(Sorry so long)
I know for me that my PGAL brain gripped me in utter fear and anxiety for the duration of my pregnancy with my DD, and again with this LO (who will hopefully be here safe and sound in the next two weeks). Unfortunately, birthing my DD did not remove all that fear and anxiety. Now that she was safely out of my uterus I found a million other reasons to worry about her. What if she died of SIDS?! What if she rolled into something and smothered?! What if she bumped her head crawling, or something fell on her?! The list just went on and on. Soon I was an organic, vegan mama and I was more of an anxious wreck than ever before. I have endometriosis, what if she gets it? What if she has a thyroid disease like I do? And so on.
My DD is now five, and I have had to learn to loosen my grip, but I found that my other mama friends were even tighter wound than I was! One has forbid her daughter from attending Science Camp in the sixth grade because she can't share the tent with her. Another won't allow her 13 year old daughter to use the swings at the park literally across the street from her front porch (in full view of her living room) because of stranger danger. This all had me wondering what our world was coming to. We played until the streetlights came on. We drank from the hose. We played tag with the other kids in the neighborhood, because we were all outside during daylight hours! What happened to childhood?
My mother bought me the best book, "Free-Range kids" by Lenore Skenazy, for Christmas this year and I devoured it. This woman has managed to alleviate my fears in one small book by using statistics and common sense that really put into perspective the fear vs. reality ratio of today's dangers as well as the reason that our generation of parents is so terrified when statistically our children are safer than they have ever been before. For example: the chance that our child will be the one kidnapped by a stranger and harmed is actually .00007%. Really! Or... if you WANTED your child kidnapped you would likely have to leave them unattended outside, looking cute as a button and ready for the taking, for about 750,000 years.
The author runs a fantastic website as well that I would suggest to every mama. Perhaps this time I won't carry that PGAL brain so willingly into the child rearing years as I did before.