I recently found out one of my nearest and dearest friends (and her husband, of course) are expecting their first mini! Cue overwhelming excitement! Now, this is the first friend to get pregnant since I had Little Miss CC. Obviously as the now experienced parent (sarcasm), my mind flashed to us shopping, helping her navigate all the complicated essentials for bringing home her mini. Soon I snapped out of my daydream and realized maybe she wants to get through her first ultrasound before listening to my parenting wisdom. Fine, fine.
Since then, I have been thinking about what I wish I knew when starting this whirlwind adventure in parenting.
I wish I knew that what lay ahead was an Alice In Wonderland trip through Google; “researching” everything I could about the “right way” parent. It started innocently enough, searching “first thing to do when you find out you are pregnant.” It progressed, still innocently to “what to eat for a healthy baby.” But soon I was in deep; the more I looked, the more I realized I knew NOTHING. This awesome friend, Google, who helped me through the first stages of pregnancy was now telling me I wasn’t good enough.
To use a pacifier or not to use a pacifier?
Sleep training, what? You need to train babies to sleep? Wait! Don’t sleep train, your mini will have unresolved issues causing her to not to speak to you for the majority of her 30’s.
Elimination communication – that can’t be a real thing… OH, that’s a very real thing.
It went deeper and deeper. I found online forums for moms who were due in the same month as me! Perfect, we can go through this together! Google and I are really friends! Then I started reading and WHOA, some of these mamas are clearly trying to relive their youth as the mean girls in high school. I was what is considered a “lurker,” I never posted, but read what these ladies had to say. (Something told me not to join in). Some of the advice was great and I enjoyed hearing different viewpoints from around the country, but Lord be with you if said something they didn’t like! Like a pack of rabid wolverines they would descend on anyone they sensed as weaker.
It was around the time I was Googling “if my child gets her two year molars by 18 months is she a genius?” I snapped out of it. Google was just masquerading as my friend for all those months.
You can Google a thousand things, read hundreds of online forums, and spend hours comparing yourself to other parents, but only YOU know how to parent your mini. You won’t believe at first, you will seek answers from the depths of the internet, but trust me – follow your instincts, it’s the right way to parent.
If I could go back, I would remind myself of this daily. Now, back to making my spreadsheet of items my friend will need for her mini…