It Takes an Online Village to Raise a Child

Social Networking has left its thumb print on us all. You’re reading this blog, you’ve undoubtedly run across cringe-inducing TMI on someone’s Facebook page and if you Tweet, you’ve shared a bit of randomness yourself. It’s music, news, politics, business, sports, celebrity gossip and your gossip, nothing is untouched. Not even parenting.

The websites are too many to count: Baby Center, Parenting, JustMommies, Baby Zone, and GreatDad just to name a few. But they all serve to bring us together as parents so we can… well crowd source our parenting.

You just found out your pregnant, you hop online and begin to scour these sites for any and all tidbits and so it begins: Am I the only one who’s freaked out about having a baby? What on earth is going on with my boobs? My baby will only sleep during the day, help!

And helpful it is. There’s advice after advice after advice. Some of it is really good and you connect closely with people who are on the same leg of this mommy journey as you.

I was lucky enough to join two wonderful only communities when I was pregnant with my son Logan. I’ve been part of these two particular boards, as they’re called, for three years. These women know me. They know me and love me warts and all and I love them just as unconditionally. I’ve met some of them in person, which is always so exciting and seven of us are planning a girls weekend next month in Chicago.

We’ve been through a lot together. Not just the birth of our children and various bumps and bruises, there’s been miscarriages, one woman lost her husband who was fighting overseas, lost jobs, new jobs, new homes, marriages on the brink of divorce and couples rekindling their love.

We’re a varied group, some work in the home, others outside the home. Some have financial difficulties, other’s are well-off, we’ve got staunch liberals and staunch conservatives. But our connectivity is our glue. We support each other, help each other in any way we can, even if it’s just listening to a rant.

My how times have changed. With grandma no longer down the hall, down the street or even across town, recent generations have raised children with a lot less support than decades past. Social networking has changed all that as we’ve created our own community.

Good thing too because this parenting thing is tough stuff and it does take a village.

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2 responses to “It Takes an Online Village to Raise a Child

  1. When I was pregnant I became very close to a group of about 30 women all of us pregnant and hormonal! I felt so close to these women until they turned more so into mean catty mamas. I remain close to a few of them, and definitely find I miss the daily chit chatting on the boards. It is amazing how close online friendships can become.

  2. Sooo true! You get crazy close to these people that you wouldn’t even recognize off the street!! Sorry that your group turned catty, I’ve heard of that a lot. I feel really lucky in that the three boards I was most involved with are still going strong and the women are awesome. I think some of the periphery boards I dropped cause there were hints of cattitude in the beginning. 🙂

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