Creating a family around a baby is the most basic function of anyone’s lifetime. Every other animal in Earth’s animal kingdom lives each day with the desire to procreate and propagate the Earth with their species. This doesn’t mean that parenthood is for everyone or that it should be the goal of every human. After all, humans have evolved beyond the need to eat, burrow, and hump to instead create art, music, empires, and systems to categorize our planet and beyond. But at our basic mammal level, raising children to adulthood is an ingrained and innate desire.
You would never believe this if you surrounded yourself with baby stuff!
If you have drunk the KonMari Koolaid, then you may have read about the advanced stuff where Marie explains that filling your home with too much writing can ruin your peace. Your brain is constantly reading and receiving input, so you cannot relax in your space with posters for movies, boxes repurposed from visually noisy lemon crates, or “live laugh love” giant calligraphy across your walls.
Taking that lesson to heart, having a baby has ruined any possible peace in my home because EVERYTHING baby has to come with a bright orange warning label to explain how babies have DIED using this product improperly.
Bathtubs could drown your child. High chairs pose a falling risk. Pack’n’plays pose a suffocation risk. Swaddlers could smother your baby. Formula could poison your baby if not made correctly. Bouncy chairs have been known to fling your baby across the room like a catapult.
At first, I saw the labels and noted that it’s my parental job to keep an eye on Ellie to know that she’s comfortable, breathing, and not at risk. I cannot leave her in the pack’n’play all day and assume she’s fine. I should probably interact with my child throughout the day.
As Ellie’s needs grow, and she uses more items, I am finding myself overwhelmed by the bright orange and the visual assault of words. I cannot bounce my baby without labels to the left and right of her face. I cannot take first bath photos without the warnings in her photos. It is a barrage of notifications that you may be a terrible parent. It’s not Fisher-Price’s fault if your baby dies.
How has the human race continued to grow to over 7 billion people surrounded by killer baby stuff?
How was da Vinci able to paint the Mona Lisa and imagine the flying machine? How did Nelson Mandela survive childhood to lead the government of South Africa? What about Wu Zetian? And Wallis Simpson was able to make it three husbands!
My point is I want off this merry-go-round! The first 9 weeks of Eleanor’s life has messed with this new parent’s head. My basic rules of managing anxiety are:
- Manage good sleep hygiene (can’t do that)
- Limit my caffeine (nope! That’s off the charts)
- Exercise (nuh-uh)
- Limiting overwhelming inputs like clutter, visual noise, etc
Ellie is going to do what all babies do – she’s going to wake us up and make demands on our time that used to be used for meditation or cleaning or exercise.
However, it cannot be understated that there is now new visual noise in my life with an OBVIOUS bright orange label saying WARNING: This item known to murder children.