From the moment a woman learns she is pregnant, she is bombarded with a litany of warnings, unsolicited advice and well-meaning recommendations on what she should and shouldn’t be doing, eating, etc. Make sure to take your prenatal vitamins! Don’t eat anything with nitrates! Register for a co-sleeper — it literally saved my life that first week! Don’t drink caffeine! Get all the sleep you can! The list goes on and on…..

Pregnancy, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you give birth, as you cradle this innocent, helpless little being that relies COMPLETELY ON YOU, it’s hard not to feel a huge responsibility as a new parent. You want to protect this amazing bundle and do everything in your power to raise a happy, healthy child.

You have purchased The Ecologically Correct organic bedding, you have stocked up on The Obligatory Outlet Covers. You prepared the nursery with a coat of The Nontoxic Paint. You even have a full array of The Natural Skin Care Products.

Parentnoia. It is a strong force. Despite that nagging voice in the back of our heads that says “I did fine despite not having a sleep positioner”, we soldier on, purchasing products we may or may not need and agonizing over how we are doing as parents.

I’m not sure if this phenomenon is magnified for stay at home parents who have made a choice to put aside career to raise their little ones, or if it’s a function of all the information constantly coming at us from the news, friends, the Web or social media. Or, is it that we have more disposable income to put towards children, particularly as many of us have children when we are in our thirties?
AdvertisementGranted, as your child grows older and you see that she did survive despite watching more than the American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended allotment of TV a day, you learn to relax a little and adjust your expectations. But, there is always some worry lurking at every age.

As children start school, you want to discuss stranger danger with them. As Catherine’s post yesterday pointed out, you may worry about tweens and their internet use. Then of course, there will be dating as they get older.

How do you quiet the forces of parentnoia? Does it ever disappear?

* Kudos to LiveMom contributor Shannon for coining this term.

Written by: Nicole Basham

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

4 Comments on Parentnoia

  1. I think it disappears with each child. I went by the registry guidelines for my first child, and ended up with loads of baby gear that I never used, or was just downright non-helpful. I phased some of it out with my second child, and now that I’m pregnant with my third, I can say that I think I finally have what I need figured out.
    Breast, onesies, and a sling. That’s what gets my babies comforted!

  2. I think it changes. First of all, the reality that you can’t be a perfect parent and still model balance for your children sets in. I worry, but I’m a worrier at heart. I see the same character trait in one of my twins, so I try to demonstrate the ways in which I’ve learned to manage my fears so that I can teach her to manage hers.

    As I’ve become a more experienced parent, I’ve learned to trust my own judgment. When it came to car seats, I pored over safety reports, and am glad I did. However, I let my children play with “3+” toys at age two, since I knew they weren’t going to pop anything in their mouths.

    I think the biggest change is that I’ve become confident in my expertise in making safety decisions for my children, and am no longer scared to speak up for the child-rearing choices my husband and I have made together.

  3. HAHA! Parentnoia! I think I am seeing glimmers of this with my cats. They are being neutered on Friday and I am so nervous. I paid extra for Laser instead of Scalpel because just the word “scalpel” made me want to throw up. Never mind that these people do this for a living–I still don’t trust them with my babies’ cojones.


  4. That’s funny, Christina! I can relate to that as well since I have a zoo at my house. Those little critters are our babies too! But just imagine magnifying that feeling by a thousand- that’s how it feels when you have kids.

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