friendship

"No, it doesn't take a village to raise a kid in 2015."

We’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, but that’s not true anymore.

It seems that where parenting advice was once sought from mums, aunties, grandmothers, sisters, neighbours and friends, modern day mums are instead turning to the internet to find the answers.

Obviously, this wasn’t the case for mothers before us. They had aunties who lived down the street. Or neighbours who popped by. I’m not saying that it was an easy time for new mothers (I don’t think there’s ever an easy time!) but in some ways, it was a more connected one.

These days a lot of us don't have the wisdom and experience of past generations to draw on. Image via istock images

Now, new mums have families who live interstate or overseas, their friends are working women who are staying in the workplace after having children, and if you are a young mum, you'll find everyone else is waiting to have kids later on. So in many ways, mums are left to raise children on their own.

So when modern mums need answers to one of the million questions that come with having a child of your own, it's no longer so much close female relatives or friends providing the information but rather, strangers on the internet.

I know that as someone who is navigating my way through motherhood without my own mother, I'm often lost when it comes to finding a 'real life' person to ask for advice. There aren't many women in my family and I'm the only one with young children in my friendship circle, so it can be hard to find someone who's 'been there' at some point in the last ten years and can offer some guidance.

Rather I turn to Google, online parenting forums and Facebook mothers pages to seek advice. I guess it is strange really, because I'm basically asking people I've never met for their advice on raising my own children. It's funny though because even though you've often never met these women, you do begin to feel part of a community, albeit an online one.

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It's a place where you can ask questions, seek feedback and even just vent when you're having 'one of those days' (one of the groups I'm in has over 4500 members so you're bound to find someone who can sympathise). Online mothers groups are a place where it's okay to post pictures of rashes and nappies and ask questions that may seem totally bizarre - except to another mother, at any time of the day and night.

Even when I was pregnant I sought most of my advice from online sources Image via istock images

I distinctly remember the early days with my first born. Like most new mums I was lost in a sea of washing, no sleep and baby vomit. I smelt like off-milk constantly and I wasn't sure what the hell I'd got myself into.

Technology was my saviour.

Needed advice? There was an online mothers group for that.

Wasn't sure which was the right pram to buy? Someone had created a webpage of reviews.

Concerned about baby meeting milestones? Download this app.

Basically, the internet got me through those early years and it continues to guide me now.

Do you think online parenting groups are the new "village" when it comes to raising children?

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