Worrying About Your Kids Is Literally A Full-Time Job

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
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Parents spend an astounding amount of time each week worrying about their kids

To be a parent is to be worried — like, a lot. We all know that panicking about the health, happiness, and futures of our offspring is as natural as breathing, but now, a study is proving we worry so many hours in a week that it could actually be a full-time job. 37 hours a week, to be exact.

Lice Clinics of America conducted a study of 2,000 parents and the results are illuminating. The average parent spends five hours and 18 minutes each day worrying about their children. That’s like, enough time to run a marathon, grocery shop, and maybe even read a chapter from an actual adult book.

Beyond the disturbing fact that most of us spend a huge chunk of our waking hours ruminating over all that can go wrong for our little ones, it’s also making us lose sleep. 59 percent of survey respondents admit to that being the case and I’d be among them. Ain’t no worry like 3am momma worry.

The top three worry-causers are a child’s safety, happiness, and whether they’re being bullied.

In fact, 71 percent of surveyed parents say their worries increase on their child’s first day of school. 47 percent are concerned about bullying and 33 percent worry about how well their child will do in school.

Rounding out the top ten worries for parents are: kids keeping up in class; getting good grades; how well they fit in; if they’re eating well; if their child is enjoying childhood; how easily their child makes friends; their child coming home with lice.

PHEW. So many things to panic about that I’d not even thought of. Frankly, I’m surprised the number isn’t 24/7, because for the last 11 years, that’s how it’s gone for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a career, a life, friendships, and other things in my head — I guess it would be more accurate to say that parenting gave me two brains. One of them is entirely dedicated to worrying about my kids. Parenting and worrying go hand in hand and Mom, I’m so sorry for all the shit I gave you as a teen when you wanted to know where I was and who I was with — I GET IT NOW.

Hang in there, fellow worried parents. The good news is, according to these survey results, we’re far from alone.

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