Sunday, March 28, 2010

TMI: Too Much Information

Ever been sitting at a lunch table conversation with a woman sharing about her ex-boyfriend's murder trial?

I have!

And you know what I thought?  1. Scary  2. Is this for real?  3. TMI.  (Too much information)

How many times do you think, Wow!  I wish you didn't share that.  Didn't care to know that about your mom or husband or etc.  TMI. Then, all your future conversations with that person are shadowed by the pervious TMI conversation.  Like the ex-boyfriend's murder case.  Hmmm.

Or, conception stories....let's focus on the baby not he conception, thank you very much!  (-:

In the parenting world, there is often TMI.

When pregnant with Eloise, I stopped reading pregnancy resources all together.  Too much info was freaking me out.  Stressing about the bazillion different mishaps/scenarios/problems is not good on anyone.  Truth be told, at any given time, any number of horrible things can happen to any of us.  Don't know about you, but I can't live my life in fear.  So, after reading the necessary materials, I put them aside.  And I prayed.

Then, you have the issue of changing information.  Advice that was popular a few years ago is now out of style.  Amy Henry wrote an article in the WSJ last week addressing this issue exactly.  Here's how she opens her article:

"Never hug or kiss them.  Never let them sit in your lap.  If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night.  Shake hands with them in the morning."
Such as the advice of behavioral scientist John Watson to mothers in the 1920s.

Then this:

The whiplash-inducing waves of advice don't stop there.  To cite only some of the most recent examples: Experts first say that television makes our kids fat, that vaccines cause autism, that spanking is bad, that antibiotics are good, that wiggly boys must have ADD, and that early mastering of the ABC's is essential for a child's success.  Then new studies come out saying--oops!-- TV actually doesn't make kids fat, vaccinations don't cause autism, spanking can be good, antibiotics should be used only after we "wait the ear infection out," wiggly boys are perfectly normal, and the putting on of Einstein videos does not necessarily a genius make.

Times change.  And when it comes to parental advice, time changes fast.

So what is a worry-wart mother like myself to do?  I have to inform myself and let go.  Disconnect from the infinite and often contradictory resources available to us.  (Just read Babywise Theory vs. Sear's Attachment Theory and you'll know what I mean.  Can there be 2 completely different methodologies?)

In review: Disconnect.  Listen to our instincts.  And to our moms.  And pray.

Amy Henry writes a blog  I've never read it but will check it out.


Brooke said...

This post just screams "truth"! Being a new mom, I was constantly comparing myself and my son to other moms and their babies. Then I realized that God created us differently and we have our own story to tell. Thanks for the encouragement to go at our own pace. :)

Alex said...

You're welcome Brooke! It's something I have to remind myself of hourly.