Logistically, a lot goes into being a parent. To sum it all up, parenthood is a constant state of decision making.
I have been weighing the pros and cons, benefits and risks, and costs and rewards from the moment my son was born. I agonize for hours, days, weeks even over the simplest of decisions. I am paranoid beyond belief to make a wrong choice for my kids.
Truly, I’m an overthinker. I can’t commit to a decision due to fear of the unknown.
Did I research this enough? Me, every time I’m faced with a choice for my child.
What if I mess up? Also me, deciding on anything for him.
Here’s a sneak peek into my brain, and nearly every other mother’s during the day:
Is this mattress OK for him? Is this baby food produced organically enough? Is this car seat installed correctly, scratch that, is this even the best car seat for my child? Is our bedtime on track with the pediatric guidelines? Should he have more protein? Can he jump from that or should I intercept this fun with my anxiety? Is my child too hot? Too cold? Should we cry it out, or perhaps try the Ferber method? Should we try soccer or baseball? Should we pull him out if he isn’t having fun? He just hit me, do I yell, ignore it, enact a timeout? Should I order the chicken fingers or spaghetti for him at the restaurant? Waiter, please come back in a few minutes after I’ve asked my son 10 times and checked my own snack bag in case the dish is instantly rejected.
The day my son was born, boom—choices!
I was mentally fried and physically traumatized and hospital staff hit me with breastfeeding, vaccinating, circumcising, and bathing choices.
Oh my gosh, did I bathe him too early? Dr. Google tells me I made a colossal mistake.
Every day I am beside myself with what to do. So much so I am paralyzed by decision making. I can’t make up my mind in the moment unless I have sat on the options for long enough to credit my mind with the ability to decide. In all fairness, this isn’t just related to child-rearing. Those Buzzfeed articles where you pick your favorites? Not meant for those with decision fatigue. However, all the choices I take on as a mother are costing me my peace of mind.
My husband short circuits my indecisiveness so we can move forward with our daily plans. There has to be a biological explanation for why mothers are overly cautious with their choices for their kids. We don’t want to make a mistake with a tiny human—we are trying to do our very best.
We can’t predict the future, though we wish we could receive affirmation our choices will all work out in the grand scheme of things.
I find decisions difficult, stressful, and overwhelming. Meanwhile, my child is making them left and right. I want him to. After all, I want our children to learn lessons, too. If they make a wrong decision, they will learn from their mistakes. If they chose wisely, they will achieve high levels of self-esteem and confidence in their own decision-making skills. I’m trying to raise a good decision maker while I struggle with this skill internally.
I take all these possible decisions to bed with me and wake mentally tired as my brain was weighing choices while I wasn’t even cognizant of it.
I’m a mom, and I am exhausted by decision making.