People say it’s the hardest job you’ll ever have, and the minefield of modern technology and culture makes parenting all the more difficult. Luckily for you, we put together an unconventional guide to modern parenting with advice from seasoned millennials (yes, some of them do have real children and not just fancy tablets they consider children).
Show some self-restraint when it comes to social media
Limit your kid-centric Instagram posts to just a few a week -- at most. Don’t be a crazy person on Facebook either. “I can't stand when moms post 100 photos of the same thing. Like, ‘Look, Sarah’s trying solids!’ And there are a million photos that essentially look like a flipbook,” says Claire, 32, a mom of two. “Learn how to edit. Also, your baby is cute, but when you continually post, ‘OMG isn't he so cute? #blessed,’ I am going to hide you because you deserve it.”
Get that kid an email address
“We reserved a Gmail address while our son was still in utero and our first choice was taken already, despite him having a unique name,” says Alyson, 31, a mother of one. No one wants to be reached at JohnSmith347846276@gmail.com. Even in the future. Also consider buying your baby’s first URL.
Just turn off the internet
Well finish reading this story and then turn it off. There’s too much out there that will send new parents into a tizzy. “AHHH, he just blinked three times and farted! According to the Internet, he has baby cancer!” Stop Google-ing silly stuff and consult your doctor, says Anna, 30, who spent a lot of time online at first. “My instincts were being depleted by my urge to Google everything. I realized I had major information overload.”
Don’t be afraid to use Netflix as a babysitter
Feeling overwhelmed and need little downtime? There is nothing wrong with plopping the kid down in front of the TV or with an iPad and putting on Frozen (again). “Screen time isn’t gong to make your kid stupid,” says Adam, 29, a dad of two. “Use it for as long as it’ll hold their attention.”
Make the baby part of your social life
“As soon as our baby had his vaccines, we got in the habit of taking him everywhere we went,” says Tony, 31, whose son is now five. “He’d sleep in his stroller or just sit on our laps and now he’s used to being out in public with crowds and loud noises." That doesn't mean Jr. is ready for the aggressive volume of a River Dance revival show -- use some discretion.
Ignore those crazy strangers you meet
You’ll soon find that people on the street think they’re better parents than you. They’ll tell you to put a hat on your kid in June and that she should be sleeping at 6:00 PM. “My wife and I know our children better than anyone else,” says Josh, 31, a father of twins. “So we just smile and nod -- and then roll our eyes.”
That said, crowd-sourcing advice is totally okay
“I can’t even count how many times I’ve gone onto Facebook to ask my friends what to do in random situations,” says mother of two, Stef, 28. “I want to know what they’ve done and how it’s worked out.” Your friends and family are worth trusting way more than randombabywebsite.com.
Get all your diapers delivered
No one should ever have to run to the store to get poop catchers ever again. “Amazon Prime offers a diaper subscription with a 20-percent discount; there’s no reason not to use it,” says Christie, 29, a mom of three.
Or don’t! As soon as you announce your pregnancy, people will want to know if you’re going back to work and if you’re going full-time. “There’s no wrong answer,” says Kate, 28, who has two kids under the age of four. “Do whatever is best for you. And if your job doesn’t give you the flexibility you need, find a new one. There are tons of companies these days that understand family life.”