Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing

Mummies Online: Helpful Or Harmful?

November 9, 2014

When did a mums job become entwined with documenting the whole shebang online for the world to see?

When we are not spending time with our little humans, we are on forums and mummy blogs, asking about teething, sharing our ideas on discipline, bitching about other women and their controlled crying methods (or not), and judging what we read on Facebook groups.

(*I say WE by the way – meaning SOME women. Not ALL women.)

My friend Lisa even wrote an article about such bitching called The Mummy Mafia.

Maybe I was ignorant when I was little, but it wasn’t like this when I was growing up.

I don’t think motherhood was as all consuming as it is now.

The internet is a wonderful thing. It has given people access to advice, information and a feeling of connection.

It is a place where we can share our joy, triumphs, techniques and failures.

It has also led to us to feeling closer together but has left us more confused than ever!

Our family decisions or personal choices which are right for US can be left wide open and imprinted forever for the whole world to see (and judge).

This. Can. Do. Our. Heads. In. 

Worryingly, I’ve seen some women turn to Facebook to seek medical advice.

In some cases I want to yell  GET THE FAAK OFF FACEBOOK AND TAKE YOUR KID TO THE FAAKING MEDICAL CENTER!

Or I have silently thought to myself, perhaps this is a conversation for you and your husband over a glass of wine –  instead of seeking advice from a whole bunch of women on the net whom you have never met, and don’t know anything about your kid, or what might be right for them.

When my Mum had me, she just got on with her shit.

She went to work. She read books.

She wasn’t on forums, posting about teething and tantrums and giving other women advice, googling baby whisperers and ringing up helplines.

She chatted with my Dad, her parents, people in the lunch room, and neighbors over the fence. People who knew her. People who knew us. 

Her whole life was not devoted to reading about parenting, asking questions about parenting and talking about parenting.

There were no mummy blogs, or businesses devoted to what us women have been doing naturally since the dawn of time. 

I knew she had her things that were not part of raising us. Travel, teaching, beach and books. The things that made her tick and smile.

The things that were separate from her being my mum.

And by the way, I turned out just fine – without the online parenting helpdesk that is available to women today. 

I know that not all mummy blogs are like this, and not all forums or groups are full of people who judge and bitch and give out scary advice. Some are wonderful. Some blogs are funny, insightful and helpful.

I read Mrs Woog because she provides a safe space where women can just have a laugh, support each other, bitch about the mundane, and get on with their days.

What I have a problem with, is when the internet becomes a place to judge and compete, or it becomes the first port of call for help when you should be discussing things with your partner or a health professional that knows your personal circumstances.

This is where receiving advice can both do your head in and leave you more confused than you were before.

In the worst instance some advice given over the internet can be downright dangerous.

What do you think my mummy friends?

Has the internet helped you become a better parent?

Or has it made you more confused than ever?

Have we gone to far on the online mummy wars?

 

You Might Also Like

  • Jess

    I for one really need these communities. I feel so isolated all the time, and sometimes just need to reach out and hear from ANYONE! Thing is, we used to have a village. That’s gone now. The best we have got in some instances is a cyber one, and I just make do with that.
    I have been the subject of intense hate mail with some of my blogs (particularly the smacking one!) but I think that is to be expected. You have to accept that the world is full of nasty, crazy people and occasionally they will pick on you.
    I will say this, some forums/blogs wtc are really really great and make you feel so much more normal about whatever it is you’re going through. So I for one and glad they exist…

    • True true. So much better than spacebook. I just worry sometimes we rely too much on online things without trusting our guts!

  • Oh the whole mummy blog debate. Here’s how I see it. It’s not for me but I think it’s great that they exist as being a mum can be so isolating now more than ever. People judging if you do ask for help and condemning if you don’t. I figure I’ll do my best on my own with my partner and he (my son) can blame or thank us later. I hate if I’m on the computer or phone and he asks for something and feel total guilt if he’s around if I can’t jump immediately when on these, but feel quiet fine if I tell him to wait a moment if i’m reading a good old fashioned newspaper. There is an audience and although I myself don’t connect with most mummy blogs I can see the absolute need for them.. I’d just rather not relive my day by reading about tantrums when I’ve just gotten over one. I wouldn’t change a thing and would be quiet happy to live out bush away from technology.