The Year: 2008
I walked into the room and saw my little sister tapping away at her laptop.
"What are you doing? We're going to be late!" I screeched. We were heading out for a shopping day. Hubby was going to look after the babies. I was desperate for a latte and I had the Urge to Splurge.
"Just a minute. I'm writing on Nat's wall and we'll go."
"Her 'wall'? What? Are you demented? What is that?"
"It's called Facebook. We write each other messages".
"What messages? Didn't you just get off the phone with her? Why don't you just speak like normal people? What a load of sh........."
Fastward 1 year later.
The Year: 2009
Mamma with a new laptop.
Apple MacBook. Swoon.
Little sister in Barcelona. Husband's family all in Greece.
Husband at work all day. Mamma home alone with three energetic toddlers.
Cut off from civilization.
Need an escape.
Open Facebook account.
My justification is it's a means to communicate with my sister and I could upload and share lots photos of the kidlets for all relatives overseas to delight in.
And so, it begins...
Farmville, Vampire Wars, cyber cocktails, waking up at 6am to harvest cyber cornfields, slaying virtual vampires, winning tokens, reconnecting with primary school/high school/university/work friends (and strangers).
You had me at 'Log In'.
I was hooked. The babies would crawl about my feet, sucking on toys, shoes, remote controls and I'd be tap, tap, tapping. Click, click, clicking. Scroll, scroll, scrolling. Hours of 'refresh feed'. The Wiggles dvd's would be on repeat to entertain my babies. 'Hot Potato' and 'Toot-Toot-Chugga-Chugga Big Red Car' were the soundtrack to my cyber-addiction.
Before my husband would return home late at night, I'd delete the history on my laptop. I didn't want him to see just how much time I was spending on the computer. The fact that the house was always in disarray wasn't a giveaway?
My Worst Mothering Moment.
I was toilet training the twins. They were watching The Wiggles (again) and I was having a 'Gwyneth-Paltrow-in-Sliding-Doors' moment,
"Mummy", called out Twin A, "mummy, wee-wee coming".
"Ok, sweetie. Mummy's coming". Tap, tap. Click, click.
"Mummy. Toilet mummy. Wee-wee".
"Yes, darling. Just a minute. Mummy's coming". Click, scroll, refresh.
"YES!!!! I'M COOOOOOOOMINGGGGG!!!" Click. Click.
I enter the lounge room and find little Twin A watching The Wiggles and standing in a giant puddle of wee.
"Sorry, Mummy. Wee-wee came".
I had never felt so sick or repulsed in all my life. Bad Mother. Worst Mother in the World. Selfish, deluded Mother.
I picked her up and squeezed her.
"Mummy's sorry. Mummy's so very sorry, for everything."
I cleaned her up and scooped up the rest of the girls. I spent the rest of the day hugging and kissing them, reading to them, playing with them, singing to them, inhaling their scent, tickling them just so that I could hear their joyous laugh.
I had hit rock bottom as a mamma but it was the wake up call I needed.
What was the allure of Facebook?
A sense of connection? A sense of friendship and camaraderie? A sense of belonging? Feeling that I hadn't been forgotten? I was so caught up in sharing moments in other people's lives, I was forgetting to create my own.
Best Mothering Moments
Believe it or not, Facebook has helped me become a better mother.
Through blogging and Facebook I have discovered so many wonderful, supportive groups and communities that have connected me with other fabulous mothers who tread the tricky, yet terrific, yellowbrick road of Motherhood. These life-enhancing sites include Kidspot, Mums Lounge, JustB, Circle of Moms, MamaBake, Mums Helping Mums Network, Lovely Living, The Imperfect Mum, The Organised Housewife, Stay At Home Mum and Planning With Kids, just to name a fabulous few.
And don't get me started on all the fabulous Mamma's who blog.
Saved. My. Sanity.
Motherhood can be hard. It can be lonely. Many of us constantly question if we are doing the right things by our kids. Many of us feel isolated. Many of us need help but don't feel comfortable asking for it. These pages and forums are a great way to connect, share, find information and ask questions.
Two ladies that have phenomenally impacted my life as a woman and mother (more than they'll ever know) are Kirri White from Happy Mums at Home and Nathalie Brown from Easy Peasy Kids. Their consistently positive messages have made me a happier woman and a more vibrant, engaging, joyous mother to my kids. I guarantee they have the means of turning your darkest day into sparkling, shimmering brightness.
Although I'm still engaging with social media (blogging/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram anyone?), I look for experiences that enhance my life in a positive way through inspiration, motivation (and a little humour!) ;)
And when my kids call out to me and say "Mummy, you know, we're more important than the computer", they're absolutely right. Time to switch off and turn the Mamma Lovin' up high.
Are you a social media addict? Has the internet impacted your role as a Mother?