I spent the first thirty years of my life mostly free from worry. I had a stressful job, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that I worried. When I think of worry, I think of sleepless nights and stomach ulcers. I was way above any of that and prided myself on my ability to be cool, calm, collected and confident in even the most difficult situations. Occasionally I was a little stressed, but I'd just flip over to Matthew 6, read verses 26-34 and remember that God's providence was going to take care of the birds of the air, the flowers of field and my strong and capable self.
Then one pretty spring morning I woke up with the urge to take a pregnancy test. It was positive, and I immediately found myself worrying. I was worried that I had a false positive due to protein in my urine after a meat feast the day before at a Brazilian steak house. I drank a gallon of water and an hour later tried again. It was still positive. I was so excited about being pregnant, but the worry had just begun. I didn't worry a bit about the finances of parenthood; I left that worry to the hubby, but I worried about everything else related to parenthood. I knew plenty of incompetent people who managed to keep their children alive and thriving, but the anxieties and insecurities hung around.
I worried about what I was eating, so I went online and found 40 different conflicting lists about what not to eat while pregnant. I went nine months without a sandwich with deli meat and nearly killed myself (and everyone around me) when I quit the caffeine cold turkey. Unfortunately, enchiladas and Whataburger were not on the bad list, so I gained "baby" weight at a rapid pace. I researched medications and found myself nursing my springtime allergic reaction with nothing but a Neti Pot. Lucky for me there had been no reports of the Neti Pot brain eating amoeba at that point in time. I gave up tennis because I had visions of a tennis ball flying into my abdomen and I stayed off my bicycle because I was pretty sure I would fall when I became the first person to ever forget how to ride a bike. During the first trimester I found myself awake in the wee hours of the morning fretting about the seat belt in my car. Thanks to Google, I found diagrams for the correct way to wear a pregnant woman to wear a seat belt.
The internet was my best friend and my worst enemy. Often it armed me with information that helped my fears subside. Other times I obsessed over the irrational advice freely dispensed on mommy forums and chat groups. Before this pregnancy thing, I knew better than granting credibility to people who typed "2" instead of "to" and who disagreed with their pediatrician on every...single...point. Then came the epiphany. A midnight Google search for information on crib bumper pad safety brought me to the website that would soon become my best friend.
If you have never checked out askdrsears.com, you, too will probably fall in love with my fried, Dr. Sears,. I found the answers to pretty much every question I had on one single website. There is information on every stage of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, nutrition, sleep safety, vaccines, childhood illnesses...you name it! This single website has answered so many questions for me at every stage: as the mother of a child still residing in my body, as the mother of an infant and as a mother of a toddler. The acetaminophen and ibuprofen dosage charts one of the greatest lifesavers. After all, the "up to 24 lbs." dosage on the bottle can't be terribly accurate.
One of the greatest discoveries on Dr. Sears' website: Attachment Parenting. I have a feeling there will be an entire blog entry on this parenting style, but when I stumbled onto Dr. Sears's site I also stumbled onto a parenting style that has worked beautifully for my family. It empowered me to parent in the way I felt was best, but he gave it a name and research to back it up. Attachment parenting has given us permission to nurture our child in a natural and instinctive manner.
We are blessed to have a FABULOUS pediatrician that we see for our well checks and sick visits, but Dr. Sears has done a fabulous job serving as our 2am pediatrician. Here are some of my favorite links from askdrsears.com:
Check out the dosage guides for some commonly used medications!
If your child has sensitive skin, this chart can bring relief to the rash and give mom peace of mind.
If you are a new parent or a parent to be and are trying to decide exactly what your parenting philosophy looks like, take a look at attachment parenting. It's not for everyone, but I am a fan.