My Parenting Style Is Ruled By Irrational Fears And Unfounded Research

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keepcalmAfter the reality set in that I was pregnant for the first time, I set out with a mission. I had to make sense of this whole thing and come up with my… wait for it… Parenting philosophy!

Isn’t that what all balanced, prepared, and rational parents do? I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a helicopter mom or a free ranger, an attachment parent or a cry-it-out stickler, an organics-only earth mother or a WTF-here’s-some-Cheetos rebel.

But here is what I was totally unprepared for. Even with my best intentions, I constantly fall back on my default parenting philosophy driven by illogical fears and some supporting “research” mixed in for good measure. After reading volume after volume of parenting book, I still turn to the Internet to have the final say in any parenting predicament I encounter. (Paging Dr. Google!)

I’m not proud to admit this, but I think I would rather publish my sixth grade diary (full of pining and yearning over some random boy I sat behind in science class) than release my Google search history.

Seriously, I Google the craziest baby-related shit:

  • Toddler picky eater
  • Toddler eats too little
  • Toddler eats too much
  • Baby poop
  • Baby poop color
  • Baby poop how often
  • Baby poop consistency

And the list goes on and on. I’m pretty sure that my younger 20-something self would have been appalled to see me Googling 500 variations on baby poop compared to “Monday happy hour 80920”. But I digress… Freaking Google.

I am an avid reader of mom blogs, but that also brings with it headline after headline of worst-case scenarios, scary research, and kids falling down wells. (That still happens in some parts of the country, doesn’t it?)

Even with my best intentions, I can’t read a scary headline without Googling it to see if it could somehow apply to my life. Toddler drowns in toilet? Google it. Baby smothered by blanket? Google it. Infant has life-threatening reaction to baby formula? Google that shit pronto.

Instead of rationally assessing an inflammatory headline for what it is – a well-written header designed to get attention – I take any and every opportunity to plug facts into Google to find out if the latest news story, research, or baby product recall could affect me and my family.

It would probably be more accurate to type: “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing! Help!”

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