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Will the worry of being a mom ever come to an end?
When does the paranoia ever end?
When will the “will he touch the fireplace?” the “I really hope he doesn’t choke on that?” and the, “I can’t forget to shut the baby gate,” end?
Paranoia has evolved from what was hardly a factor in old-fashioned parenting to a daily, even hourly snippet in the new age parent’s life.
Paranoia is inevitable, especially for a first-time mom.
I find myself constantly cringing at thoughts of things like accidentally letting go of the stroller while walking down a hill and my son, Jack, hitting his head on the cement.
Or I play again and again the close calls, like the time he just about grabbed my hot coffee.
Your heart just about explodes. But when you really think about it, it’s common sense, common sense that clicks most of the time, but not always and you learn from experiences.
What interests me is the generational gap where paranoia spawned and multiplied to where it is now, at its all-time high.
I recently read a blog post on this subject.
“It’s an amazing and exciting time to have a baby right now, but always keep in mind, no one has ever done it like this before,” said Amy Morrison in a post called ‘Why you’re never failing as a mother,” in a blog dubbed Pregnant Chicken.
“You are in the trenches when you have a baby. To the untrained eye it seems pretty straightforward and easy — you feed them, you bathe them, you pick them up when they cry — but it’s more than that.”
She tells of a story her grandmother told her about how she forgot her daughter at the grocery store in the early ‘40s.
“She walked up to the store with my mother sleeping in her carriage, parked it outside with all the other sleeping babies (I’ll let that sink in), went inside to do her shopping, then walked home forgetting that she’d taken the baby with her.
“She quickly realized her mistake and walked back and retrieved my mother who was still sleeping outside the store.”
So what’s the difference from now and then? Why are us modern moms so uptight?
Back in the good ‘ol days, when everybody knew your name, there must have been the same dangers, cement slabs, creepy men, hot coffees and small items to choke on.
Maybe it’s all the hype, the baby books, manuals, informational classes, movies, the what to expect’s, the I-told-you-sos.
Information is key, but information can also be a killer.
Information is less private as it was then too.
And from my own worries almost suffocating me, I’ve come to the realization paranoia may not have been as prevalent in the past but it should most definitely be something of the past.
You live and you learn.
But sadly for me, whose son is now 11 months old, paranoia has only just begun.
Before you know it, my wee-one worries will turn into “is he smart enough to use a condom?,’ and “does he remember to wear a seatbelt?” to finally the, ‘I hope he didn’t inherit his mom and dad’s expertise at shot gunning beers.'
Ashley Degraaf is a News Leader Pictorial reporter who writes here monthly while on maternity leave.