The old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” While that phrase may still hold up, the village is changing. New moms have more resources at their fingertips than ever in their friends, family, social networks, online support groups, and even brands. What connects this new village is, of course, our time online—not the internet itself, but the resources it puts at our disposal.
As technology begins to change aspects of new motherhood—from baby metrics and breastfeeding data, to personalized baby food programs—the network of support is growing into a true a platform of innovation. While you may still rely on your immediate support network (those you know) for your core needs, the fact is that technology, brands, and big data (those you know about) are there, ready and willing to help make the experience less overwhelming. Everything you wanted to know about being a mother—right there at the touch of your fingers.
Motherhood has become something of a niche category over the years. You have the natural and organic moms, the tech-centric moms, the entrepreneur moms, and the controversial “wine moms” to name a few. All of them have their own approach to motherhood, and they all have brands and services in which they are personally invested to help make motherhood easier.
This niche breakout of motherhood, which is enabled by our digital lives, has been interesting to watch, especially as brands such as Yoplait roll out campaigns around how motherhood doesn’t have to be perfect and sterile. The thought that we have to have a brand remind us that there is no one way to be a mom is a sign of the times in which we live. Everyone has a voice and an opinion—and a platform on which to publish. Be it a brand, a service, a new mom or a veteran mom, everyone has their way and they’re more than willing to voice it. In turn, moms appear willing to absorb it all and take the pieces they want.
It’s an interesting approach when you look at it. New moms are looking for unique tips and suggestions for raising a child so that they can do it differently—taking advantage of someone else supplying the information and giving them free access to years of experience, without the expectations set by the grandmas and aunts of the world! So, while there may not be a handbook for motherhood, there are plenty of Instagram accounts, YouTube videos, blogs and more that, if compiled, would suggest otherwise. Which begs the question—are today’s moms doing the parenting they claim, or are they relying on the internet to tell them how to do it?
Again, not that it matters, as I already said—motherhood isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It takes a lot to raise a child, and the opportunity for a broader support network is welcomed. It makes niche motherhood possible, and it makes it easier to ask for non-judgmental help when needed.
After all, the influence of the internet helps dictate everything from what we wear, what we watch, and what we eat, to how we exercise, form opinions. Why not, now, help us raise a child?