Every new mother experiences motherhood as if she is re-inventing the wheel. I did it. You might have done it. My daughters will do it if they choose to have children. It is a new mother's birthright.
At any given time, in any given place, in any given situation, no mother's experience is the same as any other mother's experience. Especially in this google infused age within which we live.
This can be explained to older people and younger people, not moms of the moment in this way: not only are there articles as to why drinking wine and coffee can kill you, there are an equal number of articles why drinking wine and coffee can save you from a slow and painful death. If I believe everything I read, everyone I know in Northern California is a binge drinker. See, just like coffee and wine habits, as new moms, you can find many reasons why your newborn will die in its sleep or perish from pesticides.
I was raised in a family restaurant business. Any kind of vermin were verboten in that land. Cleanliness and cross contamination were lively topics discussed both at home and at work. If I see a mouse in the barn, I am relaxed, if I see a mouse at a restaurant I scream. It was all context. I came into the storyline late with my own background story. Mouse in the wild=cute. Mouse in cottage=scream.
For the beginning of my cottage experience with babies, I was sure every piece of mouse poop contained the Hanta Virus. We were all going to die, and my baby was going to go first--I had at least a 120 pound advantage. I rallied a raging war against cleaning up after errant mice. Those smart little cute critters had to go. They were a danger to my baby!
As a new mom, I read every piece of anything that I could read to keep my baby safe. This is a given. As my parents and in laws shunned the car seats and the distance of crib slats, I was vigilant in making sure that everything was 100 percent as safe as I could make it.
Sure, I survived an age of no seat belts and even no car seats, but if there was a better way, I was going to find it and adhere to it. Even if I didn't get my head caught in wide crib slats and choke to death, I was in no way even going to keep myself up at night by using a second hand crib.
I went through most of my first born's years feeling like a gigantic German Shepherd sitting by his side and protecting him from any harm. I am happy to say, German Shepherd instincts kick in automatically, ask any mother. These are exactly the reasons that first time moms mother's groups don't have any mothers of second or third babies. Once you've been the German Shepherd, you are tired and you've already baby-proofed the horizon.
My mother in law mentioned the other day about how much calmer I am about mouse poop. Well, I can only explain it that my first born weighs 160 pounds and has a better immune system than I do at this point. My youngest weighs in around 70 pounds, and she is smart enough not to pick up a brown oblong pebble and pop it in her mouth. Viola. There you have it.
I am done re-inventing that wheel and will start on a new wheel--college applications!