What if I told you I could give you The Single Most Importance Piece of Advice as you embark on this journey called motherhood? Would you follow it?
Well, here it is: STOP GOOGLING* IT. That’s it. It’s that plain and simple.
No, but seriously, just put the phone down. I know, it’s so tempting to do a quick search on your phone for:
“weird newborn breathing sound”
“swaddle that will make baby sleep” (see below for this alleged sw
“no teeth, is something wrong with my five month old?”
“why can’t my 7 month old crawl at lightning speed?”
“baby chewing crib like a woodchuck”
“20 month old STILL waking at night”
“toddler hates me”
But I speak from experience. Or you child might end up looking like this:
Seriously, if it has happened, my nimble fingers have likely googled that sh*t. And let me tell you, very little good comes from 3:00 am internet searches. Sure, there are benefits to having information at our fingertips, but you and I both know that you’re not looking up the Mayo Clinic website. You’re reading the comments of every mother/baby comment board that has existed on the internet since 2006. When you searched your problem, you didn’t know that your innocent search would lead you to find one zillion other things to worry about. Those searches always lead you to question your motherly intuition.Although I would like to blame my anxiety-prone self, I think the problem is broader. I’ve come to learn that most mothers are worriers. Although I like to think I’m special, my problem is not unique. We all simply want the best for our children, which leads to obsessive worrying, for some more than others. But in this crazy over-sharing information overloaded society, it can all just be TOO much. You will not forever ruin your child if you put the pacifier that dropped onto the floor into her mouth. You will not give him abandonment issues if you miss bedtime one night.
Oh, there are times I yearn for a world without neuroticism at my fingertips.
Sure, there are benefits to online communities. Perhaps you will learn something that leads you to ask your pediatrician important questions. Perhaps you will find someone who shares your circumstances. But in my experience, the best way to relate, problem-solve, vent, or cry is to do it with REAL people in REAL time. We’re all busy, we’re all running a million miles an hour, so sometimes this feels impossible. But stopping. Is. So. Worth it. One interactive conversation a month is worth a million googled searches. Excessive googling feeds me a sense of doom and hopelessness. But when I talk with friends who are mothers, I feel a sense of solidarity, a willingness to act, or at least have a really good laugh.
*Disclaimer: I have nothing against Google and love the fact that I can google random facts ;). I also love that my googling obsession has provided me with a hefty dose of humor–in hindsight.