Last week, I briefly mused about the modern wonder that is smartphones.
They’re crap for blogging but they have revolutionised parenting. Waiting for the child to fall asleep? Mess around on Twitter. Kids fallen asleep in the car? Get into an argument with a Trump supporter on a Scary Mommy article on Facebook. In a restaurant and food taking f*cking ages? Yay, it’s Peppa Pig on YouTube. Life is sweeter with technology on board.
Of course this is by no means the only big difference in child-rearing ‘twixt the generations.
You can’t dispute that parenting has changed enormously, probably since you yourself were born, as it did between our grandparents’ and parents’ generations, and not only weaning and safety guidelines; always a fun topic. For a start, thanks to amazing leaps in science more of us can now get pregnant, survive childbirth and have children which live past babyhood. That’s terrific.
We have disposable nappies, which while not being great for the environment, do make the early days when they poo 15 times a day and never sleep so, so much easier. If reusable nappies are your thing, you’re probably glad for modern tumble dryers which mean you don’t have to wait for a sunny day to hang everything out. Not many of them around at the moment, and drying stuff in the house is almost IMPOSSIBLE as I have learned this week while I’m waiting for my bastard Hotpoint tumble dryer to be fixed YET AGAIN.
We also have online shopping, and for this I am eternally grateful.
However, I entirely disagree with the notion that parenting is easier these days. And here are ten reasons why.
1) Dr f*cking Google
First Time Mum-itis plagues even the most relaxed of parents to be and now we have a plethora of ways to worry our way through pregnancy and then through child-rearing right at our fingertips.
2) Information overload
We get an email every week telling us what our babies should be doing; rolling over, walking, talking… If that’s not a recipe for tearing your hair out, I don’t know what is.
Google weaning and there are no fewer than 12,600,000 results. No wonder people get confused. In days before Annabel Karmel you’d have to use your common sense and probably just ask your mum. Although, weaning probably isn’t a very good example; you were probably weaned on rusks at 5 weeks and it did you no harm.
3) Apparently the baby feeding wars is a thing
Although it seems that this is specifically online only. No one in real life actually cares, or if they do, would say anything to your face, and yet there are internet forums across the world with mums accusing each other of not caring enough, not trying hard enough and generally letting their kids down, based solely on how they feed their babies. On the flip side there are people making others feel crap just for sharing facts because they aren’t quite at peace with their own choices. The whole thing stupid and unkind.
4) Social media shaming
So you’re breastfeeding your baby. No one cares. Except that one twat who’s taken a photo and uploaded it to Facebook calling you a dirty bitch. WTAF. Your child has a screaming tantrum in the supermarket and you worry you’re going to find yourself bitched about on the local gossip girls site, although I’ve read enough ‘open letters to the man who stared at us in the supermarket’ to know that it works both ways, and I don’t care for those much either.
5) Baby massage
Swimming lessons, baby sensory, baby yoga and everything else you feel duty bound to do in order that your kid won’t grow up weird, which they will anyway because all kids are weird.
6) Wonder weeks
Specifically Mr Tumble. The TV shows of my childhood were infinitely better. And fewer.
We have amazing technology, access to electronic entertainment that can take the pain away at any time of day or night, and then we are made to feel shit for using it. What is that about?
9) Parent and child parking spaces
Before there were parent and child spaces, wankers without children couldn’t park in them and make me see red. Either start policing them or don’t bother. It’s not good for my blood pressure.
Thanks to the wonders of technology we can be constantly reminded of a) The fun we used to have before children and b) Dumb shit we used to say.
*Punches self repeatedly in face*