Friday, October 3, 2008

Kryptonite

I have been stewing on this post for quite some time now. (and like always, it will not come out in the best words or thoughts) These past few months have been a big giant blur mostly. I am enjoying my new title and responsibility. But I will not lie..It is Daunting. I laugh That I thought I was "prepared" (mentally and physically) to care for a newborn. But as they say, there is nothing like hands on training .... 24/7 for the rest of your life. Oops tangent .. back to the point:

Research
I must have researched, researched and researched the research obsessively towards the end of my pregnancy. I was not going to do this, we will not allow this type of product/material, We will do this .... I had my mental list of how to do things and what not to do all prepared and discussed with my husband. I studied up on all these new allergies, vaccines, products, recalls, unsafe items, foods, materials, toxins, germs, chemicals.. the list goes on and on. I swear to you .. I still am going mental over all of "this". I am also quite frustrated and angry about this topic.

I live in the US. You know the land of the free and home of the brave. ... What is free here? Heck Air costs money these days. ..grr tangent .. I need to stick to my point .. My point is that this baby raising has gotten so complicated. Or have we complicated this baby raising? Why am I worried that if I miss a pump (that are using bpa free plastics) I may not have enough milk to provide to my child and he have to ingest that tainted baby formula .... Why should I be thinking about tainted baby formula ... Why am I worried about what type of plastic he puts in his mouth? Why am I worried about the chemicals in his diaper/clothes/blankets/toys? Why am I worried about exposing him to something harmful on a daily basis? Why am i worried that if/when MT gets a fever, I will not be about to find a safe OTC medicine for him w/o having other reactions? Why does it seem that everything on the planet contains some sort of ingredient that is going to harm humans? Why is it financially expensive to be concerned and buy products that are "less harmful" than others .. What does less harmful mean? Why is it mentally expensive to be concerned when I cannot afford to purchase the "less harmful" items because the other items are more economically affordable to the general public? Is there a hierarchy of life based on how deep your pocket is?

I am not an alarmist .. I am not trying to be an alarmist .. I am not trying to cause others to panic and retreat. I am just trying to figure out what in the world we are doing that causes so much harm to everyone. No, I was not born yesterday nor did I fall off a turnip truck. There is no event in my life up to now that has been as life changing as caring for a newborn. It has made me question every part of my being. It re-examines the who, what , where , when , and how's of life to the nth degree and back again. (yes, even though I thought I was prepared)

There is this protective gene that has come out of no where in me .. This protective gene is obsessively googling all types of words and situations. Some days I just throw my hands up in the air and concede. Other days I stand on my soap box and proclaim my distaste for the product makers that create harmful products and vow to not support them but try to never project my convictions or opposition on others ... Other days I turn a blind eye ... It's like having product amnesia some days. What I am saying is, it is freaking exhausting enough doing the daily routines of this new life, why does the world go and muddy it up with all sorts of craptasticly harmful products and write them off as acceptable.. Why are the people who are placed in positions to protect us, not doing their job but still collecting a salary and profit? Are others concerned about this too, what are you/they doing about it? What can i do about it? Am I overly concerned and anxious? If I am not overly concerned, why are the friends and family whispering subtle remarks to each other about my want to use cloth diapers, bpa free bottles, plates, spoons, cups etc? Why do I feel like this is an uphill losing battle at times? Isn't it ok if you aren't concerned about it, why does that make me seem like a 6 eyed alien because I am concerned about it?

As you can see, I have contemplated this for a very long time. I know that most of these are rhetorical questions. I know that many research is years behind and it has taken this long to figure out some of what is and isn't harmful products, behaviors, theories and so on.. .. I know that there will always be something that is harmful and a "less harmful" alternative. I just have to do the best I can with what I have been given. I need to use my over abundance of common sense, creativity and intelligence to do the best job that I can. Until then, you can find me eating my organic, recycled, cardboard circling the block with my recycled tire shoes ..which we will later find out that the wood to make the cardboard was grown in some random location that contains some now detected foreign object that causes us to sprout horns like a unicorn ....

12 comments:

Kim said...

Well, the only hope that I can give you is that it's okay to totally obsess over things like this with your first child. Because when you have your second, you'll just lick the pacifier after it falls on the floor. Serious. Ask anyone.

So get it all out of your system now!

Polka Dot said...

When I was pregnant, my step-mom and I talked about the list of don'ts - eat, do, etc ... for pregnant women.

She pointed out that back when she was young & pg, that it was very different. Women ate what they wanted, drank soda (diet and all), didn't think twice about what kind of cheese they were ingesting ... you get the picture.

And amazingly enough (according to today's standards) the vast majority of babies were born perfectly healthy.

None of us wore helmets or elbow & knee pads while riding our bikes. We fell, got scraped up and bloodied, and got back on our bikes. We didn't use anti-bacterial soap and sometimes we got sick, but mostly we didn't. And we were a lot healthier overall than kids today who are constantly wiped down and washed with anti-bacterial soap (can't build immunity to germs you're never exposed to).

I kind of liken it to what I read about what to do / how to do / what to use / not to use ... that a lot of new moms are faced with today.

I think the stress and even terror that society has placed on today's new moms is fairly ridiculous. You do what you can and you use what you can and chances are very very high that MT will come out of childhood just as healthy and normal as any child whose mom did things "right".

Although probably less neurotic.

Polka Dot said...

holy crap, Kim ... I so wish I saw that earlier lol That's the same thing my mom said when my younger brother was born. And if there was a glass of water or soda handy, a quick dunk of it did the same thing lol

ChateauKaufman.com said...

I think polka dot hit the nail on the head -- we all turned out fine, despite all of these 'obsessions'. She's is especially right about the antibacterial crap -- the "super bugs" we ahve today are 100% a result of over-de-germing (so not a word! ;)).

Personally, I drank diet soda (in moderation, but daily!) while pregnant and my girls are totally normal, if not super healthy (thus far), especially for adjusted ages, etc. They certainly didn't end up with any birth defects! ;)

I don't worry for one second over BPA and other chemicals that some people like to push as 'harmful' (and my husband and I are both educated, medical professionals with science undergrad majors from good schools .... this isn't to say anything but to support that I'm not just ignorant on the matter). As you said, it's PERFECTLY acceptable for you to have such concerns, and I'm sorry people are doubting your choices!

That being said, I could stand on a soapbox for days (months? years?) about the harmful effects - both physically and mentally, on both our children and ourselves! - that these obsessions have brought us.

Please just do what is right for your family! But that includes 'researching' other places than google, because the squeakiest wheels (or most hit websites) are NOT always the most accurate ones... in fact, usually the opposite is true.

Good, unbiased resources that I'd like to suggest are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the FDA, and the USDA. There are task forces that do TONS of research saying that there is no harm in continuing to do things as our parents did, in many cases.

Good luck to you in your choices, but PLEASE don't make raising your little one harder on you than it needs to be. Just enjoy your time with him, and know that you are a good mommy and are not doing him harm just by using things that 'propaganda' says you shouldn't.

Hugs!

ChateauKaufman.com said...

And I had to crack up about the pacifier in the mouth.... we've done that from day one, even with our first children. I'm not a "bad mommy" though simply because I don't worry about such things, and NEITHER ARE YOU - regardless of the choices you make! :)

Chastity said...

You'll get less and less obsessed with these things as your boy gets older, and if you decide to try for more you'll be even less obsessed with them. There always has to be something for us mothers to worry about, unfortunately, but in my opinion most of this stuff doesn't make a great deal of difference either way.

Leah said...

I have always said that *life* is a carcinogen. You really can spin yourself in circles trying to follow the latest news on what is good and what is bad.

What Kim said is 100% true. You'll go crazy over stuff like this with your first and with your second, you simply don't have the time. Not to mention, almost everything that was "right" when your first was a baby will now be "wrong" when it is time for the next. It's maddening.

My current plan is to go with my own common sense. We still ask the pediatrician about a few things, but for the most part, we just do what feels right. And we NEVER apologize to our friends or family if they don't like our decision. That's the hardest thing to do, but it's made a big difference.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

You know, with things like this you have to play the odds. Chances are that you are picking the best things for MT and he will be fine. The world is a dangerous place. Add to that the fact that you have asshats running this country who let businesses import poisonous materials from China without regulating what is coming in before it goes on the shelf. Unfortunately, that is why you need to worry. That's why we all worry. Because these are our children and if we don't worry about them and protect them, who will?

You are a fabulous mommy who I know is doing everything she can to ensure MT is happy and healthy. Try to take comfort in that and know that you are not alone in your worry. :) ((HUGS))

Jen said...

You sound perfectly normal to me!

Delenn said...

Its been said here, but just wanted to add that your worry is a good sign. It means you will make a great mom--you just need to tone it down just a bit (which will happen is you get past this first year). The first year is SO HARD. Its the year I totally dread with Willow. I just want to speed up and get on with the REAL child-rearing. And, when they get past that year mark, yes there are NEW things to worry about--but you are also more comfortable in your mommy-skin. AND--you get too busy to worry so much.

My Reality said...

There is fear with everything out there. All you can do is do your best.

Marcy "meg" said...

I think I could have written this post myself. I hope I get better as time goes on. Kris teases me that I read google too much and need to quit obsessing.. .but it is so hard!