Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News

I used to follow the news carefully. I was invested in the world around me. I even occasionally marched about with protests signs and shouted things at passers-by in public.

I was completely and utterly tuned in.

Then I had three children in four years and suddenly found myself unbelievably tuned out. 

Some of it is a time problem. There just isn't a lot of time to catch up on what's going on in the world, and honestly, after a long day with the kids, I find myself totally lacking the emotional fortitude to face the upsetting news of the day.

I feel like this is one of those admissions that is firmly in the arena of

"Oh, woe is me! I can't HANDLE anything because It is so haaaaarrrrrrd to have kiiiiidddds!!!!"

...which admittedly is super annoying. 

But it is also my honest experience. I had always thought of myself as an anxious person. I was someone who could easily get to about a 14 on a 1 to 10 anxiety scale when things in my life got shaky. Then I had kids and I realized that, unbeknownst to me, my 1-14 scale actually went to, like, a FORTY-SEVEN.

It was as if each of the three births I experienced peeled back another protective layer against the hum of anxiety all around me. 

My internal monologue became overtaken by worried thoughts:

What if the rubber part of the pacifier comes off and chokes the baby in his sleep?

What if the little knit cap comes loose during the night and somehow falls over the baby's mouth, cutting off its air supply???

What if the baby suddenly breaks free of its swaddle and manages despite total lack of arm control to fling itself out of the crib????

I had so much nervousness roiling within at all times. Then I'd turn on the news and find a whole new host of things to fret about. It wasn't helping.

The constant stories of war, crime, and general gloom-and-doom were bad enough, but even worse were the "DO YOU KNOW THESE HIDDEN DANGERS TO YOUR CHILD?" stories that tend to pop up toward the end of every newscast:
  • Do You Know the Dangers of Dry Drowning??
  • Giant Sand Sinkholes that Swallow Children Whole - Could They Happen to You?
  • That Jolly Guy Who Lives Right Next Door? HE'S ALMOST CERTAINLY A DEVIANT SEX CRIMINAL!!!
So it is that I've found myself over the course of these past few years entering near-total news blackout. People talk to me about the goings on in the world and I find myself nodding like a Stepford Wife and saying things like, "Uh-huh," and "You don't say..."

I still inform myself about issues when I vote, I still stay up on some current events, and I manage to learn the basics of what is going on in the world. 

But for the near-future I see the "No News" policy at my house still in maximum effect.

I mean, with the exception of the Carlos Danger thing, of course. Because that craziness is just fascinating...