Here’s a nice note to start your week:
Free-Range Kids: I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I am a teacher and I am about to become a parent for the first time. Since I spend so much time working with and thinking about kids, a lot of my life is saturated in worry about their safety and well-being. Finding your blog has helped me to relax and to realize many of my worries do not come from within, but by a culture of hypervigilance and overstated risk.
As you’ve mentioned in previous postings, pregnancy exacerbates worry because of all of the safety guidelines and alarmist information out there. When I first became pregnant, I felt that my biggest worry was figuring out how to be a good mom in nine months’ time. But when I started searching the Internet for information about having a healthy and safe pregnancy, I realized that I was going to be just as worried about gestating “properly” as I was with parenting.
I think I committed almost every “no no” on the list before I even knew I was expecting (the Brie cheese! The wine in my hot tub! The ski trip! The hair dye! The pain relief! The sushi dinner!). The guilt and frenzy of fear that consumed me during the first trimester was unreal. Had I really done irreparable damage to my child when it was just the size of a penny?
But then I found your site and the people that make up the FRK community, and I breathed a sigh of relief. There were other moms and dads who did “imperfect” things during their parenting journeys without apology, and went on to have happy and healthy families. Without guilt. Without worry. So I just want to thank you and your followers for giving me a place I could go to read, laugh and enjoy this stage of my life, whenever I was worried. I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot reading your blog once my kid is here!
Oh, and here’s this for a laugh: livestrong.com (a super scaremongery website when it comes to pregnancy advice) has guidelines on HOW TO USE MOUTHWASH while pregnant. I mean really!! So thanks —
Pregnant ladies, I feel for you. After all, just last year the CDC advised women to “Stop drinking alcohol if [you] are trying to get pregnant or could get pregnant.” Yes, readers, you are right: That does apply to all women of childbearing age who were not on birth control. I discussed the baselessness of that admonishment here.
My personal advice: Don’t guzzle scotch. Do take folic acid. And while we’re at it, don’t let anyone shame your birth plan. – L.