Last week, I had brunch with a group of moms I met through a website forum. Tomorrow, I have playdate with a mom I met on Twitter and through our blogs, and I’m trying to arrange – via email on Smartphones – drinks with another mom I connected with through my magazine’s website forum. I considered these moms “friends” before even meeting them, and with them, there are dozens more, connecting, consoling and chatting with me digitally, whether it’s through blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting or posting on forums.
My digital connections with other moms have helped me through sleepless nights, have enabled me to find great costume shops in Joburg, and have made me feel “normal” with my imperfections as a mother. For example, the other night, after a trying wake-up at 2am with a crying teething baby, I Tweeted that I was awake and had a miserable baby. Five minutes later, I had not only received Tweets of compassion, but had found another mom whose baby was going through the same thing. In that moment, my “problem” was halved, my heart warmed, and I’d found a new “friend”.
From my online friends and reading their blogs, Tweets and posts, I’ve learnt that I’m not the only one who wants to go to the loo alone, and I’m not the sole mom who occasionally gives her kid cereal and yoghurt for supper because it’s easiest, or wishes that she could go back to the pre-children days for a few hours just for that Sunday-afternoon nap.
Digital connections are making motherhood easier and less lonely. It’s allowing us to vent about our challenges, to ask for a the best tried-and-tested nappy rash remedies, to moan about loss of sleep, and to find comfort from those who just “get it”, without judgement most of the time. No one said motherhood was easy, but my iPad, Blackberry and laptop are facilitating my journey, thanks to the friends, listeners and supporters “inside.
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