Friday, January 20, 2012

It's OK to have online friends

I admit it, as a SAHM, I get lonely. I crave adult conversation more than I ever thought I would. When I was working as a teacher, I couldn’t wait to stop talking once I got home. Now the opposite is true.

My twins don’t even talk to me that much. They have their own secret language. They can talk to each other for hours, and I honestly feel a bit left out. I don’t know what they are saying, but they do and they are perfectly happy to be in their own world. The specialists tell us they should enjoy this time with their own language. My husband is at work all day, and when he comes home, I bombard him to share the details of his day so I can have an interactive, engaging conversation. He, on the other hand, just wants to quietly decompress.

Enter online friendships. I NEVER thought I would have “online” friends. Friends that I never met in person?!?! This idea was insanity for an overly neurotic person like myself who could just imagine the crazy possibilities. A coworker once told me she was meeting up with her online friends for the day. I looked at her with barely disguised horror. I was wrong and I apologize sincerely to her for my reaction. These days, online forums and chat rooms, consume many websites. I joined one of the most popular websites for parenting when I found out I was pregnant with twins. Lo and behold, they had an online group for parents expecting the same month as me.

The group has dwindled down to twenty or so parents who continually check in. We have daily chats about our days, angst about our families and our latest toddler twin antics, discuss TV shows and headline news, give feedback on the latest open houses one attended, share recipes, and divulge some details about our lives that I probably wouldn’t discuss in person with my “real-life” friends. While we “know” each other after sharing almost 3 years as an online group, there is also that veil of anonymity that lets you be more open and more truthful. They provide a neutral sounding board; more so than the judgments of your more locally involved friends that know the minutia of your everyday lives.

As a result, I’ve learned it’s okay to have online friends, and in fact, I am truly grateful for them. As a SAHM, it’s kept me sane, has engaged my brain with more than toddler speak, and has allowed me to be less overbearing when my crazy busy husband walks through the door. Actually, I think it’s also one of the best choices I’ve made as a SAHM as it’s an outlet for me to BE ME.

-Mama x2

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