Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

I am an internet-surfing, blogging, chatting, Googling, discussion-boarding mom. I spend a great deal of time on the internet some days and often find that it's difficult for me to stave off checking my email until the Little Critter is down for nap time or asleep for the evening. I'm a junkie.

Yesterday I read this article and it seriously started the wheels turning in my own head. The article discusses the issue of being a mother and being on the internet. More specifically, it discusses the social expectations for mothers regarding the internet, yet no societal attention is given toward fathers who spend time on the internet. I couldn't help but agree with Jana's thoughts. What the heck!?

But my wheels were turning in another direction and not in such a complex way. It had never occurred to me that this was a problem for some women... maybe even myself. Like I said above, I put in my time and run the usual internet track from Gmail to Facebook to Blogger and if I have a little bit of extra time I peruse my favorite Blogs or even do a little shopping on Amazon (love it!). And yes, I will admit that I sometimes do all of this while Lucas plays in his room or watches part of a movie.

*I am currently writing this during his nap, so all of you Judgy-McJudgers can stop judging me!

Some Moms would say that my lack of attention to my child and my fixation on the computer makes me neglectful and irresponsible. But my rebuttal is: What about dishes or baking or chores? Am I neglecting my child while doing housework? And I go back to Jana's thoughts about roles and society's expectations of what being a mother looks like. If I choose internet over dishes, does this REALLY make me a less caring mother?

Others would argue that being a person means giving yourself permission to whatever the hell you want with your day (within reason). Just because you're a mother does not mean that you are shackled to societal expectations of what a good mother is. When I think about societal expectations of women in general, it scares me. And as mothers it should be an internal decision about how we spend our time, not society's choice.

Like anything in life, internet time in excess can lead to greater problems. Like any addiction or vice, we have to evaluate if it interferes with the values we own and goals we want to achieve. I want to be an excellent mother; teaching my child right from wrong, loving him to the best of my ability and instilling a healthy sense of self-worth. If the internet is getting in the way of my ability to love and teach my child, then I will be the first to step away. But, I also believe it's healthy for my child to see me do the things I enjoy. If I give myself permission to do the things I enjoy, won't I also be teaching him the same value?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts....

1 comment:

  1. I feel Facebook and blogging are also important for me socially. Face to face contact is the best, but sometimes it just isn't possible. You know as well as I do the loneliness sometimes felt when home with our kiddos. We aren't truly alone since our sons are with us, but adult contact is greatly missed.

    Facebook and blog reading is a nice connection to the outside world. Also, keeping up my blog is important to me, because it allows me to use writing skills, and document events for Liam to reference in the future.

    As I'm typing this, Liam is happily playing with his toys, and I don't see any look of neglect on his face. Thankfully, the laptop allows me to 'surf' in the same room as him. Liam knows I'm near, and will occasionally bring over a toy or come over for a snuggle. And... I'm not always on the computer or couch. I'll often get on the floor with him and play for a bit.

    If I was a working mom, the balance of work, computer, Brent, and Liam would be a lot more difficult. Coming home and spending all evening on the computer would result in neglecting my husband and son. When I was working, I just simply spent less time on the computer. Besides... I was on a computer all day at work, and not really interested in it when I got home.

    I agree with your thinking. Computer time can become an addiction and get out of hand. It needs to be used in moderation just like everything else.

    You being a neglectful mother never crosses my mind. I'd admire the love and attention you give to Lucas. Sure, I don't see your family much now that you live out of state, but just reading your blogs and FB updates is a reminder of the devotion you have to Lucas.

    You're a phenomenal mom. Keep up the good work <3