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Hey Lovelies,

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.

XOXXO,

The Chicken

**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! **

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12 thoughts on “Micro Post: When Anxiety Hits STFU

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:21 am
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    I don’t think you’re being ridiculous. We all have our triggers of things that make us anxious. Comparing what others go through shouldn’t minimize our anziety’s. So please don’t STFU don’t dismiss yourself and just go with it all.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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      Greg,
      Definitely it’s good to acknowledge that anxiety is a real part of daily life for a lot of people. But part of that is learning how to cope through it so that you’re not always overreacting to little shit. That’s what I meant.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
    • June 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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      In Due Time,
      Right? I figured this was one most could relate to.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
    • June 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm
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      Journeywoman,
      Thank you, glad it touched a nerve with you. Good luck implementing it!
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • June 13, 2016 at 3:44 pm
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    While it can help to let things go and not sweat the small details… there sort of is a point to those small details in North American culture. I don’t know… a lot of what I worry about can be let go, but the stuff I hold onto and continue to worry about I think makes all of us better in the long run.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm
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      Mel,
      Yes, don’t sweat the small stuff, but it’s interesting to think that there might be a point to it, that our worrying gives us a bit of our North American-ness.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • June 13, 2016 at 11:06 pm
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    Haha. I like your line. I agree that less “information” does often mean less anxiety. It’s good to trust your instincts. Though it certainly also helps to know you can get information if you want it. We’re very lucky that way.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm
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      Turtle,
      I often wished I had less choices, less information, less everything. It’s so overwhelming to “know” lots and have “so many options” In motherhood as in everything.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • June 14, 2016 at 12:16 pm
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    I guess I look at it another way. We are lucky to be able to obsess over the small things like nap times and probiotics because we don’t have to worry about the lion eating our baby or whether or not we will have water in the coming days. I lived in rural Nicaragua as a Peace Corps volunteer after college and it was customary to not name a baby until they were 6 months old or older simply because the infant mortality rate was so high. I think those mothers would be happy to worry about nap times and not how unclean their drinking water was….. However, as a tool to try to chill the anxiety, I can see it’s validity and I’m glad it helps you!

    Reply
    • June 14, 2016 at 1:06 pm
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      Ashley,
      This!! Your comment really struck a chord with me, I went back and provided an update to the post. Thank you! But yes, it is a reasonable tool to chill out when I get tightly wound.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply

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