my kid has no fear. I also tend to watch other people’s kids becuz most of the time they are not watching their own kids, which completely freaks me out.

    But for the rest of the stuff, I’m pretty relaxed.
    .-= Julie @ Angry Julie Monday´s last blog ..Project Playhouse =-.

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  5. 6

    Notesfromthegrove says

    That’s sweet. Isn’t there a cute lifeguard to helicopter FOR you? If not, there really should be.
    .-= Notesfromthegrove´s last blog ..Flashback Friday: An Old Toy. =-.

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  6. 7

    Kay says

    Being super alert when the kids are in the water does NOT make you a helicopter mom. Holding your breath while junior plays in the sandbox or runs around in the back yard… THAT would make you a helicopter mom.
    As moms, we’ve all heard too many true stories of water related injuries for us to be anything other than vigilant. So I’d say this just makes you “normal”… whatever that is.
    The moms that are sunbathing and reading? Are either heavily medicated, completely oblivious to the danger (how is that possible?) or of the mind that someone else is paying attention, so why lower themselves to that level? Once the kids become a bit older and more comfortable in the water, you’ll be able to relax some, I promise.
    .-= Kay´s last blog ..I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was… Six Word Saturday =-.

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  7. 8

    Bruce says

    The more I can ignore my kids while out the better, but then I have friends that I feel like I have to watch their children for them when we hang out other wise their kids would play in on-coming traffic. It’s one thing to helicopter, it’s another to never take a glance to see where your child is at. You can only push the line so far. I agree with everybody else, the pool is just one of those areas where you have to be more watchful.

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  8. 9

    jess says

    Honestly, I’m just happy that they didn’t inherit your “wimpy” gene. If they can manage to keep their eyes open during a sleepover, I will be ecstatic!!!

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  9. 11

    Loukia says

    OH, phew… you don’t hate me after all! I am guilty of often being ‘that mom’ who can rarely let her kids out of her sight… I am okay with Christos playing in another room with friends alone – but not yet with Dimitry! But yes, the water is scary and even though they are swimming like little fishies now, you still have to be careful. Christos can swim on his own, but wearing a life jacket, and I’m obviously still holding Dimitry in the water.
    .-= Loukia´s last blog ..My petty complaint =-.

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