Connecting online

Yesterday I got a phone call that totally made my day! A mommy following my blog made a point of tracking down my cell number and phoning me to tell me she enjoyed it 🙂

With the ease of internet access nowadays, many moms are turning to the internet to find friendship, support and information. Whilst this is lovely, you can connect with many like-minded moms all over the country and world in seconds, it also brings a whole lot of information to our fingertips and in some cases, too much information can be bad thing!

Ever heard of Dr Google? So many people ask Google about their symptoms and get their knickers in a knot over the fact that they’re about to die! When in actual fact they have a simple sinus infection or a reaction to their new face cream.

I love my online groups and forums. They’re mommies who I get to connect with and chat to during the day about anything and everything, not only that which is child related. Life is so busy nowadays, not through choice for us I can assure you, that it makes it difficult to connect with other mommies and families in our community. Gone are the days of moms meeting at the park and at eachothers houses for regular, informal playgroups. Very few moms have their own moms nearby to turn to when they need help or advise. I love that when I’m breastfeeding I can pop online and chat to other moms who have ‘been there, done that’ or are in the process of ‘doing that’ and we can do it together! It makes you feel less alone. Parenting in isolation is not normal. By nature we’re social people. We learn from others, we share, we teach. How else do we learn to breastfeed if not by seeing other mommies do it and having those mommies by our side when we need help (because although breastfeeding is natural, it’s not always easy to get right to start with!) Anyway, I digress.

The internet can be a bad thing at times! People hide behind their computers and you never really know the real person. You get so many conflicting suggestions that it can be very overwhelming and you feel even more inefficient than before. Outdated advice, old wives tales etc can actually be harmful to you and your baby. My advice, find someone you trust (mother, best friend, doula, sister, midwife etc) whose parenting style is similar to your own and ask them. Listen to your gut feeling and mommy intuition. If it feels wrong to you, don’t do it. Research it first (properly!). Don’t do anything in the heat of the moment or in the darkest hour. You’re entitled to change your mind. Surround yourself with people who think like you and who support you even if they don’t always agree with you. Most importantly, once you’ve made a decision that you’re happy with don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for it. We’re not all the same, we all parent differently and we all make mistakes at some point.

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