A year ago, during the third day of my unimaginably long labor, I truly wondered whether I would survive to see this day: my daughter’s first birthday.
As the nurse finally wrapped that tiny, helpless newborn in a blanket and handed her off to us, we watched her leave with a sigh, worrying how we were going to help this little creature transition into a moving and exploring person. As if the nurse had read my mind, she turned around to say, “Don’t worry, motherhood is natural. You will figure it out. Human beings have been doing this since the cave ages.”
Yes, true, but didn’t cave people have family around to help? And could we really assume that human beings have been parenting correctly for millions of years? Wouldn’t bad parenting explain a lot of evil behavior in the world? What if we fail in disciplining our child, what if we are not good role models, and, worst of all, what if we cannot get this whole breastfeeding thing right or we manage to overfeed her via the bottle? What if we drop her during her bath? What if…
My OB/GYN stopped by to stress the importance of having my mother around to help when I arrived home. When I told her this was not possible, she replied, “Then find a support system somewhere,” and wrote down the names of support groups. I saw a bunch of parenting groups, many hosted on Yahoo! Groups and it hit me, my husband and I had access to a resource our parents did not have access to: online communities.
For more than a decade we have benefited from a number of online tools, beginning in 1978 with bulletin board systems (BBSs), with their dial-up modems and flashing lights, evolving into Usenet newsgroups and all of the alt.* discussion forums, then into Majordomo mailing lists, and finally into user-friendly online communities such as Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! Groups, full of fun and rich features.
Whenever I post a question, the Answers community is up front and honest (sometimes a little bit too honest). But it is nice to be reminded that we are not the only ones battling different challenges in parenthood. I would like to take a moment to thank all those parents out there who have contributed to the Parenting category on Answers.
So join the conversation, “What was the most useful piece of Parenting advice you ever received, and would you give that same advice to future parents?
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!