Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Research overload

I’m tired. My brain is tired. Today only, I had to wonder about when
to take the little one to the dentist, whether I made the right
decision to get the H1N1. I wondered why I felt so sluggish and down.
Besides the fact that I feel conflicted between the helpful advice I
get from parent groups and this yucky feeling of spending my time
debating with people who are way too into their kids, I realized that
I spend a heck of a lot of time looking stuff up, as I imagine the
other parents who ask these questions or enter these debates do too.

Which diaper is best? Which bottle is safe? What are the hazards of a
used crib or carseat and do they outweigh the cost savings? Which
vaccines to get and when? How long to breastfeed? How to handle
discipline? What type of development to expect at which stage? When
to go to preschool? What kind of preschool?

Whew. I’m tired. I do wish for some kind of expert panel I could
trust that would let me know what they recommend and that I could
follow wholeheartedly. Of course, I’m interested in finding out the
answers to these questions so that I can make the best decisions for
my son. But is this really the best way to spend my time? Maybe I’d
do better putting in those hours doing better at work, so that I could
better provide for him.

I also don’t like the feeling, though I admit it might be self-inflicted, of having to defend a decision one takes. Not only do I have to research, I have to explain my decision and read why others might have chosen otherwise, which leads me back into either more
research or self doubt.

I know what I probably need to do is turn it off. Stop subscribing to
the parent groups, stop reading the blogs, stop getting into dialogues with people on these topics. Tim Ferriss recommends severely limiting media intake – something that I think would probably reduce my stress level greatly, as well as perhaps my knowledge of current events.

Why don’t I do it? Unfortunately, I have a penchant for finding out
facts. I like to understand situations, to make decisions based on
data. I also like and appreciate that rare little nugget that comes
through during the discussions – a good place for a hair cut for
example or a special event or discount.

Another factor is that I find it harder to concentrate than I did
before. When I need a quick break from whatever I’m focusing on
(which seems to be every 5-10 minutes) I take a look at the email.

Anyone have any advice on how to cut down or cut back and still stay
relatively informed? I sometimes feel like I hear these internet
debates in my head. I’d like to fill that space with something more
substantial or less stressful.

1 comment:

Lainey Wright said...

I hope you are not disturbed by our brief discussion re: CIO? -I would hate to be a party to the overload of annoying parenting advice/info...although I suppose it cannot be helped, since I have opinions & freely share them.

I do know the feeling though, and it is gross. I have to try hard to avoid electronic media some days just to get my head clear. I am reading a good old fashioned book tonight (ok, after checking your blog;)...