When it comes to worrying now, when it comes to my little guy, my worries are much more easily triggered. Granted, sometimes my fears are very irrational as I worry about just about anything baby - his size, weight gain, social, emotional, and behavioral development, eating habits, his health or sometimes I even get a little milestone envy. I guess the combination of never having done this parenting thing before and the importance of getting it right when it comes to real issues fuel the sometimes "cart before the horse" thinking that I work myself into.
I once heard that worrying is about as pointless as sitting in a rocking chair. All that movement and you don't get anywhere. Knowing this fact doesn't make it any less tempting to sit down for a rock though.
Where is the balance? When should you brush off a concern and when should you take action? Put more simply - when do you relax and when do you react? For example, I don't want to be in denial of a real issue and only bring my child to the hospital when he's desperate for medical attention. On the other hand I do not want to be that mom that runs every time my baby has a tickle in his throat or a runny nose. I know the advice out there gives symptoms and signs to watch for when dealing with a potential concern, and encourages you to use your intuition, but sometimes my intuition is over-powered by my mother fears. I am sometimes unable to differentiate fully between the two - either that or my fear takes the driver's seat. I suppose I will struggle with this balance so long as I am a parent - in other words the rest of my life!
- Try to balance. I struggle with it with every issue with my child. Sometimes I let my intuition keep me clam, other times my fear wins out. Keep trying to find your balance when faced with an issue - it's not going to be an easy one!
- Forgive yourself. If you make a bad judgement call on one extreme or the other - for example if you bring your child to the hospital with a simple stomach bug or if you stay home too long with a high fever - remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and you are unable to know exactly what to do in every situation all the time.
- Err on the side of caution - within reason. If you have a nagging concern or something just doesn't feel right, you'll feel worse if you ignore it and it becomes a more serious problem later. If nothing else, you gain peace of mind by having something that is persistently bothering you put to rest.
- Don't look for things to worry about. Watch how much time you spend on "Dr. Google" or listening to worst case dramatic scenarios. True, the internet can be an invaluable resource, but sometimes those sources are not as legit as you would have hoped. They may be biased or based on limited or incorrect information. Trust only the professionals when it comes to real issues and avoid giving yourself unnecessary things to worry about.