It’s 3am. A tiny voice whispers in your ear, ‘Mummy, I’m going to throw up.’ You pry yourself from slumber and sit up. ‘What happened?’, you ask your wide-eyed toddler. But it’s too late- intestinal armageddon has already struck, and your bed is covered in vomit. Two hours later, you’re awake in bed feverishly Googling the symptoms of every vomit-inducing infant disease ever.
We live in an age where every piece of parenting information is literally at our fingertips. Sure, it’s empowering to know you’re always a click away from solving any problem. But do have the skills to filter out the garbage? Is the epidemic of cyber-parenting causing us more anxiety than it’s worth?
The madness doesn’t end with Dr Google. We’re also contending with the temptation to buy into Instagram happiness and Pinterest perfection. From humble-bragging to brazen oversharing, there are a million ways for parents to boast about their glamorous and exciting lives when social media is involved.
The effect is that parents reading these posts are left feeling inadequate, hopeless and depressed. Sure, it’s easy to fall into the habit of seeking inspiration from ‘perfect parents’ via social media- after all we all want the best for our kids. But the real problems arise when we begin to compare our own lives to a flawless ideal that resides only online.
So why do we buy into the hype? Surely we know better than to model our lives on contrived Instagram captions and carefully-composed happy snaps?
The truth of the matter is that we don’t need these things to become a better parent. Reading endless parenting forums and scrolling through celebrity Instagram posts may feel good for the short-term, but in the long-run, you’re feeding the anxiety monster with validation-seeking activities and unfair comparisons.
If it’s not doing you any good, it’s doing you bad. And it’s time to stop.