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?