Since having a baby, I hear a lot of “I’m glad I’m not raising my kids now during the age of the internet,” from the older crowd. Usually, I just shrug and say “It is what it is,” and leave it at that.
But lately, it has me thinking. I understand the world has changed and seems like a scarier place than it was in the 1950’s, but it’s not that awful, right? In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb to say the internet has been an absolute blessing to me as a new mom.
Approximately 13 weeks into my pregnancy, I thought about how I was going to tell my virtual friends – those I follow on Facebook and Twitter. Yes, these are the things 20-somethings think about. After telling co-workers and clients, I was able to make the official announcement. Because in my world, it ain’t official until it’s Facebook and Twitter official. Upon the announcement, I instantly felt the warm embrace of comment love.
Folks chimed in with notes of congrats, questions about my due date and if I was going to find out what I was having. The best part though was the mom friends I have that I’d rarely conversed with before came out of the woodwork to offer words of wisdom.
Now I know with the push of button, I can ask any baby question I have (or vent about baby issues – Gah! No nap again today…) and get an instantaneous response. Sure, I could use Google to find an answer (if I’m lucky), but when I hear it from someone I at least somewhat know, it has much more meaning.
For example: When I had questions about my episiotomy, I searched the internet to no avail hoping somebody out there had felt what I was going through. After finding link after link suggesting a possible surgery, I went into freak-out mode. (Mental note: never self-diagnose using the internet.)
Then I remembered I have a mom friend that works at an OB/GYN’s office. Feeling embarrassed, I Facebook messaged her my issue. She offered her advice (and mentioned what I felt was indeed normal) and told me there’s nothing out of bounds when it comes to mom stuff. With her encouragement, I was relieved and the issue ended up working itself out without any surgery. It may have been just a silly conversation to her, but it meant the world to me to chat with someone who understood what I was feeling. I hope I can return the favor down the road with other fellow moms concerned with what they are going through.
My Facebook and Twitter friends have given me great advice on everything from tips for quieting a crying baby, baby puree ideas, places to shop for things and baby pooping issues. Plus, since I stay home, my online friends are crucial to my sanity and desire to converse about all the bazillion things that interest me.
Becoming a part of the mom blogging community has been like a big hug, too. The women on here are incredibly supportive, and though I have not met many of them in real life, I truly believe I have made some new, great friends during the past few months. And oh boy, I have learned a ton about kids from them too! The good, the bad and the amazingly cute.
So, in conclusion, I just want to say thank you internet friends – moms and non-moms – for chiming in to offer great advice, encouraging me when I’m unsure of how I’m parenting and saying nice things about my baby. She loves it. And I really appreciate you.
How have your internet friends helped you?