I feel as though I have been reading a lot of anti-technology, put away the smartphone, the laptop, the Kindle Fire and pick up your kid blogs as of late. And I get it. I definitely do. My children are only children for this moment and I want to be present.
I want them to remember me as being with them, not as looking past them to a smartphone, playing Draw Something while they’re trying to show me their latest hula hoop trick.
And even for me, I want to be here and now. I want to remember that hula hoop trick and the grins on their faces when the hoop finally shakes its way down to the ground and they run off to their next adventure.
This is not in defense of texting during your kid’s tee-ball games or playing Words with Friends during church – but I have to say that I don’t want to be made to feel yet another layer of Mommy-guilt for having Facebook open on my counter while I am making lunch.
So, this is a little shout out to technology, because I distinctly remember the long dark winter days when I was home – alone – with my first son. This was in the days before Tweeting, before blogging and Facebooking. He may have even preceded that glittering mecca of Myspace.
While my friends were still out there in the real world, I slowly adjusted to my new life at home, buried beneath mountains of laundry, catering to the whims of a miniature person who couldn’t even give me the courtesy of a thank you smile when I wiped his bottom for the thirtieth time in a day. Somehow an email or two from friends or a Nextel Walkie-talkie style How’s it going from my husband just wasn’t cutting it. I was in the pit, so much so that I can remember getting weepy watching VH1 Behind the Music.
Emphasis on: I was watching VH1 Behind the Music.
Sure, it could have been hormones and the bumps of adjusting from a 9-5 life to suddenly living a 24-7 life of laundry, bottles and poop, a life of financial frustration, all while starting my master’s degree remotely. But really, I think I was lonely. Being a new stay at home mother is long, lonely work.
Then, I stumbled upon blogging. Now, Alex, (or, The Boss, as I dubbed him) had a larger audience than just me. And now I had a connection to a world of other people who understood right where I was coming from, because they were there too. From late night feedings to the sweet joy of an afternoon nap beside my baby, they felt me. From laundry cluttered, kid-overrun living rooms everywhere, we united.
And so, thank you, technology, thank you internet and blogosphere, thank you Mark Zuckerberg and Flickr and WordPress. Thank you for helping me stay connected with friends I would have probably lost touch with long, long ago. And thank you for creating spaces for me to reach out with other mom’s in the battlefield and for the other artistic friends I would never have met had this creative, open space never been founded.
Thank you, for helping me forget that VH1 is even still in existence (it is, isn’t it?) because my life is too full for lame television. My life is lived here, in this house, with this family.
And also a little out there too, so that if there’s ever another lonely stay at home mom in need of a lifeline, I’m here to say, you’re not alone (and that laundry can wait. You go enjoy your baby, every single moment you have.)