Late one night my fingers quickly typed in the search box. It was nearly midnight and I should be asleep, but I needed an answer. Too ashamed to let my husband see what I was typing, I constantly glanced over my shoulder to check he couldn't see. I entered the text into the search box. 'Is it normal to sometimes lose your temper with your toddler?'. The guilt lay heavy on my mind as I typed the words. Suddenly, millions of search results flashed up. Oh. Right. Oh. Ok. So it appears every woman and their dog has lost their temper and shouted a bit with their toddler. I wasn't a monster. I didn't need to be sent to prison. Thank god for that.
Let me introduce the third parent in our family. Google. The aforementioned little Google search had been conducted because I was very tired (I know, no excuse) and I had told Baba to be quiet for mummy. She then decided to take the coal pieces from the fireplace and lob them at the dog. I shouted and stormed out of the room. Immediately I felt like the worst parent in the entire universe for raising my voice. That is until Google reassured me that most parents lose their temper sometimes. My name is Laura and I have a Google Addiction.
Google may not be perfect, but I do not care that the results and answers I receive maybe be incorrect, false or just darn right lies. I also do not care if the other parents typing answers maybe be classed as criminally insane. Baba once had swallowed some Blu-tac. Within the hour I had Googled it and ascertained that a woman in Oklahoma had an addiction to eating Blu-tac, and another mum on a forum was worried her child had ate a sock. Ahhhhh. I felt better already. And just so you know, the Blu-tac came out the other end pretty much identical to how it had gone in the next day.
Most of the time when I Google, I already know the answer. I just need to see it in black and white in front of my eyes to confirm it for me. For example, when I Googled does my daughter love my mum more than she loves me, I already knew the answer. Whilst sometimes it might appear that way, of course she doesn't. And I think that there is what my Googling reflects. It reflects what I am thinking about or feeling anxious about at that time. And for me personally, my Google buddy just reassures me and tells me its going to be OK. Oh yes, and it tells me my daughter loves me.
Don't get me wrong, I know there can be alot of dangers with Googling, and I know that if a child needs medical attention for example, you shouldn't be typing your query to Google. If you are Googling things like, is my child choking, or should I ring for an ambulance, then you should definitely not be loading up your PC and you and your Googling addiction need severe help.
Other beauties I have Googled include the amount of sleep Baba needs (I mean, surely the girl just sleeps when she is tired), is it normal to feel guilty all the time as a mum (erm, yup, obviously). And I even Googled can you love your child too much. I don't know what I was thinking that day. I mean, what was I expecting to find, a medical journal saying, yes you love your child too much Laura, you need to reign it in a bit and love your daughter less?!?
So there it is. My addiction to Googling is out there for the world to see. I am a Googley parent. But underneath all this Googling is just that parental desire to know we are not alone, and that yup, its ok, and yup, the rest of the worlds population has felt how you are feeling, or has felt guilt, felt sad, felt bewildered by the same things. So I have a feeling Google will be sticking with me for a while longer yet. I am not ready to address my addiction. I will continue trying to be the best mum I can, and along the way picking up some fascinating stories of Blu-tac addicted women.
Do you like to Google about your little one? Or maybe those really important questions just to get Google's opinion? I would love to know, so please leave a comment below!
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