Life Without “Dr. Google”

When my oldest son was 7 months old, he had his first head collision against his bookshelf. Call the doctor! Let’s go the ER! I was overwhelmed with the fury of a thousand suns, as I wiped his bleeding gums. Is that normal? Look it up on Google! When will the bleeding stop? Look it up on Google

Shocked? Dazed? Confused?

I get you mama. I am right there with you. Reading the latest new trend in parenting, what {not} to do and forever Googling every random symptom or mark that shows up on any of my boys throughout the happy chaos that is our daily life.

After my due diligence on Dr.Google, I rest assured that he was okay. While I was proud of myself for not racing over to the ER, I felt an overwhelming need to take away his pain. The anguish you feel as a parent when you see your child hurt is indescribable and at most times, unbearable. And maybe that’s the reprieve that Dr.Google provides me. The resolution of that feeling of helplessness through searching for answers, albeit inconclusive or wrong answers at times.

Jenn Anibal Photography

Jenn Anibal Photography

I guess I’m a true millennial in the sense that I literally swear my life on all things Google. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I think it’s become more of the latter as I get further into my motherhood journey.

You see, my husband who is only two years older, and technically also in the same generation of millennial parents, is the complete opposite of me when it comes to most things related to technology and the online world. He’s not really into social media, he doesn’t read or Google every topic. Outside of his work, he uses the internet minimally to read his online newspaper and stay up-to-date on the financial markets.

Google

I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense since I’m all over the WWW and everything associated with it as part of my day job, and as a blogger. What can I say? I love all things associated with the digital world. I love the information that is out there at a moment’s notice. I love the relationships and communities I’ve cultivated with moms and dads from all over the country and world. There’s so many wonderful aspects to the digital world we live in today.

But, when it comes to daily parenting, I have come to the realization that my husband may be onto something major: Dr. Google isn’t always best.

When we come across something with our boys, he likes to ask other parents in his surroundings. Whether it’s our own parents, my mother-in-law who is a retired nurse, some of our best friends, and also coworkers who are in the thick of this parenting little ones phase of life. He likes to talk through our options and rely on each other’s opinions and instincts to make a decision together. Sure, when one of our kids wakes up in the middle of night with a random rash we’ve never seen before, he’ll randomly consult Dr. Google to see what he can come up with as a diagnosis. But, for the most part, that’s it.

Jenn Anibal Photography

I, on the other hand, find myself over informed with the latest new study on children. The littlest mark on my baby’s skin launches my deep search into the interwebs, resulting in every single, medical diagnosis possible short of cancer {and sometimes, even that too.} I’ll read a random article as I peruse my Facebook feed and find myself down a rabbit hole of this side or that side of the mommy wars. I start rambling off to my husband about how we need to do this or that because if we don’t, it’ll be a detriment to our children. When I ask him for an opinion, I often find myself leading with, ‘hey so I read this today online….”

It’s so great that we live in the informational age of quick, easy access to millions of websites, studies, and articles. But, I think it may serve some of us well to step back a bit. To trust our natural, parenting instincts, to consult medically trained pediatricians who care for our children, and to converse with our partner on parenting decisions that affect our children directly.

The freedom that this gives my hyperactive mama brain is reason enough that I’ve put pause on Googling ALLTHETHINGS for the time being. I’m glad that Google is always there, whenever I need it to provide a response to a random mom question that pops up in my continuous train of thought. But, for now, I’m trying to live life without Dr. Google. And no lie, I’m breathing a little bit better and more freely already.

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