Facebook, Jordan Heath Rawlings, Sara Jordan discussed on The Big Story

The Big Story


Jordan Heath Rawlings and this is the big story. Sarah Bosvelt is a writer at chatelain and other publications. She is also a sometimes host of this podcast and for the purposes of this discussion but listed last a mom. I Sara Jordan. Thanks for having me. Oh no problem you. <hes> put your finger on feeling that I think anybody with kids has had or anybody with annoying friends on facebook have kids what is this insanity is my friend okay the kid tell me about the moment you realize you become one of the competitive parents yeah so I think I was about baby was about four months and I don't know if you remember the starting but four months is a bit of a Harry time for sleep. You know there's something called the four months leaper aggression. I don't think we had it too hard but you know you're up a million times in the night so this is my major caveat is like I was not having much sleep at the time I called in a bad after a long day with this baby and and understanding that I was going to be up many times in the night and I check my phone which is something you shouldn't do for you go to bed and I saw foes facebook posts from my friend very close friend of mine who also has a an infant daughter little bit older. I've assange the daughter and she was looking for childcare spaces and I knew that she didn't need it till eighteen months and I was like you're one of those parents. He's like all up in this planning trying to get everything done like why can't you just enjoy being you know apparent to this infant in just like chill on the stuff but really my reaction to that and being angry about that and Shell signed her kid up for swimming lessons which is like what to do that too was really just hey like. I'm not thinking about these things. Should I be thinking about these things as you're making me an anxious mess because I'm not thinking about these things of course I was only one making myself anxiousness but we can get to that later sort of the the environment that we're in that moment. I sort of like damn. Why am I being kind of a jerk to my friend? Who's he's just trying to do? Her best is all about me and my insecurities in my feelings of not measuring up and so I think that the legal I gave it was competitive which is really just. I'm thinking that I should be doing more doing better doing things earlier and I see people all around me doing that and it's making me insane because I'm not doing these things and so I must be doing something wrong. I must be failing my child somehow you're judging your worth as apparent by other people's kids yeah. It's really lame to say it allowed. Oh how but that's totally how I felt but you're not alone now. I realize that actually after writing this piece. Tell me how it happens to parents how you go from whatever it is you're expecting and for the purposes of this discussion discussion. We're talking about first time parents because that's all we are ended also tends to be the people that you see on facebook who are getting carried away with what their kid is doing and and how how far advanced little johnny is right totally I think you hit on and both of those notes very well. Already you know I think we are in a parenting culture. Every generation sort of has one but <hes> you know we're in a time when people are not really starting their families until they've had most of their twenties unease often and not everywhere in Canada a lot of pockets of Canada where you still start your family pretty much when you're young but the general numbers are numbers are increasing. I think it's you know averages around thirty plus for just north of thirty for for women for a first time time child and so you've had maybe a career where you are you know been. Maybe a little bit competitive trying to get your foot in the door. Get a job establish yourself and then you start your family which is different from generations past also you. You mentioned facebook. Can you mentioned instagram. You mentioned sort of this environment where you could see everything else in here. From lots of people you know talking about their child's achievements and we all know that on social media you like to present only the good moments everything that's happening name very well. You're you know annoying parent friends. If you don't have children how many of those milestone every single month photos you see babies and it's like this baby is eating lots of solids already and he's months old months and I can do this and I miss and that makes me so mad but especially if you have a kid who's not doing this and this and this by that age drives you batty but you know the Internet really makes <hes> sort of think that we're not measuring up. I think people who may be tend to be hard on themselves as I as I tend to be. You know you really see what's going on around. You knew assume that everything is going so well. In that person's life everything's perfect. Everything's humming along. They're not running into any snags or any. They don't have any worries or concerns when really they probably have lots. You know they're just like any of US lot of concerns a lot of fears so maybe that is the way that they're showing you know what they're doing while they're talking to themselves as much as trying to put on a good face for everybody else will. It's the milestones that you mentioned that I wanted to ask you about because on the one hand they are good things <hes> to keep track of your child's development woman and certainly in all the modern parenting books <hes> but on the other hand they do become like laps in a race. Oh Yeah Oh yeah so the big the big milestones are things like you know rolling over <hes> starting waiting solids sleeping through the night and I think you know we hear a lot of people say oh my kids such a great sleeper. I sleep through the night and it's like what do you even mean by that. Do you mean like twelve hours without waking up or do you really mean like a stretch of six hours you know and so I think like milestones are also extremely broad you know but when you see someone clearing them <hes> who's maybe in your direct orbit you know in your kid is looks about the same seems to be about the same age same. You know stats. I guess as it were you think well like if he can do. I mind doing it. It's like we don't actually talk enough about how broad that range of normal as and so what is the difference difference between the milestones that we have in our heads and on our social media feeds and when early childhood professionals talk about milestones how they see them. That's so funny like I would go sell the stuff going on at you know in my social life like the moms together with and then I go to the doctor and I'd be like well. He's not rolling over yet and like going. Should I be worried just like all know he's like fifteen pounds. He's huge. You know whatever I have a very large child. He was born at ten pounds and he is now twenty five ish I think he's nine and a half months so he's a big boy so yeah he's got a lot of weight to roll over and so it's like Oh yes gravity and mass and physics like all apply in as well sure <hes> personality and you know the way they're motivated. Also very I mentioned my friend had a daughter Minke. We do know developmentally girls tend to do things earlier and then boys do and it's not necessarily early rule but I think you know an early childhood development person might be. I don't know if they're more chill than other Estevez because they just know more but I it's sort of very natural for us to look around us in say why see this person doing it. So why why why am I not kind of babies. Just have different personalities never really different well and the interesting thing too. Is You know yes. You know you've you can. There's so many things in in pregnancy that I think prepare you for. Maybe sometimes well and not well enough for parenthood because there's a lot you can't control going on in your body when you're pregnant and then there's so much you can't control when they're outside of you. You know <hes> 'cause they're. They're crying. You don't know why and you try to do all these things to sort of help sued them and they're not being sued and it's actually quite maddening that you can't control or help them. They kept talk to you. You know I think there's a big part of that going on as well that makes parents so crazy and anxious to judge that you're gaining only like control. I'm doing well like I'm on like that's why I was like reading the piece today not spending time in the floor with them did like I ruin him by sitting in front of the T._v.. With me and it's like I know I'm not supposed to do that. Still I still feel oh badly but it's shocking mistreat works yeah. He loves the T._V.. But Yeah it's it's at least a milestone sort of like a few like things are humming along. I'm doing this thing right. I'm keeping this little person alive. I'm actually doing more than that which is to make sure that they are healthy. You know along with the the developing well going to be a smart person contributing to society but you remember it was maybe back in the early to thousands that like baby Einstein started right there was that was a big program it was it was a company trying to make lots of money right you know but there's like whole industries around these anxieties that we have and so there's going to be all kinds of products in programs and you know in my neighborhood in Toronto. There's like classes you can take. With your infants like crawling classes can like practiser agility and I'm like what are they like a show dog. Do you need to and and again build the baby's core strength right and here. I am though like judging these MOMS you WanNa do this and I'm like no see the judgment is such a minefield all too but at the same time it's like we are offered these things to spend our money on because people are anxious because we're in this Internet soaked society where we are concerned. All the time about something happening to our kids are concerned about not doing enough for them. We're concerned about out not measuring up you know and also we have a year of Matt leave which is a blessing in this country but we have time to kill you know money to spend because a lot of people have established their careers and have some money <hes> you know when they're on leave so I think like businesses are are are catering to that too and helping us but also playing into our anxieties so you've had a child for almost ten months now. Yeah life is very different. Now I'm sure do you remember how you would have viewed the kind of conversation we're having now or the kinds of posts you're talking about on social media scrolled right pass them so bored real boring. I try not to talk about my kids you much with my friends who don't have kids but at the same time I I have written about parenting and parent culture her before just as a as a journalist <hes> when I was at the national posted at that quite a bit so I did. I was aware of this culture and so I think what did you think of it. Though I thought it was crazy I thought I thought you know why everything's going to be fine. You know our parents arrays us and we generally turn out fine but I think the the instinct and desire I think with most generations to do things better for your kids. You know than you were done by. Even though you seem to have had a great childhood in you know maybe most people have but I think thank you you always want to improve but it gets to a point where things get a little nuts and so actually I remember writing about this book called expecting better. I talked to the author back then it was <hes> author named Emily Osters. A new mom was an economist and she's in based in listening in her her whole thing was when she was pregnant. She was given a lot of advice given a lot of like you know. Don't go on a hot TUB. Don't eat raw fish. You know all the sort of rules she looked at the data and the evidence around that and was like well it does does the research backup that this is something I really shouldn't do or is it gonna be fine and drinking is a big one to the no amount of alcohol is safe kind of thing but in the span of human history the no drinking rule is actually super super recent yeah yeah but I think it's you know but if I think advocate for the record I remember writing about that that book and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome people were like Whoa you know. This is very dangerous to actually said this message that even a little bit is okay and I think a lot of the public health messaging around co sleeping well which is having the baby in bed with you <hes> not recommended by public health same with drinking <hes> but a lot of people not a lot of people but some people do it and they're like okay..

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