While I could certainly be accused of sharing the not so pleasant sides of motherhood from time to time and going on one or two rants, I like to think I’m not being overly negative. Yes I’ve written posts that laid bare the fact that you won’t sleep after giving birth and how post-natal depression was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life, but I don’t consider them to be negative pieces.
Rather, I’m trying to be honest about what my experience of motherhood is like on a daily basis, because being a mum can be hard, exhausting and lonely and at times it can test your patience to the absolute limit. And when you do feel like you’re at the end of your tether, it’s good to know that you are not alone. There are hundreds of other mums feeling exactly like you are at this very second and when you're in the middle of a parenting maelstrom it can be so easy to forget that. In fact, if you’re standing there totally stressed right now, as you try to sooth your crying child, feeling completely overwhelmed, you can be guaranteed there is another mum pacing the floor with you at this very second. I don’t think blogging about that is negative, I think it’s quite the reverse.
But what I do think is negative and have a major issue with, are articles with titles like - ‘5 ways you're bathing your baby wrong!’ I kid you not, this was a genuine headline from a huge online parenting source that has hundreds of thousands of followers. I nearly smashed the screen when I read it. ‘I’ve got enough to be dealing with, without reading negative tripe like that!’ I yelled. Condescending and negative in the extreme, these are the sort of headlines Mum’s and Dad’s need to stop seeing and huge media outlets in particular have a real responsibly to nip it in the bud, rather than continue writing negative headlines that are nothing more than click-bait.
Of course, information is key, especially when you are a new parent. I mean who amongst us hasn’t googled ‘green baby poo,’ at 3am or taken a photo of an erroneous red bump and shared it with our trusted online group of fellow parents looking for medical insights? Information and sharing experiences are vital for new parents, but it’s how that information is framed that is key. Instead of telling us how we’re doing everything wrong, how about you let us know about what we’re doing right. How about articles that provide information in a positive way instead of loading guilt and adding to worry. Instead of saying ‘5 ways you’re bathing your baby wrong’, what about saying ‘5 fun ways to bath your baby.’
New parents and quite often new mums can already feel like they are under a cloud of negativity, as they struggle to come to terms with this huge change in their lives. Hormones, fear, self-doubt and exhaustion are one of the worst combinations on this earth for any new parent and being bombarded with news sources telling them how they are doing simple things like bathing their baby wrong serve no purpose.