Did someone just say “parent”? Ever responsible, worrying about kids’ health, running after a kid, changing diapers, scared to travel, forever torn between whether to co-sleep or not. I can go on and on.
When did parenting become such a pain?
When we started building BabyOnBoard, we knew the problems we wanted to solve. But as we read through posts after posts on Facebook communities, parenting portals & truck-load of content, we realized parenting is no more fun . It is work. It is painful. It is monster. For a lot many parents.
A part of the problem is how we choose to spend our time online.
As a founder building a parenting platform, here is my list ( I know what you are thinking — no 7-steps to being the great parent, but bear with me) — which can help you be happier.
1. STOP READING THOSE ARTICLES.
You know them when you read their titles. Classic click-bait. These articles will pit you against parents or parenting styles. “Why Single Children Are Smarter” or “10 Tried & Tested Ways To Make Your Husband Love You More”. There is no science or common sense to these articles. Your husband loves you. You know it. If he does not, you know that too. Having one or two kids does not make you a better or a worse parent. You do not want to read about extremely rare conditions — chances are the symptoms are so common you will be scared to death.
So get your content-filters ready! Beat the bait.
2. TRUST YOUR MEDICAL ADVISOR.
I know it is easy to ask a question online in a forum. But then, every child is different. Medical histories are different. They may be staying in two different weather conditions. If you are not comfortable with your doctor, ask for recommendations — but make sure you ask all your questions to a certified professional.
Facebook communities work only when they have experts curating responses. You can discover a nice place nearby from a community or advice to visit a developmental paedetrician — but you will never get an answer on why your baby is crying so much or why she has fever. It is too much of trial and error & it is risky.
Here is an example of community that works (apart from your local mom-communities of course) .
3. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY EVERY SINGLE THING.
When you spend time online, everything you read feeds into commerce. Every article you read or every term you search, Google, Facebook and others want you to buy stuff. Mom-bloggers who do an amazing job of helping parents out also need to make money to keep going.
End result — you are being bombarded with stuff you will not buy otherwise. One of the really good things about BabyCenter is how they have avoided monetising their platform despite their traffic. Kudos J&J.
So, if you are being suggested to buy a toy to improve fine motor skills, head to mom-bloggers who can help you with do-it-at-home activities. There is always something free/cheap out there which will give you better results.
Of course, if your little one wants that Frozen toy, you can not help it.
4. DON’T BE SORRY.
This is the most important point.
Most of the things that are asked online have a hidden “Am I doing it wrong” / “I am so sorry to ask this” written in between lines.
If you are having trouble communicating with your MIL, think through and have an adult conversation. Sure you can find support online but it does not solve the problem at the root. Do not be sorry if your child behaved well but some other kid was rude. You are doing well.
Find support online but make sure you act and bust the stress.
It is our first story and we hope you found something valuable here. Do let us know in comments what you think.
PS: You can find our facebook page here.