I try not to live in fear.
Although I believe having as much information as possible before making decisions is best, being a parent in the digital, niche-marketing, 24-hour news cycle age can be extraordinarily stressful.
When I was pregnant, I started subscribing to several magazines and e-mail newsletters devoted to parenting. I was interested mostly in how my baby was growing. Since I couldn't see her chilling out in my belly, I was endlessly fascinated by pictures gathered from other women's wombs. Looking at them soothed me.
But then I started reading the stories and scanning the advertisements. Cord blood banks. Organic baby food. The right toys for each stage of baby's development. How to make her smarter before she's even born. When to get on a preschool waiting list.
So long, serenity.
In their tireless quest to supply information to help parents raise better children (and sell the gear to do it), it seems experts and authors and marketers have succeeded in overwhelming us.
I'm reminded of this when I talk to my mom about the things that are allowed and not allowed for babies nowadays. My mom chuckles and says it's harder to raise babies now than it was when my brothers and I were young. "I just winged it," she says.
Me? I'll keep wading through the warnings, trying to sort the valuable information from the scare tactics and sales pitches.
And when all else fails, I'll rely on my intuition, which has served mothers pretty well for millennia.