Last week I was talking to my social media-savvy grandmother (savvy in the sense that she is on Facebook) on the phone and she mentioned that she loves seeing pictures of my kids on Facebook and – gulp – also reads my blog. Immediately I apologized for some of my language choices and cringed at some of the things I’ve said to besmirch her great grandchildren. Things that maybe wouldn’t always be “grandmother approved”.
My grandmother poo poohed my apology, “You certainly are a hands-on-mother! Maybe it’s been awhile, but I don’t ever remember thinking about it that much!”
“It” being parenting. “It” being a mother. I think parents today all feel it. The availability of information. There is so much of it and you can seriously go down a deep, dark rabbit hole with the simplest of Google searches. The fact that due to social media and the all powerful internet our parenting choices are limitless, but also scrutinized and judged harshly.
Here was my grandmother, a woman that back in 1954 didn’t realize that she was pregnant with twins and got quite the surprise in the delivery room on April 5th when my own dad came out a few minutes after my uncle. A woman that when she was wheeled past her husband who sat in the waiting room because the idea of men in the delivery room just wasn’t a thing, chucked up the deuce to signify that they had not one, but two babies now. Surprise! My grandfather, not understanding what she meant, thought she was displaying a V for victory. There were no “Mom of Twins” groups on Facebook for her to join. There was no running out to Buy Buy Baby to purchase another set of all the things to accommodate a second, surprise baby. There weren’t message boards to scroll through during 3am feedings that made you question what you were doing wrong because somehow everyone else’s baby is sleeping through the night by five weeks. Nope. She didn’t think. She didn’t overanalyze. She took her kids home and probably held them in her arms during the car ride without having to wonder whether the chest plate was properly aligned on her five-point harnesses.
Now, I’m sure at 86-years old you sort of forget what parenting small children can be like. The overwhelming exhaustion and responsibility of herding naked, rude little people. But do I ever think that my grandmother was worried about half of what I do on a daily basis? Nope. The availability of information is both a gift and a curse. Whereas I envision that our mothers and grandmothers got advice from those around them – their mothers, their siblings, their friends. And that was simply that. There wasn’t crushing deluge of conflicting parenting studies where all signs point to the fact that you’re doing it wrong.
So this weekend I’m listening to someone wiser. Someone that raised five kids without Amazon Prime and iPads (insert shudder here). I’m getting out of my own head and taking a break from the self-analysis that drives me crazy. Don’t worry, it’ll resume on Monday. Happy Friday, everyone!