Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Parenting: A Fear-based Industry

This weekend I was reading a fairly refreshing article from Parenting magazine by Emily Blunt.  The reason it was refreshing...it really portrayed how easy it is to be consumed by fear as a parent.

This is something I am particularly sensitive to, given my post-partum anxiety.  I remember vividly the fear I felt when I had both of them at home with me for the first time, all alone.  The fear that I felt at the sounds of Ocho crying while EG complained.  That I wouldn't possibly have enough love, enough time, enough attention to give to both of them at the same time.

The fear of parenting started the moment I became pregnant with EG.  It was a wave of 'oh G-d' that just came over me.  It sent me into tears and a phone call to my mom, who was about to board a plane for a month-long journey to Europe.

The reading of the books, the advice coming from every corner.  Trying to decipher what would really be okay for our family.  When we were pregnant (yes, I say we) we came up with a great philosophy.  Not to worry about it until we had to worry.  But then I realized that sometimes that means you get to the game to late.

Take one of EG's car seats.  Definitely not what I would buy again. Take brushing her teeth- a disaster and a nightmare until only recently.  A disaster that could have been avoided had I started working on it from tooth #1.

Live and learn they say.

I say live and relax. 

If there is one thing I've learned as a constant in my life it's change.  These two people are changing faster than I can keep up.  And they aren't about to stop anytime soon.  Each article I read, each new idea that pops up on the internet, it might work for us.  It might not. 

There's nothing wrong with reading the blogs, trying to make the right decisions.  It's when making the 'right' decisions keeps you up at night.  Causes you to loose sleep.  Keeps you from enjoying the moment because you are so concerned about whether you are making the right choices.

1 comment:

  1. One way to cope with parenting anxiety: Ask yourself, "Will this matter five years from now?" (For instance, if you make a decision to use a co-sleeper, a cradle, a bassinet, a crib, or a dresser drawer, will that really matter in five years? No! So don't sweat that decision. If you decide not to teach your child to brush his/her teeth, will that matter in five years? Yes, because you will have to deal with a toothache, big dental bills, and a crying child. So you put some effort into making that one right. Etc. ) Love your babies, read to them, sing to them, talk to them, and keep them safe and healthy. Everything else will fall into place.


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