As you know, I quite like to identify the parenting types that I encounter during my day to day mummy life. You may also be wondering why I decided that I would be the Googling mum and the reason is very simple. Mother’s under 35 are generally now googling answers to parent related problems rather than using the parenting guides and manuals that were perhaps reached for a decade ago. Interesting stuff! In fact, you may have ended up on this very blog as a result of googling something related to parenthood.
This leads me to identifying another type of mum: The googling mum.
As a new parent, it can be pretty confusing the information that you’re bombarded with initially. Generally, most of it is confusing and contradictory. Plus those first six weeks are really just an every parent for themselves free for all as you get to grips with a small, breathing, pooing, eating creature that has suddenly completely transformed your life! And you’re entirely responsible for them – yes you!!! It’s enough to get you grabbing for your smartphones and tablets in a panicked frenzy!
Plus there’s a whole mummyverse (did I just coin a phrase??) of answers and advice waiting to be tapped into – quite literally.
I found myself just about googling everything – sleeping patterns, feeding schedules, what is baby wearing, what is reflux, how do I parent etc. Stuff that I hadn’t even been made aware of at antenatal classes and suddenly, I felt I needed information – desperately! I needed to know everything there was to learn about parenting and quick! I needed an instruction manual for this small human being that I had made and she hadn’t come with one. So off to the net I went.
It was particularly at night, when I was struggling with breastfeeding and didn’t feel I could turn to anyone for advice at 4am, that this googling strategy became my most valid ally; I found some pretty useful videos on YouTube that helped me stumble my way through what, initially, was a very traumatic and difficult breast feeding journey. Plus I discovered the mummy vlogger. The googling mum loves to see other mummies on the net!
The Mummy Vlogger is a breed of mum who makes videos on YouTube that document everything from what to put in your change bag, good first foods, baby outfits and basic, general every day mummy/parent life. One can spend a surprising amount of time watching the mummy vloggers or mlogger as I call them (did I coin another phrase?? I’ve just googled and I think I did!). They cover every aspect of parenting from a first hand and realistic perspective- as they are pretty much living it for real for you to vicariously enjoy! There’s various different types of mlogger – those that are positive and wholesome, those that are hipster and cool, those that are real and humorous. However, the media and commercially savvy world is creeping in and, like all good original content, things are starting to be tainted with product placements and ads – but this is another blog for another day and people have to make a living in this world.
So why is this important? Well think about it, the internet and the technology to access the internet has completely altered the way that we live. It’s no surprise that people are putting down the manuals and creating their own, personal reference material through selecting the information that is most useful to them. Suddenly you’re creating your own personal parenting guide that is addressing all of your parenting problems – excellent.
We’re in the information age and have the technology at our disposal to find answers instantly. What’s not to love!?
As I mentioned earlier, it is during those long 3am and 5am night feeds where the internet can really come into its own. It wasn’t just the world of the Internet search engine or YouTube that one discovered but an entire mummy community. Forums such as those on Mumsnet that can really help you to clarify those probing questions you have. It also helps you to feel less alone – there has been a mother that has been there and done it before. You’re not alone!!! Or going crazy!! Hurrah! Alone at 3am isn’t as bad when there’s a whole mummy community on line!
So this brings me to the blogging. Again a whole world that exists that I had no understanding of until I became a parent. Facebook led me to the first mummy blogger that made me take notice. Her witty, humorous and frank account of motherhood made me chortle and grin – this was a mummy who was telling it like it is. Granted, I’ve not found it quite as troublesome as she depicts but this is most likely due to the fact I only have one child at present – she is dealing with a threenager and baby – not easy! But it was very comforting to read her first posts about not feeling amazing post birth as, I too, had struggled with not feeling quite myself. This inspired me to write a blog that channels the realities of parent-hood for me – as from what I’ve seen on the net and experienced in real life we’re all coping with parenthood in different ways but underneath it all we all feel
insane the same.
So this is for those parents that trawl the internet for answers; they search through websites and forums to find the solutions to their parenting issues, they read or write the blogs as a way of processing the parenting journey, they give real, honest advice and you’ll often hear them refer to a forum or website where they had encountered an issue similar to the one you mention whilst in conversation – these are the googling mums! Not a bad bunch really and certainly pretty clued up on all things mummy-net related!
So the next time you’re not quite certain of what to do with a parent related problem – look to google (or bing)! Or at least find a googling mummy type as they’ll try and give you a solution no doubt based on their internet research or a forum they’ve read.