One of the greatest mummy challenges I have at the moment is dealing with my toddlers fears.
Dear Little Miss Natalie is scared, terrified, almost phobic of dogs. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when, on a 15 minute walk that should only take 5 minutes, (to the playground where she wanted to play) her constant refrain was, "My scary doggy, mummy hug me/carry me." And that started before we'd even gotten out of the house. It's almost easier to drive to the park. But that probably won't help her in the long run. My poor little bubby. (Granted from a 2 year olds perspective, that German Shepherd behind the fence IS definitely a very scary thing.)
We slowly but surely make our way there. My strategy is to stop and hug her for a while, but tell her that I can't carry her (except as we pass the house with the dog - at which time she clings to me for dear life and I couldn't put her down if I tried) as I have the stroller with Hayley in it to push as well. Sometimes distracting her works - I point out something on the path ahead that we could go and look at, etc. or she holds my hand for comfort, or perhaps helps push the stroller.
I really want Natalie to be able to have a nice walk down the street, and really discover things on our journey instead of constantly looking around, waiting for a dog to jump out at her, but at the moment that fear is holding her back from being able to enjoy herself!
By the way, if anyone has ideas on how to help Natalie be cautious but less afraid of dogs I'm listening!
On another note, all this has also got me to thinking this evening about my own fears and how the have held me back in the past, and whether they are still holding me back now... I feel fortunate to be able to say that there are fears that have held me back in the past that I have overcome. Likely there is also a share of fears that I still hold, but being aware of them helps one to overcome them too so there is hope for me yet! :P