Nothing to Fear

When I was a kid, I loved scary movies. Two that really stand out in my memory are Nightmare on Elm Street (so long, Johnny Depp) and The Hills Have Eyes. Now, though, I don’t even blink an eye at most horror films. Instead, I’m unreasonably affected by news stories where children are involved. Before having a kid, I thought parents like that were nambly-pamblys. Now I’m the nambly-pambly. There are also the much more mundane issues of parenting, many of which fill me with irrationally paralyzing fear. Here are just a few examples:

  • Are we feeding our son enough?
  • Are we feeding our son too much?
  • Are there too many preservatives in his food?
  • Is this container BPA free?
  • Are we being overprotective?
  • Are we neglecting him?
  • Are we not giving him enough math activities? (He’s one year old!)
  • Do we need more planned activities?
  • Do we need more spontaneity?
  • Should he be talking yet?
  • Are we coddling him?
  • Do we carry him too much?
  • Do we not carry him enough?
  • Should he be walking on his own by now?
  • What if his head is always 6x the size of his body?
  • Is he going to need braces?
  • Should we have started brushing his teeth sooner?
  • Are we using too much toothpaste (flouride causes white spots!)?
  • Why do I meet 8 of the 10 criteria when I Google “signs you’re the worst parent ever”?
  • Why do I meet 9 of the 10 criteria when I Google “signs you’re the best parent ever”?
  • Are we feeding him enough fruit?
  • Are we feeding him too much ice cream?
  • Are we dooming him to a life of obesity?
  • Have we childproofed the house enough?
  • Do we have enough of a schedule?
  • Are we keeping him up too late?
  • Is he going to have brain damage from conking his head on the TV stand while rolling around on the floor?
  • Is it too early to start teaching him jiu jitsu (you need 10,000 hours to become an expert)?
  • Am I trying to relive my childhood vicariously through him?
  • Why doesn’t he like Motley Crue? What if he doesn’t like any hair/metal bands?
  • Even worse, why does he like Pit Bull?

Ok, that’s the last five minutes of my thoughts. Maybe the real question is, am I worrying too much (rhetorical–of course I am). The Internet and constant stream of information has made parenting even harder than it naturally is, because you can find out almost anything, anytime–except you can also find opposing viewpoints, so many that it makes your head spin. All I can do is try my best, which is what I’m doing. Oh, and I’m going to keep playing Motley Crue for him. I hope it will be an acquired taste.

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