When you have a parenting concern or query there will always be some kind of online resource that will offer advice or support to you.
As a first-time mother, life was a total whirlwind. While trying to navigate this brand new life I was also figuring out who I was.
I had been promoted to mother and caregiver overnight and it was completely overwhelming at times.
I was the first of all of my friends to have children which didn’t help matters because it automatically made me feel disconnected
from everyone around me. It was as though normal life was going on around me but I couldn’t participate in it as freely as I used to. I had been given a whole new life and yet I struggled to see myself as part of that world too. During these times I found the internet to be one of my greatest sources of comfort and reassurance. It made all the difference for me.
The online world of motherhood is so vast. For one mum it might be the gorgeous online shops that she chooses to shop with. Small businesses ran by mums creating products for mums. These companies have an ethos that implies that they just “get it”. Little touches during the shopping process, added extras in the packaging and just so many little practical things that other mums are grateful that they’ve thought about.
These products can make a huge difference to everyday life for the mother on the receiving end. While supporting their own family with products that make life more manageable they are in turn supporting another family who is behind such a business. It might be soother clips, amber beads or bandana bibs for example.
For others, the online world of motherhood is purely steeped in communication. Meaningful friendships are born from contributing to threads about all kinds of topics that affect mums. In the dead of night, you may be feeling as though you are the only mum whose baby is suffering from colic, only to discover a thread with hundreds of other mums experiencing the very same. It’s 3am and they’re replying to your message.
They’re awake and in the throws of it just like you. It feels as though you are part of an exclusive and extremely supportive club and you haven’t even left your bedroom.
The online world of motherhood is such an inclusive place. While parenting trends and preferences may differ there really will be something for everyone. Everyone has a place of belonging and everyone has a tribe waiting to be found. You just have to look.
A lot of it starts with “bump clubs”. You innocently join a thread with other women who are due their babies in or around the same time as you and before you know it you are striking friendships with people who could live three doors down or in a country far from here. That’s the beauty of the internet. It’s vast and it’s tiny all at the same time.
When you have a parenting concern or query there will always be some kind of online resource that will offer advice or support to you. You’ll become a pro at balancing your baby on one arm and your phone in the other. The value of the online world of motherhood is that it reiterates the fact that you are not alone.
It reminds you that the world is not awash with perfectly sleeping babies, good eaters and bodies that “bounce back” immediately. It’s that perfect balance and slap of reality that reassures us that we are doing a good job and that nobody was given an instruction manual when they were promoted to the role of mum!
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.