There are things that I know to be true. Like, the sun will continue to rise and set. Nordstrom will continue to be too pricey for my stay-at-home mom budget. Birds fly south for winter. Fruits, veggies, and dairy keep us healthy, while refined sugars, cheetos and white bread will keep us sane. And there are things I think are true. 100 years from now science may disprove me, but I firmly believe that there are substances out there (bleach, ammonia, transfats) that we can relatively easily avoid and that are suspected to cause health problems.
As a mom, isn't it a part of my job to use my best judgment and keep my kids away from the things I think to be potentially harmful? I know that some of my fears are irrational. Like my fear of balloons. And kites. (I'll never be able to explain, so don't ask!) And I do everything I can to not pass those on to my kids. But other worries are entirely rational and it's worth teaching my kids to be cautious in certain situations. What, in that, says that I'll raise my kids to be afraid of everything?
Is what I see as reality actually real? Or are they right? Am I really overprotective and paranoid? I tend to think that my reality is real. That I possess information they don't, and that information guides my choices. Of course, we all weigh the sources out there and choose what to cling to and what to discard. Is my perception skewed?
Am I really a bad mom because I don't want Little Man exposed to an R-rated movie that's packed with fight scenes and murder? Or because I don't want Bean eating raw eggs that could be tainted with salmonella? Sure, I ate raw cookie dough as a child and lived. And chances are, she will too. But as long as there's a chance that it has salmonella, what's the harm until waiting until it's cooked to eat it? Does that really make me a 'scared, anxious, overprotective mom'? Or when I wipe the chemical residue off a toy that someone else has just cleaned with bleach, and I can still see the little slimy bleach bubbles on it - am I really paranoid just because I want to wipe those off before putting it in a 2 year old's little hands?
I'm so sick of the judgment. When it comes from a stranger (which it inevitably does, sometimes), I can shrug it off pretty easily and move on. But when it comes from someone I know and love, someone I see regularly, and they make judgmental comments about what a paranoid freak of a mom I am, it doesn't take long before it gets old.