Where do you go for parenting advice?
If you've got a parenting conundrum, would your first port of call be your friends or the internet? Would you be more likely ring up your Mum or best mate for advice, or type your query into Google?
I was pondering this whilst reading this over at today.com
"Sometimes, online parenting advice can make us question our own capabilities — the grass is always greener (and the grade-point-average higher) on the other side of the Instagram feed. But it can also make us feel more confident, and remind us that we're not alone — no matter what we're going through, someone else has probably traveled the same road and survived it."
I think that's so true - and it's the real advantage of relying on the internet for pearls of wisdom when you're up against it as a parent. Yes, you might sometimes have to wade through debate from those who sit on the opposite side of whatever 'fence' you might be facing, but I don't think I've ever felt quote so supported in motherhood as the times when I've reached out for a little hand-holding online and found loads of people willing to remind me that I'm doing my best, and that's enough.
Of course, you can't beat an actual chin-wag with a real person when it comes to shooting the breeze about the daily trials and tribulations of parenting. I love a bit of book club banter when I'm really at my wit's end with my crew and just need to hear other mums admit that raising kids isn't always a walk in the park.
But in my toughest parenting moments - getting toggeries with breastfeeding for the first time under the watchful eye of a stern health visitor who kept muttering menacingly about 'failure to thrive' and switching to the bottle, it was the internet that really came to my rescue.
I read about how to boost my milk supply, what to do if your breastfed baby isn't gaining back his birth weight quickly enough, and how what I ate and how stressed I got might be affecting my feeding experience.
In the end an encounter with La Leche League helped me sort out our feeding issues and my son went on to thrive and positively flourish into the strapping pre-teen that he is today. Failure to thrive? I think not.
But we'd love to hear your thoughts on this - has the internet saved your sanity in a parenting crisis or do you think you can't beat a face-to-face chat when you need a bit of parenting advice? If you had to choose between online support or the real deal, which would you pick?