As a mother with often debilitating anxiety, I know firsthand what things aggravate or alleviate the disorder. While I try to avoid things like crowded places when possible, and try to maintain my structured routine, I know I can't always avoid my triggers — especially when it involves my children. If you're like me, you might not realize some of the ways your baby monitor is making your anxiety worse. Yes, that's right. Your baby monitor. While there's a lot of baby-related products and devices that contribute to anxiety, I think this one tops the list.
When I was a first-time mom over 10 years ago, I thought the baby monitor was my saving grace. If I couldn't be right there, hovering over my newborn daughter, the monitor could relay all the important information I thought I needed so I could determine whether or not to rush in to "save" her, or try to go back to sleep. I hadn't realized how reliant I'd become on every little blip, beep, static fuzz, or stray cough, until I reached the point of nearly no sleep.
The point is, not only did the technology contribute to my anxiety (i.e. making me paranoid about every last sound), but it also gave me insomnia. I worried myself into a depression, fearful if I closed my eyes too long I wouldn't hear my daughter if something terrible happened. Spoiler alert: nothing terrible ever happened and she's fine, 10 years later, while I'm still as exhausted as ever.
The same was true for my youngest, too. Though I knew not to give into all the noises a monitor can pickup, I couldn't help myself. I became paranoia personified. And actually, I admit it: my partner and I only just ditched our baby monitor a few weeks ago, and our son is nearing 6 years old. It's not that I needed it, but it was a safety net and a "just-in-case" that I was in no way rushing to say goodbye to. Honestly, it was the only thing that made me feel like I could save my children should something go wrong at night, and my anxiety worsened because of it. With that, here's some of the ways your baby monitor isn't helping you, but instead, making your anxiety worse.