Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Living In The Online Parenting Present

The internet can be a pregnant woman's best friend. With such a new, scary experience it's reassuring to be able to google every strange pain or weird sensation. But delving into the depths of the interwebs can also be a black hole, especially when it comes to parenting.

mom doing online research

Have you ever been suck in a wiki loop? It's that thing where you go to look up one thing on Wikipedia, and before you know it you have clicked on 20 links and you are learning about something so far removed from your original mission. That happens when you look up parenting advice all the time, and it is so overwhelming.

One of the best things I have learned is to stay in the present. Not with life in general, because that is way too zen for me, but specifically online. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about things that are so far ahead in the future: potty training, discipline, kindergarten, puberty... it goes on and on, further and further into time. 

If you start looking up all of these future parenting issues now, are you going to remember anything you read when they actually come around? More likely than not, you are going to be re-reading all the same articles and blogs, or there is a new best way of solving that problem, and the time you spent 'future parenting' will be time you could have gone and grabbed yourself a beer and done something for yourself for a change.

Not to mention the anxiety that already comes with all the predictable, but certainly not understood, parenting milestones to come. It seems like once you finally have one thing figured out, a whole new set of challenges comes your way. If you start thinking about current parenting stresses, the ones that could possibly come up next, and the distant ones, you are going to be a head case.

So fellow parents, lets all just live in the online parenting present. Forget first sleepovers and first boyfriends and first cars, and just google the things you need to know today. Ask your mommy groups about the most pressing of problems, and forget the fear of the future unknowns. Because doing the best you can right now with what you have is pretty much the best gift you can give your child, and yourself.

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