From the time I became pregnant with DD, the internet has been my biggest friend. And my biggest foe. Beginning with the symptoms of pregnancy to the more recent ‘how to handle growth spurts in a preschooler’, I’ve searched for everything there is to on the net for every doubt in my head. OK, you got me. I am a worrier; and an impatient worrier at that. I need to get my answers as soon as the doubts creep in. I can’t wait till the appointment with the doctor or a subject matter expert. I need to know and need to know…now!
But the thing about Googling your way through your worries is you’re never going to get a convincing answer. For every ‘right’ answer, there are a zillion contradicting answers. So, if before the search I am just worried, by the end of it, I am a thoroughly confused worrier.
Right from her first sneeze, to her introduction to solid food, to the ‘effects of a new culture on a toddler’, I’ve always researched, asked and explored the answers, never too confident if my final decision is going to be the right one. But I never gave up on my quest to finding the answers, even as my husband stood by, shaking his head at me.
And so far, the kid is running around the house, making the right amount of noise, sometimes maybe a bit more, and growing at the pace expected – so I must be doing something right.
Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one in this boat. And apparently, the boat is a large ship overflowing with parents – more often, mothers. I know, because when I speak to fellow moms in similar situations as I am, they completely concur that they’re making the same confusing and half-hearted decisions. Almost all of them have the same worries – “Am I making the best choices for my child?” And our endless research could put any doctoral research candidate to shame. The best part of this whole thing though, is because we’re all in it together; we’re all sharing information with each other. And we’re… confused together. We just have a brave face.
Now the frustrating part is, because we’re looking for the perfect answer, we’re completely intolerant of that shade of grey. We want the perfect option, the perfect solution. A middle ground is unacceptable; although, more often than not, we do settle for the middle ground that’s the closest to perfect.
Making a choice is even more complicated here in the U.S. There are so many options and so many viewpoints that come with those options, it’s just scary. Right from the type of cheese that’s healthiest, to the teaching philosophies in school, there are close to a zillion options. While it’s a luxury to have all those options, it’s a nightmare settling on the perfect one.
India may as well be on its way offering a plethora of choices. But thankfully, it’s not that complicated yet. I had two choices, when Driti was ready for pre-school and picking the one that suited us, wasn’t a gut wrenching experience. It’s easy to decide when the choice is limited.
“You cannot find the perfect solution all the time” Ady tries when he sees me at the brink of frustration. “You just need to trust you’re making the right decision. If she’s safe, happy and healthy, you’ve done your job- well”
And that’s when I paused, in all my craziness, to really think about what I wanted for my daughter. Sure, I want her to be Einstein’s female version. Sure, I want her to be Indira Gandhi. But at a much more basic level, I just want her to be.. Safe.Happy.Healthy.
Now, I can choose to fret over every silly step on the way – which shoes are most ergonomic for growing feet, which sun-tan is best for her skin type. But I should realize that there’s only so much I can do. Really, is there only so much I can do? Perhaps I should Google it. Wow, it didn’t take me long to unpause! I am after all, the Worrying Warrior.