I Don’t Need An Internet Break Because The Internet Keeps Me Sane

466115997Everywhere I turn, moms on the internet are painted as these sweatpants wearing couch trolls, who are pinning away while simultaneously playing Candy Crush and spying on their high school ex-boyfriends. Meanwhile, their kids are running free, empting toilet paper rolls and shampoo bottles into the bathtub. Please. That has only happened to me like… twice… with this last kid. Maybe more if you count the others. I need a lock for that bathroom door.

Anyway, in my opinion, mothers take the brunt of the criticism when it comes to our new wired world. There are ironically viral blog posts about missing your children’s childhoods with pleas to unplug and run wild and untethered to electronics. I appreciate the sentiment to remember simpler times and appreciate moments with your kids without any screens involved.  Being hands free would put me closer to my true mental generation- the 80s, where I could wear ill-fitting jeans and giant sweatshirts in peace. But in my world, technology is a bell that can’t be un-rung. And while I could stand to cut down on some of the more ridiculous aspects of it (I am crazy good at the “Where’s My Water?” app) I will completely unplug when you pry this laptop from my cold, slightly carpal tunneled hands!

You see, I think the internet helps me be a better parent. I was the first of my immediate friends to have a baby.  Living eight hours from family at the time, had me coming into this gig needing resources for most things.  Why isn’t she sleeping? How do you swaddle like those awesome nurses in the hospital do? What the hell is coming out of his eyes?  Why isn’t he walking at 13 months? Is it ok if your kid eats dog food? Google and I have a close, personal relationship where I plug in my failings, and it gives me some answers.  My pediatrician wants to give me advice like “give it time,” and the internet does a better job of filling in the gaps.

Also, being connected to the internet has ironically helped me from going completely into hermit mode.  We have moved a lot over the last thirteen years. Left to my own devices, I would have probably dragged my introverted self to the park on repeat in our various new locations and hoped for the best (and I have a mean case of “resting bitch face” that would’ve made those trips futile, I tell you!).  Five years ago, after a huge move to Tennessee, I was able to connect with local moms on the Internet and later at face to face meet-ups. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and met a great group of women, several of whom remain my friends today. I’ve moved since then, and I still count on the web to help me find playgroups and free events to meet people. If my family waited around for me to go old school and bake cookies in order to meet our neighbors, we’d all be pretty hungry and lonely.

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    • Guest

      I’m glad you mentioned “mothers no one ever hears from ever again after having children” because it has been happening so often to people I know even WITH fb.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I agree so much. My only cool friends are HERE — including you, Jessica! Also, I justify my addiction in that the internet is my job. If you want to eat, kid, then you better let me read Mommyish. ;)

      But really, I love the Internet. People that bitch about technology ruining the world need to take off their rose colored glasses.

      • Jessica

        hahaha this reminds me that last night when I was visiting some baby site (against my better judgement) because I am freaking out about some baby milestones, the comment section was unintentional comedy gold. I thought to myself “Bethany would love this!” Yay for cool internet friends! ;-)

      • Bethany Ramos

        OMG yes!! I told Eve we should have wine and Skype parties. :)

      • Jessica

        That definitely needs to happen!

    • LadyClodia

      I was completely addicted to the internet before I had kids, and it’s probably only slightly better since. I met my husband 15 years ago in a scifi chatroom, and over the years the majority of my friends have been online ones. We’ve also moved a lot, and it’s how we’ve stayed connected with friends and family. The internet is a great resource, and my main source of entertainment, and I don’t think anyone would be able to convince me to give it up.

      • Jessica

        That’s where am I too- the internet is too much a part of my life to ever go back, and I don’t want to!

    • Jessica

      Amen & amen

      I’m pretty sure you got your first line peeking into my family room. Sweatpants? Check! Couch? Check! Pinning, candy crush, Facebook? Check, check & check!

      • Jessica

        And we have the same name! Are you me? Am I you? Spooooky! ;-)

      • Jessica

        Replace Tennessee with Missouri & I’d think you were!

    • aCongaLine

      amen. I’m home with tiny humans. The internets are the only way I feel like an adult during daylight hours.

      • Kay_Sue

        This. This could have been written by my spirit animal.

        Not that I am calling you an animal. Merely saying that I read this and was like, Awesome, I don’t have to come up with an original way of expressing my thoughts because Conga has! ;)

      • aCongaLine

        I usually feel that way about your posts:)

    • Alicia Kiner

      This is the only adult conversation I get most days. The internet, online gaming and Skype are my life lines to the outside world, oddly enough. I have other interests, and of course my kids come first, but with my husband gone approximately 5 days out of 7, a momcation is out for me. Hell, girls night out isn’t even option. Leave me something ;)

      • Jessica

        I keep reading that as “online gambling” and I picture you as killing it in online poker! :-)

      • Alicia Kiner

        Haha nope. I’m afraid I’d lose too much money to even attempt it. There’s a casino about 20 minutes from my house and I’ve been there once. Family poker I’m down with, other than that, the stakes are too high.

    • Robotic Arms Dealer

      I dunno, there are a lot of immature people on the internets too

      <————–

      • Jessica

        Free entertainment!

    • Melissa T

      Love this. <3

    • ShanLea

      Almost this whole post is me…about the only difference is my miscarriage happened not quite before the internet, but long enough that I couldn’t afford a desktop and dial-up! The part that really got me was psyching yourself up to call for pizza…so me! I’m not a very outgoing person, and too many people my age in my small town are into the dive bars and partying all the time, kids at home or not, so pretty much all of my social interaction is online. The upside is that my 2 year old loves to see cat, dog and baby pictures on facebook, and we’ve found some cool stuff on youtube together!

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      I have an extremely slow paced job now. Storage units kind of babysit themselves (too bad the tenants don’t. I never knew it was possible to have a storage emergency, but these people make it happen), so once things are squared away on the property my smart phone is the only thing keeping me awake.