Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Did We Do It Before?

Just this morning, I connected two of my friends that I know from different times in my life together on Facebook. I had recognized a common thread between them and wanted to give them an opportunity to meet each other and offer unique support that only a mother who's "been there" can do.

And then I thought, how did we ever do it before? Before the internet, before the social networks, the message boards, the blogs. How did mamas make it? Caught in a Leave It To Beaver world where the illusion of perfection was the norm. Where mamas just held their own pain, their own worries inside, not daring to voice them in the fear that they may be the Only One. Just this week I spoke with my sister in law on the phone, and confirmed that the things she was experiencing with her 18 month old daughter were not only normal, but expected. And the relief I heard in her voice almost made me sad. How long had she been enduring sleepless nights, temper tantrums, isolation, believing that she was the only one, that she was alone?

We mamas NEED each other. I'm not sure I could make it through a day without my network of mamas who encourage me, give advice, offer sympathy and tell me when I'm being ridiculous. I NEED to know that I'm not a horrible mother if I raise my voice. I NEED to know that I'm not the only one who has a child that still needs to be reminded to use the bathroom at age 5. I NEED to know that we're not the only family that's struggling to put food on the table and meet all our financial obligations. I NEED to know.

This isn't June Cleaver's world anymore. We mamas don't have to hide behind a perfect facade. In fact, that does more harm than good. A quick glance through Facebook shows me at least 5 other mama friends who are scratching their heads over what to make for dinner. 3 who have bones to pick with their hubby's. Another 4 who are rejoicing over 5 straight hours of sleep. We are so much alike in many ways. Although separated by miles and miles, we share the same worries, the same heartache, the same fears, the same joy, the same love. And I am grateful that we have the vehicles to share those burdens and triumphs and that it's no longer taboo to do so.

6 comments:

  1. Bravo!

    I really DON'T know where I'd be with my network of mommy friends, most of whom are online. I found baby boards when I was pregnant with my first child, so I really have no idea what it would be like to stumble through this alone. I was the first of my close "real-life" friend group to have a baby - and they were all in the "oh he's so cute, look at his cute outfit" phase when I was in the "I haven't slept, I can't make dinner because he's crying, he pukes all the time and I don't know if that's normal and I have a pile of laundry to get to and I can't cuz he is screaming every time I put him down" phase.
    The support, the stories, the shared experiences have not only helped me to keep it together when I've had hard times, but has been such a huge source of joy too! My online friends are some of the dearest ones I have.

    God bless the internet. Seriously.

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  2. I remember so well the days when Morgan was a baby. Clif and I were the only married couple we knew and no one was even close to thinking about kids. In fact, many of them are just now starting. I felt so very alone and never knew what was normal and what wasn't. I can't say how much easier it has been to raise the girls with the support of my Internet mommies.

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  3. Yes, I'd be lost without all my "cyber support." Seriously, it truly illustrates we are all united in Spirit, cut of the same fabric.

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  4. I bet the kids will enjoy reading all the stuff you wrote about them 10 years from now. Makes me wish there were blogs when we were little so we could see what mom said about us then.

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  5. I think June Cleaver just drank more and earlier in the day.
    xoxo,t

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  6. i couldn't have said it better myself! thanks for the support you have given to me!

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