I have a confession. My babies have 3 parents- me, their Dad and…… Google. Google is there for us 24/7. She knows everything about everything. When we got thrown into parenting head first it was ok because we had Google to get us through. I remember that first week with our first son and how she held our hand. What temperature should a newborns bath be Google? Water warmed to 37 degrees should be perfect Emma. Cheers love.
I have googled EVERYTHING in my 2 long/ short (depending how you look at it) years as a mum. My favourite: How to get my toddler to wear a hat? And the saddest: will formula make my baby obese/ thick/ ill or all three? During those first few weeks when I was deciding how to feed my baby and not be a shit mum at the same time – I could google formula feeding and find evidence to either make me feel better about formula or that it was poison. Depending on my mood I would either lift my head from Google feeling like the worst mum in the world and my baby was going to be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic OR I was doing the right thing by being a happy mum. I remember finding a rare article saying formula made babies happier, sleep better, stronger and more bonded with their dads. True or not I held on to it like a precious gem.
See the problem with Google Mum is that she knows TOO much. And at the same time she knows nothing. She doesn’t know me, she doesn’t know my babies, she doesn’t know our lives. How can she tell me the right time to wean my small person? She doesn’t know him. But I still ask her.
Discussing this with my mum and wondering how she ever managed without Google Mum I realised she was better off. The only people she could ask for advice were her friends, family, the baby book or the doctor. And herself. She used her instincts. I have been spoilt as a parent by too much accessible information. I can instantly access a mumsnet forum with hundreds of posts about my chosen topic. But will it give me the answer I need? Probably not. Will it confuse me more? Most fucking definitely. My instincts have been watered down by turning to google at the first sign of a hiccough. Actually google- why does my baby hiccough so bloody much?
Google Mum does help sometimes. My husband googles “Toddler Haircuts” and goes armed to the barbers with google images of how we want our sons hair to look. But she can’t tell you how to get him to sit still in the chair. That’s where we come in. Armed with lollipops, smiles, Daddy sits in the chair too and he comes out looking better than those google images, of course he does. We’ve got to accept that Google and the internet is going to be part of our modern parenting. When my son comes home from school for the first time learning about a new topic- what do you think I’m going to do? Google the shit out of it of course. He will have the best fucking Tudor project you’ve ever seen. And probably the same as all the other kids whose parents have copy and pasted the same bits from google as me.
Google is making me a lazy parent. Wanting the answers to the parenting conundrurums- hoping someone else has done the research, method, results and concluded that *this* is how you get your child to burp easily and quickly so you can go back to sleep. If only it was that easy. What I really need is a Eden search engine and a different one for Xander- because even these two, same parents, same gender, same environment to grow up in, same formula, same rules -EVEN THE SAME BLOODY COT- couldn’t be more different. I thought the second one was supposed to be easier?
My advice- Stay off Google if you can. Trust yourself.