Everyone loves their smartphones, from Facebook mommy groups to Facetiming loved ones- they have changed how parents today operate. Mommies are embracing these wonderful tools because they have given them a sense of community and endless resources to make parenthood better and easier.
We share so much of our lives online, including our children, and we aren't quite sure if this ideal of oversharing our lives is the best route for our kids. Everyone knows that once something is on the internet, it is no longer ours and permanently documented. Our kids will see things that we may say out of anger, in our youth, and down right just things we'd never want them to see because we posted it for our friends and followers to see at one point. In the last few years, some parents have taken a more back to basics approach to social media and parenting by keeping their kids off their pages. Others have used social media as a type of journal or baby book for their children creating their own e-mails and profiles from birth on.
Thanks to things like Uber Eats and Amazon Prime, we do have the world at our fingertips. While that sounds great, it's no surprise that people cannot get enough of their smartphones and the internet. Our kids shouldn't think our smartphone is physically attached to our hands, but honestly quite a few might. When we document our lives, we are documenting theirs as well without their permission technically. In some ways, our internet habits could be affect us and our kids forever.
20 We Share Pictures
Like any proud parent, we are obsessed with taking, looking at, and sharing photos of our kids. The internet makes it hard to know just exactly who we are sharing these pictures with. Despite the best privacy settings, one screenshot is all it takes for the picture to end up in the wrong hands.
With the best intentions, we share pictures online that we probably shouldn't. Instead of breaking out our kids' baby books when they bring a date home, a good ole scroll through our Instagram could unearth some embarrassing pictures.
Then there are the photos that we should just keep to ourselves, like baby's first bath. According to Parenting.com, we should also avoid sharing pictures that shame our kids, when they're sick, or with a group.
19 We Overshare
Thanks to social media we've gotten really good at sharing our every thought and feeling with the world (or at least our followers). We're parents now though, and our kids take up a big portion of those thoughts and feelings. Where do we draw the line on what's appropriate to share online?
According to Parenting.com we shouldn't share any details that reveal our location, child's school, and things of that nature. It should be a no brainer, but when we're so comfortable online sometimes these things slip through the cracks.
We can be super excited for our little one's first day at daycare or pre-school, but maybe we don't need to provide the internet (and who knows who else) with a picture and the name of the school.
18 We Show Our Kids In Less Than Ideal Situations
Our own parents could embarrass us in public or when we had friends over, but they're limits were met there. Now parents can embarrass their kids online with the click of a few buttons.
We can share stories and pictures that will haunt them from toddlerhood to high school graduation.
An article on Parenting.com brings up a great point that though we may be proud of our little one going on the potty for the first time documenting it online means it will be there forever. That probably won't score cool points with or for our little one in the future. We might even embarrass him or provide future bullies with material for later in life. Yikes!
17 We Use The Internet For Medical Advice
Thanks to sites like WebMD we can diagnose ourselves with terminal cancer instead of a run of the mill headache. More than likely, we're wrong though and should've sought the advice of an actual medical professional. According to ScaryMommy.com our use of the internet for medical diagnosis can actually cause many parents to misdiagnose and even delay treatment of our children.
We have all of this information at our fingertips, but that does not mean we went to medical school. As Meredith Grey once said, "Hear hoofbeats thinks horses, not zebras," but as parents, we worry and panic. We think zebras, and that causes us to freak out, disagree with, and distrust our child's doctor.
16 We Spend Too Much Time Online
Catching up on what friends from college are doing, checking the mommy groups, and reading the latest news and other articles can take up a great deal of our time. Time we don't necessarily have to give to such activities. But we can stare at our smartphone while holding a baby, keeping an eye on our kids, or going through our other daily activities, so we do.
According to Forbes.com, new moms spend an average of eight hours online reading parenting advice. It's great that we have access to a wide variety of information, opinions, and advice, but we also need to be spending time with our children.
It is easy to get sucked in the rabbit hole of social media and not realize how much time we spent staring at a screen missing precious moments with our little ones that we aren't getting back any time soon.
15 We Can Learn About New Parenting Trends
Millennial parents are doing things differently, and the internet has had a large role in this. For instance, according to BusinessInsider.com, they turn to the internet for parenting advice and questions. The internet provides us with a wealth of information and new resources that previous generations may not have had access to.
Baby led weaning is one feeding practice that has become popular recently, and we think online mommy groups, Pinterest, and other virtual resources might have had a hand in that. It probably helps that we can find baby led weaning cookbooks on Amazon.
The internet provides us endless resources at our fingertips. It would be strange to not utilize them for our parenting and child's best interest.
14 Posting Before Parenting
Some of us are a bit too obsessed with creating content and keeping up our image on social media. In fact, it gets prioritized above our parenting without us even realizing it sometimes. Parenting.com suggests we do not share pictures when our child is sick or injured. Though we may do it to update relatives or ask for well wishes, we would be better spending our time actually taking care of our little one.
We are also guilty of asking about illnesses, symptoms, and even injuries on Dr. Google or in mommy groups instead of caring for our little one. While we are essentially trying to find help or other experiences, it still isn't a great practice.
Then there are those moments when our kids do something we just have to post. Those things that are risky, gross, or otherwise things they shouldn't be doing. But we make them stay that way another minute or two so we can catch a good picture for our social media.
13 We Use It To Escape
Honestly, the majority of us are guilty of using the internet to escape. Stay-at-home moms, in particular, find solace in conversation with other adults and the world outside of our homes. Motherhood can be mundane and downright frustrating. We need an escape sometimes, and that's okay. What's not okay though is when our internet usage becomes more of a problem than a solution. According to PsychologyToday.com, 32 percent of children surveyed (ages 8 to 13) felt "unimportant" when parents used their phones during family times. We can't blame them.
Sure we all need an escape from our children and our lives sometimes. Down time is a good thing, but we can't let that overrule our time with our children. We can't give more attention to social media and people on the internet than we do our own children.
12 We Can Do Our Errands Online
We can have groceries, diapers, and meals delivered right to our door along with basically anything else we could ever want or need. It makes it quite a bit easier when we have a sick kid and need a few things from the store because we don't have to take them out. It can be nice during those winter months and peak flu season because we can maybe shelter our kids from the germs of the general public a bit more if we don't have to leave our home.
Today moms (and everyone else) have resources like Amazon Subscribe and Save or grocery pick up according to Today.com that make it easier to get the things we need without running around with a little one. Running errands with a little one (or multiple little ones) can get hectic and require quite a bit of planning. But we aren't giving our children the experiences of being out in public as much and that could possibly impact their social skills as they grow.
11 We Use It To Find Childcare
Thanks to websites like Care.com and Facebook mommy groups it is easier than ever to find childcare. We have so many options. It's also pretty intimidating because we are trying to find someone to trust with our little one. According to VeryWellFamily.com, the internet provides us with options for childcare as well as resources to check out those options and their credibility. We can find recommendations, reviews, and even ratings.
It's incredibly difficult to leave our bundle of joy with someone we don't know, but we need childcare. It helps that we can check these options out and even do background checks to make sure we're leaving our little one in good hands.
10 We Post Before Thinking
Just like people say we should "think before we speak" we should do the same when it comes to posting on social media. Maybe even more so since we don't exactly know who is reading what we type and have no control of it once we hit that button. When we talk about hot topics or our relationship with our spouse, we should think that someday our children can read those words. How would they feel?
These are problems that previous generations haven't really had to worry about. We don't even think about it in the moment, but some day it could really cause some heartache for our babies if they read it. According to FamilyLife.com, we should only post positive things about our spouse. We should also speak directly to our spouse rather than passive aggressively posting our issues on social media.
9 We Compare Our Babies And Our Lives To Other People's
When we're constantly comparing notes with other moms, reading articles, and hearing stories of advanced children, it is easy to wonder if our baby is lacking or somehow abnormal. In reality, every child is different and will meet milestones at a different rate. That's easy to lose sight of though when we're comparing our child with hundreds of others on social media.
According to TheBump.com, a baby should walk anywhere between 9 and 18 months. But for some reason we see those crazy moms on social media claiming their babies are walking at a mere seven months and acting like it's the norm. We hear stories of women whose babies are saying "mom" before six months. But we don't know the whole story. We just catch the moment and wonder why our little one isn't so advanced or doing similar things.
8 We Believe Everything We Read
We've all heard that sarcastic phrase, "It must be true if it was on the internet." Despite the fact that we often know better, we still find ourselves falling into the trap and believing things we probably shouldn't.
If we believed everything we read, the world would look a lot scarier than it is. Truthfully, we'd be crazy to leave our homes and that would greatly impact our little one. Lately social media has been used to post stories of people attempting to take children. Scary stuff, right? According to Fox59.com, many of these stories have been shared all around the United States with specific details changed, but the stories don't check out. Whether we are being over paranoid or people are simply trying to get attention, it doesn't look or feel good to those of us who read and believe them.
7 Listen To The Sanctimommies
A "sanctimommy" as defined by Merriam-Webster.com is "a mother who points out perceived flaws in the parenting of others." The internet and online mommy groups have given sanctimommies a reach like never before making it possible for them to judge, critique, and basically bully moms everywhere, that they likely don't even know, from the comfort of their own homes at any time of day.
Though criticism can sometimes be helpful, the way and the what sanctimommies choose the offer their suggestions is much more resemblant of old school, mean girl bullying. Just like everyone else they only see that one moment that is captured by social media and it fuels their crusade to shaping how strangers everywhere parent.
6 Join Online Mommy Groups
It takes a village to raise kids, but maybe our village looks a little different today than it used to. We can get support at any time of day, any day of the week from women we might not otherwise meet if it weren't for social media. Sheknows.com suggests joining a mom group because it could provide our little one with built in friends, someone to learn from, and even someone to swap babysitting with. Some groups swap sitting between members, but almost any mom group can come up with a handful of great babysitting recommendations.
Virtual mommy groups have become almost as popular, if not more popular, than face to face mommy groups. Both can provide different things. Virtual mommy groups are great for everyone, especially the introverted moms who want someone to talk to, but don't want to face a big group of women in person.
5 Use Buy, Sell, Trade Groups
Babies are expensive so if we can save a bundle by buying some things used instead of brand new, we're all for it. Facebook has become a whole new option for buying or selling used items. It makes it easier than ever before to find what we need at a cheaper price and locally.
This can come with some risks as we are meeting with virtual strangers or giving them our address to ship things. We run the risk of getting scammed as well. TheSimpleDollar.com has created a field guide to utilizing these rummage sale groups. They suggest picking a public place to meet if possible.
4 We Have A Blog
Blogs are versatile and can be everything from a private journal, a therapeutic outlet, a way to share with family, and even a way to make money. Moms have totally taken over the blogging industry today, and it seems like every mommy has a blog. According to Forbes.com there are about 4.4 million mommy bloggers!
What does that mean for our little ones? Once something is on the internet, we lose control over it essentially. Our kids will be able to read what we wrote one day. We are also sharing details (however personal) with the online world, and that may come back to our children one day as well. Our kids don't necessarily have a say that we are sharing our lives and theirs with the general public online, and we still aren't fully aware of the consequences that this could have in their futures.
3 You Can Use It To Make Money
There are dozens of legitimate ways to make money using the internet. One way mom bloggers make money is affiliate marketing. According to Forbes.com, these women can get paid for reviews of products or sponsoring the product to their followers. Some companies even provide free product for mom or her little one.
Obviously our income impacts our children. These advertisements can be the difference between a one and two income household or at least impact that budget a little bit. Some moms put away the money from products specifically for their little one and use it as a savings for them when they get older. That's pretty neat!
2 A Lack Of Privacy Settings
Is anything really private on the internet? We would like things to be as private as possible especially when it comes to our kids. People can steal our little one's information and identity before she's even in pre-school. How scary is that?
We can take measures to keep pictures, posts, and other information on our profiles as private as possible. CNN suggests not tagging locations of pictures as one security measure because who exactly are we exposing that information to?
There are the no brainers like not sharing our kid's school, daycare, or if they are home alone. Then there are things we couldn't even imagine like sharing an adorable toddler story and it being used as ammunition by a bully in our child's future.
1 Mommy Critics
Being a mommy critic can both impact us and our children. There's no one definition of mommy shaming technically because it seems to mold its head to fit whatever situation possible. According to UrbanDictionary.com, it is "criticizing or degrading a mother for her parenting choices because they differ from choices the shamer would make."
Unless someone is actually doing something wrong for their child, where do we justify our criticisms and judgements? More often than not these 'problems' we see are more a difference of opinion. But these online critics take it to a level of cyber bully rather than child advocacy. Instead of being a good mom or looking out for a little one, we are teaching our child by our own example and behavior that they have the right to push someone into agreement.