I like knowing stuff. I like information. If I want to know something I look it up, I google it, I find out. In 2010 I was pregnant with my first child and I was overwhelmed with advice (wanted/unwanted) and I caved and bought one book; The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth and signed up to one weekly email with the Baby Centre. They were both helpful in their own way, if I wanted something factual the Baby Centre was great and if I wanted some reassurance I wasn’t going totally insane the Rough Guide kept me right.
Shortly after Edward was born social media got more and more useful. It was something to scroll through during the night feeds. The amount of information can be overwhelming at times but it’s also very reassuring to know you’re not alone in the dark at 3am with a screaming baby shouting at you because you had the audacity to offer it boob.
The best thing about this parenting lark in our generation is the sheer wealth of information at our fingertips. A quick google, a rummage on Pinterest, a hashtag search on Instagram and Twitter I can find pretty much anything. It is simply brilliant. My boys have a hundred questions a day between them and I can answer them all with the help of my phone.
Going through my browser history from today alone I’ve googled footage of Squid inking predators (for Oren), information about the colour of polar bear’s fur (for Edward), a kid friendly definition and example of the word belligerent (for them all!), LEGO Ninjago to settle a dispute on which Ninja controls water (it’s Nya and Mummy was right!), the Babipur website to see have a nosey at some different building blocks (who doesn’t like looking at pretties?), NHS website on info about treating a verruca (Edward’s is almost gone but I wanted to check a few things) and the BBC Good Food website on how to bake bread without yeast (day 6 of the Snow wreaking havoc with our supplies!)… and that’s all before lunch time.
During the week, in the mornings mostly, I usually FaceTime my Mum who lives 300 miles away. The wonder of technology has meant my Mum has seen all 3 of her grandchildren growing up and they know her face, her voice and she is as much a part of their lives as she would have been if I lived close by.
When I went to Vienna in December I was able to see all of my boys with the click of a button. Frankly I can’t imagine life without access to the internet! I know there are negatives to too much information and sometimes the truth gets lost or diluted but I like to embrace the wealth of information my phone provides me and mine and go with it!
I don’t spend the entire day on my phone but it isn’t generally too far away; partly because I can control the Sonos Speakers with it and other than my phone I’d actually go mad without music in the house. My boys don’t have free access to my phone and it’s password protected if it happens to find itself in their possession. Edward and Oren will catch Pokemon on the way to and from school and Loki has mastered cutting my Mum off on FaceTime but that’s about it.
In the evenings/nap time/the occasional bathroom trip I’ll have a root about the BBC News Website, catch up with friends, have a nose on social media (update my Instagram) and check in with a few groups I’m in. I love taking pictures of my colourful life and social media acts like a visual diary for us all to look back on.
The Babipur Hangout on Facebook is brilliant (and a genius marketing tool) lots of likeminded families sharing snippets of their lives, play ideas and showing off their recent purchases, which often include items you never knew you needed!
I’m also in a lovely Instagram group with some brilliant Mummies from different European countries and it’s fab as we all have different cultural experiences and stories to tell along with our own outlook on life and parenting.
The people in my phone keep me sane, I don’t have many friends in my wee village and I don’t get out much so adult conversation is a must – even if it’s with folk I’ve never actually met!
My husband on the other hand doesn’t really use his phone for anything other than checking the football scores and reading the news but he’ll often send me on a Pinterest search or ask me to google something. It is what it is.
Plugged in parenting is part of 21st century life and I am all for embracing it!