In an increasingly online world, more and more people are turning to the internet for advice. It’s a natural part of the way things are progressing. When I was younger and wanted to know something I would head to the reference library. Now I consult google because it’s like a million times quicker. And google knows everything of course. But really, with the internet you have a vast amount of knowledge at your fingertips, and it’s great. And with the internet, I also have easy access to something I wouldn’t find in the reference library. Personal opinions and experiences.
I’m a great lover of blogs and real life articles. I guess that’s obvious since I’m writing this on my own blog. Life is not a totally unique experience. While we all live our own lives, there are often similarities. Sometimes when you are going through a tough time, it’s nice to know that someone else has had a tough time and come out the other side. To know that you are not alone.
I remember walking around the living room at 3am in tears because my son wouldn’t stop crying. In total despair I turned to the internet, and found lots of blogs from other mums and dads who had been in the same situation. That made me feel like everything was alright. At a time when I was feeling like I was failing as a parent, those blogs told me I was doing fine. Just like all the other parents pacing their rooms in the dead of night.
The hot topic of the last few weeks has obviously been the new school term. For a first time parent, your child heading in to reception can be emotional. I was a nervous wreck when my eldest started school, and I had to hold back tears. Other parents at the school gate were elated, looking forward to going home for a hot cuppa for the first time in 5 years. Weather happy or sad, it certainly is an emotional time.
As with all other life events, people write blog posts. ‘How to cope with your child starting school’ or ‘Why I’ll be sad to leave my son at the school gate’. Perhaps you may even read ‘Why looking forward to being child free doesn’t make you a bad parent’. Whatever side of the fence you sit on, you’ll find something that resonates with you. It’s not really confined to blogs either, as many family brands will offer tips on their social media, alongside magazine and newspaper articles too.
Such articles and blog posts often provoke a big response. Other parents will comment below the post saying, “My son starts school on Wednesday and it’s really weighing on my mind, so thanks for this” or something to that effect. But if you look, and you never have to look very hard, you will find someone who says these exact words…
“Oh whatever did we do before the internet?”
You know, written in the best sarcastic tone that is physically possible using only words.
“What did we do before the internet? Children have been starting school in September since forever and we all managed fine without articles like this”. Probably followed by a roll eyes emoji.
It’s not just going back to school that gets this response. Find any blog post or article where someone offers advice on something and you will find that one person. Someone offers tips on labour and they’re there, “Oh how did women give birth before the internet roll eyes roll eyes”.
And you know what? It’s really starting to get on my bloody nerves.
Some things in life are tough. Pushing a baby out of your vagina is tough. Yes, women have been doing it since the beginning of women, that doesn’t make it any less tough. Those women many years ago didn’t have the internet at their disposal, no. Before now people turned to baby books and group classes to better prepare themselves for what was to come. Before that I’m sure women spoke to their friends and relatives who would offer them advice.
24 years ago when my mam was preparing for my first day at school I’m sure she felt just as nervous as I did with my son. Perhaps a friend gave her some advice on how to cope with the situation. Do you think my mam then rolled her eyes and said sarcastically “oh how ever did we cope as a parent before we had friends to give us advice”? No, because that’s bloody stupid. So why does it make a difference whether the advice has come from a friend, or from a blog?
Just because people managed fine without something in the past, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it in the present. Before the invention of the wheel we managed fine. If we wanted to go somewhere we walked, or rode a horse if we were feeling fancy. Does that me we should shun the wheel, because we managed fine without it? NO of course not.
If you feel like you can go through your whole life without advice or support or whatever, then good for you. If like me you are not one of those people, fear not. You have the internet at your finger tips, and you’ll always find someone in the same boat as you. Finally, to all of you people out there writing posts to help ease parents in to the school year or share your pregnancy tips, keep doing what you do! Because for every miserable arse who ‘didn’t need your stupid tips’ 20 years ago when she sent her kids to school, there will be a person who finds comfort in your experiences.