These days, the answer to almost any parenting question is at our fingertips. The flip side is that, thanks to social media, we have dozens more questions to ask: Should my baby be crawling like her? Where can I get those clothes? Why doesn’t my child pose so sweetly for pictures?
It can be overwhelming for millennial mamas—including Whitney Port.
“Our parents didn’t have social media so they don’t know. There weren’t a million resources out there telling them what they needed to buy, what they needed to be doing, all these safety hazards,” Port tells NBC News. “I think it was more about trusting your gut and now everybody is so afraid that someone else is going to disagree with them and I think it gets in the way of being the best parent that you can be.”
Port says it’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to the people you follow on social media. But rather than deleting apps from your phone, she says the solution for her has been whittling down the group of people she looks to as true experts.
“When it comes to questions about your kid, talk to your doctor, talk to other moms you really trust, but try not to get overwhelmed by the influx of information and content that we see,” she says. “It will make you insecure about what you are doing and you will not know how to be the best parent to your child.”
And don’t forget who the biggest expert of all is when it comes to your baby. “You also have to trust your gut. You just have to,” Port says. “No matter what anyone else says you know your child the best, so you have to trust your gut and instinct when making decisions for their well-being
Port says she also decided to do her part when she became a mother last year by sharing her successes and struggles on her popular YouTube series I Love My Baby, But... Her candidness about everything from breastfeeding to her postpartum body is not only refreshing, but also inspiring.
“I have shared how hard breastfeeding was for me and I got so many people responding to me saying because I was so honest it gave them the strength and the confidence to stop torturing themselves,” she says. “I think that in itself makes what I’m doing so worthwhile.”
Even if you don’t have the 1.3 million Instagram followers that Port does, each of us are able to make a difference in the lives of our friends by saying, yes, it’s okay to admit when motherhood is hard. As Port says, “The more honest you are, the more change you can make.”