Friday, 5 August 2016

PARENTING LESSON #2 ~ You Don't Know What You Don't Know

PARENTING LESSON #2 ~ You Don't Know what You Don't Know

INTERNET PARENTING

I envy this internet generation when it comes to parenting. When I was a new mum I had nothing to refer to for information. My parents weren't exactly pillars of excellence and I had no intention of repeating their mistakes, so (other than a book or two) I was pretty much on my own. Google would have been my best friend if I'd had any idea who Google was back in the dim dark past of early motherhood.

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

One of the benefits of youth is the ability to fly by the seat of your pants. You think it would be nice to have a baby, you make one, manage to get one out into the world and then you get to take that bundle home with you and start molding it into a worthwhile, competent, independent human being. How did we not realize what a huge undertaking that was? We just blithely muddled through and somehow our babies survived.....and thrived!

PEAS IN A POD?


I was under the misapprehension of thinking that children would be a blend of their parents. I thought you would take the personality of each parent, meld them together and the children would be somewhere in the middle. I thought our children would have equal parts of my husband and myself - if it was a continuum with my husband at one end, and me at the other, then they would be smack bang somewhere in the middle.

Boy was I kidding myself! We ended up with two polar opposites - I don't think there is one personality trait that they share. It's like our son went completely down and past my husband's end of the continuum and our daughter went way past me and off the end of my continuum. All the lessons we learned with our quiet, introverted, settled son were completely useless when applied to our extroverted, social and vocal daughter. Why did nobody tell me these things???

the more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know

THAT LACK OF SLEEP

One thing both our children had in common was their refusal to sleep through the night for the first couple of years. They weren't appallingly awful and waking all the time, but they took many months to get to the point of only waking once or twice and then a couple of years to not wake at all.

Our son and daughter-in-law have just had their first baby - they read all the books, did all the research, applied the strategies, did the swaddling, and lo and behold, that child was sleeping through the night at TWO MONTHS old! I don't know if she will continue to be so amazing, but I would have killed for a good night's sleep somewhere in those soul sucking sleepless nights of new babies and unsettled sleeping patterns. 

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

You certainly don't know what you don't know. Maybe some women of my generation learned their parenting skills from their mothers and their aunties and the older females of their household. Me.......no such luck! I think those same women also had babysitters on tap, and advice, and support from their mothers. Me.....not so much! I would have loved to have that village it takes to raise a child. But, despite being village-less, we bumbled through and I look at our children now and figure we must have gotten things pretty right because they've turned out to be fine human beings.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing - it lets you realize all the things you could have done to make your life easier. At the time you did the best you could and no child could really ask for more from their parents. There was love in our hearts, good intentions, and a dollop of discipline, we muddled through and thanked our lucky stars everyone survived intact. Hopefully the Google generation will have a bit more of a clue about what they're doing than we had in our day!

This post was shared at some of these great link parties
To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar or follow me on facebook


PARENTING LESSON #2 ~ You Don't Know what You Don't Know

28 comments:

  1. I learnt so much when my daughter had her baby, Leanne. There were apps for everything!!! Even timing the contractions so you knew when to go to the hospital. Seriously, though, I don't know how my children survived. I was definitely not as informed as the mothers of today but at least I must have done something right because they turned out more than okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how we did it either Sue - babies and children must be fairly resilient and can bounce back from all the well meaning mothering we gave them :)

      Delete
  2. As I weekly read these posts, I often read the wisdom of the mum's as they raise there families. More than once I have said why weren't these wise writers around when my children were little. I would have loved their advice and to know that I was not alone in my struggles.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were all in the same boat Kathleen - a baby book or two and from there we just had to wing it - it's surprising what a good job we seem to have done!

      Delete
  3. I think the village that's needed to raise a child has been moved to the Internet. Like you, and no doubt countless others, I had to wing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea that the village is now the internet Toni - it makes nuclear families less alone and there is SO much advice available nowadays :)

      Delete
  4. When I look back at old decisions and choices and wish I'd done things differently, I remember that it's impossible to know more than you do, or you would. As for what we are able to share with each other via internet, that's a blessing a curse, I think, the flip side: too much knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe a degree of ignorance is bliss Susan - I think you're right about information overload today - there's a lot to sift through to find what really works and what doesn't.

      Delete
  5. You're so right about the Internet. All I had was Dr Spock when I raised my kids! Having Google and Web MD would have made life so much easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Jennifer! You could just ask Dr Google and get an answer for everything - mind you, I'd be forever second guessing myself if I had so much information to hand :)

      Delete
  6. No matter how prepared we think we are, we can never really prepare for parenthood. Kids will throw all kinds of things at you that you don't expect. Hindsight is easy. I was far from a perfect parent, but now I am proud of how my kids have turned out despite my shortcomings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too - kids seem to flourish if you love them and they overlook the shortfalls if there is enough good stuff in their world. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all template for parenting!

      Delete
  7. It's my favorite saying and it applies in so many places. Including parenting.
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's life in general isn't it Carol - we think we know and then find out later we often had NO IDEA :)

      Delete
  8. I'm with Jennifer. All I had was Dr. Spock. Oh, and a ragged paperback book entitled, "Nursing Your Baby". My mom totally disagreed with me on the whole 'nursing' scenario--lamenting constantly that my babies were starving to death and I needed to give them solids or a bottle or something. MIL was a bit better, having nursed her babies. So, even though I had help close by and lots and lots of advice, not all of my help was . . . helpful. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mother had no idea (I'm still not sure whether she raised us or just left us to the wolves!) so no advice from her end and I think most of the time I just plowed on and hoped I was doing the right thing. Fortunately they seem to have turned out well!

      Delete
  9. I only had Dr. Spock too and I wasn't that big a fan. I learned a lot from 2 women that I babysat for, I thought they were the best mothers ever. They always said to use my common sense and to always trust my instinct. That is the advice I shared with my kids when they became parents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great advice Doreen - I think we have more maternal instinct than we give ourselves credit for - and usually if we have our children's best interests at heart then we'll muddle through and come out intact :)

      Delete
  10. I'm all about Google. That's all I did for the first year of Kane's life.

    Tif
    www.brightonabudget.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have been too Tif if Google was around in my young mum days :)

      Delete
  11. I really identified with this! Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #WonderfulWednesday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Don't forget to comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured! Pinned and shared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Marilyn - it's always lovely linking up to #OTM and reading some of the other posts shared there.

      Delete
  12. HI Leanne,
    1. I agree it takes a village. I wanted to read Hillary's book for a while by that title but never did.
    2. I am jealous of younger mothers today who have the benefit of the Internet. So helpful!
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to have had the internet as a young mum too Janice - there's probably way too much information available but it is still such a gift in today's world.

      Delete
  13. I do wonder how we did it Leanne, but I read a lot of books then and underlined important passages instead of googling and bookmarking for future reference. Sometime I think it was better to have fewer options but we know every generation looks back at simpler times with nostalgia, right? My grandson was pretty good with an iPad when he was 18months old and I am so grateful for FaceTime as they lived 5 hours away when he was born and it gave us regular contact real time. Okay, now I'm rambling. Love the post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Molly - we use WhatsApp for videos of our little granddaughter and that is such a blessing - the internet has so many advantages (except for the information overload!)

      Delete
  14. I think trusting your own instincts is often the best thing to do, and in my generation I think we often find that harder to do because of the overwhelming amount of information and opinions available to us. That said, however, I have often felt a little annoyed by some women in older generations who are the ones who had all the family & community support, etc, and who are really dismissive of us silly girls 'looking up nonsense online and in books and believing it'. This annoys me not because you don't find a lot of nonsense online - you do - but because these same women in the next breath will come out with just as much nonsense in the form of ridiculous old wives' tales that someone's sister's auntie's neighbour's cat once told them. I think actually every generation has had its google - in the sense that every generation has had its sources for daft, unreliable, completely anecdotal stories about how to raise kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved your "someone's sister's auntie's neighbour's cat"'s advice - it's so true. It's about taking advice in but knowing what to discard along the way. You can find a for or an against for everything if you look hard enough. I still envy you having Google though - I'd have been on it all the time if it was available in my young mum days!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...