Like so many others in this world, most of my days are spent in front of an electronic device of one kind or another. I teach middle school and use technology in all of my lessons. In my classroom I have a SmartBoard, a laptop, an iPad and an apple TV. The students are all responsible for their own laptops or iPads, and a lot of our communication is via email or internet posting. Forgot to write down your homework? Check the website. Need to ask me a question after hours? Shoot me an email. It seems that in today’s modern world, technology isn’t just one way we stay in touch, but it is the MAIN way.
My other job title – Mom
Of course at 4 p.m. when my job ends, my other job is just beginning (well, picking up right where we left off after the morning rush…). It’s time to get the kids, drive home, and start the nightly routine. We all know that this starts to feel like Groundhog Day after a while and we need a break. But how do we connect with our loved ones? Online of course! I love texting with my girlfriends after the kids have gone to bed. The Voxer app helps me keep in touch with friends who live out of state and I don’t get to see often. Our lives have gone digital, so I am going to jump right in and use it all to stay close to my support systems.
Message board + time = lifelong friendships
Back in 2005 I was on a Weight Watchers message board for new runners. I was trying to shed a few pounds and had just begun to run. This message board sounded like a good fit for me since I could check in daily to stay accountable. It started off that way, anyway. Eventually, people began posting multiple times a day and sharing personal stories. To this day, 13 years later, I remain close with a group of women who I met on that message board.
We have been to each other’s weddings, met each other’s children and gone away for long weekends together. They are some of the first people that I reach out to when I need support as a mom or when I need advice. And yes, we still “talk” online daily. We use a different platform and throw in some texts for good measure, but the conversation still hasn’t stopped. The funniest part is that IRL (“in real life”) we would have NEVER crossed paths. Everyone is from a different state all the way from Massachusetts to California. Different ages, backgrounds and beliefs. Our friendships grew online and are just as genuine as my face to face friendships.
My 2018 Support System
As moms in 2018, our support systems come in all different packages. Many times, that means friendships that are lived out almost entirely online. It’s easy to send your BFF a quick text message between work meetings, or post about your day in a Facebook group. Group chats with other moms are a great way to commiserate, ask questions or just vent about motherhood. The support of the “village” is all still there. You just have to pick up your phone to reach out.