they might have had disco, but they didn’t have you, internet.

Long, long ago in the days of my infancy when people were dancing to disco and wearing platform shoes, the only resources women had to help them navigate through this thing called “motherhood” were their own mothers, their {almost exclusively MALE} doctors, and their friends.

I cannot even imagine.

First, my mom and I have had VERY different pregnancies, birth experiences, and postpartum experiences.  She got pregnant quite easily, never had a miscarriage, popped us all out vaginally (and we were all pretty small), and didn’t experience PPD or anxiety.

It’s been hard for her to relate to all the stuff I’ve gone through, although truth be told, she has been one of my biggest supporters regardless of not being able to know exactly what I’m going through.  But when I thought I had Postpartum Depression, I didn’t go to my mom.

Secondly, my OBGYN, while male, has been extremely proactive and helpful with all the pregnancy stuff.  But when I decided I needed to get help for my PPD, I went to my General Practitioner–a woman.  Dr. W is a successful working mom who I just felt would understand what was going on in my head better.  And I was right.  But doctors are hard to get an appointment with, and you can’t just call them up and chat over coffee about how things are going.

Then there were my friends.

I love my friends.  I totally do.

Most of them live quite far away and the couple who are “local” aren’t really so local.  They live a 30-45 minute drive away.  I am not a phone person (yes, that is my own issue, but still).

So when I had questions or issues or just needed to hear that my kid (and my mothering) were normal, I usually just asked Cort.  Because he was there.  And he was honest with his answer: “I don’t know, Kate.”

If that was it?  If there was no other place to go with my questions and concerns and observations?  I don’t know if I would have made it.

The internet saved me.

With Eddie it was “just” facebook.

I hadn’t fallen into the blogosphere yet (even though I had already been blogging for 2 years), and I hadn’t really gotten then hang of the twitter yet.

But when I posted that Eddie was colicky and I was going crazy?  “Friends” from my past who I had not conversed with on facebook before, suddenly popped up.  They had kids, and some even had degrees in the medical field, and they helped me.

They held my hand through the tumultuous first three months.

They reassured me when I said I felt like a bad mom because I let Eddie take  a short nap on his tummy on the floor by me just because I needed quiet.

They gave me a zillion home remedies for colic…and you better believe we tried each and every one of them!

As Eddie grew, this blog grew.  And that means more help from the internet.

When we decided to try for another baby, the internet was there.  You told me your stories, you reassured me, you prayed for us…even though you didn’t know us.

When I announced that Charlie was coming, you cheered us on.

When my placenta decided not to cooperate, you again shared your stories of hope.

And now, as I inch closer and closer to having two sons, you are still there.  All of you with blogs, facebook, twitter, email.

Shoot, just last night when I was frantic about what to do with Eddie and his case of the scoots, I posted to facebook and twitter.  This is what my facebook looked like (I don’t even have ROOM for all the tweets you all shared):

And it kept on going from there…

This sort of thing amazes me.

We have an army in our corner.  And we don’t have to feel alone.

I wonder all the time how women did this mothering thing before the internet.  How did they rally?  How did they fight to survive?

Or didn’t they?

Did they have to sit at home {or at their jobs} and suffer in silence?  Did they ever get help?  Who could they reach out to?

Who celebrated the simple joys and “wins” of motherhood with them?  They couldn’t post to a picture facebook  of their twin infants FINALLY napping at the same time.  They just had to enjoy that victory alone.

Alone.

That is something we never are now that we have the internet.

For all the negativity that is said about moms on computers and constantly checking facebook and twitter and writing blogs, I always respond with, “but the internet saved my life…and my sanity.”

What great things have come to you because of the internet?  Share with me.  Let’s smile today.

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