Knowledge is power.
It is powerful, but sometimes that power creates anxiety and negative thoughts.
I want to focus on how to keep this power positive, so I can reduce my mom anxiety.
This “knowledge is power” thing was on my mind this past holiday season.
I started to think about our parents’ generation where communication looked much different.
When the elementary school asked my dad to come into my class each year and teach about Hannukah, who did he talk to about this? Maybe his local friends? Maybe his mother? Maybe he just relied on his own gut or put a little thought into it at all.
You might be thinking…that’s kind of a random thought Melissa.
When I sat down to write this post last month during the December holidays and I opened my phone or computer, I was flooded with blogs, articles, posts on social media of questions and conversation starters on this very topic. How to navigate being a minority that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, at Christmas time as a parent. What are the laws, rules, social norms. How do I educate without shaming, stay within limits, create pride in our differences for my children etc.
It can be kind of overwhelming.
It got me thinking.
Knowledge is power, but without mindfulness it can run a muck.
It is easy to start to compare ourselves, as parents, to what we read from a blog post written in a town 1000 miles away.
We second guess ourselves as parents all the time.
Did our parents? Or was ignorance bliss and they just followed their gut and went through the motions?
We can take the hot button topic of the holidays out of it and just focus on social media as parents for a minute. Breast feeding vs. formula, parenting styles, non GMO, gluten-free, attachment, free range, Pinterest… oh the Pinterest, the most creative milestone month announcements, I can go on and on, and on and on.
Is this knowledge helping or hurting us?
I mean without social media I might not know car seats have expiration dates. However, without social media I also might not worry that I didn’t remember if my baby was 19 month or 20 months without counting on my fingers. I might not worry that my son’s 3rd birthday didn’t have a theme. I might…well… not worry as much in general.
I have a feeling our parents proudly marched into our classrooms to help when asked without worrying about social justice or how this would effect us ten years later (I’m still on the fence whether this is positive or negative, but I’m going to go with just information). I have a feeling we went to the park for play dates in miss-matched socks and had dollar store party supplies (ok maybe I didn’t ever have mismatched socks and my parties had themes but my mom is special and was ahead of her time).
They didn’t know any differently.
I might be combating the same lack of knowledge of cultural differences in the classroom as my parents did but I am here, well adjusted, healthy, alive and raising a new generation so I think they did just fine with the knowledge they had.
They may have also been able to have less anxiety as parents and to enjoy the small moments without worrying about capturing them for the perfect Instagram story.
So with this new realization I am going to be more mindful with the knowledge I collect.
I’m going to take it in as information without judgement. It’s not good or bad, or right or wrong, its just information. I’m going to continue to do the best I can. I’m going to raise my kids and be a wife with love and the best intentions in mind because, well, that’s really all we can do.
And I think I’m going to spend a little less time gaining knowledge on my handheld devices and a little more time holding hands with my kids while they still want to.
May the rest of 2019 be judgement-free, peaceful, and filled with loving family time!