I was born an extreme worrier. I used to make myself sick over things: if my parents didn’t pick me up right on time from gymnastics, I would be hysterical. Now that I’m older, I can contain those emotions for the most part, but my worry gene has not departed, especially since entering motherhood. It’s to the point that when I call my pediatrician, I don’t even have to say my name because they know who I am by my voice. Don’t judge.
But any mom can agree with me: motherhood can be absolutely terrifying. You want what’s best for your child, and any bump, cut, bruise, scrape or illness will send you for a tailspin right into maternal worry-land. The more kids you have, the more you are supposed to lighten up. Unfortunately that is not the case for me, especially as my penchant for social media grows. It seems I can’t open up Facebook or Instagram without seeing a post reminding me of what a horrible mother I am.
It started the other day as I opened Lola’s pack of Doc McStuffin fruit snacks. As I passed them over to her, an article popped up on my newsfeed informing me that fruit snacks are basically going to kill my kids. I went into a panic. How can this be?! Fruit snacks are part of our daily snack routine – what am I supposed to give her now (don’t even suggest making my own because let’s be real – ain’t nobody got time for that)? My heart started racing, but I told myself, “It’s just this one thing. She will be fine. They will be fine.” Until I later came across another article stating the dangers of feeding bacon to your family, which we had just eaten for dinner the night before. Then another article popped up, explaining the hidden dangers of trampolines – as I watched Cohen happily scream and jump on the next door neighbor’s.
A few days later I had seen enough. The oranges I had been giving my children were grown in sewage water; the fabric softener I used on their clothes was emitting poison into the air; and those adorable Teddy Graham cookies apparently cause cancer. Also, the swaddle I had used on all three of my children was going to give them hip dysplasia, and the baby wash we had used for five years contained toxic chemicals. I had two choices: continue to drive myself crazy with worry or hide these posts and be the best mom I can be.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect, but I think I’m pretty good at this mom job. I don’t need the so called “experts” telling me I’m doing it wrong and I refuse to let social media make the rules. So I’ll continue doing what I do best – loving my kids to the moon and back while playing Super Mom, and ignore those posts. Mom-1. Social Media – 0.
Right after I clean the mold that I read may be growing in my Keurig machine…