Updated: Apr 12, 2018
I didn't even know what the world of motherhood entailed until I had a child and started asking google things...a lot of things.
For example, hey google, is it okay if I don't breastfeed my child until they are 1? (Crossing my fingers hoping google says "sure, of course!")
Boom. So many articles. So many mom blogs. So much information. So much DIFFERENT information.
Yes, it's ok. Your baby will be fine and can still be very healthy.
Next site- No, your depriving your child of the nutrients it needs, and your child is more likely to have (insert list of bad things).
The mothering world reminds me of politics quite a bit in that there seems to be two sides, with some floating around in the middle. There is the more "modern mother" who tends to believe in hospital births, bottle feeding, crib sleeping, sleep training, and pro-vaccination.
On the other side of the spectrum lie "crunchy moms". Basically these moms go for the all-natural approach. They are more likely to go with an all natural at home birth, baby-wearing, exclusively breastfeeding (often for years), bed sharing, child led weaning, and more likely lean towards not vaccinating. All things natural for these mommas.
And then of course, there are the people who fall in between. That’d be me! I’m not a crunchy Mom, but I’m a little crispy.
When you lie in the middle though, it can be really hard and really confusing.
There is so much information right at our fingertips, but how do we know what to believe? How do we know who is right?
For instance, I can talk to my son's doctor and be 100% convinced that vaccinations are the obvious way to go. No brainer. Then I can go online and read research or hear another perspective and can be 100% convinced I may have just poisoned my child.
Or the fact that I don’t ever want to have a birth without an epidural. Never. Big cheers for the mommas who do it all natural but NO THANKS. But I feel a twinge if guilt when I remember the comments I read about the negative effects of an epidural, and why some people are against it.
Also, I have read all about sleep training. I know that babies sleep better with a routine and can be trained to sleep through the night. But I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to listen to my baby cry. So he sleeps right in bed with us. Am I passionate about co-sleeping for all kids? Nope! Do I think sleep training is wrong? Nope! Do I feel pressure to start sleep training every time someone makes a comment about us co-sleeping (which is often)? You bet.
And breastfeeding. Oh, breastfeeding. I didn’t even mind it but the work it took to get my body to produce enough (which it really never did) was way too time consuming. I gotta live, too.
It’s really hard to be a parent in a world where people’s opinions are presented as absolutes.
Because of the polarized viewpoints, no matter what you decide to do, there's a guarantee a group of people will disagree with you.
And that’s really tough when you are just trying to do the best you can for your babies, for your family.
It’s also really hard that there is not one right answer for any parenting related question. There are so many answers, so much research, so many opinions. Just ask google.
I think it would be nice if we could reset google. Swipe it clean so there was very little information we could find. Because sometimes I think google actually makes us more confused than brings clarity.
Google is not a parenting expert. Google just holds the opinions of billions.
I certainly don’t know everything about parenting, but I think if you are doing your best to love your kids, meet their needs, show them affection and give them your time, you are a really good parent.
The rest really doesn’t matter so much. Do you love them? Do they feel like they matter? Are you trying to raise them to be good people?
Then pat yourself on the back. They won’t remember how long you breast fed, where you decided to birth them, if they slept in a crib or in your arms, if you gave them Tylenol or essential oils.
They will remember how it felt being loved by you. They will remember the fun memories you created while spending time together. They will remember you caring about them.
Google is not the expert on your kids, you are.