Info Overload: Do Moms Today Have It Easier Or Harder?

When I was pregnant with Boy, I was the first in my large group of friends to have a baby; I would be the go-to mommy for all-things-baby advice.

The overwhelming info overload of the mommy/baby industry of today was nonexistent.  Matter of fact, I didn’t read a single book or do any research on pregnancy or raising children; I figured if something came up that I was unsure about I would #1) ask the pediatrician or #2) ask the moms of my friends…you know, go to the deep wisdom vault of my elders.  Yes, they may have done things differently in their day, but the base of their advice was solid.

When I was a young mom, information was passed down from woman to woman, mom to mom, much like it is today, but on a much smaller scale.  Today, with the wealth of  info/blogs/books readily available almost instantaneously, it’s assumed that mommies-to-be and mommies have it much easier.

Or do they?

Your baby.  Your parenting?

While my method of jumping into motherhood without months of preparation might not have worked for everyone, I was very comfortable in my mommy-skin (after Boy arrived), mainly because I was 10-years-old when my youngest brother was born, and the built-in babysitter.  By the time I became a mother, I had years of experience and confidence.

Today, I have yet to meet a new or young mom who isn’t plugged into the mommy blog culture, or who hasn’t read reams of how-to books, or who hasn’t uber-prepared the way for their sweet bundle of joy.

Knowledge is power, right?

Or, is reading the blogs, joining the forums, discussing ALL THE THINGS, making it harder for new moms to ease into their new lives with baby?

I’m earnestly asking.

Don’t compare yourself with other moms.

I’m asking because I have seen the angst on the blogs and in their faces.  If I were a new mom today, I think my head might explode from all the shoulds and coulds and must-haves.  I need a what and I need it when?  Don’t do this, but do that.  Cloth diapers/disposables/breastfed/formula fed/co-sleep/get in dat crib!

So many choices, so many authoritative voices (some with little experience) and so much judgement!

Head’s up, momma: unless you’re letting baby zipline over a crocodile pit while covered in chicken fat, you’re probably doing it right for you and your family.

Allow yourself the space to be who you are as a mom.

Babies are resilient; ask anyone who has one.  Moms are too hard on themselves: ask any father.  Life is hard enough without feeling like you gotta run a parenting decision thru the Internet community.

On the other hand…

…what I would have done for the med sites when Boy was an itty-bitty.  Could have saved me so much aggravation and white-knuckled fear.  Yet, I know my research-loving nature would not have stopped there.  I would have spent hours checking and looking and asking.  I would have been a part of the mommy blogging culture.  I WOULD HAVE!  I would have read the blogs and wondered if their way was better than my way.  I would have considered advice from all comers.  I would have agonized and theorized and OMGized until I was worn out from all the thinking about being a mom instead of simply being a mom.

And that’s why I thank my lucky stars that I was born about 20 years too soon.

My personality is all-in, baby.  I know there’s got to be many more of you like me out there and it’s those moms that I worry about.

Too much of anything, including how-to-raise-baby articles, is never good.

If I could say one thing to info-overloaded mommies-to-be or new moms that they would hear, it would be this: your love + your baby = it’s gonna be fine.

To you young moms who read here, do you feel that you are overloaded with info, or do you feel you have it much easier today than us older moms? Overload schmoverload!

Maybe I’m just a relic who doesn’t understand the new generation’s need for so much info, or maybe I just think moms should give themselves a break and enjoy what’s right in front of them.

I’m going with the latter.

What about you?

 

 

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Comments

  1. I can see the effects of this in my son and daughter-in-law. They are both brilliant and very analytical. They have used the resources of the internet for everything from questions about pregnancy to life with twins. Fortunately, they tend to focus more on information and tips than on judgement. When my kids were little I joined a playgroup. These moms were my sounding board and think tank. We helped each other through all the stages of our kids’ lives. (We are all still very close and now celebrating our grandchildren!)
    I heartily agree with your equation: your love + your baby = it’s going to be fine. Along those lines, I always encourage my kids to trust their instincts and believe in themselves. Love and confidence go a long, long way!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Instincts are undervalued, but highly recommended! What’s right for someone else may not be right for you (in anything). It’s my strong belief that mommas/daddies instinctively know what’s best. They just gotta get comfortable tapping into the resource.

  2. I didnt read any books because I was too busy reading fantasy novels while I had the time :). I didnt really do forums either (during or after pregnancy) because there seemed to be a lot of scary worst case scenarios on there.

    During pregnancy I: 1. went to one labor/parenting class 2. Asked Katie (Girl) a bazillion questions 3. Occasionally asked my mom but we all know that info was outdated :). 4. Used my “What to Expect” App to learn how the baby was growing in me each week (my favorite thing)

    After pregnancy I : 1. Asked Katie a bazillion questions 2. Avoided the internet for the most part because anytime I looked up a symptom it usually diagnosed Kaven with Cancer and death!!!!

    The technology wasnt too overwhelming for me. The biggest thing that stressed me out was BuyBuyBaby….sooooo many baby things!!! HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ITEM TO BUY????

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      During pregnancy: I take exception ( I almost said umbrage…i’m such a word dork!) to #3. I do not know that the info was outdated, instead of merely different (does that make it outdated in itself?!).

      After pregnancy: #2 gave me a good laugh, though because haven’t we all had that same diagnosis when looking up something for ourselves?! CANCER! DEATH! Or, nothing to worry about here…

      I had never even heard of BuyBuyBaby until Girl’s pregnancy, and like you was completely overwhelmed at ALL THE STUFF!

      Thanks for the fun comment.

  3. I think it’s overwhelming to us because we didn’t grow up with the world’s library, newspapers and neighbor-over-the-fence from the world at our fingertips. Our children do, so they expect to be able to retrieve credible, professional information nearly instantly. But, your advice to them to trust their own instincts is the same advice new mothers were given in my day, when, after all, there was still lots of conflicting information – formula or breast, cloth diapers or those new-fangled disposables, cry-it-out or soothe baby to sleep. And, it’s the right message today – take it all in, decide and trust your instincts.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      “And, it’s the right message today – take it all in, decide and trust your instincts.” Exactly. Well said.

  4. I am thankful that I live in the age where information is available so easily on the Internet. It is comforting knowing that I can search for more information, support, etc to answer my questions or relieve my fears. As a blogger I also learn more about parenting through my critical reflection of what I have done and what I chose to do when raising my children. I love exploring new ideas, hearing different perspectives and then picking and choosing what works for me and my children. With a greater access to knowledge, also comes a responsibility to think critically about what you read and what you chose to believe. All the reading and research in the world will not prepare you or make you a better mother. It is also about trial and error. You will do your best and you will learn as you go. Have faith in yourself 🙂

    I hope you stop by and read a post I wrote on a similar subject: What I Wish I Knew Before Pregnancy and Giving Birth by Mamamusing

  5. I agree with your observations on information overload these days. It threatens relationship when we can let our fingers do the tapping to find a bazillion answers instead of going directly to family friends and neighbors who’ve ‘been there done that’.
    My 2 oldest daughters are wiser, smarter, better Moms than I was starting out – but they helped several younger siblings to practice on. Such a blessing to see!
    Thanks for sharing your observations! Always enjoy reading your perspective on things.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I keep coming across the idea that many of us who have been there done that are outdated in our information. It dumbfounds me. Yes, many things have changed (in particular how we approach SIDS), but change doesn’t negate wisdom gained from experience. I think that is obvious in your daughters entering motherhood a bit more prepared because of their practice.

      Thanks for joining the conversation, momma!

  6. PJ @ Planned in Pencil says:

    I don’t have kids (yet) but this info overload is something I am already concerned about, I think there is more pressure on moms today then ever before, it’s crazy! Great wisdom shared here. Thank you for linking up at the Pinworthy Project Link Party at Planned in Pencil.

  7. Oh my goodness… you bring up so many good points. I remember when I was pregnant, the only online info out there was Babycenter. I constantly compared myself to the super mommies of the internet and it was so much worry wasted. On the other hand, I felt like I wasn’t alone. So… go figure! Thanks for sharing with us this week at Monday Funday! Have a great week!

    Take care,

    Trish

  8. Carrie This Home says:

    I think moms these days have it harder because there’s SO much information out there! It makes it way too easy for moms to compare with one another or compare my baby to how the books say things should be going. I really loved this encouragement you shared with younger moms–we really need it!
    Thanks for linking up to Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Being a mom is hard, so I understand the need for so much information, but I think it’s wise to temper ALL THE THINGS with just being. Glad you liked the post! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for linking up! The hubby and I are discussing having little ones and already I feel overwhelmed; with what’s online, people giving me advice on how I should take care of myself before I’m even pregnant, during pregnancy and after… Goodness! I love your comment about a baby zipping rolled in chicken fat over an alligator pit. 🙂

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Ha! Get used to it, mommy-thinking-to-be! You’re the first to comment about that line…made me laugh when I wrote it and glad someone else had some fun with it!

  10. My sister says that kids have too much stuff, PERIOD. That includes right from the beginning. Her local yard sale has 1500 members and 80% of the stuff on there is baby stuff – all kinds of gadgets.

    When I had my first baby, my sister and mother helped me. Of course, by then, my sister had had 5 kids in 6 years so we were all babies all the time. 🙂 I knew exactly what to do but when there was a problem, I went to them. If baby was sick, I took him to the doctor.

    INFORMATION OVERLOAD today is an understatement!!!!

    Thanks so much for linking each week and making our party so interesting.

    Your friend, Linda

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Oh my gosh, I could use some baby clothes! Ha! I think the new mommies that were lucky enough to have prior experience with babies could see my POV a bit more than moms who went in cold. I understand that. But…I still think moms should cut themselves a boatload of slack. To me it’s like anything in life when you ask someone’s opinion. You better be ready for a warehouse of different thoughts/ideas of how to do things “right”. So much info! Thanks for weighing in.

  11. I think both sides are true. It’s too much info and, at the same time, it’s great info, all at our fingertips. I think the thing to do is try to aim for balance. Trust your gut (always!). It never steers me wrong.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      SO much great info, right? I can’t even imagine being a new mommy today! You’re right about trusting your gut. Always.

  12. I am most thankful for the internet when it comes to illnesses and symptoms and what to look for when they get that cough that sounds like a dog! I am NOT one that goes to the internet when it comes to parenting how to’s because I am a parent that is so different from most. I am that parent that rolls her eyes at how this generation of moms thinks you should parent .. as what to say and what you shouldn’t say and how to discipline… blah blah blah. This mama here goes w the flow, is very direct w her kids and does not fluff and w so many kids under my belt I have learned a lot from my personal experience. Not sure if that makes sense…

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      It makes sense! We gotta follow our instincts. I wish I had the Internet for medical stuff when Boy was young, but I never even read a book on parenting…not my thang. I just went with the very best for my kiddo at the time. Sounds like you do too.

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