I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone to Google to solve my parenting problems. I used it for the answers to everything before I had children; I don’t see why the arrival of a child would change this behavior.
There is nothing that Google won’t tell you. How many teaspoons in a quart? What is the name of that thing you use to turn up soil? Why is Monsanto evil? What is the shortest distance between my house and the KFC downtown? By car? By train? Walking? What’s the name of that guy who was Mallory’s love interest on Family Ties? See. All of the answers are out there.
Why should it be any different for parenting? Spoiler alert; it is.
Googling any parenting dilemma is the worst idea, ever. It sends you down the rabbit hole – and not in a good way. Everything your child goes through has been encountered by another parent, equipped with a camera and ready to upload pictures. These pictures will terrify you.
A couple of weeks ago, my son developed a rash. I Googled, “bad itching toddler rash” and perused some images. Nooooooo. Immediately, I realized that I was not cut out for this whole parenting thing. There is shit out there that is way more serious than what I am encountering with my child. What if any of this horrific stuff appears on my toddler? How will I handle it? What are these skin conditions? I must know. Google. You are the worst.
It manages to convince you that you know things about things you know nothing about – and at the same time feed a paranoia that would not exist if we didn’t have all of this information at our fingertips. It also may annoy the shit out of your partner, if he or she is not inclined to diagnose your child this way. I’ve been known to be a little bit of a “know it all” thanks to Google:
Don’t let Lucien fall asleep with the bottle in his mouth! Google-image ‘bottle rot.’ It’s disgusting. Make sure it’s in quotes. Don’t say no all the time, it will lose its meaning. Its really just negative attention, and he can’t differentiate between negative attention and positive attention yet. He just craves attention. Just ignore him. Google says around 15 months they go down to one nap a day. That’s why he’s waking up every night at 3 am for about 3 hours. It’s totally normal. Don’t give him honey yet. He’ll get botulism.
My husband finally got sick of my nagging. I knew the day would come.
“Maria, I raised my two baby sisters and a daughter, remember?”
“Yeah, but you didn’t have Google then, so how could you possibly know if you were doing it right?”
(photo: Getty Images)