I consider myself to be “above average” smart. I’m not blowing down the doors of the elite, but I can pick up information and comprehend it fairly easily. I like to read, and I like to learn. Those seem like beneficial qualities… that is, until you have a baby. The minute I found out I was pregnant, I was on the hunt for all of the information in the world so I would be the perfect parent. I would read it in a book, on a blog, or even better, on the internet, implement it, then the results would be perfect. Parenting is easy. Bam… done. No. No. No.
Let’s rewind and find out what exactly brought me to this topic this week. I just want to preface this by saying I am not open for discussion or debate on this topic. I don’t really want to hear what you think about it either as this will then lead me back to the previous paragraph. Thanks in advance.
It’s that time of year again and one has to decide whether or not to get the flu shot. Vaccines are a hot topic in the mom world, and a topic that will send even the most normal moms into a dogmatic rant about why or why not. I read the Vaccine Book by Dr Sears which was fairly moderate on the topic. I love moderate. Somewhere in the middle, that’s pretty much always where the answer lies. But I digress – back to my point which is that I read that book and decided vaccines are for me. So when Ellie’s pediatrician told me that she was old enough to get the flu shot last year, I hesitated a bit but decided that she was right and went with it. Fast forward to an article I read this year regarding the flu shot. It was fine, but reading the comments is what sent me into a tailspin. Some ladies were talking about this neurological disorder that people get from the shot. Ellie didn’t react to the one last year, so I thought it’d be fine but then I saw something about h1n1. They said this part of the vaccine was new, it was the part that caused the neurological disorder and insert paralyzing fear. If I don’t get the flu shot, my child is going to get the flu and die because I was irresponsible and a crazy anti-vaxxer. If she does get the flu shot, she’s going to get a life long neurological disorder that will forever plague me as a mother who blindly trusted a pharmaceutical conspiracy that has overtaken the medical industry. You can se that both are extremes, but that’s how people speak on the internet. I was so scared to make the decision, I had to talk to a couple of people about it.
There are so many other examples of this throughout parenthood. Tv can cause delayed learning in children, so burn your tvs!!! Your child is going to suffocate if she sleeps with you, oh but if you put her alone in a room, she might stop breathing and you won’t know, the rock n play can suffocate your child, cry it out, don’t cry it out aaaauuuuhhghghhghghghg. Each article, each bit of research breeds on your fear that you’re destined to ruin your child’s life by one stupid mistake you made when she was 6 months old. IT’S. OVER. WHELMING.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution. The most challenging thing for me as a new parent has been weeding through the information and finding out what’s true for me. I finally just had to decide that I’m only going to listen to a couple of people – my pediatrician, a couple of other mom friends, and Dr Sears (he writes a lot of baby books). Those seemed to be my best resources and then lastly, I had to learn to listen to my gut. After consulting with those people, listening to my gut, I finally decided to get her the flu shot, get myself the flu shot and then said a prayer that we don’t get GB syndrome. Every time I’m forced to make a decision, I just go with what I think and ask God for help. It’s the only way through.
You know, I don’t know if having all of this information is good or bad. I’ve learned a lot of things through reading that have really helped me in parenting. If it weren’t for Dr Sears baby book and the Wonder Weeks, I don’t know if I could’ve made it through some of the stuff. Many of the blogs I follow have a very supportive community and I’ve even emailed a write for one of the blogs several times. She’s always been responsive and very helpful. So in that sense, it’s been awesome. On the other hand, could I have come to some decisions on my own without those resources? I don’t know. But if you’re a new mom out there, the decision making gets easier I think. And I’ve heard by baby number 2, you care less haha. So we’ll see.