Try as I might, I’ll probably never stop comparing baby-parenting round 1 (Mason and Milo) to baby-parenting round 2. Partly because I draw on [somewhat hazy] memories to help me know what to do with Arlo.
Normally I think about all the strides parenting has taken in the last decade. They have baby monitors with mini TVs, and blankets that practically swaddle themselves. If I want to buy a new baby item I can research online, read a myriad of reviews, and purchase it with one hand while sitting on the floor next to Arlo playing.
The thing I’ve been finding most fascinating is that advice isn’t limited to grandmas and sister-in-laws anymore (although they are still good sources). There are parenting groups, friends to text, more online research.
And then the other day, as I watched Arlo drop his bowl on the ground and be slightly frustrated with a fork for maybe the 5th time, I realized as awesome as it is to have all these resources, it may be making me a little bit stupider as a parent. All I could think was, “I should ask a question about this on Facebook; someone else can probably give me a solution.”
Every time a little issue arises I try to solve it with common sense, or trial and error. But if it doesn’t resolve quickly my go-to is to post on parenting groups to see if anyone else has ideas on what to do.
Maybe it also reveals my impatience as a parent. I mean, why take the time to try, or wait for Arlo to figure it out, if a quick message on Facebook might get me multiple sources of advice in a few hours.
But you know, when I had Mason and Milo I just had to figure it out. And keep trying new things and learning what worked for them. I realize I’m sort of sounding like one of those people who say, “Back in my day, we didn’t have seatbelts and we all survived.”
I really do like a lot of the ways parenting has changed. I still amaze myself sometimes when I think about parenting choices I made round 1 that seem so absurd or uneducated now. Sometimes I wonder if all these resources and points of advice have pushed a little more into the side of over-parenting and anxiety, rather than just live and learn.
And then I start to go down a rabbit hole of thought, like how will this affect these kids as adults. Or will I ever swing back the other way and stop caring what the internet says? Or maybe what’s changed more between round 1 and round 2 is that I’m 15 years older.
Maybe I’m just so much more aware than I was last time my parenting IQ only seems like it’s lowering.