When I had Princess Peach 2.5 years ago, I joined a few Facebook groups about parenting. The intent of these groups was to create a community of parents in similar situations who can relate to each other. We are all going through it together so someone must understand, right? Sure, they all have some overriding “rules” but it’s the questions that some parents continually ask that over time that I just can’t get over.
Often I come across pictures, yes pictures of their child’s face (or other body parts) broken out in a rash with the parent wondering what it is. Or questions about a child with a fever and wondering what medical intervention should happen. Or on a holiday Monday if a Max Milk is open so the parent can buy milk, what the best car seat is or if the new Aquarium in Toronto is open on a given day.
I will now answer these questions. Firstly, I do post a TON of pictures of my kids online but I won’t post a naked picture or one where they need a diagnosis from a medical professional. Sure there might be medical professionals in said groups but a picture doesn’t tell the whole story and a trip to the doctors is most likely needed. If your child has a fever there are a few things your GUT will tell you. Usually it’ll tell you to take their temperature, give Advil/Tylenol/Tempra, watch them, if need be take them to see a doctor, a walk-in clinic or the ER. Most likely on a holiday Monday there will be some convenience store open to get milk. Go drive around and find them. Not all car seats are created equally but in order for them to be sold here they have to past strict and specific testing. So, find a car seat that you like and use it! And if you “Google” the Aquarium or whatever play place you want to take your child too, you will find those answers too.
What often boggles my mind is that if said person would “Google” or call a friend instead of posting on one of these Facebook groups they would have the answer faster than the time it takes to open Facebook. These groups are NOT the first thing I think of when I have a kid related question. In my mind they are the last resort.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti these groups at all. I think they serve a specific purpose. What some info of a kids program? Great! Ask away. Are you looking to buy or sell a specific item? Great! Do it! Need a recommendation on a photographer? Amazing! That’s how I found ours! I get it!
I just keep thinking to my parents generation. They didn’t have the internet to rely on. They had to count on friends, books written by professionals and/or see those professionals themselves. They had their instinct to tell them when something was an emergency or not. They usually asked other parents they knew for programming advice etc.
New parents always question everything which often ends up turning into self-doubt. But if you just listen to yourself instead of turning to Facebook groups to find the answers, I promise you that deep inside yourself, you will find the “right” answer that you are looking for.
I have had both good and bad experiences with Facebook groups.
Most I think, are just how you described, but I have also been lucky enough to find one small parenting group that is filled with the most amazing women, and though I’ve only met a handful of them in the real world, I consider all if them close friends.