Throughout my pregnancy and parenting journey (so far) I’m not sure I could have survived so well without the online world of motherhood.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was consulting online resources and forums full of mums to be just like myself. I instantly felt connected to a group of people who, despite not knowing me personally, made a huge difference to my life.
I think that first trimester can be especially lonely because you are experiencing such a tremendous amount of change and yet shielding it from the majority of people in your life.
Making connections in the online world helped me feel part of something. It was as though I were part of a special club and I really and truly had a place there.
As time went on, I shared my pregnancy journey with more than just the online world. As a blogger, this can be a bit of a challenge because a lot of people in my “real” life watch my stories and read our updates. It makes it even more important to ensure that I both make an effort and value in-person connections and experiences with these people.
It can feel a bit like an online world that we are living in. Magazines are being replaced with online resources and websites and I can’t tell you the last time I looked through a catalogue.
There is zero to be gained from shaming others or each other about the fact that modern-day life is so immersed in everything online. We want things quickly, without much effort and if possible yesterday.
While the online world of motherhood, and in general, has so much to offer it really is so important to make and maintain in-person connections with the people in our lives.
It is so easy to feel like we are being fed enough in the relationship department simply by having constant contact and interactions with those we love, but it is the offline elements of those relationships that really mean the most.
As a mum, it can be difficult to find the time for just about anything that doesn’t need to be done. Think of offline in-person connections as being an absolute need, though.
As humans, we need to physically connect with each other. We need to see each other's facial expressions and feel the joy or anguish that good and bad news can lead to.
Living in a world dictated my emojis and GIFs is disconnecting ourselves from one of the best parts of the human experience and that is the chemistry, love and laughs that only those special people in our lives can offer us.
How easy it is to hide behind our phones or computer screens, living a kind of pseudo version of our lives and selves. Always having time to orchestrate a reply or sit on it, which can often leave us without the vulnerability that makes these moments and connections so very special.
Valuing the importance of offline relationships also teaches our children so much about human connections. As we struggle with their screen time and lack of concentration, we probably don’t often practice what we preach.
Placing an emphasis and importance on offline relationships shows our children that these connections with other humans are meaningful. It also encourages us to create those connections in a deeper way with our children, which will benefit us all in the long run.