It’s normal for things to be pretty crazy for me at this time of year. As the former education and now parenting reporter at my station I’m tasked with doing the back-to-school series. But to top it off this year I’m also sending a child to school for the first time this year, which as I’ve mentioned already has come with its own set of emotions.
At times like these I wonder if my parents put as much thought and effort into every little decision as I feel like we are.
Why can’t decision-making come easy for me? Before having children I could stand in the oral hygiene aisle and debate toothpaste brands for half an hour. Now I’d never risk that much time at a store alone with my kids, but I spend way more time deliberating over decisions that affect their lives.
Which car seat is the safest? How should I position him to sleep? Which school setting would be best for my daughter? What are the ingredients in this conditioner? Is this the best way to discipline him?
And then there’s an immense amount of information in thrown in front of us on a daily basis. New parenting findings can send me into paranoia in an instant.
Why does parenting have to be so hard? Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong. Or maybe it’s hard because we care so much.
On a piece of mail I received this week was this quote:
[bctt tweet=”In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”]
That’s from The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy.
It makes you think doesn’t it?
I’m not going to say my parents didn’t thoroughly deliberate their choices when they raised my siblings and me. Information wasn’t as readily available, and with their busy schedules they had to do what worked for them.
I remember cleaning and mopping the kitchen floor and the strong pine scent that filled the house. Bleaching the tubs and knowing I did a good job when everything “smelled” clean.
Now we know better. We know it’s probably not a good idea to shut your kids in the bathroom with some sponges and a tub of bleach. I began to linger in the cleaning products aisle and read the labels. I leaned towards non-toxic cleaners like Seventh Generation natural cleaners. Now the smell of clean doesn’t involve inhaling harsh fumes.
Different parents have different priorities. I’m not a germaphobe, so we totally practice the 5-second-rule when food falls on the floor. And I’m the chill parent at the playground that’s nearby, but not hovering.
But when it comes to recycling. It’s a must-do. Lately I find myself recycling more than I throw away, and buying things have have been recycled. Ninety percent of my son’s wardrobe is second hand (yet adorably cute!).
I don’t know exactly the kind of impact these little decisions will have. I hope that it keeps my kids healthy, and helps them live longer, healthier lives. When I think further I hope that it keeps our world from becoming something we’d see in WALL-E, where everyone has to abandon Earth because of all of the trash and pollution.
Next week we meet my daughter’s teacher, and hopefully some of her classmates. My fear of letting go is melting away and being replaced with excitement. I’m not sure I’ll be ambitious enough to be a room mom, but I definitely want to volunteer and be involved as much as I can.
Am I obsessing too much? Did our parents worry this much? Surely our grandparents didn’t, though probably for a lack of knowing any different. Will our kids turn out to be even more awesome or will it have a terrible unforeseeable reverse effect? … Here I go again.
I guess it’s hard because we care. Because we love them so much.
What parenting and lifestyle decisions do you prioritize?
*Thank-you to Seventh Generation for sponsoring this story. I’m partnering with them as I share my imperfect life and ways I’m trying to improve it with you. If being more conscious of natural cleaning products and eco-friendly diapers are on your list of priorities, head here for more information. As always, all opinions are my own.