LIFE

How Being A Single Mum Helped Juanita Phillips To Stop Worrying

What happens when you decide to stop sweating the small stuff of parenthood?

16/10/2017 10:18 PM AEDT | Updated 17/10/2017 9:15 AM AEDT
ABC
ABC TV News presenter Juanita Phillips doesn't sweat the small stuff when it comes to parenting.

For those who fall into the category of being a 'helicopter' parent -- constantly hovering over their child, worrying about everything from a bad haircut to bullying at school -- life can be overwhelmingly stressful.

But what happens when you decide not to sweat the small stuff of parenthood? Perhaps people won't think badly of you if you miss out on the sports carnival because you were knee-deep in paperwork.

If you stop worrying about things that don't change the world, will it make you a more relaxed parent or will your family life crumble around you?

When ABC TV presenter Juanita Phillips wrote about the 10 things she doesn't worry about as a single parent, she hit a chord with thousands of other parents.

Fairfax Media
Juanita Phillips with her children, Marcus and Mischa.

Phillips was inundated with people thanking her for putting the spotlight on why it's OK to say no to canteen duty at school. She wrote about how, in the wider scheme of parenting, it's more important you get your children from the baby years to adulthood in one piece.

And if they decide to get their hair shaved or a tattoo of a shark on their right shoulder blade -- it's OK, you can deal with it. Hair grows back and tattoos can be covered up, or removed.

Also, once your child turns 12, it's not illegal to leave them unattended, something Phillips has had to do from time to time.

"I've had mothers refuse to let their child come to our place because they're not comfortable with the occasional lack of supervision. Fair enough. But my kids have been flying solo since they were little," Phillips said.

"They catch buses. They cook for themselves. They're responsible."

Fairfax Media
Juanita Phillips on holidays with her kids, Mischa and Marcus.

When it comes to technology, Phillips wants parents to relax, just as she has had to. She has no choice, because she's already at work by the time her kids get home from school.

"I don't want to tell you how many hours my kids spend watching YouTube, because you'd have to arrest me," Phillips said.

While Phillips admits to 'still worrying', her worries are major worries (what if I die tomorrow?) and not the small stuff –- because we all know the small stuff feels big until we pull it apart and realise it's a molehill and not a mountain.

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