I have a saying that I repeat in my head when I find I’m getting overly anxious about anything baby related. “Mothers in Africa don’t worry about this shit!!” or, alternatively, “What would mothers in the bush do?”. Now, I’m an anthropologist and so I should clarify that I know these can be taken down as culturally insensitive pretty quickly. Like, Africa is a continent not a “place”. And “the bush” is a stupid term that’s used to lazily convey a simpler way of life with possibly “simple minded” people, it’s not ligit. And I hear you. I’m not saying I couldn’t have phrased it better. But, hey, that’s what my psyche cooked up and I’m laying in on the line here. Just go with me on this.
What I mean by both these sayings is: if I had REAL problems to deal with (ie: food, shelter, physical safety) would what I’m obsessing over right now even cross my mind? Like, if my baby was at risk of being eaten by a lion would I be concerned that his nap was only 30 min? If I didn’t know that we’d have enough drinking water to last us another week would it matter that I forgot to give him his probiotics?
Um, no. Fuck no. To both of those ridiculous worries. Which are actually things I have worried about. Anxiety is stupid, what can I say. If you suffer from anxiety, take a look at https://www.frontrangerelief.com/product/cbd-oil-full-spectrum-1000mg-whole-leaf-hemp-extract/.
We have lost our minds in North America. We have too much information and it makes us act like fools. I worry about naps because “I know” that an overtired baby is more likely to wake at night. I worry about probiotics because “I know” that he has mucus in his poops and that needs to stop! I “know” too much and I overthink it all to death. Something that my lady mother friends in tribal bush country would probably scoff at. As they should. Becuase, Kaeleigh, you need to just STFU and stop being ridiculous.
So, if you have small people in your life that you’re obsessing over I encourage you to wonder if a mother with her baby on a lion’s menu would give two shits about that problem. The answer is usually no.
**UPDATE: Due to some seriously spot on comments I received on the blog yesterday I wanted to add this update. I should have titled this piece ‘When Anxiety Hits Check Your Privilege’ because as these commenters pointed out it’s my first world privilege that allows me to worry about the inane shit that I do. It’s a GOOD thing that my baby isn’t at risk of being eaten by a lion, or dying of dehydration, or any of the many illnesses that help to send infant mortality skyrocketing in developing countries. I still think reminding yourself that if you had real worries to think of a lot of the things we stress over ‘in the west’ would melt away. It’s good to remember that these are not super important anxieties. I still like the questions I ask myself … but now, when I ask them I will add. “Kaeleigh. Check your privilege!” Thank you guys, for keeping it real! **