My favorite part about being a parent in 2013 is by far the Internet. I have no idea how mothers managed it before there was the Internet, nor do I particularly care to find out.
When Crazy was a newborn and had his first bout of croop, I first checked the Internet to find out when I should start panicking and then called my parents in the middle of the night, luckily I live in a time zone six hours ahead of theirs so I only interrupted their dinner. But yeah, Internet first THEN experienced parents who had to deal with lots of croop.
I use the Internet for everything from finding healthy meal recipes to buying their clothes, to paying their nanny or enroling them in after school activities. My first instinct is always….I’ll check the Internet. And when something I want to do is NOT on the Internet I lose my mind to frustration and rant about how backwards and inept the “whatever it is” is.
It turns out Crazy has a very rare and poorly known or understood genetic disease. He was diagnosed initially at two and half BY ME after reading on the Internet. He had seen a slew of doctors who knew all but one of his symptoms and not one had ever raised any flags. Since then, we did see a geneticist who within seconds of meeting Crazy confirmed my diagnosis. The disease itself, or more the condition, or the sum of symptoms is not life threatening, but just sucks and complicates a few things. We have been able to meet and discuss with other families to better understand the conditions and possible treatments through…yup, you guessed it, the Internet. What we have found so far has already dramatically changed my sons quality of life.
When Squishy came along, I was much more prepared and much less anxious, nervous and unsure of myself than with Crazy. Everything about her wee baby days went better and I solicited the Internet much less, except while in labour. I had saved all the funny forwards I got in the previous weeks to re-read during labour. The emails themselves occupied about an hour, and I filled the other four hours prior to leaving for the hospital reading my newest discovery…blogs, found only on the Internet.
Since the arrival of Squishy, I have been slowly and steadily progressing into a rhythm of losing it and bringing myself back from the edge. I love my kids, I really do, but I also love my husband and would love some alone time with him, I love my job, though not the commute, I love to hang out with my friends, but that happens less and less, and I would love to have a hobby, but same, I scratched that from my to do list for the next three years or so (random ranting on the Internet aside obviously). I have completely lost myself in the demands of kids and work, and have been living on the brink of a total meltdown for at least a year now. But guess what, I found this place where you can hear from other parents, and remind yourself that you are not alone, do you know what it’s called, the Internet. Every time I feel I am about to lose it, I go to my friend the Internet and read other parents tales of raising their little one(s). Sure this doesn’t really change anything in my life, the demands and sleep deprivation are still there, but at least, I have a few minutes of hysterical laughter (silently though, after all the kids are sleeping and the slightest noise other than ridiculously loud music coming from the neighbours will wake them) and I feel a butt load less guilty about not loving my kids till I burst every second of every hour of every day.
The Internet for me has become the only place where I find people I don’t even know who tell me over and over again, “you are doing a good job” or “your kids are doing great”. At this particular moment in my life, I would so much rather listen to some one I don’t know tell me about the crappy (yet funny) thing that happened to them when their kids were young than listen to one of my best friends tell me how she got her kids to sleep through the night when they were 8 days old.
So, Internet I raise my glass of Kir Petillant (not a Kir royale as I have decided not to turn in my kids college fund for champagne) to you.
NB: Kir Petillant = Creme de Cassis + Bubbly White Wine