I’m a huge fan of information. I love to read, and will read just about anything about just about anything: books, magazines, articles on the Internet, etc. But now that I’m a mom, I’ve started to realize that all this information can be more stressful than helpful.
When I was pregnant, I read a ton of stuff, and got completely stressed out by all the physical stuff: all the stories about morning sickness, problem pregnancies and difficult births.
When SP was a baby, it was still reading about physical stuff that was stressing me out, but this time it was about her body, not mine: does she have colic, what types of rashes need medical intervention, potential injuries due to tumbling off the changing table.
SP’s toddler stage started the developmental stress. Now I was reading things that made me worry about whether she was on track for talking, potty training and hand-eye coordination.
Now that SP is in kindergarten, the reading material that’s stressing me out is all social. Here are some sample articles causing me angst: How to Throw a Great Birthday Party, What to Do if your Child Is Shy, How Many Activities Are too Many (and its inverse: Encourage your Child to Get Involved).
I still love getting as much information as possible, and some of it has been really helpful. (If I hadn’t read Vicki Iovine’s books, I think I would have had a heart attack almost daily when SP was little.) But the biggest thing I’ve learned from reading all of this information on childrearing? That the person I need to listen to the most is me.
The best way to know whether something is right for SP is to listen to my gut. I know what’s best for SP and for me. Though it sure is fun to read about 40 Ways to Encourage your Child’s Love of Reading.