Phthalates, BPA, mercury, dioxins, smog, sunburn vs. vitamin D shortage, MSG, developing too slowly/too quickly, hormones in meat and dairy, pesticides on foods, trans fats, child too chubby/too skinny, too short/too tall, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, when to start solids, vaccines, antibiotic resistant bugs, just plain BUGS, did he just eat dirt, do hot dogs cause cancer…
The list of things we worry about as mommies is very nearly infinite. I am sure you can dream up new ones to add to my list. And that list was just the things we can worry about with a small child, is seems to increase geometrically as they get older and their sphere of experience expands.
I don’t know about you, but my piddly human mind just can’t contain all of the possible worries that I *needed* to worry about as a mom. There finally came a point where I simply had to let some go.
Does that mean I ignored them? Well I kind of do ignore some of those nagging worries. I don’t throw caution to the wind and just give up, but there are some things I just couldn’t give my thought time to anymore. I take a deep breath, look my worry in the eye, and let it go. I do what I can and call it good.
With some things that involves making a little change. Take sippy cups for example. I am not going to toss out my whole stash of sippies willy-nilly, but I am going to make sure any new ones I purchase are BPA free ones, and toss the old ones as I can. It means changing our habits so that instead of having 5 cheap sippies for each small child in the house we have just one higher quality sippy, so we need to know where they are. They get washed by hand and kept on the counter between uses.
Small product switches like changing from supermarket baby products to California Baby or Burt’s Bees helps me to leave behind the worry that there are too many chemicals leaching into my baby’s skin. And the difference in price helps me to remember that these are cosmetics and that I should use them sparingly, especially on young skin.
I buy organic whenever I can. But when there is more month than money I just buy the regular produce and milk. I give it no more permission to take up my time, energy and stress with thoughts that I should be doing more. I keep doing better than I was doing before. My home and my family have fewer toxins than they had a year ago, but there are many more to work on. In the mean time I do my best and live with a little of the idea that “it hasn’t killed us yet…”
The media these days thrives on bad news and it can get very easy at times to get sucked into their fear mongering. The stress that they mass produce and pipe into our TVs, computers, and radios can have a worse effect on us and our families than some of the things they are scaring us about. When you feel that stress catching up to you, (and it is only natural that it should, you are a parent and want what is best for your precious child) take a moment and write down the list of worries. Then pick one. Pick a worry, any worry. Ask yourself if there is something you can do about it to make your life or your child’s life better. Ignore all the other ones for now, they will wait for you. If you can do something great! If not, look that worry in the face and let it go with the knowledge that you are still doing your best for your family.
God bless you for your article! We’re expecting our first baby and it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by all the worries and forever self-condemning for not being able to change them all overnight. This brings me a little more peace of mind and a little less guilt. Life’s too short- we want to spend it enjoying our family!