Monday, January 10, 2011

New Mommy Paranoia or New Level of Awareness?

Am I the only one, or does parenthood really bring out a whole new level of paranoia in a person? It may have something to do with the fact that I'm already somewhat of a paranoid person to begin with, but since giving birth I have discovered a plethora of new preoccupations.

I know plenty of completely sane individuals become obsessively protective and overly worried when they become parents for the first time; it's almost cliche. "I logged every diaper's output with my first child and got up every hour during the night to check that they were still breathing, but now that I've been there and done that I'm just happy as long as they're not running out into the street or drinking Ajax from under the sink!" That makes sense to me and I do not worry when my little guy sneezes or goes two days without pooping... but I'm beginning to think about a lot of other things in a different light.

Does my lotion/shaving cream/face wash have chemicals that are seeping into my body and more importantly my breastmilk? What exactly do they put on those sticky hand thingsto make them stick? Does the adult humor in kids shows/movies get stored in a child's subconscious for future recollection when they are old enough to understand it?

Over the past couple of years I have begun to heavily screen what I let into my mind. The husband and I canceled our cable a long time ago and we don't even have our TV set up to get the basic channels (I do not miss it). We also don't get the paper or subscribe to any online news sources. Trust me, we still find out important happenings in our world with plenty of ease (if it's important enough somebody inevitably tells us about it) and the purging of all the excess negativity that comes with almost all news media sources has done wonders for our attitudes.

We put garbage in our bodies and we all know what happens (the obesity epidemic in America is no secret to anyone these days not to mention heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.). Our mind works exactly the same way.

Input > Thoughts > Actions > Habits > Results

I'm nowhere near I want to be in terms of ensuring the proper input for my mind and body on a daily basis and to be honest I was ok with that as long as I was making progress... until Bastian was born. Now, I am truly scared by the amount of things I am entirely ignorant of. What really is in all my frozen meals and my beauty regime products? What about all my household cleaners? And how about the "kids" media they have out there today? Why does every baby toy have to have an electronic mechanism inside to make noises and flash bright lights at them? Heck, my son is still discovering the different textures of fabrics and noises things make on their own without the help of batteries! Does he really need to learn the distinction between the noise a wooden toy makes when you throw it and the man-created noise a plastic one makes when you press a particular button at 4 months of age? Better yet, can he? And if so, does it cause more confusion than curiosity? Overstimulation instead of internalizing and learning?

It's almost dizzying!

We are so constantly bombarded by input of all different kinds. Mentally we a are barraged by information, advertisements, and other people's opinions. Physically we are constantly taking in unknown toxins through our food, our medicines, topical products be they beauty related or cleaning agents. Even the air we breathe has all kinds of pollutants we are not consciously aware of when we inhale and exhale!

For now I simply resolve to silence the "noise" where I have the control to do so in my life and in my Son's. I will ask the important questions, and seek the important answers. Most of all I will try to let be those things that are outside of my sphere of influence.

“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” – Socrates

1 comment:

  1. Sorry it took so long for me to comment on this. It is just quite a serious subject matter in a lot of ways, and although I always feel strongly one way or another on a plethora of subjects, I rarely know quite what to say about them online.

    It probably wasn't your intention, and was not your main focus, but of course my favorite part was about how our surroundings and thus the media put in our head will basically control how and what we think. How with think controlling our actions which create or habits which dictate our results. This has been a recent discovery for me and so I am still in awe over how simple, yet true, it is.

    Thank you for this post!

    As Orrin Woodward says, "We wouldn't let someone dump garbage on our lawns, why do we let them dump it in our minds regularly?"


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