First-time mom speaks out: Why it’s impossible to meet parenting standards
In a world where social media dominates, it’s easy to feel like we’re falling behind compared to many of the so-called influencers on social media. One woman shares her distress about how insane the parenting standards have gotten over the years, and virtually nothing she does for her child meets the standards laid out by online influencers.
Parenting Standards According To Social Media
As a mom of an eight month old baby, the original poster (OP) is naturally concerned about how she should raise her child. And because our social media is tailored to our tastes, her social media accounts are filled with the ‘do’s and don’t of parenting. “[There are] always new studies of what you should be doing and what is being done wrong. I was feeding him some pureed food and remembered the article I had just read about BLW and how it’s not about giving him nutrients through solids at this age but more about teaching him how to feed himself. Purees are the easy out. Oops fail,” she complains.
Her frustration doesn’t end there. When her husband starts cooking on a gas range (a big no-no, according to these parenting experts), she moves her child to a different room and places him in a jumper. However, she quickly remembers that jumpers are bad for hip development. She said, “just read an article about how those bouncers/ jumpers are bad for knee and hip development, so that’s another fail.”
The OP ends her rant by stating, “Is it just me, or is there literally nothing you can do anymore that’s ok as a parent? I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Social media sucks.”
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Social Media is The Culprit
Many people agree that social media tends to have a similar effect on everyone: it makes you feel inadequate and gives impractical and impossibly high standards.
Other people think there’s a ‘pendulum swing’ to parenting, saying that our parents (boomers) set the bar too low, and now, “We swung the other way and now have an impossibly high standard, and the bar keeps changing as we discover more. It’s honestly exhausting.”
Some others are angry at the amount of ‘things’ parents are pushed to buy for the sake of their child’s development. “For me, it’s the sheer amount of gear that is pushed like it’s normal. All the climbing triangles, beautiful bookshelves, learning towers, play couches, etc… I honestly don’t know how people afford to buy all of these things, considering they basically all start at $200,” one person said. Although she did note that she did purchase a learning tower because her baby seems to like being in the kitchen with her.
Another made fun of the fake humility seen on social media. Specifically, she pointed out a social media post that said, “we shouldn’t be striving to be a “good” parent because it indicates that we are trying to please others.”
Listen To Your ‘Mommy Instinct’
One woman said that unsubscribing to mommy influencers has made a massive difference for her, as well as not listening to people’s advice unless they came from her pediatrician or close family. “I started ignoring any advice besides that of my pediatrician and the parents in my family that I trusted two months into motherhood. For the most part, I try to trust my instincts and I’ve unsubscribed to “mommy”‘ content,” she said. “It helps”
As someone who also makes ‘motherhood content’, I like subscribing to parenthood and motherhood content to an extent. Before I gave birth, I would read through all the parenting tips and try to learn about different parenting styles because it made me feel like I was more prepared to parent. However, I understand that there are impossibly high standards on social media, which is why I take everything I see on social media with a grain of salt. At the same time, since I can’t possibly afford everything these mom-fluencers are pushing on social media, I make a list of what I really want to purchase for my child that she will use for a long time, and I save up for the items before purchasing them.
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