Thursday, April 2, 2015

Well, That Was Useless!


The learning curve is steep when you have your first child and there are many instances when you are scrambling to find the answers to questions that seemingly pop out of nowhere. Sometimes you reach out to family and friends who have kids to see what advice they have and chose from one of the many options that have inevitably been offered. Other time you reach out to the professionals and either call the doctor or, as we did a number of times early on, ask the doula. Each time we listen to the advice from those people who have “been there, done that.”

Thanks to social media, we can get a plethora of opinions and answers to our questions in a very short amount of time. At least that is what I have seen on my wife’s Facebook feed as I have usually just picked up the phone or asked someone in person when I run into them. While my approach may take longer and seem outdated by many, it is how I prefer getting the answers and advice that we need. It also eliminates the “other opinions”.

I have had countless conversations and have heard the many humorous anecdotes from family and friends who used social media (mostly Twitter and Facebook; these aren’t LinkedIn conversations) when they first became parents. While they received the helpful hints, tips, advice, and answers that they were looking for they also got the opinions of those who don’t have kids but “read somewhere that this is the best thing to do” or passed along the half of the conversation that they heard 5 years ago when their friend was considering having a child. Basically, useless information… I actually heard of someone saying that you should hold your newborn upside down and lightly shake them if they get hiccups. Wow, just wow. Either they don't have kids or they're in jail. 

While I have an opinion on just about everything (I know, you’re shocked) there are certain things that I will not offer second hand advice on. This includes parenting. And I still hold fast to that as we are only 6 weeks in so I can’t really speak from experience on anything. If specifically asked, either by phone or in person, I will gladly share my experience but I can’t give advice especially when there are general posts made on social media. Maybe after we have done this more than once I might offer my opinion but I doubt it.