Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Paranoid parenting

When I was pregnant with the wee one I signed up to quite a few baby websites. Being a first time mum, I thought it would be best to be armed with knowledge, and that their message boards would be a great place to chat with other parents. 

Turns out, I was totally wrong. All it did was turn me into a paranoid, worrying, gibbering wreck. (Well, worse than usual anyway!). Instead of being a positive place, full of useful tips, and support, what I found was lots of conflicting advice and scaremongering. Instead of getting positive, don't worry this happens to everyone replies, I noticed that people would reply with worst case scenarios. The mildest  of symptoms would always lead to replies of "oh it sounds like X, cos someone I know had it and their baby ended up in hospital", when it could be down to something really simple. Everyone's an Internet doctor/expert.  So I ended up veering away from those websites because the more I read, the more my mind jumps to the worst conclusion, instead of using my head and gut instinct. 

However, I still recieve emails from these websites. Very rarely do I even open them, because their title is usually something scaremongery. This week I opened one with the title "7 Disturbing Toddler Habits". Then the text inside "7 Disturbing Toddler Habits: Nose-Picking, nail-biting & thumb-sucking.
He always has his hand down his pants. Seriously? Are these things normal?

Hardly disturbing right? To me, they all seem like normal things kids do. But to anyone, like me, who's a little less secure in their parenting skills, it's enough to make you worry if your child IS acting in a "normal" way. 

Similar emails I've had have had headlines with articles like "My Traumatic Birth", "What's You're Baby Afraid Of" "Stroller Injuries" and "Sibling Bullying and it's Lasting Effects". Ugh. Makes for really depressing reading. 

I'm sick of scaremongering emails. Where are the emails to say, "hey, you, 1st time parent! Don't beat yourself up, you're doing a great job!"?

I've decided I'm unsubscribing to these emails, they're getting thrown straight in the trash, and we're going to be less paranoid, (or try at least!).  If I'm looking for advice, I'll ask family, friends, or even Twitter, where folk are so supportive and give the best advice. 

Stuff the baby websites, we're doing fine without them. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post. We relied on a couple of books, plus friends and family, first time round. With Megan, Gem joined a Babycentre birth board, and having done it before, was often the voice of reason in the kind of conversations you're talking about.

    She bowed out of the board a while ago, but still has good friends she made there.

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