This isn’t really a parenting advice blog. It’s just a log of my experiences and pet peeves about modern parenting.
Pet peeve #1: the internet.
When I first became a parent (5 whole months ago – so I basically know everything there is to know now guys!) I found myself googling everything – is my baby eating enough, how much should I let him sleep, is this rash/spit-up/poop normal? The results are often conflicting, but there seems to be one main theme that appears everywhere on the internet: you are a terrible parent! You’re worrying too much and too little, you work too much but don’t make enough money, you should cook more, clean more, get more exercise, and for heaven’s sake smile every once in a while! Also you need to do all this while getting 3 hours of sleep and make sure to LEAN IN* at work! Oh by the way, everything you’re doing is going to ruin your child forever!
I’m here to tell you that you are not a terrible parent. The fact that you are worried about your child and seeking answers in the often unforgiving corners of the internet says a lot about how much you care. Your house doesn’t need to be cleaner, you don’t need more money, more stuff (for yourself or for baby) and you are not ruining your child. I mean, you’re probably not. Mine isn’t grown yet so I don’t even have an n=1 study for you. Anyway, if you’re a new parent, the internet can be super helpful as a guide to know when you should maybe seek medical care for your kid. But if you want to know how you “should” be doing things, I have found that instinct is a much better guide than scrolling endlessly though mommy forums.
Parental instint was a huge revelation to me. Almost every time I have felt like something was “off” about my kid, I turned out to be correct, even when other moms (self-proclaimed experts) said it was nothing to worry about. So trust yourself! You know you child better than anyone. And take heart. You are fully equipped for this job.
TL;DR – use the internet as a guide, not a guilt trip.
*That’s a pet peeve for another post.