I play the air guitar lefty. This is because I used to imitate Paul McCartney, who is a left-handed guitar player, while I listened to my Beatles’ records. (Yes, records, not MP3s or even CDs.) And it appears I may be able to somehow blame my mother for any harm this has caused me.
For the record, I am otherwise right-handed in all that I do, which is good, because according to the Wall Street Journal, left-handedness is a handicap that can lower your income and make you more likely to be schizophrenic. What’s more, it’s likely caused by your mom’s stress level when you were in utero. Or, that’s how I’d read the article, “The Health Risks of Being Left-Handed” if I was still an exhausted new mother.
Left-handedness, it seems, is yet another thing for modern moms to fret about. The WSJ reported today that left-handers may be more creative, but they are also likely to have salaries that are 10% lower than righties’. Lefties are at a greater risk for psychiatric and developmental disorders like dyslexia, ADHD and mood disorders, and, though lefties make up 10% of the population, 20% of schizophrenics are lefties. And “mixed-handed” children don’t fare much better.
And it may be Mom’s fault. Among the potential factors causing left-handedness are: the mother’s stress level while pregnant and the mother’s age (older) and the baby’s birth weight (lower).
Reports the WSJ:
“Mothers who reported multiple stressful events during their third trimester of pregnancy and experienced distress were more than three times as likely to have a mixed-handed child, 17% compared with 5%.”
Okay, who isn’t having “stressful events” during their third trimester? Just getting up the stairs is stressful when you can’t see your feet. I had two stressful third trimesters, one with five-weeks of bedrest and a pregnancy that ended five weeks early, and one that almost ended 13 weeks early but instead, ended on time, yet nearly in the car.
I gave birth to one righty and one who could be called “mix-handed.” (Also mixed-footed, which comes handy on the soccer field. “Handy” pun intended.)
So far neither is exhibiting any of the disorders listed above, and yet, somehow I still feel a little guilty about the whole thing because that’s what today’s mothers do. We read the studies. We examine our parenting. We add another brick to the guilt wall.
Then again, I probably shouldn’t worry much about my the effects of my son’s handedness on his future because of two very important words: