September 16, 2010

I'm In A Chair

This post is brought to you by my betrayal of my working self, the one with deadlines and insanity these last few weeks... Or rather months. I sit now, still rocking my infant son on my lap (even though he fell asleep an hour ago) because I'm in a deficit of my children. I leave early, come home late, and have little else than their morning drowsy eyes and evening droopy smiles to carry with me throughout the day.

Heard this story before? A bit of a rerun, no? Man, I've got to get some new material. But before I move on, someone direct me to another working mom with a fresh newborn that I can connect with. Really! I totally want to exchange stories. Am I the only lunatic out there who goes back to work right away? I wish I had the choice but we just don't.

Anyway, yadda yadda I miss my kids right now.

So I'm cuddling and rocking and blogging from my phone for the first time ever. This has promise! Half the reason I'm so behind on my posts has been because I'm too distracted by work while at my computer.

This leads me to Topic 2 tonight - technology and parenting. My family is techie. We love technology (and love to hate it). I work with technology and for me information technologies are substantial enablers.

Contrast our access to information to 30 years ago - the, uh, decade in which I was born. No WAY did we have access to as much information that we have now. Doctors were silos and you were lucky to get a second opinion if you even knew enough to feel you needed one. Parents flew blind, particularly throughout the pregnancy phase, and all those things we take for granted now and consider absolutely imperative (ultrasounds, car seats, prenatal vitamins, etc) were only a twinkle in a midwife's eye back then. Yet somehow we made it through being born and thrived just fine for the most part.

So I wonder now whether our baseline for knowledge actually rivals that of the experts 30 years ago and whether all our self-proclaimed experts have taken on a sense of entitlement because our online communities are so empowering. Further, then, does this entitlement cause everyone to be more brave, or opinionated or even hurtful?

I experienced another online battle a couple of weeks ago and am ashamed I got involved in a moment of weakness and passion. I know better. So many people live for that crap because it embodies the only place and time they can feel like they identify with something and can be passionate and brave without consequence.

I realize this isn't news that people behave this way online but my concern is that we've become so critical and judgmental about issues that are so fragile and so important to get right that we're actually emotionally paralyzing new or experienced moms and dads who have any shade of doubt about these issues.

I kept thinking about this debate for days afterwards as it raged in cyber war and realized how stupid we would sound if we were behaving the same way IRL. We would look like a bunch of stereotypical fighting cats with all the mudslinging underway, and we would have lost credibility for seeming so evangelical.

Much worse, I think: most of these issues are *none of our business*. Who are we to try and influence someone else's choices or situation? What right do we have to marginalize women who haven't gone the same route we did? What service exactly do you think you are providing to new parents other than to help them on to the battlefield in one camp or the other?

Listen, if you feel passionate about something, do something productive or effective to really solve a problem. But for the love of pete, don't hide behind technology to justify your bad behavior.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Schnauzer girl said...

ha! "for the love of pete"- is your substitution swear word now that you have kids?

Anonymous said...

Agree 1000%. Do you think that the self-proclaimed experts are lonely outside the chat rooms? I have a feeling that they would have a hard time hiding their holier than thou attitude at mommy groups or at the coffee shop etc.

Someone will eventually tell them to get of their horse.


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