Pack your bags if you’re pregnant. Parenthood can seem like one long guilt trip where your flight keeps getting delayed and it starts from the moment you realize that no one literally has to go through you to get to your child. Elizabeth Stone wasn’t kidding when she wrote, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
From the delivery room to the dorm, you’ll find yourself questioning everything you do: “Oh God I had a turkey sandwich, will my baby come out with one eye? Should I get that Hep B vaccine? Bottlefeeding or breastfeeding? Does my child need to be better socialized? Can they have a Facebook page?” And you’ll begin to believe every decision will make the difference between your child becoming Steve Jobs or Stevie J.
I’m here to tell you to cut yourself a break. Parenting is less like an Algebra quiz and more like an open-ended question on a Sociology final. There’s no one correct answer and most of the time if you at least get within the ballpark of “right” your kid will be OK. And the good news is that if you even give half a damn about the list of questions above then there’s a good chance you’re doing a decent job at this parenting thing.
Last summer while in my second trimester, I found myself fearing everything from lunchmeat to my asthma inhaler because I didn’t want to harm my baby. And while you should definitely heed your doctor’s directions, there’s one important thing you should remember in regard to pregnancy: A happy, healthy mama= a happy, healthy baby. You shouldn’t be throwing back shots of Patron, but stop driving yourself crazy researching local pasteurization facilities and order the damn bleu cheese dressing. Here are 10 things you can be a little easier on yourself on since you ARE bringing life into the world (or already have) and that’s kind of a big deal: