I often wonder what parenting was like in the olden days. Such as anytime in history, say, before 60-75 years ago or so.
Moms had to rely on their actual village for learning and advice; not the ones they could find online.
They may or may not have had access to a doctor-like figure, making first opinions the norm (whether from their own mother, relatives and the like). Frankly, it's hard to imagine.
That's why being overly informed today, can be overly annoying and overwhelming. We challenge everything: from the advice of actual medical professionals who've put the time, student loans, and actual practice behind their suggestions and prescriptions, to our gut feelings, and observations and recommendations from those we trust most.
That said, when it comes to matters of reflux, colic, sleep issues and general fussiness, there is a breaking point where statements meant to be helpful or mood-lightening are simply gag-worthy.
My favorites are below, and while I'm sure there's more, I couldn't find the energy to regurgitate them all in one post.
"Reflux is the new colic."
Babies spit up. Babies cry. Babies don't sleep. It's just an excuse for parents to find an easy fix to deal with a naturally fussy baby. We're so used to quick solutions for our problems that we demand a diagnosis, even when one is unclear.
While I won't go down this rocky road on this site (18 months of spit up on every surface of the house put me on the other side of this line of thinking), I can see the rationale behind those with this argument. Simple Twitter hashtag searches for things like #infantreflux, #reflux, #babyreflux, and you'll see the volume of angst out there.
The spit up is real for many families, and since many experts debate the existence of colic anyway, let's just put this one to rest.
"Reflux is your laundry problem."
Ok, so maybe we are all caught in the uproar that reflux is over-diagnosed, over-medicated and over-reacted to by caregivers. But this phrase is just a slap in the face and does nothing to help us when we're hanging on the brink of sanity (and extended periods of no sleep). We already have mounds of mounds of regular laundry, so let's try to make jest of the situation with a witty comment? But oh yes, "the dishes can wait" while we must savor each moment of parenthood, so as long as the health department doesn't pay a visit.
"Get a second opinion."
This goes without saying that you shouldn't rely on the advice or opinion of just one resource (especially a website you find in the middle of night like DownWithSpitup.com wink wink).
You can do your own research to build your knowledge base, as long as you are relying on the advising of a medical professional, who has spent years-upon-years studying and practicing the subject matter at hand.
However, not all second opinions help to calm the situation. In her recent post, Tongue Tie, Reflux or just Fussy? Suzanne "MummytoTwins" highlights the confusion and bitterness that comes with conflicting opinions, even professional ones.
"As a mother it is very confusing and annoying to have such conflicting views. What do you do? Do you continue to see someone for a tongue tie that a surgeon says is not there? Or do you just let it be."
With a Grain of Salt
I admit this post wasn't one of my most rewarding to write, but cathartic nonetheless. If you've ever encountered with these and other cringe-worthy blanket statements, just remember: parenting comes with a side of snarkiness, and without a doubt, "this too shall pass" (couldn't resist).
What parenting quips turn your stomach? No better time than the present to get them all out!
Spit Up Support Blog
Yea, I went there. Nearly half of all babies spit up, regularly. Some more, some less, and for many it's just plain scary.
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