“Carrying Your Child Could Cause Them Back Pain for Life.”
I thought about my son lying on the bed between my husband and me the night before, complaining that his “back always hurts,” while we gave him a massage.
Then I read the rest of the press release, which asserted, “Today’s parents and grandparents have lost the generational wisdom for carrying children the right way, and today’s children are the worse for it, because they carry these habits with them into adulthood.”
And for a moment, I blamed myself for ruining my child’s “spinal health” for the rest of his life, because I carried him all wrong while chasing his big brother, the toddler, through the supermarket a decade ago.
That’s right, the author of a book series called Stop Second-Guessing Yourself, second-guessed herself.
But really, how hard is that to do these days? We parents are bombarded with messages of how we’re parenting all wrong, if not completely ruining our kids in one way or another, with sensationalized warnings based on statistics that change over time.
For instance, Amy Henry of WholeMama.com wrote for the Wall Street Journal just last week about studies that make warnings and then contradict those warnings:
“Teenagers whose parents overprotected or overcontrolled them as children have less gray matter due to the excessive release of the stress hormone cortisol in their prefrontal cortex, the brain area associated with mental illness… But the same study found that brain growth can also be stunted if parents neglect their children.”
But wait, there’s more:
If you pay too much attention to every study, you could drive yourself crazy, which is why I suggested we all stop second-guessing ourselves in the first place. In our efforts to raise our children the best we can, we have eroded our self confidence in parenting.
Last night, as I massaged my son’s back again, I realized that his brother has no such back problem. His brother also doesn’t spend hours kicking soccer balls in the backyard or at weekly team practices. So maybe it has nothing to do at all with how I carried him when he was little. No, it absolutely has nothing to do with how I carried him.
I deleted the “Carrying Your Child Could Cause Them Back Pain for Life” e-mail and stopped second-guessing myself. For today, anyhow.
Share, share, that’s fair: What makes you second-guess yourself, moms?