How did we survive before the internet? Certainly our parenting was far more driven by our own intuition than by that of our good friend Mr. Google. I suppose there were those things called parenting books that people could read.
“You are so lucky to have the internet,” my mom will often tell me. This is after I express to her that I’m refusing to give my kid juice before middle school because I’ve read somewhere on the internet that it’s a no-no. Or that my toddler won’t be wearing a winter jacket in her car seat because I’ve now seen the 12th video on how it could one day save her life.
How did this information get communicated so quickly before? Beats me.
Since the internet, my mom is no longer my only source of advice, for parenting or otherwise. Not that I really wanted to listen to her in the first place. And, now we have parenting resources online right at our fingertips! Whether the information is correct or not is a different story. But, we can be sure to find something that suits our views.
To create this list of ‘before & after” the internet, I called up my mom to double check the facts. So, you could say I did my research the old fashion way – via word of mouth.
Parenting Style & Techniques:
Before: You read parenting books from the book store or library to figure out the latest parenting technique. By the time you were done the book your kid had long left that stage of childhood. You also tended to parent by going with your gut or by listening to your mom.
Now: Everything you could possibly want is online and can be read (or viewed) in minutes. You constantly receive used parenting books from older parents as if you will actually read them. Not sure if they realize that no one reads parenting books anymore, do they? Regardless, you don’t need them anyways because everyone’s an expert in parenting now (ie. mummaknows….).
Before: Your local doctor.
Now: Your favourite mommy/daddy blogger.
Before: Rubbing rum on your baby’s gums was probably okay and pretty effective.
Now: We now understand that rubbing alcohol on your baby’s gums is probably not okay. As an alternative, we can purchase a plethora of over-priced necklaces (effectiveness: unknown), and hand made teething toys that can be purchased from your local mom on Facebook.
Buying a Baby Stroller
Before: Driving to the store and buying one of the two stroller options available.
Now: First, you spend several hours looking through every online review of the stroller you want to buy. You follow up by asking several moms on the street how they like their stroller. After comparing the Top 10 strollers of 2015, you painfully decide on purchasing a stroller, with the price tag comparable to a small mortgage, for your baby to literally sit in and be walked.
Buying Second Hand Baby Items:
Before: You get second hand items from relatives or close friends, or you make them yourself. Like using a clothes hamper as a baby seat.
Now: Craigslist (or other online resource for selling/buying used items yourself).
Cute Baby Clothing:
Before: baby has one cute outfit which consists of pouffy-sleeved, plaid ensemble mimicking the Michelin Man.
Now: Cute outfits can be ordered weekly, online, at a extremely reasonable cost.
Cooking for Kids:
Before: Kids eat what you eat. Period.
Now: You get inspired by Pinterest to make food art and time consuming toddler food so you can later-gram it (#foodofinstagram #toddlerofinstagram). You will then receive the most ‘likes’ and comments of any other photo on your account (points for creativity and mom-savvyness).
Documenting Our Lives:
Before: Your family photos are candid, often messy, real life moments. You have one token family photo shot taken by a real photographer in a studio. You had one picture taken when you were pregnant but tough luck finding it (as if you even wanted to).
Now: A camera or smart phone is always ready, locked, and loaded to take your picture and post it somewhere online. You documented every week of your pregnancy with a labeled picture, also posted online. Baby photo shoots are choreographed with matching outfits, back drops/surroundings are researched for optimal creativity, and a photographer-wanna-be (mom) is behind the lens. If it isn’t right the first time. It will be re-shot.
Entertaining the Kids:
Before: Your kids played with old boxes, with toys that didn’t require batteries, with their brothers or sisters, and with even you!
Now: Your kids play with toys that light up or sing to them, they play on the ipad, or they watch TV. You can’t even get in a car or go shopping without a wifi/TV-device being shoved in their face. Sometimes they will communicate with you. On a good day.
During Nap Time:
Before: Clean the house?
Now: Scan the internet, watch your favourite PVR’d shows. Never, ever clean the house.