Thursday, April 7, 2011

Research. Obsessively.

A post at one of my fave Mommy blogs just got my research juices flowing, and I needed to share. I was a psychology major in college, which at the time felt like a huge indulgence. Picking a major because I LIKE it? Shame on me. I should be picking something USEful. So I double majored, and while the Government major probably helped me get jobs and into grad school, the psych has a lot more to do with how I think about policy. A lot more.

Regardless, I'm one of those rare dorky people who actually likes reading published research. I don't mean the executive summaries, people, I mean the 20+ pages in academic journals that detail all of the survey development and sampling methodology that let me decide whether I trust their data for myself.

So when I became a Mom, I started turning this propensity on to researching things for my kids. As I've alluded to before, I had a terrible time breastfeeding and was really incredibly hard on myself about it. If my body couldn't make milk, should I even have been a Mom in the first place? My total devotion to (ok obsession with) this failure landed me straight in post partum depression, until a number of things happened to show me that Monkey needed me to be happy and healthy more than she needed to nurse.

A few good friends smacked me around, verbally speaking, and gave me the strength to figure out that not being able to nurse was not the end of the world. And when I could see a little more clearly, I turned to the research. And you know what? It's not that big a deal! I won't go into it here, 'cause I know it's ridiculously hot button for some people, but it was clear to me that the numbers did not prove any harm would be done to my children by skipping the breastmilk. And the research empowered me to get back to the most important business of caring for my child.

Phew. Didn't mean to go there, actually, but there it is.

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