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What Modern Moms Are Overdoing It On

Photograph by Twenty20

It's not rocket science to notice that I parent differently than my mom in so many ways. When my husband and I did baby-led weaning in lieu of traditional purees, my mom thought we were crazy and couldn’t fathom her six -month-old granddaughter eating strips of chicken breast and tacos. And why wouldn’t we bundle her in 14 layers of clothes at night while she slept in a crib devoid of blankets and stuffed animals? The list could go on and on.

But the biggest difference in our parenting styles comes down to one thing: Unlike her, I have the internet at my fingertips.

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As a first-time mom I can Google anything I want—and believe me, I have. Baby not sleeping well at night suddenly? Google informs me she may be in a sleep regression. At a loss of how to help my baby with gas pain? My mom group on Facebook is there to dole out advice at 10 p.m. Oh no, what were the breast milk storage guidelines the lactation consultant told me while in the hospital? Luckily I have a reliable breastfeeding site I can consult in under two minutes.

So what did my mom do back in the day when she had all the same questions? All she had were her mom friends, her own mom and the pediatrician.

But she also had her intuition.

I’m sure there were numerous occasions when she had no idea what to do with us, so she said a prayer and acted on what she thought was the best thing to do at the time. And hey, we’re all still alive and decent human beings, so her choices were obviously fine.

This makes me wonder if there's something to be had from some good old-fashioned fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants parenting.

There's no doubt that the internet is amazing. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned as a new parent from it. But as awesome as it is, it's also completely overwhelming. Instead of pondering over two options, all of a sudden you're poring over hundreds of ideas.

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This makes me wonder if there's something to be had from some good old-fashioned fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants parenting. What if instead of Googling the 87 best ways to get your kid to sleep at night, we simply asked our two best mom friends what worked for them?

How much time and anxiety could be saved by purposefully narrowing down our decisions and sticking to it? After looking up car seat recommendations until my head spun, I simply asked some of my friends and decided to go with one of their choices. And guess what? It’s a great car seat and I'm at peace with it.

Google can only teach you so much, right?

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